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I'm wondering if Amazon EC2+EBS can handle large Oracle databases (7TB to start with). Sounds like EBS can have storage volumes of up to 1TB and I could have many storage volumes attached to the same EC2 instance, but is it possible then to configure Oracle to use those storage volumes so that the database can grow to 7TB and beyond?

To pursue this I would bring in Oracle DBAs to assist, but I want to figure out if this is even a valid approach, or should we look elsewhere?

What other options are there for large (7-15 TB) databases in the cloud?

[Note: I posted original question on Stackoverflow, but this site may be more appropriate]

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How much of a budget do you have? This is going to cost a metric fucktonne. I'll be verrrry surprised if it's not cheaper to host it yourself. – Tom O'Connor Jul 25 '11 at 0:13
Well, money isn't that much of an object at this point, within reason of course. We could host it ourselves but want to at least explore this as an option. – Fraggle Jul 25 '11 at 0:15
If money really isn't an option, then I suggest you go to your best datacentre (if UK, telehouse west) get a rack or 2 there. Get a bunch of blades and a fat SAN, hire a decent team of systems engineers, and then host it yourself. Or, you can present yourself to amazon. Vaseline optional. – Tom O'Connor Jul 25 '11 at 0:26
@Tom O'Conner=>One of the advantages of the cloud is everything is ready to go, so if you need to demonstrate something or get it up and running quickly the cloud can be a good option, even if in the long run it won't be economical. – Fraggle Jul 25 '11 at 2:46

I'm certain it is possible, but "is it a good idea," remains to be seen. With 7TB of data, that thing is going to be RAM hungry. The Extra Large instance gives you 15GB of RAM which may or may not be enough for you. The High Memory Quadruple Extra Large tier has 68GB of RAM, which again may or may not be enough (though more likely than mere 'Extra Large').

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Thanks. Point taken on the RAM issues. As far as the storage goes, however, is it possible to have like 10 one TB volumes attached to an EC2 instance and then to configure Oracle to treat those as its storage area for a single database? Any specifics would be great or links. – Fraggle Jul 25 '11 at 0:25
@Fraggle Sciurus pointed to one way. There are other ways within Oracle of supporting that, I once helped a DBA set up an Oracle server with 10 discrete RAID1 drives (he wanted it that way), so spreading the same tablespace over multiple volumes is quite doable. – sysadmin1138 Jul 25 '11 at 2:45

Sure, you could. An EBS volume shows up as a block device on Linux like any other disk; documentation you can find about managing storage on linux (mdadm) or oracle (ASM) applies. I think the standard approach on EC2 is to attach multiple EBS volumes and create a software RAID0 device on them. Google ebs raid for more information.

Be forewarned that EBS is reported to have unpredictable performance and to be unreliable. For some reports from the trenches, search for ebs on Hacker News.

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Ok, good. That's sort of what I thought or was hoping someone would say. Of course by your italicized "could" I assume you think this is a bad idea, so let me know if you think there will be some major problems here (besides cost). – Fraggle Jul 25 '11 at 2:54

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