Grid Computing Oracle Style - page 3
Oracle, Linux, and The Grid
An Oracle database running on a grid is known as a RAC or Real Application Cluster. A RAC runs great on commodity hardware clusters.
The normal hardware for RACs are blade servers. According to Souder, blade servers and commodity hardware compliment Linux and Linux compliment blade servers and commodity hardware. The Oracle Grid lends itself well to this environment, because it is scalable and the hardware can be swapped in or out as needed.
Blades are made by HP, Sun, Dell, IBM and other vendors. Other companies have database applications that they say run on a certain cluster. Oracle ups the ante and certifies that an Oracle Grid will run on a system. Currently, the Oracle Grid is certified on 32 node Linux/Intel clusters and 256 node clusters running AIX. Other cluster configurations will be certified as customer demand dictates.
"Oracle runs real applications, and is certified to do so. The key point is that other vendors cluster database have never been certified to run real applications. The other vendors just use their cluster database for benchmarks. We will certify the database running on more nodes as customers need more nodes--there is really no architectural limit to the number of nodes we can support," Souder said.
Other companies have so called "distributed" applications, Oracle has the code and ability to back up claims. As an example, the FAA was looking for high availability for their systems. But, it had to be affordable. The Oracle Grid was good fit because the database application didn't have to be shut down to service hardware or when a hardware fail-over occurred.
Another feature of the Oracle Grid Database is that is an application can be moved from one platform to another. It doesn't matter if an application was created on AIX (IBM mainframe) and client wants to move it to Linux (on an Intel based Blade cluster). The Application can simply be moved from one platform to another without any code changes.
Customers can also manage their Oracle Grid Database either from a GUI or the command line. The GUI is good for everyday simple tweaks. The command line is a favorite preferred by DBA's because it allows the scripting of tasks. If you can't decide which to use, the GUI has a record mode that can create a script of tasks, for you. You can then command line it from there.