How to check if Exadata Write-Back Flash Cache is Enabled

What is Exadata Write-Back Flash Cache?

Exadata Write-Back Flash Cache provides the ability to cache not only read I/Os but write I/O to the Exadata’s PCI flash on the storage cells.  Exadata storage software 11.2.3.2.1 or higher and Grid Infrastructure and Database software 11.2.0.3.9 or higher is required to use Exadata Write-Back Flash Cache, which is persistent across storage cell restarts.

The default since April 2017 for the Oracle Exadata Deployment Assistant (OEDA) is Write-Back Flash Cache when DATA diskgroup is HIGH redundancy and Grid Infrastructure and Database software are:

  • 11.2.0.4.1 or higher
  • 12.1.0.2 or higher
  • 12.2.0.2 or higher

PLEASE NOTE: This option is only applicable to High Capacity as Extreme Flash doesn’t have Hard Disks and therefore Write-Back Flash Cache is explicitly enabled and can’t be disabled.

What are the Performance Benefit of Exadata Write-Back Flash Cache?

Write-Back Flash Cache can significantly improve write intensive operations because writing to Flash Cache is significantly faster than writing to Hard Disks.  Depending on the workload, write performance (IOPS) can be improved by 10x on older generations of Exadata Machines V2 and X2 and 20x on newer generations X3 onwards (correct at time of writing).

If you are experiencing high write I/O times on storage cells from AWR Reports or Storage Cell metrics, then you should consider enabling Write-Back Flash Cache to alleviate write operations on Hard Disks and move to Flash Cache.

See the following My Oracle Support (MOS) Note for more info:
Exadata Write-Back Flash Cache – FAQ (Doc ID 1500257.1)

How to check if Exadata Write-Back Flash Cache is Enabled?

To check if Exadata Write-Back Flash Cache is enabled, run “list cell attributes flashcachemode” on the storage cell using CellCLI as shown below:

[root@v1ex2celadm01 ~]# cellcli
CellCLI: Release 12.1.2.3.5 - Production on Wed Jan 17 10:09:51 GMT 2018

Copyright (c) 2007, 2016, Oracle. All rights reserved.

CellCLI> list cell attributes flashcachemode
 WriteThrough

CellCLI> exit
quitting

[root@v1ex2celadm01 ~]#

If “WriteThrough” then Write-Back Flash Cache is disabled (writes go straight to hard disk and then can be placed in flash for caching reads if required), otherwise if “WriteBack” then Write-Back Flash Cache is enabled as the name suggests (writes go straight to flash and then can be moved to hard disk if aged or not required for read caching).

You can also run “list cell detail” using CellCLI as shown below:

[root@v1ex2celadm01 ~]# cellcli
CellCLI: Release 12.1.2.3.5 - Production on Wed Jan 17 10:10:22 GMT 2018

Copyright (c) 2007, 2016, Oracle. All rights reserved.

CellCLI> list cell detail
 name: v1ex2celadm01
 accessLevelPerm: remoteLoginEnabled
 bbuStatus: normal
 cellVersion: OSS_12.1.2.3.5_LINUX.X64_170418
 cpuCount: 16/32
 diagHistoryDays: 7
 eighthRack: TRUE
 fanCount: 8/8
 fanStatus: normal
 flashCacheMode: WriteThrough
 id: xxxxxxxxxx
 interconnectCount: 2
 interconnect1: ib0
 interconnect2: ib1
 iormBoost: 6.4
 ipaddress1: 10.1.11.14/22
 ipaddress2: 10.1.11.15/22
 kernelVersion: 2.6.39-400.294.4.el6uek.x86_64
 locatorLEDStatus: off
 makeModel: Oracle Corporation ORACLE SERVER X5-2L High Capacity
 memoryGB: 95
 metricHistoryDays: 7
 notificationMethod: snmp
 notificationPolicy: critical,warning,clear
 offloadGroupEvents:
 powerCount: 2/2
 powerStatus: normal
 releaseImageStatus: success
 releaseVersion: 12.1.2.3.5.170418
 rpmVersion: cell-12.1.2.3.5_LINUX.X64_170418-1.x86_64
 releaseTrackingBug: 25509078
 rollbackVersion: 12.1.2.3.4.170111
 securityCert: PrivateKey OK
 Certificate: Subject CN=v1ex2celadm01.v1.com,OU=Oracle Exadata,O=Oracle Corporation,L=Redwood City,ST=California,C=US
 Issuer CN=v1ex2celadm01.v1.com,OU=Oracle Exadata,O=Oracle Corporation,L=Redwood City,ST=California,C=US
 snmpSubscriber: host=v1ex2dbadm02.v1.com,port=1830,community=public
 host=v1ex2dbadm01.v1.com,port=1830,community=public
 host=v1ex2dbadm01.v1.com,port=3872,community=public
 host=v1ex2dbadm02.v1.com,port=3872,community=public
 status: online
 temperatureReading: 24.0
 temperatureStatus: normal
 upTime: 105 days, 7:35
 usbStatus: normal
 cellsrvStatus: running
 msStatus: running
 rsStatus: running

CellCLI> exit
quitting

[root@v1ex2celadm01 ~]#

However, the simpler way to check is via dcli, especially when you have lots of storage cells as shown below:

[root@v1ex2dbadm01 ~]# dcli -g /opt/oracle.SupportTools/onecommand/cell_group -l root cellcli -e "list cell attributes flashcachemode"
v1ex2celadm01: WriteThrough
v1ex2celadm02: WriteThrough
v1ex2celadm03: WriteThrough

Related Posts:
How to Enable Exadata Write-Back Flash Cache

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Thanks

Zed DBA (Zahid Anwar)

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One thought on “How to check if Exadata Write-Back Flash Cache is Enabled

  1. Pingback: How to Enable Exadata Write-Back Flash Cache | Zed DBA's Oracle Blog

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