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【EMC Proven Solutions Introduction】EMC Mission-Critical Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery for Oracle Extended RAC

This solution describes a solution that increases availability for Oracle RACenvironments by deploying EMC VPLEX active/active data centers and EMC RecoverPoint continuous remotereplication.


Solution Overview: EMC VPLEX and EMC RecoverPoint are the primary enabling technologies for the solution.

  • VPLEXis a SAN-based federation solution that delivers both local and distributedstorage federation. Its breakthrough technology,  AccessAnywhere, enables the same data to exist in two separate geographical locations, and to be accessed and updated at both locations at the same time.
  • With the optional VPLEX Witness component, applications continue to be available, with no interruption or downtime, even in the event of disruption at the one of the data centers.
  • RecoverPoint is replication technology that uses sophisticated journaling techniques and write splitting to provide local and remote replication. It provides fast and easy recovery to any point in time – a granularity not possible with other replication technologies.


VPLEX and RecoverPoint are complementary and integrated:

  • VPLEX Metro provides the virtual storage layer that enables an active/active metro data center with 24/7 application availability, no single points of failure,and zero RPOs and RTOs.
  • VPELX Metro now has an integrated RecoverPoint write splitter. This enables the solution to leverage RecoverPoint to replicate Oracle data to a third site and to recover to a specific point in time in the event of data corruption, viruses, human error, or wide-scale physical disasters that affects both VPLEX Metro clusters.


This solution also takes advantages of both VPLEX and RecoverPoint support for heterogeneous storage platforms. EMC Symmetrix VMAX 20K and EMC VNX 5700 arrays provide the enterprise-class storage platform for the two data centers, while an entry-level EMC Symmetrix VMAX 10K provides the storage at the third DR site.


Brocade Ethernet fabrics and MLXe core routers provide seamless networking and Layer 2 extension between the two data centers while Brocade DCX 8510 Backbones provide redundant SAN infrastructure, including fabric extension. The SAN at the DR site is built with Brocades5100 switches.


EMC VPLEX Metro has passed Oracle’s rigorous testing standards and is Oracle certified in a stretch cluster configuration. VPLEX Metro can provide Oracle Real Application Cluster(RAC) customers with an easy-to dual-site environment.(See Oracle RAC Technologies Matrix-Linux and Oracle RAC Technologies Matrix- Generic)


Key benefits


The solution increases the availability of Oracle RAC databases by providing:

  • Active/active data centers that support zero RPOs and RTOs and mission-critical business continuity
  • Third-site replication and recovery to specific points in time in the event of data corruption, viruses, or human error
  • Quick recovery and restart of your Oracle databases and applications


Additional VPLEX Metro benefits include:

  • Fully automatic failure handling
  • Increasing utilization of hardware and software assets:
    • Active/active use of both data centers
    • Automatic load balancing between data centers
    • Zero downtime maintenance
  • Simplified deployment of Oracle RAC on Extended Distance Clusters
  • Reduced costs by increasing automation and infrastructure utilization

Additional RecvoerPoint benefits include:

  • DR testing without affecting production or interrupting replication
  • Long distance third-site replication to meet regulatory or DR requirements
  • Mature and proven technology for high-availability Oracle environments

The figure show the main steps in the evolution to the mission-critical business continuity and DR solution described in this white paper. Oracle RAC protects the database within the data center.VPLEX Metro combined with Oracle Extended RAC protects the database across data centers. RecoverPoint provides remote DR protection.

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Data center HA


Deploying an Oracle RAC environment eliminates the database server as a single point offailure and protects the database within the data center.

For high availability between data centers, the solution combines EMC VPLEX Metro storage virtualization technology with Oracle RAC on Extended Distance Clusters to remove the data centers as a single point of failure. This provides a robust, high-availability and business continuity strategy. This solution uses VPLEX Witness to monitor connectivity between the two VPLEX clusters and ensure continued availability in the event of an inter-cluster network partition failure or a cluster failure. VPLEX Witness is deployed on a virtual machine at a third, separate failure domain (Site C).

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Network HA

In each data center, an Ethernet fabric was built using Brocade virtual cluster switch (VCS) technology, which deliver self-healing and resilient access layer with all links forwarding. Virtual Link Aggregation Groups (vLAGs) connect the VCS fabrics to the Brocade MLXe core routers that extend the Layer 2 network across the two data centers. The below figure shows the physical architecture of all layers of the solution, including the network components.

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Disaster recovery solution adds EMC RecoverPoint into the VPLEX environment to provide remote DR protection for the Oracle RAC database.

Many replication options and site topologies are possible when deploying VPLEX with RecoverPoint. This solution has a three-site topology, create by adding an EMC VMAX 10K storage array to the site when VPLEX Witness is deployed (that is Site C). This co-location of VPLEX Witness and RecoverPoint DR site is not a requirement; it is used in this solution for convenience only.

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Disaster recovery solution adds EMC RecoverPoint into the VPLEX environment to provide remote DR protection for the Oracle RAC database.

Many replication options and site topologies are possible when deploying VPLEX with RecoverPoint. This solution has a three-site topology, create by adding an EMC VMAX 10K storage array to the site when VPLEX Witness is deployed (that is Site C). This co-location of VPLEX Witness and RecoverPoint DR site is not a requirement; it is used in this solution for convenience only.

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VPLEX Metro solution shows the physical and logical storage structure used by VPLEX Metro in the context of this solution. There is one-to-one mapping between storage volumes, extents, and device at each site. The device encapsulated at Site A(cluser-1) are virtual provisioned thin devices, while the device encapsulated at Site B(cluster-2) are traditional LUNs.


To create distributed devices, all cluster-1 devices are mirrored remotely on cluster-2 in a distributed RAID 1 configuration. These distributed devices are encapsulated by virtual volumes, which are then presented to the hosts through storage views.

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In the solution, all the production volumes are VPLEX virtual volumes. Because of the one-to-one mapping between the VPLEX storage volumes, extents, and devices, and the RAID 1 VPLEX device geometry, RecoverPoint can replicate the production VPLEX virtual volume as it would any other volume.The below figure shows the logical relationships between the host, virtual volumes, and corresponding VPLEX and RecoverPoint components.

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Both VPLEX and RecoverPoint consistency groups logically group volumes that must be consistent with each other. For solutions that use the VPLEX write-splitter and RecoverPoint, VPLEX consistency groups are used together with RecoverPoint consistency groups to ensure that volume protection and failure behavior is aligned across both products.

EMC recommends that all volumes in a VPLEX consistency group be configured in a single RecoverPoint consistency group, and that all volumes in a RecoverPoint consistency group should be configured in a single VPLEX consistency group.

The figure illustrates the data flow for asynchronous CRR with a VPLEX write splitter. All the production volumes are VPLEX virtual volumes.

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