To achieve the optimum throughput from storage devices, multiple disks must work in parallel. This can be achieved using a technique called striping, which stores data blocks in equisized slices (stripes) across multiple devices. Striping enables storage configurations for good performance and throughput.

Optimum storage device performance is a trade-off between seek time and accessing consecutive blocks on disk. In a VLDB environment, a 1 MB stripe size provides a good balance for optimal performance and throughput, both for OLTP systems and data warehouse systems. There are three options for striping in a database environment:

  • Hardware-based striping

  • Software-based striping using Oracle ASM

  • Software-based striping not using Oracle ASM

It is possible to use a combination of striping techniques, but you must ensure that you physically store stripes on different devices to get the performance advantages out of striping. From a conceptual perspective, software-based striping not using Oracle ASM is very similar to hardware-based striping.

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In a cluster configuration, the software you use must support cluster capabilities. Oracle ASM is a cluster file system for Oracle Database files.