Oracle9i RAC: Oracle Real Application Clusters Configuration and Internals

Author: Mike Ault, Madhu Tumma
List Price: $59.95
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ISBN: 0972751300
Publisher: Rampant TechPress (01 August, 2003)
Edition: Paperback
Sales Rank: 14,069
Average Customer Rating: 3.95 out of 5

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Customer Reviews

Rating: 2 out of 5
Poor book, just about everything comes out of Metalink
If you are in the process of either installing RAC or learning about it you are better off doing your research on Metalink. If you have the spare money then this book offers you a central place for a collection of different Metalink articles.

Rating: 5 out of 5
I like the coverage
I have worked with RAC for 2 years and this book has addressed some of the missing pieces of the puzzle. This book is first in a new series "Oracle In Focus" and will give O'Reilly a run for their money. I really like this book and although I did have some critiques I felt that I could not resist. However, RAC is a very sophisticated Product and the authors have done a splendid job in bringing all of the material under one cover.

This book does a great job laying out the differences between RAC and OPS. It also covers the architecture and implementation of RAC for all major platforms including Veritas DBE/AC. The architecture discussion covers areas such as I/O Fencing, SCSI3 Persistent Reservations, and Quorum Disks in Chapter 3. This is important information which sets a basis for the next chapter. In Chapter 4 RAC technical Architecture is thoroughly reviewed after a brief overview of the OPS evolution.

Chapter 5 is a brief chapter that covers Hardware and RAC and explains the Implementation of RAC from a hardware perspective. I liked the approach taken by the authors because they do a good job tying in CFS or RAW with the disk subsystem. They also cover Veritas, Tru64 and Polyserve CFS's.

Chapter 6 is a 100 page chapter that covers RAC Install and configuration for almost every platform. It is high level but covers the subject matter well. It is very current in relation to where Oracle is with Patch sets and such. I had only wished they covered the Linux install better and covered the watchdog/hang check timer kernel transition. I suspect the author's deadline did not allow for this. The reference to the metalink articles at the end of the chapter gives the reader a launching point into the subject matter.

Chapter 7 is dedicated to the RAC internals and is good at condensing the internals that is covered in the Oracle RAC concepts guide. It is in Chapter 8 that the authors cover Threads but they stop short of explaining of how threads are used to generate SCN's and the role they play in recovery and Data Guard gap resolution. Overall this is a good chapter which covers the basics of RAC admin.

Chapter 10 covers TAF (Transparent Application Failover) connectivity to RAC. Although this chapter covers the subject matter okay it is weak in when they cover load balancing on the nodes. It explains how Dedicated and shared are handled but it stops there and doesn't explain the how the nodes database processes inform the listeners of the work load. I felt this chapter could have been done better since it is one of the attractions to RAC. For example, when they authors cover TAF with JDBC they should have correlated their explanation with the commonly used terms of JDBC Thick/Thin. This is touched upon towards the end of Chapter 14 and might be attributed to having two different authors with unique styles.

The remaining chapters are pretty good after skimming over them. I will update my review after finishing the book. Don't get me wrong by my critiques. I like this book very much. This book is a must for anyone who is interested in RAC.

Rating: 5 out of 5
Mike Ault does it again
Mike is my favorite Oracle author and I have all his books for the past ten years. They are all exceptional, and this one is no exception. RAC is difficult, and the example make it clear and easy to follow.

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