Architecture Matters, Part 2: Navigating Database Replatforming—An Example

Version 5

    by Randal Sagrillo and Larry McIntosh

     

    This article provides a real-world example of migrating an Oracle Database instance from IBM AIX to Oracle Solaris, highlighting the steps, effort, and benefits as well as demonstrating the simplicity and ease of the process.

     

    Introduction

     

    Oracle's commitment to designing hardware and software engineered to work together provides dramatic improvements in cost reduction, risk reduction, and the productivity of application and business systems. Oracle applications, along with industry-leading middleware and database software technologies, operate on a wide variety of non-Oracle hardware platforms. But it is Oracle's investment in deep applications-to-disk integration, end-to-end testing with fault injection, and documented best practices for running Oracle software on Oracle hardware that helps customers most effectively manage the ever-increasing pressure to consistently deliver more with less cost and risk.

    OOS_Logo_small125.png
    Oracle Optimized Solutions provide tested and proven best practices for how to run software products on Oracle systems. Learn more.

     

    Oracle Solaris and Oracle's SPARC servers are key components of Oracle's integrated hardware and software stack that create enormous value for customers. Moreover, for customers who are overdue for an upgrade of their AIX/Power systems that are running Oracle Database and/or other Oracle applications, the opportunity for improvement by migrating to Oracle Solaris is even greater.

     

    The first article in this three-part series, "Architecture Matters, Part 1: Assessing Application Migration Impact," gave four simple steps customers can take to migrate from AIX to Oracle Solaris quickly and efficiently. Now, this second article details a real-world example of migrating an Oracle Database instance from IBM AIX to Oracle Solaris, highlighting the steps, effort, and benefits. It also demonstrates the simplicity and ease of operation built into Oracle Database.

     

    All the articles in this "Architecture Matters" series are located here:

     

     

    Migration Example: Oracle Database

     

    The following is a real-world example that highlights what it takes to migrate Oracle Database 11g Release 2 from an IBM Power system that runs AIX to a SPARC system from Oracle that runs Oracle Solaris. Data Pump, an important tool that is part of the Oracle Database software, is used.

     

    In this example, there were multiple instances of Oracle Database on an IBM Power 740 system running AIX 7.1 that was configured with two 4.2 GHz Power7+ processor modules, each of which had 8 cores. The databases were migrated to a SPARC T5-2 server running Oracle Solaris 11.1 that was configured with two 3.6 GHz SPARC T5 processor chips, each of which had 16 cores.

     

    Both server platforms were connected for client validation and testing over a gigabit Ethernet network. SAN storage was configured using disk groups built from the same single high-performance storage system for each server using 8 Gb Fibre Channel. These disk groups were built using Oracle Automatic Storage Management over Oracle Grid Infrastructure.

     

    The configuration, as tested, is shown in Figure 1.

     

    f1.png

    Figure 1. Migration testing configuration.

     

    While multiple databases were created and migrated as part of these tests, in this article, we show the results and steps for migrating a single 100+ GB database.

     

    To facilitate reproducible results, the Swingbench 2.5 database benchmarking tool was used to build a 100+ GB order-entry database that was tested with a 1,000-user order-entry OLTP workload created by Swingbench. To see how Swingbench has been used on AIX systems, refer to this IBM document.

     

    Swingbench was installed on a single socket of the SPARC T5-2 server so it could access—via the gigabit Ethernet network—both the database server running on the AIX Power system and the database server created on the SPARC T5-2 server.

     

    The Oracle Database 11g Release 2 instance was installed on a bare-metal AIX Power server with access to all the cores and memory of the IBM Power 740 system. Installation followed the prerequisites and standard practices outlined in the Oracle Database installation documentation for AIX. Swingbench's order-entry installation wizard was used to create the 100+ GB order-entry schema. Figure 2 shows the completed creation of the order-entry database on the AIX system. Note the total run time for this schema creation process was 86 minutes and 32 seconds.

     

    f2.png

    Figure 2. Creation of a 100+ GB order-entry schema on AIX.

     

    The final step before exporting the database to the Oracle Solaris system using Data Pump was to validate the database on AIX using Swingbench's order-entry benchmark. The successful test results are shown in Figure 3 for a 1,000-user run.

     

    f3.png

    Figure 3. Validating Oracle Database on AIX using Swingbench.

     

    Preparing the Oracle Solaris Database Infrastructure

     

    One powerful benefit of jointly engineered Oracle software and hardware technology—in this case, Oracle Database 11g Release 2 and Oracle's storage devices, servers, virtualization software, operating system, and networking components—is Oracle Optimized Solution for Oracle Database. To ensure the lowest risk, best performance, highest efficiency, and optimum productivity, Oracle Optimized Solution for Oracle Database was used to build and install Oracle Database on the SPARC T5-2 server running Oracle Solaris. Detailed information about this solution, which covers Oracle's reference architecture and best practices for the configuration and installation of Oracle Database specifically on Oracle's SPARC servers, can be found at oracle.com/us/solutions/oos/database/overview/index.html.

     

    Just as the AIX-based database server in Figure 1 had access to all the cores and memory of the IBM Power 740 server, the Oracle Solaris–based database server had access to all the cores and memory of the SPARC T5-2 server.

     

    Performing the Data Pump Operations

     

    Oracle Database's Data Pump feature provides a fast and simple way to move databases between systems. In this case, all aspects of the database were migrated between heterogeneous operating systems, each running Oracle Database 11g Release 2. The "full" option was used to export and import not only the actual relational data, but also all the metadata, including database profiles, stored procedures, links, synonyms, roles, rollback segment definitions, system audit options, system privileges, tablespace definitions and quotas, and user definitions, as well as all database user schemas and database objects in the user schemas.

     

    Because the source database to be migrated from AIX had been functionally validated using the order-entry benchmark in Swingbench, the database could be prepared for export. The following steps were used to accomplish this.

     

    First, the SID (odbonaix) was verified to be correct:

     

    $ echo $ORACLE_SID
    odbonaix

     

    Then the database on the AIX system was connected to:

     

    $ sqlplus / as sysdba

    SQL*Plus: Release 11.2.0.1.0 Production on Mon Feb 10 09:48:30 2014

    Connected to:

    Oracle Database 11g Enterprise Edition Release 11.2.0.1.0 - 64bit Production

    With the Partitioning, Automatic Storage Management, OLAP, Data Mining

    and Real Application Testing options

     

    SQL>

     

    A directory was created into which the data files would be exported:

     

    SQL> create directory dpump_dir as '/hdisk0/datafiles/bkp';

    Directory created.

     

    A user was created (in this case, soe5) with privileges on the database:

     

    SQL> alter user soe5 account unlock;

     

    User altered.

     

    SQL> grant connect, resource to soe5;

     

    Grant succeeded.

     

    SQL> grant read,write on directory dpump_dir to soe5;

     

    Grant succeeded.

     

    SQL> grant create session, resource, export full database to soe5;

     

    Grant succeeded.

     

    SQL> grant EXP_FULL_DATABASE to soe5;

     

    Grant succeeded.

     

    SQL> exit

    Disconnected from Oracle Database 11g Enterprise Edition Release 11.2.0.1.0 - 64bit Production

    With the Partitioning, Automatic Storage Management, OLAP, Data Mining

    and Real Application Testing options

    $

     

    The expdp command was used to export the database from AIX:

     

    expdp system/oracle1@odbonaix full=Y directory='dpump_dir'  \

    dumpfile=par_odbonaix%U.bmp parallel=4  \

    logfile=par_expdp-odbonaix.log

     

     

    The full=Y option indicates that a complete database export was requested. directory indicates the directory where the database files to be exported were located. dumpfile indicates the names of the data files that were exported from AIX, and these names were used for the import into Oracle Solaris. Due to the parallel=4 option, Data Pump used four different threads to speed up the export operation. The logfile parameter specified where a log of the execution of this command would be written. Note that no compression or encryption options were used with this baseline export test.

     

    For the 100+ GB Swingbench order-entry database, this export operation took 11 minutes.

     

    After the export operation, the following files appeared within the dump directory:

     

    -rw-r-----1 oracle   oinstall 7800848384 Feb 10 12:12 par_odbonaix01.bmp
    -rw-r-----1 oracle   oinstall 5790195712 Feb 10 12:12 par_odbonaix02.bmp
    -rw-r-----1 oracle   oinstall 7517241344 Feb 10 12:12 par_odbonaix03.bmp
    -rw-r-----1 oracle   oinstall  636608512 Feb 10 12:12 par_odbonaix04.bmp
    -rw-r-----1 oracle   oinstall 1348444160 Feb 10 12:12 par_odbonaix05.bmp
    -rw-r-----1 oracle   oinstall  751849472 Feb 10 12:11 par_odbonaix06.bmp

     

     

    To import the database, the Oracle Solaris system needed to be prepared with an empty instance of Oracle Database to receive the import from the Data Pump operation, as well as the user, privileges, and directory information for the import operation. Prior to the import operation, an empty Oracle Database 11g Release2 database was created using Oracle Database Configuration Assistant on the SPARC T5-2 system. After using the assistant, the following steps were used to import the database into Oracle Solaris and the SPARC T5-2 server:

     

    First, the SID on the Oracle Solaris system was verified to be correct:

     

    -bash-4.1$ echo $ORACLE_SID
    odbonaix

     

    Then the database on the Oracle Solaris system was connected to:

     

    -bash-4.1$ sqlplus / as sysdba

    SQL*Plus: Release 11.2.0.2.0 Production on Tue Feb 10 10:39:40 2014

    Connected to:

    Oracle Database 11g Enterprise Edition Release 11.2.0.1.0 - 64bit Production

    With the Partitioning, Automatic Storage Management, OLAP, Data Mining

    and Real Application Testing options

     

    SQL>

     

    A directory into which to export the data files was created:

     

    SQL> create directory dpump_dir as '/downloads/datafiles/aix;

    Directory created.

     

    A user (in this case, soe5) was created with privileges on the database:

     

    SQL> alter user soe5 account unlock;

     

    User altered.

     

    SQL> grant connect, resource to soe5;

     

    Grant succeeded.

     

    SQL> grant read,write on directory dpump_dir to soe5;

     

    Grant succeeded.

     

    SQL> grant create session, resource, import full database to soe5;

     

    Grant succeeded.

     

    SQL> grant create table to soe5;

     

    Grant succeeded.

     

    SQL> grant IMP_FULL_DATABASE to soe5;

     

    Grant succeeded.

     

    SQL> grant Execute Any Procedure to soe5;

     

    Grant succeeded.

     

     

    The following command was run to ensure that Swingbench ran:

     

    SQL> grant execute on sys.rdms_lock to soe5 with grant option;

     

    Grant succeeded.

     

    SQL> exit

    Disconnected from Oracle Database 11g Enterprise Edition Release

    11.2.0.2.0 - 64bit Production

    With the Partitioning, Automatic Storage Management, OLAP, Data Mining

    and Real Application Testing options

    -bash-4.1$

     

    scp was used to copy the files from the AIX server to the Oracle Solaris server, validating that all the files were the right size and were placed in the location defined above: /downloads/datafiles/aix.

     

    Note: Other copy methods, such as ftp, can also be used to copy over the files.

     

    Then the impdp command was used to import the database into Oracle Solaris:

     

    impdp system/password@odbonaix full=Y directory='dpump_dir' \

    dumpfile=par_odbonaix%U.bmp parallel=4 logfile=par_impdp-odbonaix.log

     

    The parameters used were nearly identical to those used for the export from AIX. The import of the complete 100+ GB database took 36 minutes and 22 seconds, again with no compression or encryption.

     

    Performing Post-Migration Validation

     

    After the migration was complete, the database was brought online. The database was queried directly to check the number of rows, and so on, to make sure the database appeared to be intact. Furthermore, database content was compared to the content of the original database to ensure the integrity of the data.

     

    Figure 4 shows the 1,000-user validation run with the 100+ GB database migrated from AIX onto Oracle Solaris and the SPARC T5-2 server:

     

    f4.png

    Figure 4. Post-migration validation of Oracle Database on Oracle Solaris and the SPARC T5-2 server.

     

    The following table summarizes and compares the time required to create a database versus the time required migrate the 100+ GB Swingbench 2.5 order-entry database.

     

             

    StepDuration% of Creation Time
    Creating the Database86 minutes, 32 secondsNA
    Exporting the Database11 minutes12 percent
    Importing the Database36 minutes, 22 seconds42 percent

     

    In this case, it appears that it was faster to do the export and import than to create the database using a sophisticated benchmark tool such as Swingbench's order-entry installation wizard. Results will vary with each situation, but what is evident is the ease, speed, and simplicity of migrating a running Oracle Database database from AIX to Oracle Solaris. This same procedure can be used to upgrade a database from Oracle Database 11g Release 2 to Oracle Database 12c just as simply.

     

    It is worth noting that Oracle engineers also tested importing a database into a virtualized instance consisting of a single SPARC T5 socket using Oracle VM Server for SPARC (also called logical domains or LDoms). The configuration consisted of a SPARC T5-4 server from Oracle running a consolidated workload with Oracle Database 11g Release 2 on a single LDom and Oracle Database 12c on a another LDom, as shown in Figure 5. Detailed information about the use of Oracle VM Server for SPARC can be found at oracle.com/us/technologies/virtualization/oracle-vm-server-for-sparc/overview/index.html.

     

    f5.png

    Figure 5. Oracle Database migrated from AIX running in a consolidated workload of Oracle Database 11g Release 2 and Oracle Database 12c with the Oracle Multitenant option on a SPARC T5-4 server.

     

    The engineers who migrated the database from AIX onto the SPARC T5-4 system shown in Figure 5 also tested the upgrade path to Oracle Database 12c using the database migrated from AIX to the SPARC T5-4 system as the source of the input for the upgrade to Oracle Database 12c, which worked just as smoothly. So, a very nice side benefit of database migration is that it provides a good time to do a database software upgrade as well.

     

    Conclusion

     

    Customers can simply and easily achieve dramatic improvements in cost reduction, risk reduction, and productivity of application and business systems by migrating from AIX to Oracle Solaris. And if an upgrade of AIX/Power systems running Oracle Database and/or other Oracle applications is overdue, the opportunity for improvements in cost reduction, risk reduction, and productivity achieved by migrating or upgrading is even greater.

     

    As discussed in the first article in this series, with the proper planning and assessment, customers can migrate with ease and confidence. And by using training resources available from Oracle University and by applying Oracle Optimized Solutions as an end-state architecture, customers have all the tools necessary to migrate and also upgrade their databases. Moreover, customers who elect not to perform a migration themselves have access to Oracle Migration Factory experts who can assist with their deep experience, tools, and methods.

     

    To find out more about how to begin migration and receive the benefits of Oracle hardware and software engineered to work together, see oracle.com/aixtosolaris.

     

    About the Authors

     

    Randal Sagrillo is a solutions architect for Oracle. He has over 35 years of IT experience and is an expert in storage and systems performance, most recently applying this expertise to next-generation data center architectures, integrated systems, and Oracle engineered systems. Randal is also a frequent and well-attended speaker on database platform performance analysis and tuning and has spoken at several industry conferences including Oracle OpenWorld, Collaborate, Computer Measurements Group, and Storage Networking World. In his current role, he is responsible for solution architecture and development around Oracle Optimized Solutions. Before joining Oracle, Randal held a variety of leadership roles in product management, program management, and hardware/software product development engineering.

     

    Lawrence McIntosh is the chief architect within the Oracle Optimized Solutions team. He has designed and implemented highly optimized computing, networking, and storage technologies for both Sun Microsystems and Oracle. Lawrence has over 40 years of experience in the computer, network, and storage industries and has been a software developer and consultant in the commercial, government, education, and research sectors and an information systems professor. He has directly contributed to the product development phases of Oracle Exadata Database Machine and various Oracle Optimized Solution architectures. His most recent contribution has been in the design, development, testing, and deployment of Oracle Optimized Solution for Secure Oracle Database.

     

     

    Revision 1.0, 10/20/2015