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Don Burleson Blog 







Oracle RAC vs Grid

Oracle Database Tips by Donald BurlesonJuly 20, 2015

Question:  I work in an Oracle shop, but I do not have much experience with the higher level functionality like RAC and Grid computing.  Are they the same thing?

If not, what is the difference between RAC and Grid computing?

Answer:  To start with, Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC) are a database system involving a configuration of multiple hosts or servers joined together with clustering software and accessing the shared disk storage structures. On each of the hosts in the cluster, an Oracle Database instance is launched that uses the shared storage structures to provide the logical database objects. Thus, the multiple database instances provide a common database access for the users. Users can access the same database from any of the instances.  RAC is a high availability solution, but care should be taken when deciding to implement RAC

Oracle's original Grid vision represented a pool of database servers, storage and networks in an inter-related resource platform. Effective Management of workload within the grid database computing arena was a key feature. RAC Database and clustering technology helped to set up and manage the overall Oracle Grid strategy. Still today, database processing and capability can be easily and dynamically added with the RAC technology.

Thus, RAC is an integral part of Grid computing, but it is not the sum total of it.  The goal of Grid computing is to supply high availability information sharing supported by an architecture with sufficient resource allocation such that users can rely on getting as much information or processing as they need on demand.  Users no longer have to consider where their data is being stored or where their data request are processed because the database grid is supported by RAC and Oracle Clusterware and the storage grid is supported by the Automatic Storage Management (ASM) system.

For those not yet comfortable with working without a net on diagnostics and tuning of their system, Oracle Enterprise Manager Grid Control (OEM) can be purchased to aid in the holistic oversight of the grid.

Read more about the difference between Oracle RAC and Grid.

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