Saturday, February 6, 2010

Automatic Storage Management (ASM) in Oracle Database 10g

Automatic Storage Management (ASM) is a new feature that has be introduced in Oracle 10g to simplify the storage of Oracle datafiles, controlfiles and logfiles

Overview of Automatic Storage Management (ASM)Automatic Storage Management (ASM)

simplifies administration of Oracle related files by allowing the administrator to reference disk groups rather than individual disks and files, which are managed by ASM. The ASM functionality is an extention of the Oracle Managed Files (OMF) functionality that also includes striping and mirroring to provide balanced and secure storage. The new ASM functionality can be used in combination with existing raw and cooked file systems, along with OMF and manually managed files.
The ASM functionality is controlled by an ASM instance. This is not a full database instance, just the memory structures and as such is very small and lightweight.
The main components of ASM are disk groups, each of which comprise of several physical disks that are controlled as a single unit. The physical disks are known as ASM disks, while the files that reside on the disks are know as ASM files. The locations and names for the files are controlled by ASM, but user-friendly aliases and directory structures can be defined for ease of reference.
The level of redundancy and the granularity of the striping can be controlled using templates. Default templates are provided for each file type stored by ASM, but additional templates can be defined as needed.
Failure groups are defined within a disk group to support the required level of redundancy. For two-way mirroring you would expect a disk group to contain two failure groups so individual files are written to two locations.

Manages groups of disks, called disk groups. Manages disk redundancy within a disk group. Provides near-optimal I/O balancing without any manual tuning. Enables management of database objects without specifying mount points and filenames. Supports large files.

Initialization Parameters and ASM Instance CreationThe initialization parameters that are of specific interest for an ASM instance are:
INSTANCE_TYPE - Set to ASM or RDBMS depending on the instance type. The default is RDBMS. DB_UNIQUE_NAME - Specifies a globally unique name for the database. This defaults to +ASM but must be altered if you intend to run multiple ASM instances.

ASM_POWER_LIMIT -The maximum power for a rebalancing operation on an ASM instance. The valid values range from 1 to 11, with 1 being the default. The higher the limit the more resources are allocated resulting in faster rebalancing operations. This value is also used as the default when the POWER clause is omitted from a rebalance operation.
ASM_DISKGROUPS - The list of disk groups that should be mounted by an ASM instance during instance startup, or by the ALTER DISKGROUP ALL MOUNT statement. ASM configuration changes are automatically reflected in this parameter.
ASM_DISKSTRING - Specifies a value that can be used to limit the disks considered for discovery. Altering the default value may improve the speed of disk group mount time and the speed of adding a disk to a disk group. Changing the parameter to a value which prevents the discovery of already mounted disks results in an error. The default value is NULL allowing all suitable disks to be considered.

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