What is Oracle Grid Infrastructure – A Free Tutorial

What is Grid Infrastructure? (Hint: It is not Grid Control.)

It is still possible to run an Oracle database without Oracle Grid Infrastructure. But is it sensible?  And, if you want to use ASM – which we strongly recommend – you need GI!

In this tutorial you will learn how Grid Infrastructure can replace (or complement) third party products for RAID, network management, and high availability. At the same time, using these facilities can improve performance dramatically. Grid Infrastructure is the way Oracle is moving, and we want to show you that it is not necessarily complicated and can indeed make your life simpler. It can also save you money.

Content: live demonstrations of configuring and using Grid Infrastructure services with release 11g.

Audience: DBAs looking for entry level knowledge of what Grid Infrastruture can do.

Presenter: John Watson, Oracle Certified Master DBA

This free training is segmented into several separate lessons:

  1. Introduction (1:35)
  2. Why All Administrators Need to Know Grid Infrastructure (3:27)
  3. Intro to Network Administration with Grid Infrastructure (3:18)
  4. Demonstration – Network Administration with Grid Infrastructure (5:46)
  5. Network Administration with Grid Infrastructure Q & A (3:28)
  6. Grid Infrastructure Licensing Tips (1:21)
  7. Grid Infrastructure Storage Management, ACFS, the Cloud File System (5:00)
  8. Demonstration: ACFS, Cloud File System, Storage Management (4:02) (click on video below)
  9. High Availability with Oracle Grid Infrastructure (10:50)
  10. SQL Net Listening Architecture and SCAN (4:26)
  11. Conclusion: Planning for Oracle 11g / 12c Grid Infrastructure (1:16)

Date: Feb 21, 2013

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Demonstration: ACFS, Cloud File System, Storage Management

>> John:  Here’s some CMD utility. Really to make system administrators feel happy with the Oracle environment, Oracle provides a tool that looks a bit like Linux or Unix. We have Unix commands so we have a kind of Unix interface. I’m deliberately using this rather than the SQL Plus interface that will be more familiar to database administrators. 


We have a Unix type interface. What I need to do to create a new file system, I use the command – I shall I copy here – vol create. I create a volume. This is the equivalent of creating a logical volume in a physical volume. My physical volume is called a group called ATFSv1. I’m creating a logical volume called vol1 of 256 megabytes. 




I’ve created a logical volume here and the moment I created the vol create command, we see a device driver generated in /dev/asm and there’s my device driver. That just created a logical volume of 256 megabytes. 




What do I do with that logical volume? We know what to do with logical volumes, we format them with file systems. In NKFS I could use – type EXT3. I could even use -type NTFS. At this point this is just a device driver like any other. I shall of course use ACFS because I want to get the ACFS capabilities. So, we create a file system with a perfectly normal NKFS command and that’s formatted a very little, a very small file system. 


What do we do next? We mount it. 




Type “ACFS” and I would mount the device /dev/NNT/asm on say /NNT. DF [02:23 inaudible]. There it is. There’s my little 256 megabytes volume file system mounted and that is a file system like any other. 




It’s like a file system like any other file system. But it happens to be managed and controlled by Grid Infrastructure. 




This is a truly clustered file system. And I got trouble as pointed out with my other nodes, I can’t demonstrate the clusterability right now. But it’s clusterable, which many files systems such as EXT3 are not. And I can use it for anything I want. In that previous webinar that Dave just referred to, I demonstrated the snapshots and replication capabilities. 




Now I just want to point out that ACFS ñ the file system in ACFS mounted file system is depending on the underlying storage it stripes mirrored plus be striped to mirrored twice. If the underlying storage cannot do striping and mirroring, ACFS will do it for you giving an equivalent to RAID 10 equivalent performance reliability. 


If you have underlying storage that can stripe itself then the performance will be even higher because that multiple levels of striping would use your SAN to stripe volumes and ACFS will then stripe files which is an extent base file system. 


So what’s the end result? It can replace third party products such as Veritas Cluster file system, Red Hat Global File System and of course it can replace all your file servers.


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