October 28, 2015

Flashgrid to boost Oracle RAC via ASM integration

FlashGrid (www.flashgrid.io), recent innovator in storage management for Oracle DB, just unveiled their product strategy a few days before Oracle Open World. I took advantage of the show to meet the CEO Alex Miroshnichenko and his team.
The main idea behind FlashGrid™is the wish to offer a simple high-end shared storage solution based on standards hardware for Oracle clusters who use ASM and operate in RAC mode. This is perfectly aligned with the market dynamic around Software Defined-Storage.

In a few words, it means:
  • Turn standard NVMe PCIe SSDs inside DB servers into scalable shared storage
  • 0.4 to 50TB per node, 2 to 100 nodes
  • Consolidate network infrastructure with Ethernet (10/40/100 Gb/s) or InfiniBand/RDMA
  • Leverage proven Oracle ASM for high availability and data mirroring
  • Maximize DB performance with FlashGrid Read-Local™ Technology
FlashGrid said it gives 12x times the performance at 1/6 the cost of a flash storage array. Currently, the NVMe SSDs deliver outstanding performance of up to 5 GB/s and up to 850,000 random IOPS per SSD. Multiple NVMe SSDs can be installed per server, up to 18 SSDs in some server models so we can imagine the performance such configurations could offer.

FlashGrid manages SSD devices and connectivity and lets Oracle ASM controls and operates the volume management, mirroring, snapshot of the data set especially the 2-ways (normal redundancy mode) or 3-ways (high redundancy mode) mirroring across separate nodes. Each ASM instance can access all SSDs in the cluster thanks to FlashGrid software. 2 configurations are possible: converged node (DB + storage) with DB with NVMe SSDs and DB nodes connected to separate (storage) nodes with NVMe SSDs. In a 2 nodes cluster or 3 nodes cluster in converged configuration with respectively 2 or 3 copies, FlashGrid Read-Local provides local access and the speed of the PCIe.
The software is completely free, you just have to pay the support like other open sources software if you wish to consider production environment. FlashGrid is currently under version 15.9 and supports Oracle 11.2 and 12.1 running on RHEL 7 or Oracle Linux 7 and hypervisors Oracle VM 3.3 and VMware 5.5.x.
FlashGrid will be at the IT Press Tour in December, great to interact with the team and better understand the solution.

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