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Storage for databases

Databases are everywhere these days. We use them when surfing internet, dialing a friend's number, going to a doctor, even when doing the shopping. Each database contains records which describe a part of reality. A lack of access to a database, due to a failure or exhausted resources may lead to very painful financial loses. System administrators must take all possible precautions to ensure database availability and integrity. One of them, possibly the most important and hardest to replace, is underlying storage.

Storage for databases constitutes a set of hardware and software where database files are stored. The hardware and software must be compatible. Compatibility must be carefully tested to ensure eliminate bottlenecks and the possibility of data corruption. Failure-free work in high load conditions and the redundancy of vulnerable components must be provided. Such a set must meet the highest standards in terms of performance and reliability, to ensure continuous and fast access to important data.

Hardware

The requirements for hardware used in database implementations are very high. The need to ensure uninterrupted work has the highest priority - that is why performance and reliability are the basic criteria for the selection of hardware components. Here is the basis for most implementations:

  • A server platform with two quad-core CPUs for high transaction rate
  • H/W RAID controller with support for RAID10, RAID5 or RAID6 for data safety and the best performance
  • Enterprise class SAS drives for fast data access and reliability
  • 10GbE NIC for high speed network connection or multiple 1GbE NICs for link aggregation or MPIO
  • Redundant power supply for system reliability
  • A large amount of memory for caching

Software

Software solutions used in database implementations need to allow for maximum utilization of the hardware capabilities. Additionally, it has to ensure uninterrupted access to data, good backup process support and efficient recovery - if needed. Here are the basic requirements:

  • Ability to enhance interface throughput with MPIO and link aggregation support
  • Support for encrypted protocols and access control features like iSCSI CHAP support and IP white lists for protection of important data
  • Synchronous Volume Replication
  • Support for SAS RAID controllers for high performance and data safety
  • Built-in, SNMP based monitoring system and E-mail notification for system monitoring

The recommended solution for storage for databases: Open-E DSS V6. The software meets all the requirements needed for implementation of such a solution.

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