What Makes Oracle Linux the Best Platform for Oracle Database 12c

1. Introduction

Oracle Databases support essential business applications such as order entry, financials, human resources, customer relationship management, and enterprise resource planning.

These applications sustain core operations that generate revenue, improve business efficiency, and increase profitability.

Because business success often depends closely on these strategic applications, IT departments strive to provide an optimal Oracle Database infrastructure — one that delivers responsive performance, scalable capacity, tight security, and “always-on" availability.

The infrastructure must also be easy to manage and support fast database server provisioning, allowing transaction capacity to be added easily and deployed into production quickly.

Because Oracle products are designed and tested to work together, there are distinct advantages in running Oracle Database servers and applications on an end-to-end Oracle solution stack, especially when that stack includes Oracle Linux.

Figure 1 depicts the underlying technology layers in the solution stack: servers and storage, networking, virtualization, operating system, database, middleware, and applications.

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For Oracle Database workloads on Oracle Linux, deep testing and integration between the layers brings substantial benefits: fast transaction speeds, scalable performance, and the security and reliability needed to meet strict service level agreements (SLAs).

In addition, an end-to-end Oracle stack increases administrative efficiency since there’s no need for cross-platform skill sets to manage multiple vendor technologies.

And there’s the added benefit of a single point of contact — from industry’s leading database infrastructure experts — for your most critical service and support issues.

Simply put, Oracle Linux is the best platform choice for Oracle Database workloads.

Oracle Linux delivers high transaction performance, enterprise- class reliability, and a cloud-ready infrastructure — all at an extremely low total cost of ownership (TCO).

Oracle is now shipping the Oracle Database 12c release, which follows a multi-tenant architecture designed to simplify the process of evolving to a cloud-based Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS) delivery model.

To build an optimal infrastructure for Oracle Database 12c or other releases, forward-thinking solution architects select Oracle Linux for the operating system tier.

Oracle Linux is the cost-effective and high-performance choice when modernizing infrastructure or consolidating database instances on Oracle Database 12c.

This paper explains why Oracle Linux is your best choice for hosting Oracle Database environments.

2. Oracle Linux: The Development Standard at Oracle

Oracle invests heavily in engineering and quality assurance for its Linux operating system.

While many customers choose Oracle Linux to support their mission-critical applications, Oracle Linux is also the principal platform for Oracle’s own database, middleware, and application software engineering projects.

With more than 175,000 Oracle Linux instances deployed on both physical and virtual servers, Oracle Linux is the development standard across the Oracle Database product portfolio.

Oracle Linux receives more than 128,000 hours of database and application testing each day, which hardens software releases throughout each product’s lifecycle.

Even before formal evaluation occurs, Oracle Linux is the base platform on which developers prove functionality, quality, and software viability.

And before any database or application software is made available, Oracle engineering teams conduct formal stress tests on Oracle Linux to certify Oracle Database and Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC), along with an extensive battery of system verification and performance tests.

Oracle Linux includes the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (UEK), which is specifically optimized for the best performance of Oracle software.
#pipphari: UEK ต่างจาก kernel อื่นอย่างไร?

The Oracle Database and Oracle Linux development teams collaborate on performance enhancements to the UEK, tuning system calls and C library interfaces that accelerate applications and query processing times.

Oracle engineers extensively test the optimized UEK across Oracle’s database, middleware, and application tiers as well as on Oracle servers and engineered systems.

UEK is also subject to incremental and widespread testing across IT development systems running the family of Oracle Database products.

2.1 The Industry Standard for Oracle Database

In addition to the thousands of servers that support Oracle’s internal development teams, Oracle Linux is experiencing rapid adoption in the commercial Linux marketplace, gaining broad acceptance as the enterprise standard for Oracle Database workloads.

According to Gartner, Oracle Linux realized year- over-year market share growth of more than 80 percent in 2012.1 This success highlights how IT organizations are increasingly selecting Oracle Linux on x86 systems to create mission-critical database infrastructures that are responsive, highly scalable, and cost-effective.

As an example, consider the transition to Oracle Linux undertaken by SEI, a leading global provider of investment processing and investment management outsourcing solutions.

SEI processes over 1.6 million wealth management accounts (as of December 31, 2012) with $424 billion in mutual fund and separately managed assets. To deliver high-performing and reliable wealth management solutions to its customers, SEI selected Oracle Linux as the basis of its new SEI Wealth Platform built on Oracle Database, Oracle RAC, Oracle Enterprise Manager, Oracle Coherence, and Oracle WebLogic Suite. SEI selected Oracle Linux because its performance, flexibility, and scalability allow the platform to address client workloads that scale over time.

After calculating the ratio of solution cost versus solution performance, SEI concluded that Oracle Linux running on x86 systems was the optimal database infrastructure for their data-intensive application workloads.

Oracle Linux Advantages for Database Deployments

Beyond the flexibility and low TCO of open source, Oracle Linux offers enterprise-class performance, security, and mission-critical reliability, availability, and serviceability (RAS).

But what distinguishes Oracle Linux from other OS platforms — in particular for Oracle Database workloads — are advantages afforded by the platform’s deep integration with the solution stack, optimizations resulting from industry collaborations, and enhancements in the UEK.

Transaction Performance and Scale

The Oracle Database and Oracle Linux engineering teams collaborate continuously on improvements and optimizations to boost database application performance.

For example, when traditional interprocess communication (IPC) mechanisms exhibited stability issues under heavy loads, Oracle engineers pioneered a new approach — Reliable Datagram Sockets (RDS), a low-latency connectionless protocol for delivering datagrams reliably to thousands of endpoints.

Because RDS resulted in fewer retransmissions (especially during times of peak processing), it greatly improved database performance on Linux.

Oracle contributed the RDS code to the open source community and it is now part of the Linux kernel.

As a result, Oracle Database engineers were subsequently able to simplify the database code, removing extraneous user code that addressed the instability issues — allowing Oracle Linux to do the “heavy lifting" for high-performance database communications.

Other optimizations stem from enhancements designed to accelerate performance on today’s multicore x86 processors and advanced systems architectures.

Historically Linux was widely deployed for compute- and data-intensive High-Performance Computing (HPC) applications.

InfiniBand, which offers superior throughput, low latency, and excellent scalability, was frequently used as a switching fabric in demanding HPC applications and is now a prevalent technology throughout enterprise datacenters for similar reasons.

Notably, InfiniBand switches are a critical component in the Oracle Exadata Database Machine (an Oracle engineered system targeted at extreme database performance) in which InfiniBand provides high-bandwidth connections between the system’s compute and storage nodes.

Data throughput performance in Oracle Exadata depends heavily on the optimized InfiniBand networking stack in Oracle Linux, the core OS in these powerful systems.

Collaborating with a leading supplier of InfiniBand products, Mellanox Technologies, Oracle developers tuned the Oracle Linux Infiniband stack to scale throughput in support of extremely demanding workloads.

Oracle ultimately contributed these performance-related improvements for InfiniBand to the open source community — one of many technologies that the Oracle Linux team has made to further the success of open source.

Collaborating with Intel has also resulted in enhancements that help Oracle Database applications scale well on x86 servers running Oracle Linux. Partnering with Oracle Database engineers, Intel optimized CPU threading algorithms, allowing the database to take advantage of Intel SIMD and AVX instructions that improve NUMA scalability. In addition, the Oracle Database software uses the multi- threaded Intel® IPP (Intel® Integrated Performance Primitives) library to accelerate columnar compression/decompression as well as encryption operations. For database applications compiled on ...

Simplified Deployment

In addition to Oracle VM Templates, there are a number of other ways in which Oracle has made it easy to deploy Oracle Database software on Oracle Linux.

The possibilities vary from factory-built, tightly integrated solutions like Oracle’s engineered systems, to build-your-own validated and documented configurations, to Oracle x86 systems pre-installed with Oracle Linux, to software packages that properly configure Oracle Linux systems for the database software.

While these options have different advantages, all of them share a similar benefit: simplifying deployment and expediting time-to-production.

Purpose-Built Engineered Systems

Oracle designs engineered systems that are preassembled and pre-integrated to reduce complexity and speed application deployment.

Because Oracle Linux offers superior performance and enterprise-class features, it is the operating system embedded in most Oracle engineered systems, including these solutions:

• Oracle Virtual Compute Appliance.This appliance enables rapid, repeatable software-defined infrastructure for x86 applications including database workloads. Customers can go from power on to production quickly and deploy ready-to-run virtual machines in a matter of minutes.

• OracleDatabaseAppliance. Inacompact4Uform-factor,thisapplianceisanentry-level engineered system that integrates Oracle Database, Oracle Linux, Oracle VM, x86 servers, storage, and networking. It delivers highly available database services in an off-the-shelf solution for small database requirements.

• OracleExadataDatabaseMachine.WithoptimizationsspecifictoOracleDatabase11gand12c workloads, the Oracle Exadata Database Machine factory-integrates Oracle servers, Oracle Linux, storage, and other software. This engineered system is designed for one task and one task alone: to accelerate Oracle Database services for large-scale data warehousing and OLTP applications.

• Oracle Exalytics In-Memory Machine X3-4. Oracle Exalytics includes best-in-class hardware, the Oracle Linux operating system, an Oracle Business Intelligence software suite, and in-memory analytics software — all optimized to work together.

• Oracle Big Data Appliance. This Oracle engineered system delivers comprehensive big data analytics at a low TCO. It is optimized for both batch and real-time processing using Cloudera Distribution for Apache Hadoop, Oracle NoSQL Database, Cloudera Impala, and Cloudera Search.

• Oracle Database Backup Logging Recovery Appliance. This appliance provides robust protection for Oracle Databases to prevent against data loss. Backup workloads are offloaded to the appliance, where dedicated hardware and storage handle backup and recovery tasks in an
efficient manner.

Oracle Linux provides extreme scalability for large engineered systems. For example, in the Oracle Exadata Database Machine X3-8 that features 4TB RAM and 160 processor cores, Oracle Linux scales well to support highly demanding database workloads.

Oracle Validated Configurations
For end users who want a tested and documented stack on which to install and deploy Oracle Database, Oracle Validated Configurations are pre-validated architectures. These solutions define software, hardware, storage, and network components as well as documented best practices, making it easier, faster, and more cost-effective to deploy Oracle Linux and Oracle applications in your enterprise. Over 150 validated and tested architectures (including Oracle Database and Oracle RAC configurations on both Oracle and third-party hardware) are published at http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/server-storage/linux/validated-configurations-085828.html.

Pre-installation Packages and Preloaded Oracle Systems

When deploying database applications on Oracle Linux, the Oracle Database software requires certain packages, package versions, and kernel parameters.

To adhere to best practices, administrators typically minimize the operating system image, installing only the minimal number of Oracle Linux packages.

Then, they can apply an Oracle Database pre-installation package to resolve dependencies, address prerequisites, and configure the kernel prior to database installation.

Oracle makes available pre-installation packages for both Oracle Database 12c and 11g that help to provide a painless and easily repeatable deployment process.

When ordering certain Oracle x86 servers, customers can request systems pre-loaded at the factory with Oracle Linux.

This creates an out-of-the-box solution for database applications.

Applying pre-installation packages to these systems prepares them quickly for database software installation.

When customers purchase an Oracle Premier Support for Systems or Operating Systems subscription, support for Oracle Linux is included, yielding a readily available and fully supported database configuration, resulting in lower total cost of ownership.

Empowering Database Solutions on Oracle Linux

As you begin to document your business goals and determine your best path to deployment, remember that Oracle Linux can be freely downloaded from https://edelivery.oracle.com/linux.

In addition to no-charge software downloads, Oracle makes all errata for Oracle Linux freely available from public yum servers — no other commercial Linux vendor provides these updates at no charge!

This means that your administrators can set up a proof-of-concept environment that includes all released bug and security fixes without initially purchasing a support contract, allowing you to get started immediately evaluating the benefits of Oracle Linux for your database infrastructure.

To help you implement IT solutions quickly and cost-effectively, Oracle fosters relationships with industry partners and technology leaders that can help you develop implementation plans, customize solutions, provide training, and supplement your internal staffing.

The Oracle Linux team works closely with these partners to develop effective solutions and tools to deploy and effectively manage Oracle Database applications on Oracle Linux.

Oracle engineers consult with software partners to certify applications on Oracle Linux and collaborate with hardware partners to qualify systems, validate drivers, and optimize performance of Oracle Database on Oracle Linux.

Conclusion

When configured with Oracle Linux, today’s powerful x86 systems create a scalable, reliable and cost- effective platform for Oracle Database applications.

The optimized UEK maximizes transaction performance while innovative RAS features in Oracle Linux — including zero-downtime updates with Ksplice technology — promote continuous availability of business-critical Oracle Database applications.

But what underscores Oracle Linux as the best deployment choice for Oracle Database is simply this: Oracle Linux is the development standard at Oracle.

When you deploy Oracle Database on Oracle Linux, you have the confidence of deploying on a platform backed by development teams that work closely together to optimize performance, enterprise security, and availability.

Because Oracle applications, middleware, and database products are all developed on Oracle Linux, you’ll know you’re deploying on the most extensively tested solution.

And with your Oracle Linux Support agreement, your software environment is backed by the expertise of Oracle’s global 24x7 support organization, regardless of whether you deploy on certified partner hardware, Oracle servers, or on an Oracle engineered solution.

And with your Oracle Linux support contract, you also receive management and high availability solutions at no additional charge, which helps to reduce the TCO of your database infrastructure.

Download a copy of Oracle Linux today from https://edelivery.oracle.com/linux and get started with an evaluation. Contact your Oracle representative to learn more, or visit http://www.oracle.com/linux.