RACing ahead with Oracle on VMware - Part 4: Installing RAC Database with ASM Option

Thursday Dec 1st 2005 by Tarry Singh
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The last article in this series talked about installing clusterware on two Windows 2003 nodes. Part 4 of this series discusses how to install a fully working RAC with ASM on the disk setup that was explained in Part III.

A Brief Pep talk

In our last article, we talked about installing clusterware on two Windows 2003 nodes. Installing the database and setting up ASM was actually no problem but I did encounter some issues when trying to attach shared disks on disks that were, well, slower. Here we will install a fully working RAC with ASM on the disk setup which I explained in Part III.

I want to emphasize that it does not matter which OS you pick and Windows is very much a platform where RAC will run successfully. I remember a joke from a Slashdot poster.

Question: "What is Oracle's preferred hardware platform?"
Answer: "Salesman's slide projector!"

OCFS or ASM or RAW disks?

We will not delve too much into this and simply pick ASM as the "preferred" (pun intended) choice of disk storage.

Still, a brief introduction on these:

ASM: "Automatic Storage Management (ASM) is an integrated file system and volume manager expressly built for Oracle database files. ASM provides the performance of raw I/O with the easy management of a file system. It simplifies database administration by eliminating the need for you to directly manage potentially thousands of Oracle database files. It does this by enabling you to divide all available storage into disk groups. You manage a small set of disk groups and ASM automates the placement of the database files within those disk groups." From the Admin Manual--which actually sums it all. You don't have to get your nose buried into the datafiles which is good.

OCFS : "Cluster file systems are simpler to configure and manage than raw device storage. Cluster file systems also offer scalable, low latency, highly resilient storage that significantly reduces costs." Anyway, I still would not want my Oracle_Home on the cluster files. Maybe we will see the datafile placement in OCFS in one of the upcoming articles.

RAW: Is what you have been doing in the past. It is uncooked and has no file system, which does not mean that it has been bad or something.

There are pros and cons to all of the above mentioned disk storage, but we won't go into that.

All right then without further ado, we start off with the Database Installation.

Database Installation Software only

Step 1: Welcome screen

Step 2: Choose Enterprise Edition, you can however also choose custom should you want to do it your way but remember just one thing; if you are doing a standard installation, then ASM is your only option!

Step 3: Keep Home Details set to default. Keep the installation directory to C:\ and not to any shared OCFS disks, as it sees them and picks up the shared disk as the default installation directory. That move will not only cost many wasted hours but also cause your installation files to be on a shared disk--a move that I would not recommend. Just keep it C:\ (Local) and let it push the binaries to all the nodes.

Step 4: It will not select all nodes by default, so select them all.

Step 5: I did not mention the pre-db installation check, (remember the one I mentioned about pre and post installation on the Cluster Setup?). Well you can still go ahead and do it but this one does the same.

Step 6: All passed, which is good

Step 7: Choose Install database software only! It is better to go step by step on the setup, rather than rushing and doing it all in one go. I have done it and it has cost me a lot of time and patience.

Step 8:

Step 9:

Step 10:

Step 11:

Step 12:

Step 13:

Setting up the listener

Step 1: Check the path on both nodes! It should have been set by the Installer.

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Step 2: From command line do "netca" and then choose Cluster Configuration.

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Step 3: Select all nodes

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Step 4: Check Listener configuration first

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Step 5: Add

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Step 6: Default name listener is fine.

Step 7: TCP

Step 8: Port 1521 is fine.

Step 9: No

Step 10: You can see in the background what is happening.

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Step 11: Naming methods.

Step 12: Local Naming and Easy Connect are fine here.

Step 13: All done.

When it comes to installing the Companion CD, you can take advantage of options like Sample Schema's and much more. It is not compulsory but if you want your HTTP server etc., then it might be handy to install it. So let's go ahead and install the companion CD.

Installing the Companion CD

Step 1: Welcome

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Step 2: Choose Oracle Products

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Step 3: Choose the same path as the database software installation!

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Step 4: Same destination as db software.

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Step 5: Here they (all nodes) are selected by default.

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Step 6: Pre check runs again.

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Step 7: Install

Step 8: Extracting…

Step 9: Pushing to all nodes…

Step 10: Done!

Creating Database and ASM instances (and ASM disks as well)

Step 1: Start DBCA.

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Step 2: Starting…

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Step 3: Choose RAC option.

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Step 4: Create database (we will come to ASM shortly).

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Step 5: Select all nodes.

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Step 6: Custom (Although you may very well choose other options).

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Step 7: Your RAC instance global name.

Step 8: Configure EM and SMTP.

Step 9: Password.

Step 10: Choose ASM.

Step 11: This will initiate creation of the ASM instance (+ASM1 on node 1 and +ASM2 on node 2).

Step 12: OK.

Step 13: Creating instances on both nodes.

Step 14: Node 1 created.

Step 15: Node 2 created.

Step 16: Create new, although you can also invoke the asmtoolg (g for GUI utility) from cmdline before starting DBCA as well. But never mind, we will create, stamp and mount them here.

Step 17: Select Normal, as we will first create a disk group for datafiles (with 2 *.vmdk disks).

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Step 18: Select Add.

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Step 19: Next

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Step 20: Pick two of the disks, (here I picked two of my 7.7G disks).

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Step 21: See how they get ASM link name ORCLDISK*

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Step 22: Finish.

Step 23: As you can see, they are provisioned.

Step 24: Check them both and click ok to create the disk group and mount it as well.

Step 25: OK they are mounted. Good, now create one for Flashback Recovery.

Step 26: Call the Disk Group name "flash_reco_area".

Step 27: Add or Change label.

Step 28: See how the other two are now Stamped ASM Devices!

Step 29: Next.

Step 30: Select External as we have just one disk here.

Step 31: Create it as well.

Step 32: Just keep the "oradata" checked and click next.

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Step 33: Use OMF and see how the diskgroups are named +ORADATA, Next.

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Step 34: Specify Flash Recovery Area.

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Step 35: I had 9G, so I gave it an 8G size, pick our FLASH_RECO_AREA Disk Group.

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Step 36: Next.

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Step 37: I selected all but I would suggest if you cannot wait, keep most of them unchecked. Sample Schemas option is nice anyway.

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Step 38: Create a Service with TAF Policy.

Step 39: I will call it nickserv and pick the "Basic" TAF (Transparent Application Failover) policy.

Step 40: Default.

Step 41: Default.

Step 42: Default.

Step 43: Default.

Step 44: If you are curious, you can adjust your init parameters in advance.

Step 45: You can also see Advanced Parameters.

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Step 46: Storage Overview

Step 47: I also like to create scripts to read them and see how and why things are installed a particular way, although DBCA should be your friend.

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Step 48: OK

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Step 49: Script Creation

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Step 50: OK

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Step 51: Start setup.

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Step 52: If you are curious like me, you can check them on both nodes.

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Step 53: you're curious like me, you can check them on both nodes

Step 54: Almost done. (Well it took me several hours to get all that installed, so like I said you do not need to install all of that!)

Step 55: This is all fine; click OK. You can however unlock all accounts you need by clicking on "Password Management."

Step 56: After this screen and voila! Your RAC installation is complete!

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Step 57: Now stop your Virtual Machines and BACKUP your whole VM + Disks to some safe place where no one can destroy it!

Conclusion:

This was yet another project that involved a lot of work and preparation. Remember to backup your scenario when it is fully working. I had a situation when I could not prepare the Virtual Machines with shared array on a faster computer! Moving it to a computer with some simpler but faster disks made my installation work successfully. I have laid a lot of emphasis on Print Screens for the sheer purpose of demonstrating that it really works! With VMware you have created a fully workable RAC, which we will continue to test with srvctl command line, Web Interface (Oracle's own home grown and now leaner beast called OEM), in our next article.

» See All Articles by Columnist Tarry Singh

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