Flexpod – Oracle Information Document


Greyson Architects and Delivers FlexPod Datacenter with Oracle RAC on Oracle VM or Oracle Linux


  • Single pretested, validated solution platform from industry leaders
  • Efficient infrastructure with a flexible, modular architecture
  • Dynamically scale database, virtual machine (VM), server, and storage capacity on demand
  • Deploy cloud infrastructure 50% faster
  • Simplify backup, disaster recovery, provisioning, and cloning processes for Oracle® databases
  • Enhanced high availability with zero downtime to upgrade or update Oracle Linux®
  • Virtualize Oracle Database and applications 7 to 10 times faster with Oracle VM
  • Eliminate license cost for operating system and VM with zero license cost for Oracle Linux and Oracle VM
  • Simplify management with tightly integrated Oracle Enterprise Manager
  • Oracle certification of all Oracle applications deployed on Oracle VMs

The Challenge

Deploying an infrastructure for applications, including hardware and software, is a daunting task for any IT organization. From the time the project starts until the services are available can be months of research and assembly of servers and storage, and wading through a myriad of matrixes of compatibility and best practices. Tight budgets and far too many priorities assigned by management add to an increasing demand to do more with less. Cisco, NetApp, and Oracle are introducing a solution to this challenge: FlexPod® Datacenter with Oracle RAC. This solution can cut your implementation time by 50% while simplifying architectural complexity and lowering the total cost to your IT budget.

Oracle databases and applications drive business-critical services; they are key to the success of countless data-driven enterprises. A responsive, uninterrupted experience for employees, customers, and partners accessing Oracle data and application services is a high priority for most enterprises. Organizations need an infrastructure for Oracle that can deliver consistently high levels of performance, data availability, and data protection, as well as ease of use and manageability, while staying within their shrinking budget.
IT teams aren’t the only ones under pressure; the development and QA teams are squeezed by time pressures. To quickly stand up a complete environment, including storage, servers, database, and apps, demands monumental, ongoing efforts from all of these groups. These time constraints limit the ability to meet critical SLAs, so your organization may not be able to fulfill its objectives efficiently.

The Solution

Address your infrastructure database and application challenges with a unified, pretested, and validated data center solution that enables you to rapidly virtualize your business- critical Oracle Database and applications confidently, securely, and at reduced cost.

NetApp has worked with Cisco and Oracle for years, developing innovative integrated solutions that reduce IT and business costs and complexity.

FlexPod Datacenter with Oracle RAC delivers industry-leading OS and virtualization, networking, storage and server efficiencies, scalability, and highly secured and automated data management for immediate response to opportunities. To deliver these results, the solution combines the NetApp® Unified Storage Architecture with the Cisco® Unified Computing System™ (Cisco UCS®) server platform, Cisco Nexus® switches, Oracle Linux, and Oracle VM.

“Cisco, NetApp, and Oracle are the leaders in networking, computing, data storage, and virtualization, and they offer a compelling solution for Oracle Database and applications running on Oracle Linux and Oracle VM.”

Faster deployment

FlexPod is designed to accelerate infrastructure deployment. A pretested and validated server, networking, and storage configuration, combined with Oracle VM application- driven virtualization running on Oracle Linux, means that your complete Oracle stack is ready to deploy in minutes rather than days or weeks.

  • 50% time savings on hardware setup time
  • 7 to 10 times faster application deployment with Oracle VM
  • Deploy entire development and QA environments in hours to minutes, complete with Oracle Database and applications

Always-on availability

Meeting stringent SLAs and making sure that services are always available are daunting requirements. FlexPod Datacenter with Oracle RAC has high availability built in at all the layers of the computing environment to help you easily and consistently meet your SLAs.

  • Built-in HA in Oracle VM
  • Zero downtime OS patching with Oracle Linux
  • Nondisruptive operations for maximum application availability
  • Automatic load balancing adjusts for unexpected I/O activity
  • Advanced backup and recovery tools protect critical data
  • Hardware redundancy protects against unplanned service outages
  • Clone multiple databases with little to no impact on performance and storage

Reduce risks

Assembling many moving parts, from server to networking to the compute stack, is not an easy task. In addition, making sure that the application stack is fully compatible and manageable throughout the lifecycle requires constant planning and updates for the current and many future deployments. FlexPod Datacenter with Oracle RAC delivers preintegrated solutions with built-in standardization to help minimize risk and disruptions in your organization.

  • Standardization with Cisco Validated Designs
  • Prevalidated, racked, and tested hardware
  • Prebuilt, pretested Oracle VM templates for Oracle Database and applications
  • Deterministic configuration (aka balanced configuration)
  • Certified Oracle applications deployed on Oracle VM
  • Oracle Linux tested 128,000 compute hours per day
  • Streamlined resolution for IT issues with a cooperative support model that avoids vendor lock-in
  • Cisco Nexus technology aids secure data movement and performance

Reduce total cost of ownership

Deploying, managing, and operating multiple hardware and software components to support business-critical applications is costly and time consuming. Consolidating multiple platforms into a pretested environment can reduce many of these costs, as well as reducing the amount of time it takes to manage multiple resources.

  • Computing technology built for virtualization: processor density, VM host ratio, I/O improve- ment, and extended memory
  • Reliability, availability, and serviceability help provide nonstop access to important applica- tions and data at a lower total cost of ownership
  • Expand VM and storage capacity on demand, without limits
  • Reduce power and cooling costs by 25% to 50%
  • Deduplication of virtualized environment by 50%
  • Reduced opex through simplified, integrated management with Oracle Enterprise Manager
  • Zero license cost for Oracle Linux and Oracle VM; low support cost

The importance of storage agility

Storage is one of the most important performance factors in database environments; 90% of database performance issues in both physical and virtual infrastructures can be traced to the storage tier. To avoid an adverse impact, your database storage has to deliver sustained performance for consolidated VMs running multiple Oracle Database instances and quickly optimize I/O as peak workloads change. Your virtualization solution also has to minimize VM host overhead, which can have an impact on reducing database performance.

The NetApp FAS series of controllers offers a variety of innovations designed for multiprotocol, high-performance databases that keep processes running at peak performance around the clock. For example, NetApp collaborated with Oracle to design a Direct NFS (DNFS) connectivity solution for customers who use the NFS protocol. These customers gain the flexibility to select or change their network connectivity model as their Oracle database infrastructure evolves.

Low storage latency is critical for high-performance OLTP workloads. NetApp storage can reduce latency by a factor of 10 or more, which improves response times. You can also increase I/O throughput by up to 75% with NetApp Flash Cache™, a deduplication-aware read cache for hot blocks of Oracle transaction data. Flash Cache provides a virtual storage tier without the additional cost and complexity of an additional physical storage tier.

Proven computing and networking combination

The Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) is a high-performance platform built on a balanced architecture that features unified fabric, Intel® Xeon® processors, large memory capacity, and 10GbE connectivity, designed for all Oracle databases and applications. The UCS architecture offers built-in reliability, availability, and serviceability that help provide nonstop access to important applications and data at a lower total cost of ownership. Combined with Cisco networking technology, which has been accelerating and securing Oracle solutions for decades, this means an optimized compute and networking foundation for the FlexPod Datacenter with Oracle RAC solution.

  • Simplifies deployment of Oracle applications and databases
  • Improves Oracle application and database performance
  • Accelerates new implementations and upgrades
  • Enhances operational flexibility, security, and efficiency

Backup, Recovery, and DR Simplicity

The time and expense of backup and recovery in Oracle environments are growing. The challenge to DBAs is also increasing with the growing size and complexity of databases that must be managed and recovered more quickly. To remain competitive, DBAs and storage administrators must be able to complete backups and restores more rapidly and reliably.

To remain competitive, DBAs must also minimize the chance of data loss and increase the availability of Oracle systems. The NetApp Integrated Data Protection (IDP) solution, specifically designed for Oracle, can reduce DBA time by 50%. NetApp IDP is powered by NetApp Snapshot™ technology, which enables fast, frequent backups and restores of large databases in a fraction of the time and space of traditional methods. NetApp IDP is a fast, easy, and efficient way to back up, recover, clone, and provide disaster recovery of Oracle databases.

About Greyson Technologies

Headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, FL, Greyson Technologies is an engineering firm that architects and delivers secure Collaboration and Unified Data Center solutions. Greyson designs and deploys datacenter virtualization platforms for our clients; and provide technologies that empowers their employees to collaborate more efficiently. Greyson’s experienced and local engineering resources architect and implement solutions that deliver measureable business outcomes for our clients. Greyson competencies include Collaboration and Unified Communications; converged infrastructure, storage solutions, and enterprise network platforms. Learn more at www.greyson.com; follow us on Twitter @greysontech; link to us on LinkedIn; or like us on Facebook.