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OrcleDisk_Physicall_Storage.

I want to install a fairly small db (15GB) on a dell server.

The machine has local disk storage with 8disks of 300 GB configured at RAID 10.
The array is made of 8 disks mirrored (4 active and 4 mirrors).

We are installing a couple of virtual machines (RHEL and WINDOWS server2008) using VMware.


I am trying to decide on how to install oracle software and databases:

Here is what i am thinking but i am open to better ideas.

1) Keep the disks at RAID 10 and not reconfigure it for RAID 1 for other temp or log files.

2) Seprate disks for applications (Red hat linux and windows application)

Use 6 physical disks for oracle/linux and 2 disks for crystal reports server and other windows applications.

3) for oracle I want to separate disks as follows:

3a) Use 1 disk for oracle software install. This is where oracle database software and oracle HTTP server/web server software is installed.
3b) Use 1 disk for all database files (data files, control files, online redo logs).
3c) Use 1 disk for flashback area (flashback recovery files, backup files, archive redo log files, multiplexed files, etc.)
   
My questions:

1) Do you think this is a good layout for storage or not? If not what would you change.

I understand that using RAID 10 is expensive in terms of storage but we can afford that since we have enough storage and probably clean up files every 2 weeks. basically it is not worth it to reconfigure some disks to RAID 1.

2) When I use oracle installer to install oracle sofware and DBCA to create databases
  can i select each disk and directory i want it installed per the above layout.
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sam15
Asked:
sam15
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1 Solution
 
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
if you want maximum performance, keep the ESX datastore as RAID10
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sam15Author Commented:
do you mean keep all disks configured as RAID 10 for all oracle software/files and non-oracle application?

Do you agree with layout: oracle software on disk1, database files on disk 2 and flash recovery and backups on disk 3?

Do you control the install location from the oracle installer?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Yes, keep the datastore as RAID 10. Create new virtual disks for software, db, and backups.

The installer will guide you.
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sam15Author Commented:
what do you mean by virtual disks? These are real physical local disks that exists inside server.

There are virtual machines (red hat linux and windows) installed but the disks are not.

There is only one controller. I was told that backups should always have separate controller and power supply in case the first one goes bad and i need to access the backup files to restore database. is this correct or i can live with one controller for everything for a small DB?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
the virtual machines you create will use virtual disks which will be stored on a RAID 10 datastore of physical disks.

one storage controller is fine.
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sam15Author Commented:
can you explain this

RAID 10 is striping and mirroring.

this means a block of data wil be written to multiple disks in the array.

If this is the case how can i have oracle software on disk1, database files on disk2, backup files on disk3.

does not raid 10 take each block that is part of a file and write to the separate disks in the array?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
because they are 3 virtual disks connected to the virtual machine, stored on the RAID 10 datastore.

A virtual machine is like a physical machine, in that it has disks, virtual disks!
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sam15Author Commented:
yes, but the virtual disks have to map to physcial disks somehow.

do you mean you can build 3 RAID 10 virtual disks that usemap to  physical Disk 1.
If that is the case, striping data for oracle software is still on Disk 1. Does that really help in performance?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
the virtual disks which are files, which connect to the virtual machine, are located or stored on the datastore.

the VMFS datastore is a partition, which is created on your 8 physical disks (RAID 10).

the only benefit of having three virtual disks, because they are all; stored on the same datastore is management, easier to backup, and expand the virtual disks if required.
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sam15Author Commented:
How does this work?

When you install oracle, what do you select? Physical Disk 1 or logical parition 1.

Does not RAID 10 automatically split the data to the array of 8 disks after you select the disk anayway. 4 disks on the array are mirrors so it will probably split it tothe 4 active ones.

I think the only way not to split oracle software is to have RAID1 (only mirroring) for Disk 1.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Oracle installation will just detect a server with a single disk. (or disks). It cannot detect if the server is physical or virtual.

Correct, so your virtual machine, and it's disks which reside on a RAID 10 VMFS datastore will be striped across all disks. (but at the ESX level!).

You CANNOT have RAID levels within the virtual machine. (virtual disks)
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sam15Author Commented:
so to sum this up, when you install oracle you select DISK1 and when you create the database you select DISK2 and when you configure flash area and backup and archive files you select DISK3 and not worry how RAID handles the distribution among disks?

Logically you are installing on 1 DISK but RAID physically is distributing those to mulutple disks.

I was wondering if i should do that or ask specifically to change some DISKS from RAID 10 to RAID 1 to make sure nothing gets striped.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
RAID 10 is the fastest performance for your virtual machine datastore.

if you change the RAID datastore ALL VMs will be effected, and performance will be worse.

The more disks in a stripe, the more IOPS = more performance.
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sam15Author Commented:
yes, but software can never be really in ONE physical location using RAID 10 as oracle recommends.

How would you store the oracle files if you were given this machine with these RAID 10 disks?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
I would create three virtual disks, attached to the Virtual machine.

So your Linux VM would have three seperate Virtual SCSI disks.

/sda Linux OS
/sdb DB
/sdc Logs

and install the Oracle software, as you want.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
here is a link to Virtualising Oracle on VMware

http://info.vmware.com/content/12581_VirtApps_Oracle?src=&xyz=&elq=

you have to regsiter to obtain the Best Practice guides.
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sam15Author Commented:
I think you are saying Virtualization changes the way data will be stored on physical disks.
My original thinking was it would be the same as if you DO NOT have virtualization.

I was thinking you can map PHYSICAL->VIRTUAL DISK as you desire. So for the 3 virtual disks you recommended i can have them all use one physical disk or 3 physical disks.

It seems with Virtualization RAID 10 may not play a big part in performance as it would if you are not using any ESX hosts.
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