Home > netapp, VMware > Safely Virtualize Oracle on NetApp, VMware, and UCS

Safely Virtualize Oracle on NetApp, VMware, and UCS

Virtualizing your Tier1 applications is one of the last hurdles on the way to a truly dynamic and flexible datacenter. Large Oracle databases almost always fall into that category. In the past a lot of the concern revolved around performance, but with faster hardware and support for larger and larger virtual machines this worry is starting to fade away. The lingering issue remains what is and what isn’t supported in a virtual environment from your software vendor?
Although Oracle has relaxed their stance on virtualization, they take the same approach that most do when it comes to support in virtual environments. Take for example the following excerpt from Oracle’s database support matrix: Oracle will provide support for issues that are known to occur on the native OS, or can be demonstrated not to be a result of running on the server virtualization software. Oracle may request that the problem be reproduced on the native hardware.

That last part is the killer for most companies. How could you quickly re-create a multi-terabyte database on physical hardware once it is virtualized if there is a problem? Luckily NetApp, VMware, and Cisco UCS provide a very elegant solution to address this issue. Let’s take a look at a simple diagram depicting a 10TB virtualized Oracle DB instance connected via 10GbE and utilizing Oracle’s Direct NFS client.
The guest OS has been virtualized and resides on the VMFS datastore, the vSphere host is booting from SAN, and the database is directly hosted and accessed on the NetApp array using NFS. Each data volume in the picture is connected using a different technology to illustrate protocol independence (outside of Oracle where NFS is used for simplicity of setup).
As you can see from the diagram the real challenge is re-creating that 10TB database in a way that is cost effective and fast. NetApp’s FlexClone technology allows the instant creation of zero space virtual copies. The process is similar to VMware’s linked clones, but NetApp does it with LUN’s or file data, and with no performance hit.
To build your safety net follow the steps below.
  1. Create LUN on NetApp array
  2. Create UCS Service Profile Template
  3. Configure Service Profile Template and set to boot from LUN in step 1
  4. Deploy Service Profile from template
  5. Install same OS as virtualized instance (OEL 5.5 in this case)
  6. Create FlexClone of Oracle files/volumes
  7. Create exports and set permissions for newly created server
  8. Configure OS with mount points designed for FlexCloned file/volume
At this point you have a full physical environment of that 10TB virtualized Oracle database. The diagram below shows what this looks like.
The next step is to clean this up since you don’t want this UCS blade occupied with the test environment.
  1. Shut down the OS
  2. Delete the Service Profile (not the template)
  3. Delete the FlexClone(s)
Now in the event you have some nasty database issue, and Oracle tells you to reproduce the issue on physical hardware, you can listen on the phone as the support guys jaw hits the floor when you tell him to give you 5 minutes. The entire process can be scripted easily using the Data ONTAP and UCS PowerShell Toolkit, or using an orchestration tool of your choice.
Reserving a blade or two for this unlikely scenario may seem wasteful to some, but because of the flexibility of UCS you can quickly spin that hardware up into production for things like hardware maintenance without a performance hit or capacity on demand for your vSphere environment. With NetApp, VMware, and Cisco you can safely and efficiently take your company to a 100% virtualized private cloud environment.
Advertisements
Categories: netapp, VMware Tags: , , ,
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: