Exadata Storage Snapshots

This post describes how to implement Oracle Database Snapshot Technology on Exadata Machine.

Because Exadata Storage Cell Smart Features, Storage Indexes, IORM and Network Resource Manager work at level of ASM Volume Manager only, (and they don’t work on top of ACFS Cluster File System), the implementation of the snapshot technology is different compared to any other non-Exadata environment.

At this purpuse Oracle has developed a new type of ASM Disk Group called SPARSE Disk Group. It uses ASM SPARSE Grid Disk based on Thin Provisioning to save the database snapshot copies and the associated metadata, and it supports non-CDB and PDB snapshot copy.

The implementation requires the following minimal software versions :

  • Exadata Storage Software version 12.1.2.1.0.
  • Oracle Database version 12.1.0.2 with bundle patch 5.
One major restriction applies to Exadata Storage Sanpshot compared to ACFS;
the source database must be a shared copy open on read only and called Test Master. The Test Master Database can not be modified or deleted as long the latest child snapshot is in use.
This restriction exists because Exadata Snapshot technology uses “allocate on first write”, and not “copy on write” (like for ACFS), and the snapshot is per-database-datafile.
When a child snapshot issue a write, the write goes to a private copy of that block inside the snapshot, preserving the original block value which can be accessed by other child snapshots of the same Test Master.

How to Implement Exadata Storage Snapshots in a PDB Environment

Check the celldisks for available free space to allocate to a new SPARSE Disk Group

[root@strgceladm01 ~]# cellcli -e list celldisk attributes name,freespace
 CD_00_strgceladm01 853.34375G
 CD_01_strgceladm01 853.34375G
 CD_02_strgceladm01 853.34375G
 CD_03_strgceladm01 853.34375G
 CD_04_strgceladm01 853.34375G
 CD_05_strgceladm01 853.34375G
 CD_06_strgceladm01 853.34375G
 CD_07_strgceladm01 853.34375G
 CD_08_strgceladm01 853.34375G
 CD_09_strgceladm01 853.34375G
 CD_10_strgceladm01 853.34375G
 CD_11_strgceladm01 853.34375G
 FD_00_strgceladm01 0
 FD_01_strgceladm01 0
 FD_02_strgceladm01 0
 FD_03_strgceladm01 0
[root@strgceladm01 ~]#


[root@strgceladm02 ~]# cellcli -e list celldisk attributes name,freespace
 CD_00_strgceladm02 853.34375G
 CD_01_strgceladm02 853.34375G
 CD_02_strgceladm02 853.34375G
 CD_03_strgceladm02 853.34375G
 CD_04_strgceladm02 853.34375G
 CD_05_strgceladm02 853.34375G
 CD_06_strgceladm02 853.34375G
 CD_07_strgceladm02 853.34375G
 CD_08_strgceladm02 853.34375G
 CD_09_strgceladm02 853.34375G
 CD_10_strgceladm02 853.34375G
 CD_11_strgceladm02 853.34375G
 FD_00_strgceladm02 0
 FD_01_strgceladm02 0
 FD_02_strgceladm02 0
 FD_03_strgceladm02 0
[root@strgceladm02 ~]#


[root@strgceladm03 ~]# cellcli -e list celldisk attributes name,freespace
 CD_00_strgceladm03 853.34375G
 CD_01_strgceladm03 853.34375G
 CD_02_strgceladm03 853.34375G
 CD_03_strgceladm03 853.34375G
 CD_04_strgceladm03 853.34375G
 CD_05_strgceladm03 853.34375G
 CD_06_strgceladm03 853.34375G
 CD_07_strgceladm03 853.34375G
 CD_08_strgceladm03 853.34375G
 CD_09_strgceladm03 853.34375G
 CD_10_strgceladm03 853.34375G
 CD_11_strgceladm03 853.34375G
 FD_00_strgceladm03 0
 FD_01_strgceladm03 0
 FD_02_strgceladm03 0
 FD_03_strgceladm03 0
[root@strgceladm03 ~]#

For each Storage Cell Create a SPARSE Grid Disks as described below

[root@strgceladm01 ~]# cellcli -e CREATE GRIDDISK ALL PREFIX=SPARSE, sparse=true, SIZE=853.34375G
Cell disks were skipped because they had no freespace for grid disks: FD_00_strgceladm01, FD_01_strgceladm01, FD_02_strgceladm01, FD_03_strgceladm01.
GridDisk SPARSE_CD_00_strgceladm01 successfully created
GridDisk SPARSE_CD_01_strgceladm01 successfully created
GridDisk SPARSE_CD_02_strgceladm01 successfully created
GridDisk SPARSE_CD_03_strgceladm01 successfully created
GridDisk SPARSE_CD_04_strgceladm01 successfully created
GridDisk SPARSE_CD_05_strgceladm01 successfully created
GridDisk SPARSE_CD_06_strgceladm01 successfully created
GridDisk SPARSE_CD_07_strgceladm01 successfully created
GridDisk SPARSE_CD_08_strgceladm01 successfully created
GridDisk SPARSE_CD_09_strgceladm01 successfully created
GridDisk SPARSE_CD_10_strgceladm01 successfully created
GridDisk SPARSE_CD_11_strgceladm01 successfully created
[root@strgceladm01 ~]#

For each Storage Cell List all Grid Disks

[root@strgceladm01 ~]# cellcli -e list griddisk attributes name,size
 DATAC1_CD_00_strgceladm01 6.294586181640625T
 DATAC1_CD_01_strgceladm01 6.294586181640625T
 DATAC1_CD_02_strgceladm01 6.294586181640625T
 DATAC1_CD_03_strgceladm01 6.294586181640625T
 DATAC1_CD_04_strgceladm01 6.294586181640625T
 DATAC1_CD_05_strgceladm01 6.294586181640625T
 DATAC1_CD_06_strgceladm01 6.294586181640625T
 DATAC1_CD_07_strgceladm01 6.294586181640625T
 DATAC1_CD_08_strgceladm01 6.294586181640625T
 DATAC1_CD_09_strgceladm01 6.294586181640625T
 DATAC1_CD_10_strgceladm01 6.294586181640625T
 DATAC1_CD_11_strgceladm01 6.294586181640625T
 FGRID_FD_00_strgceladm01 2.0717315673828125T
 FGRID_FD_01_strgceladm01 2.0717315673828125T
 FGRID_FD_02_strgceladm01 2.0717315673828125T
 FGRID_FD_03_strgceladm01 2.0717315673828125T
 RECOC1_CD_00_strgceladm01 1.78143310546875T
 RECOC1_CD_01_strgceladm01 1.78143310546875T
 RECOC1_CD_02_strgceladm01 1.78143310546875T
 RECOC1_CD_03_strgceladm01 1.78143310546875T
 RECOC1_CD_04_strgceladm01 1.78143310546875T
 RECOC1_CD_05_strgceladm01 1.78143310546875T
 RECOC1_CD_06_strgceladm01 1.78143310546875T
 RECOC1_CD_07_strgceladm01 1.78143310546875T
 RECOC1_CD_08_strgceladm01 1.78143310546875T
 RECOC1_CD_09_strgceladm01 1.78143310546875T
 RECOC1_CD_10_strgceladm01 1.78143310546875T
 RECOC1_CD_11_strgceladm01 1.78143310546875T
 SPARSE_CD_00_strgceladm01 853.34375G
 SPARSE_CD_01_strgceladm01 853.34375G
 SPARSE_CD_02_strgceladm01 853.34375G
 SPARSE_CD_03_strgceladm01 853.34375G
 SPARSE_CD_04_strgceladm01 853.34375G
 SPARSE_CD_05_strgceladm01 853.34375G
 SPARSE_CD_06_strgceladm01 853.34375G
 SPARSE_CD_07_strgceladm01 853.34375G
 SPARSE_CD_08_strgceladm01 853.34375G
 SPARSE_CD_09_strgceladm01 853.34375G
 SPARSE_CD_10_strgceladm01 853.34375G
 SPARSE_CD_11_strgceladm01 853.34375G
[root@strgceladm01 ~]#

From ASM Instance Create a SPARSE Disk Group

SQL> CREATE DISKGROUP SPARSEC1 EXTERNAL REDUNDANCY DISK 'o/*/SPARSE_CD_*'
ATTRIBUTE
'compatible.asm' = '12.2.0.1',
'compatible.rdbms' = '12.2.0.1',
'cell.smart_scan_capable'='TRUE',
'cell.sparse_dg' = 'allsparse',
'AU_SIZE' = '4M';

Diskgroup created.

Set the following ASM attributes on the Disk Group hosting the Test Master Database

ALTER DISKGROUP DATAC1 SET ATTRIBUTE 'access_control.enabled' = 'true';

Grant access to the OS RDBMS user used to access to the Disk Group

ALTER DISKGROUP DATAC1 ADD USER 'oracle';

From an ASM Instance Set ownership permissions for every file that belongs solely to the PDB being snapped cloned as per example below

alter diskgroup DATAC1 set ownership owner='oracle' for file '+DATAC1/CDBT/<xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>/DATAFILE/system.xxx.xxxxxxx';
alter diskgroup DATAC1 set ownership owner='oracle' for file '+DATAC1/CDBT/<xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>/DATAFILE/sysaux.xxx.xxxxxxx';
alter diskgroup DATAC1 set ownership owner='oracle' for file '+DATAC1/CDBT/<xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>/DATAFILE/users.xxx.xxxxxxx';
...
..

Restart the Master Test PDB in Read Only

alter pluggable database PDBTESTMASTER close immediate instances=all;
alter pluggable database PDBTESTMASTER open read only;

Create the first PDB Snapshot Copy on Exadata SPARSE Disk Group

Create pluggable database PDBDEV01 from PDBTESTMASTER tempfile reuse create_file_dest='+SPARSEC1' snapshot copy;

Feedback of the Exadata Storage Snapshots

The ability to create storage efficient database copies in a few seconds, independently from the size of the Test Master is very useful for today IT departments; but such extreme velocity and flexibility is not entirely free. In fact performance tests on a I/O bound workload have highlighted important performance degradation. This reminds us that as defined by Oracle Corporation, the Snapshot Technology, included on Exadata Machine remains a non-production option.

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