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AlphaServer ES47 7/1000 - Need a SUPER fast (big) io device!

Edmundo T Rodriguez
Frequent Advisor

AlphaServer ES47 7/1000 - Need a SUPER fast (big) io device!

I want to find a proved solution (compatible disk and interface) using a big
1TB or 2TB disk (like new ones used with PCs) recognized by OpenVMS, to perform image/backup to it, instead of tape-drive, and then later-on from there to tape.

The main purpose is to speed up the backup process of data-bases, which is taking an average of 5.5 hrs every night.

Please, I had done all kind of things to improve the backup process with quotas, system parameters, etc, etc.

I want the hardware solution.

Does anybody been able to use something like and/or a tape drive been capable of backing-up 1TB let say in 1 to 2 hr time frame, and compatible with OpenVMS?

Thank you.
Andy Bustamante
Honored Contributor

Re: AlphaServer ES47 7/1000 - Need a SUPER fast (big) io device!

You might also consider using host based volume shadowing.

Quiesce the database, break out a a set of database disks from the logical shadow volume, resume the database application on production disks while reading the backup disks. Minimal user impact.

If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over? Reach me at first_name + "." + last_name at sysmanager net
Vladimir Fabecic
Honored Contributor

Re: AlphaServer ES47 7/1000 - Need a SUPER fast (big) io device!

Hello Edmundo

Can you give us more informations:
1. What is your OS version?
2. How much data do you backup every day?
3. What type of tape device you have?
3. What is your storage subsystem? Is it external storage (EVA, MSA or some other storage or some DAS)?
In vino veritas, in VMS cluster
Jan van den Ende
Honored Contributor

Re: AlphaServer ES47 7/1000 - Need a SUPER fast (big) io device!


I have to agree with Andy!

It takes:
1 extra device (set) such as you are using
1 shadowing license
a little modification of bootstrap procedure (modify MOUNT command(s) to use shadow set(s) i.o. disk(s)
modification of Backup procedure (quiesce database; dismount 1 member of shadow set(s); reactivate database).
Your database interruption period will be seconds, and, depending on the particular database, can be just reduced performance of your database has online checkpointing capability.

Now you have (nearly) until your next backup schedule to copy the dissolved member(s) to external, and MOUNT the dissolved member(s) again to the set(s) - for which NO database actions are desired.

I want the hardware solution.

Ah well -- this may be stressing a little, but you can consider this to be some extra hardware, and hardware manipulation...



Have one on me.

Don't rust yours pelled jacker to fine doll missed aches.
Robert Gezelter
Honored Contributor

Re: AlphaServer ES47 7/1000 - Need a SUPER fast (big) io device!


In general, I would agree with Andy and Jan. The optimum way to collapse a backup window is to use host-based shadowing to expand a shadow set; momentarily quiesce the database; disconnect the extra shadow set members; and restart the database. Done within a procedure, this can be accomplished in seconds.

In terms of increasing hardware, the OP did not mention the details of the current mass storage configuration. Details always matter.

- Bob Gezelter, http://www.rlgsc.com
Honored Contributor

Re: AlphaServer ES47 7/1000 - Need a SUPER fast (big) io device!

Fewer disk spindles will be slower than configurations with more disk spindles, as disks are glacial devices.

Newer storage is SAS and SATA, and those are not the easiest devices to connect onto an Alpha.

If you want faster storage, you want SSD. Again, disks are glacial-speed rotating rust devices. HP offers SSD as an option on BladeSystem, though apparently isn't making a particular push to get SSD into other configurations.

To add to the difficulty, you have slow I/O buses on this VMS box, which means you're also limited to some older storage I/O controllers. Newer stuff tends to be PCIe based, and the PCIe storage is massively faster than the parallel SCSI possible on this box. (I don't know off-hand if Alpha has any possible 8 Gb FC HBA options with the PCI-X, that's typical on PCIe on other platforms.)

Others have discussed RAID-based archival processing and the split-RAID and that's certainly functional. You must have a way to quiesce the environment.

An alternative approach is to use the features of a replication-capable database, and run multiple boxes and online backup. Various database packages offer this, and can perform continuous backups. Most places now use continuous backups; the classic "backup window" is becoming a rarity.

Various x86 boxes routinely obliterate the performance of the Alpha boxes, too. You may be in line for an upgrade, depending on your requirements. Possibly a replacement server, or potentially a dedicated database server, and connecting to that from the VMS box and the clients. (This box generation is around seven years old, and it's going to be showing its age, in terms of performance and available options and I/O buses.)

If you're waving some money around for some new storage (or a new server), then call up an HP reseller or sales rep and make them do some work.

If you're looking to get speed by connecting an off-the-shelf SAS or SATA drives by yourself, then you're looking at buying off on your own debug and integration and testing and support effort. And at just getting to a SAS or SATA bus. Or buying off on somebody that will do that work for you.

But I'd look at the distributed database replication or on-line backups first, then at quiescing and splitting volumes, then at storage or more serious upgrades.