My takeaways from – “High Availability and Sharding with Next Generation Oracle Database” OOW-2017 conference session

In his High Availability (HA)  conference session, Wei Hu, VP of Product Development covered the new Oracle Sharding and HA features of 18c, and how the Oracle Maximum Availability Architecture (MAA) powers the Oracle Autonomous Database Cloud.

Here are my key takeaways from the session:

  • Oracle Autonomous Database Cloud Service relies completely on Oracle Maximum Availability Architecture (MAA) for automated protection and repair for both planned and unplanned downtime:
    • System Failure   – Exadata, RAC, ASM
    • Regional Outage   – Active Data Guard
    • Patches   – RAC Rolling Updates
    • Major Upgrades   – Transient Logical Standby
    • Table Changes   – Online Redefinition
    • User Error   – Flashback
  • Sharding 1.0 (Oracle 12.2) is great for internet-style applications
  • Sharding 2.0 (Oracle 18c) expands the range of use cases. Following are some of the key Sharding features in 18c.
    • User-defined sharding – Partition data across shards by RANGE or LIST. By explicitly mapping the data to the shards, you achieve better control, compliance & application performance. This sharding method supports the geo-distributed, hybrid cloud and cloud bursting use cases.
    • Swim-lanes – Establish mid-tier affinity with shards to improve mid-tier cache locality, effective connection management and for geo- distributed shards – eliminate the chatty midtier-to-shard  connections across regions.
    • Multishard queries – Proxy routing now supports all sharding methods and all query shapes.
    • RAC Sharding – Affinitizes table partitions to  RAC instances. Requests that specify sharding key will be routed to the RAC instance that logically holds the partition. Affinity gives better cache utilization and reduced block pings across instances. Oracle RAC on steroids, I say.
  • Wei showcased the first customer implementation of Oracle Sharding. China Telecom went from setup to go-live in only 3 months.  China Telecom’s rational – “Migration cost is too high, if we go to other data stores…DBAs and Developers are familiar with Oracle Database. Since Oracle has sharding, why don’t use Oracle Sharding?”  Details of China Telecom’s implementation will be covered in my Oracle Sharding conference session.
  • Some of the Active Data Guard 18c Enhancements:
    • Automated Nologging support in Active Data Guard
    • Update-like capabilities on Active Data Guard for  “Mostly Read, Occasional Updates” applications
    • Automatically update password file on Active Data Guard standbys – changing Admin password on primary automatically updates standbys’
    • Standby-first encryption – Encrypt tablespaces on standby first, switchover, then encrypt on the old primary. How cool this is!
    • New Broker “Validate” command – For validation and proactive health checks to automatically detect and fix issues before they happen
  • He also covered Automated backups with Zero Data Loss Recovery Appliance, Online operations, Online patching enhancements and the Zero Downtime upgrade utility and many other capabilities.

Oracle Database 18c HA features are the core building blocks for the reliability of Oracle Autonomous Database cloud. On-premise deployments must deliver the same availability as the Oracle Cloud. Attain this by adopting the same MAA architecture used by the Oracle Autonomous Database Cloud Service.

Are your on-premise database deployments as resilient and reliable as Autonomous Database cloud? Something to ponder.


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