Brief about Workload Management in Oracle RAC

This is a brief article about workload management in RAC. I tried to cover different components of workload management in RAC and how they are configured at client side or server side. I haven’t gone into details of configuration steps but just mentioned in brief about how it can be done.

Readers are advised to refer Oracle documentation to understand details about configuration of workload management.

Workload management on RAC

There are 2 major components of workload management:

  1. Failover – if connection to one instance fails, Oracle should failover the connection to another instance
  2. Load Balancing – Workload on RAC instances should be distributed equally

Failover can be connect time or run time. Similarly load balancing can be achieved during connect time or run time.

We can also configure these components either on client side or on server side.

I tried to put workload management in RAC in single block diagram to get high level overview. Following figures gives a summary of configuring workload management in RAC.

workload

Lets check how to configure each of these components.

Failover

We can achieve failover at connect time or at run time. So depending on how we want to achieve failover (during connect time or run time), we can configure the same on client side or on server side

Connect time failover, Client side

Connect time failover can be configured on client side as connection failover happens if instance is down before it can even get connected. So logically its not possible to have it on server side (because that will need connection to complete and in that case it wont be connect time failover).

This is achieved on client side using FAILOVER=ON parameter in TNS string.
Example:

ORCL=
     (DESCRIPTION=
         (ADDRESS_LIST=
         (FAILOVER=ON)
         (ADDRESS= (PROTOCOL=TCP) (HOST=orcl_node1-vip) (PORT=1521))
         (ADDRESS= (PROTOCOL=TCP) (HOST=orcl_node2-vip) (PORT=1521))
         (ADDRESS= (PROTOCOL=TCP) (HOST=orcl_node3-vip) (PORT=1521))
         (ADDRESS= (PROTOCOL=TCP) (HOST=orcl_node4-vip) (PORT=1521))
     )
    (CONNECT_DATA= (SERVICE_NAME= ORCL))
)

 

Run time failover, Client side

At run time, we can achieve failover using Transparent Application Failover (TAF).
TAF can be configured on client side in TNS string using FAILOVER_MODE parameter.
Example:

ORCL=
     (DESCRIPTION=
         (ADDRESS_LIST=
         (FAILOVER=ON)
         (ADDRESS= (PROTOCOL=TCP) (HOST=orcl_node1-vip) (PORT=1521))
         (ADDRESS= (PROTOCOL=TCP) (HOST=orcl_node2-vip) (PORT=1521))
         (ADDRESS= (PROTOCOL=TCP) (HOST=orcl_node3-vip) (PORT=1521))
         (ADDRESS= (PROTOCOL=TCP) (HOST=orcl_node4-vip) (PORT=1521))
     )
     (CONNECT_DATA= (SERVICE_NAME=ORCL)
     (FAILOVER_MODE=(TYPE=select)(METHOD=basic))
)

 

If you check above TNS string, we have FAILOVER_MODE parameter and it specifies the failover type and method. If FAILOVER_MODE is specified then in case of instance outage, existing connected sessions will automatically failover at run time to other existing instances. TAF has more details then specified here. You can check Oracle documentation or reference links in this article for complete details about TAF.

Run time failover, Server side

Same TAF implementation can be done on server side as well. This is done as part of service management in RAC.
We can use SRVCTL to configure services on RAC add TAF parameters.

[oracle@orcl_node1 ~]$ srvctl add service -d orcl -s test -r orcl1 -P BASIC -e SESSION -m BASIC
[oracle@orcl_node1 ~]$ srvctl start service -d orcl -s test
[oracle@orcl_node1 ~]$ srvctl status service -d orcl -s test
Service test is running on instance(s) orcl1
[oracle@orcl_node1 ~]$ srvctl config service -d orcl -s test
Service name: test
Service is enabled
Server pool: orcl_test
Cardinality: 1
Disconnect: false
Service role: PRIMARY
Management policy: AUTOMATIC
DTP transaction: false
AQ HA notifications: false
Failover type: SESSION
Failover method: BASIC
TAF failover retries: 0
TAF failover delay: 0
Connection Load Balancing Goal: 
Runtime Load Balancing Goal:
TAF policy specification: BASIC
Preferred instances: orcl1
Available instances:
[oracle@orcl_node1 ~]$

We can also use Fast Connection Failover (FCF) using Fast Application Notification (FAN) events in OCI clients to get notifications about instance availability. Based on these notification, clients can reconnect to available instances.

Load Balancing

We can achieve load balancing at connect time or at run time. Depending upon when we want to achieve load balancing (connect time or run time), we can configure load balancing on client side or on server side.

Connect time load balancing, Client side

We can achieve connect time load balancing on client side using LOAD_BALANCE=ON parameter in TNS string.

Example:

ORCL=
     (DESCRIPTION=
         (ADDRESS_LIST=
         (LOAD_BALANCE=ON)
         (ADDRESS= (PROTOCOL=TCP) (HOST=orcl_node1-vip) (PORT=1521))
         (ADDRESS= (PROTOCOL=TCP) (HOST=orcl_node1-vip) (PORT=1521))
         (ADDRESS= (PROTOCOL=TCP) (HOST=orcl_node1-vip) (PORT=1521))
         (ADDRESS= (PROTOCOL=TCP) (HOST=orcl_node1-vip) (PORT=1521))
     )
    (CONNECT_DATA= (SERVICE_NAME= ORCL)
)

LOAD_BALANCE parameter is set to ON by default and we do not have to specify explicitely. However, putting LOAD_BALANCE=OFF will disable load balancing. Oracle picks ramdom hosts from address list and try to load balance connections to database instances. With 11.2, Oracle introduced SCAN listener which provide host IPs in round robin fashion. So with single SCAN alias in TNS names, connections to different hosts are balanced automatically. This is going to deprecate LOAD_BALANCING parameter in TNS. Example:

ORCL=
     (DESCRIPTION=
         (LOAD_BALANCE=ON)
         (ADDRESS= (PROTOCOL=TCP) (HOST=orcl_scan) (PORT=1521))
     )
     (CONNECT_DATA= (SERVICE_NAME= ORCL)
 )

 

Connect time load balancing, Server side

We can enable server side load balancing using CLB_GOAL service attribute.
Oracle has introduced load balanving advisory in 10g which keeps track of loads on individual instances. Having dynamic registration keeps all listeners aware of load profile of each instances. We need to set remote_listener to tns alias containing all virual IP address of all nodes in cluster. Even with SCAN listener, we need to keep SCAN VIP in remote_listener parameter.

CLB_GOAL stands for connect time load balancing goal. It is used to define expected session duration for the service. For example if we have OLTP service and we expect lots of short sessions which last for very short time (few secs to few mins), then we can set CLB_GOAL for that service as SHORT. If service is expected to serve sessions which are going to be connected for longer duration (few mins to hours), we can set CLB_GOAL to LONG. Setting CLB_GOAL will instruct listener to route connections based on metrics. Possible metrics are load per node (based on CPU run queue) (CLB_GOAL=short) or number of current connections (CLB_GOAL = long).

  • If CLB_GOAL is short then Oracle considers load per node (based on CPU run queue) as metrics and route connection to host where load is less.
  • If CLB_GOAL is long then Oracle considers number of connections to instance as metrics and route connection to host where number of connections are less.

Example:

[oracle@orcl_node1 ~]$ srvctl modify service -d orcl -s test -j SHORT
[oracle@orcl_node1 ~]$ srvctl config service -d orcl -s test
Service name: test
Service is enabled
Server pool: orcl_test
Cardinality: 1
Disconnect: false
Service role: PRIMARY
Management policy: AUTOMATIC
DTP transaction: false
AQ HA notifications: false
Failover type: SESSION
Failover method: BASIC
TAF failover retries: 0
TAF failover delay: 0
Connection Load Balancing Goal: SHORT
Runtime Load Balancing Goal: NONE
TAF policy specification: BASIC
Preferred instances: orcl1
Available instances:
[oracle@orcl_node1 ~]$

Run time load balancing, Server side

We cannot have client side load balancing during run time. This is because when we consider run time load balancing, each transaction needs to be balanced as against each connection.
Load balancing advisory serve as basic for runtime connection load balancing. Using dynamic service registration services are registered with all listeners. PMON of each instance updates the load profile to all listeners. Since listeners knows the load profile of all instances sessions are directed to most appropriate instance depending on the goal of runtime load balancing. Connection allocation is based on current performance level provided by the database instances as indicated by load balancing advisory FAN events. This provides load balancing at the transaction level instead of load balancing at the time of initial connection.

Service level of instances are analyzed based on runtime load balancing goal

  • Service time (internet web processing)
  • Throughput (batch processing)

Above runtime load balancing goals can be set using GOAL parameter of server (dont get confused with CLB_GOAL parameter, which is for connect time load balancing).

We can set this parameter GOAL on server side for each service using SRVCTL.

Once we set this parameter to either GOAL_SERVICE_TIME or GOAL_THROUGHPUT, Oracle will balance the load using following metrics

  • If GOAL_SERVICE_TIME is used, Oracle will check the service time ie. how fast an instance if serving a single transaction. Oracle will have these metrics for each of the instances and connection for a service will be diverted to an instance where service time is best. This is mainly for OLTP transactions.
  • If GOAL_THROUGHPUT is used, Oracle will check the throughput metrics ie. which instance is doing max amount of work in least time and forward the instance which is having best throughput. This is mainly for batch processing.

Example:

[oracle@orcl_node1 ~]$ srvctl modify service -d orcl -s test -B SERVICE_TIME
[oracle@orcl_node1 ~]$ srvctl config service -d orcl -s test
Service name: test
Service is enabled
Server pool: orcl_test
Cardinality: 1
Disconnect: false
Service role: PRIMARY
Management policy: AUTOMATIC
DTP transaction: false
AQ HA notifications: false
Failover type: SESSION
Failover method: BASIC
TAF failover retries: 0
TAF failover delay: 0
Connection Load Balancing Goal: SHORT
Runtime Load Balancing Goal: SERVICE_TIME
TAF policy specification: BASIC
Preferred instances: orcl1
Available instances:

Reference:

http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/database/features/oci/taf-10-133239.pdf

http://docs.oracle.com/cd/B19306_01/rac.102/b14197/hafeats.htm

3 Comments

  1. I think you can achieve 40%, 40% and 20% using resource manager. We cannot achieve uneven load distribution using load balancing in RAC.

    Reply

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