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Sybase ASE_HA vs. Sybase ASE Cluster Edition

10 posts in Cluster Last posting was on 2008-05-20 03:45:28.0Z
Mary L. Posted on 2008-05-16 07:48:26.0Z
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From: Mary L.
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Subject: Sybase ASE_HA vs. Sybase ASE Cluster Edition
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My compay is getting ready to spend big bucks on a SUN
Cluster / Sybase ASE solution (with ASE_HA license). I'm
trying to convince them not to move forward and pursue a
Sybase ASE Cluster Edition instead.

The goal is to... temporarily implement a Sybase Replication
solution, then migrate to a Sybase ASE Cluster Edition
(after the bugs are worked out).

The argument I gave them was...

Within two years, the SUN Cluster / Sybase ASE (with ASE_HA
license) will become legacy (will be considered legacy by
the industry) and everyone will be flocking towards Sybase
ASE Cluster Edition. In addition, I also told them that
most likely, within the next two years, Sybase will stop
supporting Sybase ASE_HA (send out an "End of Engineering
Support" notice).

So this leads us to the following questions....

1) Is Sybase ASE_HA supported in Sybase ASE 15?

2) Will Sybase ASE_HA be replaced with Sybase ASE Cluster
Edition?

3) Will Sybase be sending out a "End of Live" and/or "End
of Engineering Support" notice for Sybase ASE_HA within the
next two years?

My company said that they want to see proof that Sybase
ASE_HA will become legacy in the next two years. If you
know any way that I can provide proof, please send your
feedback (URLs, documents, etc.).

What are your thoughts? Thank you.


David Wein Posted on 2008-05-16 17:48:01.0Z
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All I can really answer is that yes, ASE_HA option exists in ASE 15. It
is different technology from Cluster Edition and for now they exist side
by side. But I can't comment on future plans for the HA option. This
is not for lack of candor - I just don't know.

-Dave

Mary L. wrote:
> My compay is getting ready to spend big bucks on a SUN
> Cluster / Sybase ASE solution (with ASE_HA license). I'm
> trying to convince them not to move forward and pursue a
> Sybase ASE Cluster Edition instead.
>
> The goal is to... temporarily implement a Sybase Replication
> solution, then migrate to a Sybase ASE Cluster Edition
> (after the bugs are worked out).
>
> The argument I gave them was...
>
> Within two years, the SUN Cluster / Sybase ASE (with ASE_HA
> license) will become legacy (will be considered legacy by
> the industry) and everyone will be flocking towards Sybase
> ASE Cluster Edition. In addition, I also told them that
> most likely, within the next two years, Sybase will stop
> supporting Sybase ASE_HA (send out an "End of Engineering
> Support" notice).
>
> So this leads us to the following questions....
>
> 1) Is Sybase ASE_HA supported in Sybase ASE 15?
>
> 2) Will Sybase ASE_HA be replaced with Sybase ASE Cluster
> Edition?
>
> 3) Will Sybase be sending out a "End of Live" and/or "End
> of Engineering Support" notice for Sybase ASE_HA within the
> next two years?
>
> My company said that they want to see proof that Sybase
> ASE_HA will become legacy in the next two years. If you
> know any way that I can provide proof, please send your
> feedback (URLs, documents, etc.).
>
> What are your thoughts? Thank you.


"Mark A. Parsons" <iron_horse Posted on 2008-05-17 00:50:42.0Z
From: "Mark A. Parsons" <iron_horse@no_spamola.compuserve.com>
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Mary L. wrote:
> My compay is getting ready to spend big bucks on a SUN
> Cluster / Sybase ASE solution (with ASE_HA license). I'm
> trying to convince them not to move forward and pursue a
> Sybase ASE Cluster Edition instead.

CE is only available (at the moment) for ASE 15.0.1.

ASE 15.0 and ASE 15.0.1 were very buggy.

Ealier releases of ASE 15.0.2 were also buggy (though not as bad as 15.0 and 15.0.1).

For a couple of my clients we're finding that ASE 15.0.2 ESD #4 is starting to show some signs of stability, though
we've still got some issues here and there.

Point being that even if CE works as well as advertised, I wouldn't want to put anything on an ASE 15.0.1 dataserver.
If I were in your shoes I'd prefer to wait until CE is released for ASE 15.0.2 ESD #4 (or preferably a later ASE release).

----------------------

CE's also got some 'initial release' limitations ...

Only 2 nodes at the moment (though more are planned on down the road).

You're not going to be able to split a write-intensive application across the nodes without seeing a big hit on
performance (though I'm not sure how/if they'll be able to address this issue).


Derek Asirvadem Posted on 2008-05-18 03:04:36.0Z
From: Derek Asirvadem <derek.asirvadem@gmailDOTcom>
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> On 2008-05-17 10:50:42 +1000, "Mark A. Parsons"
> <iron_horse@no_spamola.compuserve.com> said:
>
> Point being that even if CE works as well as advertised, I wouldn't
> want to put anything on an ASE 15.0.1 dataserver. If I were in your
> shoes I'd prefer to wait until CE is released for ASE 15.0.2 ESD #4 (or
> preferably a later ASE release).

(that's just a minor "first release" codeline problem which will get
addressed in teh passage of time). Or wait for the ASE and ASE-CE
codeline merge at 15.0.3

> Only 2 nodes at the moment (though more are planned on down the road).

And 32 nodes in test, in the next release.

> You're not going to be able to split a write-intensive application
> across the nodes without seeing a big hit on performance (though I'm
> not sure how/if they'll be able to address this issue).

Not correct. What matters is not whether the app is write-intensive,
but if it can be divided into groups of tables that are accessed (by
one part of the app vs another part of the app). CE comes with two
"default" cluster groups: no surprise, OLTP and DSS, which can be added
to. The app needs to be split along these (or other) lines, which is
easier to do with well-structured app, and not with unstructured apps.
You can quite happily split the app into two write-intensive parts, eg
order processing vs invoicing, as long as they do not write to too many
of the same tables.

In any case, the hit (for splitting a badly structured app) will not be
in performance (of the app or the server), it will be in the
interconnect load, which can be mitigated with a private network
(switch) and additional network cards. I understand David's team is
looking at increasing the bandwidth by orders of magnitude in future.
--
Cheers
Derek
Senior Sybase DBA / Information Architect
Copyright © 2008 Software Gems Pty Ltd
Quality Standards = Zero Maintenance + Zero Surprises
Performance Standards = Predictability + Scaleability


David Wein Posted on 2008-05-18 04:50:28.0Z
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Derek Asirvadem wrote:
>> On 2008-05-17 10:50:42 +1000, "Mark A. Parsons"
>> <iron_horse@no_spamola.compuserve.com> said:
>>
>> Point being that even if CE works as well as advertised, I wouldn't
>> want to put anything on an ASE 15.0.1 dataserver. If I were in your
>> shoes I'd prefer to wait until CE is released for ASE 15.0.2 ESD #4
>> (or preferably a later ASE release).
>
> (that's just a minor "first release" codeline problem which will get
> addressed in teh passage of time). Or wait for the ASE and ASE-CE
> codeline merge at 15.0.3
>

Sort of...yes it is a codeline sync issue that will be addressed by the
passage of time. But I am not sure 15.0.3 is correct. I've stopped
even referring to numbers for future releases - look at all the
confusion that happened around the cluster version number (15.1 / 15.0.1
CE). We are definitely working on the merge and there is a timeline for
release, but I don't know the version number yet, and even if somebody
at Sybase with knowledge and good intentions told Derek it was 15.0.3,
don't bank on it. Point is that plans change, and versions can be
changed as the release nears.

>> Only 2 nodes at the moment (though more are planned on down the road).
>
> And 32 nodes in test, in the next release.
>

Chances are good that we will certify four instances for production this
summer. I'm not sure where Derek's information is coming from, and
what he means by "next release".

>> You're not going to be able to split a write-intensive application
>> across the nodes without seeing a big hit on performance (though I'm
>> not sure how/if they'll be able to address this issue).
>
> Not correct. What matters is not whether the app is write-intensive,
> but if it can be divided into groups of tables that are accessed (by one
> part of the app vs another part of the app). CE comes with two
> "default" cluster groups: no surprise, OLTP and DSS, which can be added
> to.

Apologies Derek - I don't like to correct people in public, but your
post is factually and conceptually incorrect.

You seem to be merging the two workload manager concepts of logical
clusters and load profiles into something you call "groups". Aside from
being incorrect. I acknowledge that these are new concepts, and I also
acknowledge that can be a touch confusing, and think I know what you are
trying to get at...but I don't think describing this as OLTP and DSS
groups is correct.

A logical cluster can be thought of as an application container. This
is a logical entity that contains some instances to run on, some
failover rules, and some routing rules that will direct incoming
connections. If you were hosting three applications {sales, finance,
catalog} you could create three logical clusters, giving each their own
instances (or share the instances) and their own failover rules. You
can then manage all the connections for each application together,
bringing them online, offline, moving them around the cluster, etc.

The OLTP and DSS thing you are getting from the load profiles. Load
profiles are associated with a logical cluster and define how
connections in that logical cluster will see, and react to, the load on
the system. True that we ship two profiles - OLTP and DSS. The OLTP
profile cares a lot of run queue depth (response time) and does not do
any load based distribution of connections. The DSS profile is more
concerned with balancing CPU usage, I/O, and connections, and will
dynamically move connections between multiple instances. You can create
your own profiles as well.

It is late a night here and I am probably not explaining things very
well. I've tried attaching some slides, but the illustrations are two
big. We'll be doing plenty of training on this stuff at Techwave.

> The app needs to be split along these (or other) lines, which is
> easier to do with well-structured app, and not with unstructured apps.
> You can quite happily split the app into two write-intensive parts, eg
> order processing vs invoicing, as long as they do not write to too many
> of the same tables.

Careful here...for the current release we are recommending that all
writes to a given database be performed on a single instance...even if
they are going to different tables. If you app is well partitioned and
can be split into multiple databases, then the writes can scale
out...this is typically done in telco systems, and works well when the
data can be partitioned around a subscriber / account number key, and
where transactions typically affect only a single account (for instance
a HLR telco app).

>
> In any case, the hit (for splitting a badly structured app) will not be
> in performance (of the app or the server), it will be in the
> interconnect load, which can be mitigated with a private network
> (switch) and additional network cards. I understand David's team is
> looking at increasing the bandwidth by orders of magnitude in future.

The validity of this statement depends on how you parse it. I
personally wouldn't blame the bandwidth, but the fact is that the
message passing required for cross-instance writes is the issue, and I
suppose that does generate traffic. To me the real issue is the
quantity of messages and the latency associated with each message. We
are looking at several ways to improve this in future releases - it is
the sort of stuff I'd be more willing to chat about at Techwave than
over a public newsgroup.

-Dave


Derek Asirvadem Posted on 2008-05-19 03:08:49.0Z
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> On 2008-05-18 14:50:28 +1000, David Wein <david.wein@sybase.com> said:

I will avoid responding re specific points, CE is new and we are all
learning. I do not have a problem with (a) listening and studying and
forming an opinion and (b) then having it corrected, particularly by
you. Clearly (if I can use the term), I was merging "logical cluster"
and "load profile". Hopefully we all learn. No need to apologise.

The information I have comes from two Partner briefings plus one very
technical 4-hour product launch, all by Sybase people (evangelists &
product special-ists) flown in from America, who I will not name but I
think you know who they are. The information is provided to current
customers and partners, so it may be a good idea to mention your
disclaimers to them with a view to avoiding propagation of
misinformation.

AFA the new concepts are concerned, well if they are confusing, then
maybe it is time that we clarified it via documents or white papers
(note how late the ASE 15 WPs were and how desperate people are for
relevant info). I have a CE prospect, and I am not going into it
without a good understanding or with confusion re basic new concepts.
I have already sent you (offline) four diagrams for correction, I will
correct & resend. In the absence of relevant tech info, posting
current understandings and having them corrected may not be avoidable.
After all, this is a "forum". Let's continue this on the basis of
discussion rather than righteousness (which hinders discussion).

If you are recommending all writes from a single instance only (which
drastically limits the interconnect load), then the info in the product
launch is categorically incorrect (we have a Trade Practices Act over
here that makes misrepresentation of a products capability illegal).
There are posters on this newsgroup who think "everyone will flock to
CE", which is a result of not getting accurate marketing and
introductory-technical info out into the public domain in a timely
manner.

>> You're not going to be able to split a write-intensive application
>> across the nodes without seeing a big hit on performance (though I'm
>> not sure how/if they'll be able to address this issue).
>
> Not correct. What matters is not whether the app is write-intensive,
> but if it can be divided into groups of tables that are accessed (by
> one part of the app vs another part of the app).

That is straight from the tech slides, which should be corrected to (a)
inform us that it is currently one-writer only, with improvements
coming in future and (b) remove the slides that deal with
multiple-writer app or Db splitting.
--
Cheers
Derek
Senior Sybase DBA / Information Architect
Copyright © 2008 Software Gems Pty Ltd
Quality Standards = Zero Maintenance + Zero Surprises
Performance Standards = Predictability + Scaleability


Derek Asirvadem Posted on 2008-05-19 08:20:42.0Z
From: Derek Asirvadem <derek.asirvadem@gmailDOTcom>
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In which case, apologies to Mark.
--
Cheers
Derek
Senior Sybase DBA / Information Architect
Copyright © 2008 Software Gems Pty Ltd
Quality Standards = Zero Maintenance + Zero Surprises
Performance Standards = Predictability + Scaleability


David Wein Posted on 2008-05-19 14:39:38.0Z
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Hi Derek.

As for white papers and information beyond the documentation, it will be
forthcoming. We have a mountain of material from a recent internal
training class, and Sybase Education is working on public course
development right now. We will also be doing lot of presentations at
Techwave this year.

As for the multiple-writer thing, this is a performance recommendation.
The product does support writing to the same db from multiple
instances - we run tests like this all the time. But for best
performance, write intensive applications should have the writes done a
single instance. Of course if you are using multiple databases, such as
in app consolidation / hosting deployment, you can spread the writers
around (since there are multiple dbs involved). Since I haven't seen
the slides you are referring to I won't comment on that. I will say
that in all the material I have seen, we've been pretty careful with the
use cases and clearly highlighting our recommendation. In fact, if you
look at the replay of the TW 2007 data management plenary session you
will see Peter discussing the recommended deployment scenarios.

Clusters are different from SMP systems and require some different
thinking. In my blog post "Thinking About Clusters"
(http://blogs.sybase.com/master/master_04290801.asp) I recommend a
couple of books that provide a solid foundation.

-Dave

Derek Asirvadem wrote:
>> On 2008-05-18 14:50:28 +1000, David Wein <david.wein@sybase.com> said:
>
> I will avoid responding re specific points, CE is new and we are all
> learning. I do not have a problem with (a) listening and studying and
> forming an opinion and (b) then having it corrected, particularly by
> you. Clearly (if I can use the term), I was merging "logical cluster"
> and "load profile". Hopefully we all learn. No need to apologise.
>
> The information I have comes from two Partner briefings plus one very
> technical 4-hour product launch, all by Sybase people (evangelists &
> product special-ists) flown in from America, who I will not name but I
> think you know who they are. The information is provided to current
> customers and partners, so it may be a good idea to mention your
> disclaimers to them with a view to avoiding propagation of misinformation.
>
> AFA the new concepts are concerned, well if they are confusing, then
> maybe it is time that we clarified it via documents or white papers
> (note how late the ASE 15 WPs were and how desperate people are for
> relevant info). I have a CE prospect, and I am not going into it
> without a good understanding or with confusion re basic new concepts. I
> have already sent you (offline) four diagrams for correction, I will
> correct & resend. In the absence of relevant tech info, posting current
> understandings and having them corrected may not be avoidable. After
> all, this is a "forum". Let's continue this on the basis of discussion
> rather than righteousness (which hinders discussion).
>
> If you are recommending all writes from a single instance only (which
> drastically limits the interconnect load), then the info in the product
> launch is categorically incorrect (we have a Trade Practices Act over
> here that makes misrepresentation of a products capability illegal).
> There are posters on this newsgroup who think "everyone will flock to
> CE", which is a result of not getting accurate marketing and
> introductory-technical info out into the public domain in a timely manner.
>
>>> You're not going to be able to split a write-intensive application
>>> across the nodes without seeing a big hit on performance (though I'm
>>> not sure how/if they'll be able to address this issue).
>>
>> Not correct. What matters is not whether the app is write-intensive,
>> but if it can be divided into groups of tables that are accessed (by
>> one part of the app vs another part of the app).
>
> That is straight from the tech slides, which should be corrected to (a)
> inform us that it is currently one-writer only, with improvements coming
> in future and (b) remove the slides that deal with multiple-writer app
> or Db splitting.


Derek Asirvadem Posted on 2008-05-20 03:45:28.0Z
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> On 2008-05-20 00:39:38 +1000, David Wein <david.wein@sybase.com> said:

Ok, fine, so one-writer is not a requirement, it is a perf
recommendation. Multiple-writer is fine as long as you know what you
are doing, etc.

What about partitioning the [current] db into [eg] two separate logical
apps plus one reporter, then creating thre cluster partitions (Logical
Clusters, group of ASEinstances) for it. The slides went into some
detail about that.
--
Cheers
Derek
Senior Sybase DBA / Information Architect
Copyright © 2008 Software Gems Pty Ltd
Quality Standards = Zero Maintenance + Zero Surprises
Performance Standards = Predictability + Scaleability


Derek Asirvadem Posted on 2008-05-18 03:03:44.0Z
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> On 2008-05-16 17:48:26 +1000, Mary L. said:
>
> What are your thoughts? Thank you.

The problem appears to be that you have already drawn conclusions, but
you do not understand the diferences between the products or what the
products are designed to do.

CE is great, but people will not be "flocking" to it. It serves a
specific purpose, it is better than the offerings of the competition
(as usual) but it has to be be understood and used appropriately. It
is not a cure-all, and although it appears to allow the use of smaller
cheaper machines, nothing is free and the trade-off must be understood
and catered for. While there is no additional machine required for the
interconnect activity (shared-nothing memory), the interconnect load
needs to be understood and additional hardware provided.

In any case, CE is a single-site solution, requiring close proximity of
the machines in the cluster. It is not a multi-site or long-range
site-DR solution. It is an alternative to HA under certain
circumstances. HA and CE are quite different animals with quite
different purposes and quite different capabilities, admin
requirements, etc. They do not compete for a single product position
or slot. Not suggesting I speak for Sybase, but there is no End Of
Life in sight for either one.

> 1) Is Sybase ASE_HA supported in Sybase ASE 15?

Yes

> 2) Will Sybase ASE_HA be replaced with Sybase ASE Cluster
> Edition?

No

Neither will large dedicated machines be replaced by clusters of little ones.

> 3) Will Sybase be sending out a "End of Live" and/or "End
> of Engineering Support" notice for Sybase ASE_HA within the
> next two years?

Highly unlikely, it is a fairly new product (I am not a Sybase employee)
--
Cheers
Derek
Senior Sybase DBA / Information Architect
Copyright © 2008 Software Gems Pty Ltd
Quality Standards = Zero Maintenance + Zero Surprises
Performance Standards = Predictability + Scaleability