difference between Oracle RAC and Microsoft Clustering technology

Posted on 2010-01-13
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-08
what is the basic difference between Oracle RAC and Microsoft Clustering technology??
Question by:ramavenkatesa
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RiteshShah earned 248 total points
ID: 26302957

A cluster is a collection of servers (called nodes) operating as one unit. A cluster is useful for high performance and high availability. If your nodes cannot handle the tasks, add more nodes, which adds more resources to get the job done. If a node fails, the work can still continue on the other nodes.  

Real Application Clusters (RAC) is Oracle's clustering software for its database. With RAC, you can have multiple nodes in the cluster.

source: http://searchoracle.techtarget.com/answer/What-is-a-cluster-What-is-RAC?ShortReg=1&mboxConv=searchOracle_RegActivate_Submit&
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MikeWalsh earned 248 total points
ID: 26303434
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Mark Geerlings earned 252 total points
ID: 26304182
The basic difference:  Microsoft Clustering is at the O/S level, Oracle RAC is at the application (Oracle database) level.  Oracle RAC is avaliable on a variety of operating systems: UNIX, Linux, Windows, etc. but all of the nodes in a particular Oracle RAC must be on the same operating system.
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Author Comment

ID: 26304616
what is the difference in terms of architecture??
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Expert Comment

by:Mark Geerlings
ID: 26305217
One is made by Microsoft and one is made by Oracle.  One clusters the entire O/S (including all applciations on it as far as I know, but I am not an expert on Microsoft Clustering) and the other clusters only an Oracle database instance, even if there are other applications running on the server(s).  Also, for Oracle RAC, you must have some kind of shared disk storage (usually a NAS or a SAN) that will actually hold the database files.  For Microsoft Clustering, I don't know if any exernal, shared disk storage is required, or not.
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Assisted Solution

myrotarycar earned 252 total points
ID: 26310482
In my opinion, the biggest difference is that you can use dissimilar hardware and non-shared storage to bring up an Oracle RAC environment. You can add mutliple nodes, and they are fairly modest in terms of requirements and hardware compatibility. In other words, you can add RAC nodes to an Oracle cluster so long as you are running them on the same platform (i.e. RHEL 5.x 64-bit) and you satisfy the minimum requirements for an Oracle instance to run (i.e. memory, storage, kernel / patch level, etc...)

On the other hand, with Microsoft Clustering, you are pretty much stuck and in need of certified hardware and a comparatibily narrow list of shared storage devices.

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