According to Oracle pre-sales around 95% of Oracle RAC customers are using ASM (Automatic Storage Manager). So if you are studying another Cluster filesystem solution stop it, moreover the product is free as coming in 11gR2 Grid infrastructure installation included in huge RAC license fee.

On top of ASM Oracle is now proposing a cluster filesystem called ACFS (ASM Cluster File System). Initially the product was free and it was possible to use it to store your applicative files (non-Oracle files). There are lots of blog posts on this subject over Internet and it’s difficult to know who is right or wrong.

If we refer to Oracle official documentation we see (Oracle® Database Licensing Information 11g Release 2 (11.2)):

Oracle Cluster File System–Cloud Edition is a separately licensed product. It provides a clustered file system for cloud storage applications, built on Automatic Storage Management, and includes advanced data management and security features. Oracle Cluster File System–Cloud Edition includes the following features and components:

  • Automatic Storage Management (ASM)
  • ASM Dynamic Volume Manager (ADVM)
  • ASM Cluster File System (ACFS)
  • ACFS File tagging for aggregate operations
  • ACFS Read-only snapshots
  • ACFS Continuous replication
  • ACFS encryption
  • ACFS Role-based security
  • Oracle Clusterware in support of ASM and ACFS

Clearly it’s a separate product and if you wish to install it to manage your applications you have to buy a license… License that comes with Grid Infrastructure can be used only to store Oracle database files, the ones supported by ACFS obviously. ACFS does not support any files that can be directly stored in ASM (Archive log files, Data file backup pieces, …).


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