27 October 2009

Moving Oracle Datafiles to a ZFS Filesystem with the Correct Recordsize

Originally posted on The Pythian Group blog.

Full credit for this tale should go to my colleague Christo Kutrovsky for the inspiration and basic plan involved.

We recently migrated a large database from Solaris SPARC to Solaris x86-64. All seemed to go well with the migration, but in the next few weeks, we noticed some I/O issues cropping up. Some research led us to find that the ZFS filesystem used to hold the datafiles was killing us on I/O. The default “recordsize” setting for ZFS was 128k.

$ /usr/sbin/zfs get recordsize zfs-data
zfs-data recordsize 128K default

An Oracle database typically uses 8k for the block size, but in this case it was 16k. We saw basically the same thing that Neelakanth Nadgir described in his blog post, Databases and ZFS:
With ZFS, not only was the throughput much lower, but we used more [than] twice the amount of CPU per transaction, and we are doing 2x times the IO. The disks are also more heavily utilized. We noticed that we were not only reading in more data, but we were also doing more IO operations [than] what is needed.
The fix is to set the ZFS recordsize for a datafile filesystem to match the Oracle instance’s db_block_size. We also read in the ZFS Best Practices Guide that redo logs should be in a separate filesystem with the default ZFS recordsize of 128k. We already had them separate, so we just needed to get our datafiles on a ZFS filesystem with a 16k recordsize.

HOWTO: Oracle Cross-Platform Migration with Minimal Downtime

Originally posted at The Pythian Group blog.

I recently performed a migration from Oracle 10gR2 on Solaris to the same version on Linux, immediately followed by an upgrade to 11g. Both platforms were x86-64. Migrating to Linux also included migrating to ASM, whereas we had been using ZFS to hold the datafiles on Solaris. Restoring files into ASM meant we would have to use RMAN (which we would probably choose to use anyway).

As with many databases, the client wanted minimal downtime. It was obvious to us that the most time-consuming operation would be the restore and recovery into the new instance. We were basically doing a restore and recovery from production backups and archived redo logs. It quickly dawned on me that we could start this operation well before the scheduled cutover time and downtime window, chopping at least six hours from the downtime window. The client would only need to keep the new instance in mount mode after the initial restore/recovery finished, periodically re-catalog the source instance's FRA (which was mounted via NFS), and then re-run the recover database command in RMAN. Once the time comes to cutover, simply archivelog current the original instance and shutdown immediate. Then open the new instance with the RESETLOGS option, and voila! Migration complete!

I'll try to recreate a simple example here.