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Oracle shuts Windows on data integrity drive

Multivendor data checking spec will be Linux-only

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Oracle has slammed a window in Microsoft's face, by ensuring that a new enterprise data integrity checking scheme for mission-critical applications will run only on Linux.

The database company has linked up with Emulex, LSI, and Seagate to standardise the way that their technologies check for data corruption.

The four companies have formed the Data Integrity Initiative, and say their work will use the DIF (data integrity field) spec developed by the ANSI T10 committee - DIF allows 8 bytes of "protection information" to be added to each logical SCSI block.

However, it will also be based upon work done in Oracle's Hardware Assisted Resilient Data (HARD) programme, said Wim Coekaerts, Oracle's Linux engineering veep. That makes the initial DII thrust Linux-only, with no schedule yet for Windows or Unix implementation.

"Our work to implement DII technology in the Linux kernel will allow applications and kernel subsystems to take advantage of these crucial data integrity features," Coekaerts said.

Having a standard data checking mechanism allows data integrity to be verified all the way from the application through the storage network to the disk drive, the DII companies claimed. It will enable Emulex Fibre Channel SAN cards, LSI arrays, and Seagate hard disks to validate data by checking it against metadata created by the Oracle database.

"End-to-end data protection cannot be achieved by a single vendor, and therefore requires a multi-vendor initiative such as the DII," said Phil Bullinger, a senior veep with LSI's storage group.

DII will need new hardware as well as updated software, and the founding companies said that should begin arriving next year. As yet there are no SAN fabric suppliers involved, but the timescale presumably means there is still time for them to join up. ®

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