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Donald K. Burleson

Oracle RAC Tips

Cluster Interconnect

The cluster interconnect is a high bandwidth, low latency communication facility that connects each node to other nodes in the cluster and routes messages among the nodes. In general, the cluster interconnect is used for the following high-level functions:

  • Monitoring Health, Status, and Synchronize messages
  • Transporting Distributed lock manager (DLM) messages
  • Accessing remote file systems
  • Moving application-specific traffic
  • Providing cluster alias routing

High performance computing involves distributing the processing across an array of cluster nodes. It requires that the cluster interconnect provide high-data rates and low-latency communication between node processes. Interconnects must also be capable of detecting and isolating faults and of using alternative paths.

With the significant growth in processing power and SMP servers, a cluster must be able to move messages and data among the nodes at a speed comparable to a SMP server to be competitive. Traditional network systems using FDDI based on the TCP/IP protocol are not able to achieve this. This situation has led many vendors to develop their own specialized interconnect products that are usually a specialized set of devices such as switches, hubs, cables, and software.

At a moderate performance level requirement, conventional networks such as Ethernet can be used as the cluster-interconnect to build clusters. However, in view of the heavy movement of data across the nodes through the cluster interconnect, it is always desirable to utilize the specialized high speed interconnect products supplied by many vendors. Some of the essential requirements for any interconnect include:

  • Low latency for short messages.
  • High speed and sustained data rates for large messages.
  • Low Host-CPU utilization per message.
  • Flow Control, Error Control and Heart-beat Continuity monitoring.
  • Host interfaces that execute control programs to interact directly with host processes (‘OS bypass’).
  • Switch networks that scale well.

For more information, see the book Oracle 11g Grid and Real Application Clusters 30% off if you buy it directly from Rampant TechPress . 

Written by top Oracle experts, this RAC book has a complete online code depot with ready to use RAC scripts.  


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