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Sizing the Database for Dell

The Dell M610, R610, and R710 are ideal for running Microsoft SQL Server 2005 or 2008 and Oracle in standard and advanced sizing configurations. Blackboard recommends using the dual-socket, quad core configuration. These systems also offer a Hyper-Threading option, which have revealed in benchmarks to provide a performance advantage.

Memory requirements will vary depending on deployment within a 32-bit or 64-bit configuration. All certified and supported configurations are available in both 32-bit and 64-bit address spaces. Each of these systems can be used for availability purposes in an Oracle RAC configuration or Microsoft SQL Server Active/Passive Failover Cluster. Blackboard offers support for RAC with all versions of Oracle supported by Blackboard. For information about running Blackboard Learn with RAC, see Oracle RAC Support on UNIX. To learn more about the SQL Server Failover capabilities of Blackboard Learn, contact Blackboard Consulting.

For complex sizing configurations, Dell PowerEdge R710 and R900 servers are used to provide increased capacity. A high availability option is supported through an optional cluster configuration with a redundant instance of the database running on a second server using Oracle RAC or SQL Server Failover capabilities to provide the redundant database functionality.

Sizing for memory is absolutely critical for ensuring a high-performing and reliable configuration. Oracle configurations require a set of inputs to calculate the SGA and PGA spaces of memory. The SGA will contain both the SQL area for caching statements as well as the buffer cache for storing blocks of data in memory. The PGA space will maintain the process memory requirements as well as hash and sorting space for query execution. The combination of these two regions makes up the requirements of Oracle memory.

SQL Server will have similar memory requirements as Oracle. SQL Server memory is broken down into three regions:

  • Buffer Pool
  • Procedure Cache
  • MemToLeave

These regions are transparent to DBAs to simplify application management purposes.