Chapter 2. Architectures for Parallel Processing

In the never-ending quest for increased performance, vendors over the years have developed several different hardware and software architectures to use as a basis for parallel processing. In this chapter, we present the different hardware architectures used for parallel processing in databases. This chapter discusses the basic characteristics of these hardware architectures and contrasts their relative strengths and weakness. In addition, this chapter also discusses the three types of software architectures commonly used by DBMS vendors to implement parallel processing in their database software; this discussion provides you with a framework for understanding the software architecture choices made by Oracle when implementing parallel processing under the different hardware architectures. Finally, this chapter describes the availability of Oracle’s parallel processing features on each type of hardware architecture.

Hardware Architectures

Parallel processing refers to the use of multiple processors to reduce the time needed to complete a given task. Instead of one processor’s executing an entire task, several processors each work on a separate piece of the task. Obviously, parallel processing requires computer hardware that can support more than a single processor. Several architectural approaches to multiple processor systems have been developed over the years. The following four are in commercial use today:

  • Symmetric Multiprocessing ...

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