Wednesday, September 12, 2012

How does Oracle RAC manage locks?

Typically databases store locks in-memory and hence it is challenging to load-balance or cluster 'write' operations to a shared database across multiple database instances.
For e.g. In my previous blog, I mentioned how SQL Server does not have any Oracle RAC equivalent.

So how does Oracle RAC managed to maintain locks & data consistency across multiple nodes of the RAC cluster?

The secret sauce is the high speed private network called the "interconnect". RAC has something called as "Cache Fusion Mechanism" that allows for inter-instance block transfers and cache consistency. The global cache services (GCS) is a set of processes that ensures that only one instance modifies the block at any given time. GCS also flags in-memory blocks as "invalid" whenever the blocks are changed in other nodes.

The following links have a good explanation on the RAC consistency mechanism:
http://www.rampant-books.com/art_rac_global_block_management.htm

http://www.rampant-books.com/art_burleson_rac_cache_coherency.htm