Veritas adds file system to Oracle clusters

Companies running Oracle9i Real Application Clusters should be able to replace their raw disk partitions with a file system, easing management, says Veritas

Storage software company Veritas has started shipping a cluster file system for HP-UX 11i users running an Oracle9i database.

According to Veritas, this is the first cluster file system that lets enterprises dump their raw disk partitions when using an HP-UX 11i platform to run an Oracle9i Real Application Clusters (RAC), without losing any performance.

Traditionally, if an administrator running HP-UX 11i wanted to take advantage of the Oracle RAC, the database would have to be stored on raw disk partitions -- disk drives without a file system or any form of organisation. Neil Macehiter, research director at Ovum, says that although raw partitions generally improve the performance of a database -- because it doesn't have to deal with the overhead of a file structure -- managing the system is far more difficult.

Without a file system, administrators have no simple way to tell how much storage the database is consuming, which means routine tasks such as database backup and recovery can only be carried out by very experienced administrators.

"While managing a fast-growing Oracle database environment is more difficult without a file system, many administrators believe raw disk is an acceptable alternative to enhance performance," said Mark Shainman, senior research analyst, META Group in a statement. "Customers should look for products that don't force them to choose between performance and manageability. An ideal alternative for Oracle9i customers who demand both would be the management capability of a file system combined with the speed of raw disk," he added.