There are many questions from few of my clients about asmlib support in RHEL6, as they are gearing up to upgrade the database servers to RHEL6. There is a controversy about asmlib support in RHEL6. As usual, I will only discuss technical details in this blog entry.
ASMLIB is applicable only to Linux platform and does not apply to any other platform.
Now, you might ask why bother and why not just use OEL and UK? Well, not every Linux server is used as a database server. In a typical company, there are hundreds of Linux servers and just few percent of those servers are used as Database servers. Linux system administrators prefer to keep one flavor of Linux distribution for management ease and so, asking clients to change the distribution from RHEL to OEL or OEL to RHEL is always not a viable option.
Do you need to use ASMLIB in Linux?
Short answer is No. Long answer is possibly No. ASMLIB is an optional support library and eases the administration of ASM devices. Especially, it is helpful while adding new devices to the nodes in a cluster. ASMLIB essentially stamps the devices and so, it is easily visible in other nodes of a cluster in the next asm scandisk. asmlib also provides device persistence, which is the important benefit of ASM (see the discussion below for more details about device persistence).