Balancing the efficiencies and capabilities of Oracle database environments require a deft hand. Handling massive data growth while simultaneously maintaining multiple isolated storage solutions and storage bottlenecks poses a big threat to developers navigating large-scale Oracle environments.
Nihal Mirashi, principal solutions marketing manager at Pure Storage, and Thomas Stutesman, principal field solutions architect at Pure Storage, joined DBTA’s webinar 3 Key Strategies to Unlocking Oracle Database Storage Excellence, to guide audiences through effectively managing highly scaled Oracle environments while unlocking superior performance—all without adding complexity or disruptive technologies.
The speakers began by emphasizing how our world is outcome-based and driven by data, where data can be the biggest asset on your balance sheet. However, several database challenges prevent enterprises from realizing this value, including:
- Data gravity and the mobility of ever-increasing data volumes
- Performance and the optimization of databases to eliminate bottlenecks and increase productivity
- Uncomplicated data protection from ransomware to business continuity at scale
- Hybrid cloud simplification underpinned by a consistent data plane
Mirashi addressed these database complexities by boiling down his approach to three key areas: simplicity, performance and efficiency, and “better together.”
Stutesman relayed the first element of Oracle database storage excellency—simplicity—by breaking down the history of storage. Originally beginning as “just a bunch of disk,” redundant array of independent disks (RAID) innovated storage by adding a level of abstraction to Oracle.
Having several caveats, the invention of RAID led to Oracle ASM in 2004, which was designed to simplify Oracle database files, provide dynamic storage allocation, and support striping, mirroring, and redundancy. However, this was developed before SSD and Flash had any marketspace, meaning that databases were behind on technological advances.
“So, ASM came out of a time where there were no Flash Arrays, everything was spinning disks, huge storage caches, [and] SANs were just appearing. [It begs the question,] ‘What does this mean about the new stuff? What does that mean about what Flash can provide you with today?’” posed Stutesman. “Flash has changed the Oracle world in a lot of ways.”
Despite this evolution, DBAs are left with an over-complicated laundry list of functions to perform, according to Stutesman. These DBA and storage admin duties—including storage planning, provisioning, licensing compression, replication licensing, Snap Reserve, and many, many more—is where Pure Storage innovates simplicity.
Pure Storage automates a plethora of these duties, such as data reduction, encryption, RAID HA, continuous optimization, stripe width and depth, OS and block size alignment, and more, accompanied by built-in replication, six 9’s availability, and non-disruptive upgrades.
Beginning on the second tenet—performance and efficiency—Stutesman explained that Pure Storage’s mission to provide simplicity is intrinsically tied to efficiency. To achieve storage efficiency, Pure Storage:
- Removes and reduces patterns with 8-bit granularity
- Compresses before writing to NVRAM
- Deduplicates NVRAM data using variable block-sizes with 512B alignment
- Compresses data again before writing to SSD
- Optimizes for the future, making footprints as viable as possible
Additionally, Pure Storage offers the Purity AI Compression Engine, which uses multiple compression libraries for maximum compression potential, the DirectFlash module, the world’s first software-defined flash module, and FlashArray, for security with no compromises.
Ultimately, in performance and efficiency, Pure Storage emphasizes non-disruptive everything, high performance, reliability, and making DBAs more efficient.
Moving onto the final tenet—"better together”—Stutesman argued that, “it’s all great to have these technologies, but if it requires you to rebuild your architecture and come out with something completely new…that means a lot of work…if it’s going to require effort and more things, I want the intelligence that’s out there today to be efficient for me.”
Pure Storage provides this intelligence through data protection for Oracle, offering a wide range of options to backup Oracle databases, application and storage native options, archiving driven by SLAs, RMAN backups to FB support S3 in addition to NFS, and a backup solution for Oracle on SAN or NAS.
FlashArray, in particular, delivers a wide range of built-in data protection and availability features which support functions such as local protection, disaster recovery, data archival, business continuity, and business resiliency, to comprehensively ensure that Pure Storage is doing more of the work for you.
By offering holistic, intelligent, performant, simplistic, and efficient storage solutions for Oracle, enterprises can greatly optimize their Oracle operations without incurring more labor.
For an in-depth review and discussion of Pure Storage’s optimizations for Oracle, including examples, closer looks, and a Q&A, you can view an archived version of the webinar here.