Spotlight on RAC, grid and availability

Availability is a hot-button issue with DBAs these days -- users want more of their data available more of the time. You can achieve this through grid computing and Oracle's Real Application Clusters (RAC). This spotlight includes breaking news on these technologies, as well as analysis, expert advice and tips from our archives, to get you up to speed on what RAC and grid are all about.

Availability is a hot-button issue with DBAs these days -- users want more of their data available more of the time. How can you achieve this? One of the technologies that improves availability is grid computing. Oracle knows this technology is hot; the company has been investing in grid in recent years. It has also made improvements to its Real Application Clusters (RAC) feature. What exactly does this feature do? What are the benefits of a grid environment, and how can you implement RAC and grid to improve availability at your place of work? How is Oracle delivering these technologies now, and how does the company plan to develop them further? You can find all this information and more in our new special report. All this month, examined the latest news on grid, RAC and availability. You can find all the new stories and content we've brought you throughout the month here. This page also compiles expert advice, tips and analysis from our archives.


  Real Application Clusters (RAC)  


  • NEW! Survey: DBAs not planning for downtime: Companies need to do more to reduce the amount of database downtime resulting from both planned and unplanned events, a new IOUG survey finds.
  • NEW! Replacements boosts efficiency with Oracle 10g on Linux: Replacements Ltd. is helping customers locate antique tableware more quickly than before thanks to newly implemented Oracle apps running on Red Hat Linux.
  • NEW! Performance tuning a RAC implementation: The performance tuning methodology for an Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC) configuration can be broadly categorized into these seven steps.
  • Collaborate '06 Preview: IOUG's Kaplan on RAC, security, mobility and more: IOUG president Ari Kaplan explains what's on tap for the Collaborate '06 Oracle users' conference being held later this month in Nashville.
  • Travel pros use RAC to book a room: Travelocity owner Sabre Holdings says its move to Oracle 9i RAC will help boost business for travel agents.
  • Southwest Airlines soars with analytics: The Southwest Airlines IT team completed an upgrade to Oracle 9i RAC and increased its use of data analytics to fend off fierce fare competition and rising fuel costs.
  • Featured Topic: Running RAC: Real Application Clusters (RAC) offer scalability and availability, but the cost and complexity may deter some users from running it. Read more about RAC inside.
  • Using RAC to consolidate silo databases: Advice from our database design and architecture expert on the values of using RAC for consolidating applications.
  • What is a cluster? What is RAC?: This expert answer defines clusters and RAC.
  • Using DBUA for RAC databases: How to upgrade a RAC 9.0.X database to RAC 9.2.X using the Database Upgrade Assistant for RAC databases.
  • Multiple nodes without RAC: Expert advice: Is there any reason that you should NOT employ a shared Oracle home when you have multiple nodes and a cluster filesystem (and you do NOT use RAC)?
  • Performing a patchset application in a RAC environment: I currently have several applications on their own databases. Is it possible to consolidate all these databases and thus applications on a single database with a RAC environment?
  • Configuring TAF parameters in RAC: We want to use the RAC feature to call Transparent Application Failover (TAF). How should I configure the TAF parameters?
  • The disadvantages of RAC: What are the disadvantages of implementing Oracle RAC?
  • Benefits, costs of running RAC: What are the benefits of running RAC with Oracle database servers running on Sun clusters? Other than horizontal scaling, are there any other benefits?
  • Which instance is a user connected through?: In RAC environments, if an instance goes down other instances can still access the data. How will it be known which instance a user is connected through?
  • Cheap way to implement RAC on Linux: I would like to know the cheapest way to implement RAC for testing purposes.
  • Implementing RAC without database downtime: We have Oracle 10g on Red Hat Linux. The database is accessed by 10,000 users, and we need to implement Oracle Real Application Clusters without any downtime. What can we do?
  • "Active-active" vs. "active-passive" in RAC environments: Expert Dan Norris explains the difference between active-active and active-passive configurations in RAC environments.
  • Moving from 9i RAC to 10g RAC: Expert advice on migrating to 10g RAC.


  Grid computing  
  • LinuxWorld: Oracle president puts best foot forward with grid computing: Amidst a keynote speech littered with praise for Linux, Oracle president Charles Phillips identified grid computing as the next big challenge for the open source operating system.
  • EGA gives grid computing a pragmatic push: A first-of-its-kind reference model from the Enterprise Grid Alliance (EGA) may become another factor driving the adoption of grid computing.
  • Database 10g update to feature more automation: If Oracle has its way, the vast majority of database management functions will soon be fully automated.
  • Intel answers Project MegaGrid questions at LinuxWorld: Intel's Sunil Saxena answers questions about Project MegaGrid and discusses how the newest technology from Intel fits into the larger grid computing picture.
  • Oracle takes grid mobile: New Oracle Database Lite release extends the grid to mobile workers.
  • Oracle, Dell to boost grid standards: Oracle and Dell are teaming up with EMC and Intel to develop best practices around grid computing.
  • Content management, grid to highlight Oracle conference: After combining its applications and database conferences, Oracle executives are bracing for more than 20,000 users to flock to San Francisco next week for the Oracle OpenWorld user conference.
  • Oracle adds members to grid alliance: Oracle's Enterprise Grid Alliance added three new members and its first end user to help develop grid computing standards and user-friendly tools.
  • Oracle Enterprise Manager gets a makeover: Oracle has completed its round of 10g Release 2 updates with the new release Oracle Enterprise Manager.
  • Overstock is newest grid convert: Online retailer looks to empty its shelves and speed up sales with Oracle 10g.
  • Lessons Learned: Grid computing: This tip covers the how, what and where of grid computing in Oracle10g.
  • Foundation embraces grid: The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation says Oracle 9i RAC on Linux was the right combination for them. Now the organization is taking steps to get closer to Oracle's grid strategy.
  • Grid 'early adopters' to reap major benefits: Grid computing will take a giant leap in acceptance within the next few years as better technology ups productivity and reduces costs.
  • Companies take baby steps toward grid: A Forrester Research survey shows that many companies are taking steps toward grid computing despite uncertainty about where they are headed.
  • Expert advice: Grid computing and Oracle10g: expert Brian Peasland describes the concept of grid computing and Oracle Database 10g's role in helping you achieve it in your computing environment.
  • Oracle's rose-colored grid vision: Get inside Oracle's grid strategy, and find out how much of the technology users can get their hands on right now -- and whether the technology can do everything Larry Ellison says it can.
  • Difference between cluster and grid: A user asks, "What is the difference between a cluster and a grid? Is it a conceptual difference or a technical difference?" Expert Brian Peasland answers.
  • How Oracle10g achieves grid computing: Could you explain in detail with examples what is meant by grid computing and how Oracle 10g helps to achieve this?
  • How much better is 10gR2 in grid computing?: Brian Peasland describes the improvements to grid computing in Oracle 10g release 2.
  • Grid computing -- The future from the past: This tip discusses the past and future of grid computing, how it has developed and the challenges it will face.


  • Don Burleson answers your Oracle availability questions: Highlights from a webcast titled "Using Oracle9i RAC and TAF for continuous availability."
  • Replication for high availability: Replication for high availability can be simple and cheap, or it can be elaborate and expensive. It all depends on what you want to replicate -- and your performance goals.
  • Oracle Database 10g high availability with RAC, Flashback and Data Guard (Chapter 8): This chapter download from Oracle Database 10g high availability with RAC, Flashback and Data Guard, written by Matthew Hart and Scott Jesse, focuses on a "DBA-centric" approach to high availability.
  • Know-IT-all Chapter Quiz: Backup and recovery for high availability: How much do you know about backup and recovery? We challenge you to test your skills.
  • Featured Topic: Achieving high availability: Oracle RAC, Data Guard, Flashback and Streams are just some of the features you can use to ensure consistent and constant access to your systems. Here are some tips to get you up to speed.
  • Check for Oracle availability and tablespace capacity: Checking Oracle for availability requires more than just a ping or a 'ps -ef | grep oracle' command. Read this tip for more info.
  • Best HA and OS options for data warehouse: What are the best OS and high availability (HA) options for a data warehouse in a RAC environment?
  • Service levels and resources: A decade of mismatch: Whatever the name -- Grid Computing, Utility Computing, the Adaptive Enterprise, the Agile Enterprise, Capacity On Demand -- the concept is very attractive to organizations.
  • All about partitioning: Brian Peasland describes the benefits in availability and performance that partitioning provides.
  • Hardware clustering vs. replication: A case study: The following is based upon a real-life experience in a Tier 1 bank, using Sybase tools like ASE and Replication Server, but this case is very applicable to other engines such as Oracle with Data Guard.
  • Which applications benefit from Oracle9i RAC?: The applications that benefit the most from RAC are the ones that need either high availability or higher scalability, or both.
  • Strategies for backup for terabytes of data : We are developing an airline reservation system which should be a high-availability system and should handle terabytes of data. What is the best strategy for data backup?
  • Data warehousing possible on a disaster recovery hot site?: Is data warehousing or reporting on a high availability hot site possible when using DataGuard in a standby disaster recovery replication scenario?
  • Questions about partitions, indexes and parallelism: How do partitions help with availability?

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