RACing ahead with Oracle on VMware - Part 3: Installing Oracle 10g Release 2 Clusterware on a 2-node Windows 2003 Enterprise Edition Server

November 18, 2005

A Brief Pep talk

Since the last article, I have received several e-mails requesting a description on the installation of Clusterware on a 2-node windows 2003 server with VMware. We will cover the installation issue on RHEL4 Release 2 (Nahant) as well, in a later article.

You hear all kinds of claims and see written material that says a lot but actually proves or demonstrates very little. The purpose of showing errors is to show that not everything works like a charm. My purpose in writing this article is to show you every detailed version of the scenario that you will be trying out with the necessary tools in hand.


  • VMware software: A VMware workstation or an Evaluation version of a GSX Server.
  • A Server (if you're lucky) or just a plain PC/Desktop with 2G memory. (Remember we will do a real 2-node scenario here so give those machines at least 800 Mb each).
  • Lots of patience (This is sage advice for us all). You will mess things up now and then, so have patience.
  • If you can set up a simple machine [well you guessed it right, another VM with a simple LDAP(ADS)/DNS] server then it's good BUT if you do have an active/working LDAP/DNS server the better. I will not go into detail on creating an ADS /DNS server; it is simple. Do a search on Google and you will find tons of information on that.
  • BACKUP!!! The great thing about VMware is that you can do a progressive backup, meaning you can go on with creating Virtual Machines > Successful? > Back up > Install OS's successful? > Overwrite the Backup > and so on. This way you will save a lot of time and frustration.
  • Oracle software: Go to Oracle's site and download the necessary software (that would be Database and Clusterware). If you do not have an account at OTN, get it. It's FREE!

OK now let's take a look at the overview/architecture of our servers.

Architecture Overview of the 2-node Oracle 10g Release 2 RAC on Windows 2003 Virtual Machine with VMware

I always draw a simple sketch of what I will be needing, what I have in my hand and how the whole architecture will look when I am done with the setup and of course, keep the scalability factor at the back of your mind, as we want to build a 64 node RAC cluster, right? Remember Planning is crucial.

Click for larger image

All right then, without much ado let's started with the Clusterware setup.

Finally Setting up the Virtual Machines for Oracle 10g Release 2 Clusterware Installation

Your Clusterware is very sensitive to a lot of scenarios and doing everything on the Virtual Machines makes it all the more challenging. You need to set up Shared disks.

Setting up Shared SCSI Disks

Step 1: We did see in the last article how you can set up shared disks with the plaindisk scenario, well now I have a better proposal. Just go to your vmware root directory and do the following:

D:\Program Files\VMware\VMware Workstation> vmware-vdiskmanager.exe -c -s 10Gb -a lsilogic -t 2 ASM1.vmdk

Check out the command reference

Exactly one major option should be specified.

VMware Virtual Disk Manager - build 13124.

Usage: vmware-vdiskmanager.exe OPTIONS diskName | drive-letter:

Offline disk manipulation utility



  : create disk; need to specify other create options


  : defragment the specified virtual disk


  : shrink the specified virtual disk

-n <source-disk>

  : rename the specified virtual disk; need to specify destination disk-name


  : prepare the mounted virtual disk specified by the drive-letter for shrinking


  : do not log messages

-r <source-disk>

  : convert the specified disk; need to specify destination disk-type

-x <new-capacity>

  : expand the disk to the specified capacity

Additional options for create and convert:


-a <adapter>

: adapter type (ide, buslogic or lsilogic)

-s <size>

: capacity of the virtual disk

-t <disk-type>

: disk type id

Disk types:


: single growable virtual disk


: growable virtual disk split in 2Gb files


: preallocated virtual disk


: preallocated virtual disk split in 2Gb files

The capacity can be specified in sectors, Kb, Mb or Gb.

The acceptable ranges:

ide adapter : [100.0Mb, 950.0Gb]

scsi adapter: [100.0Mb, 950.0Gb]

As you can see, I choose lsilogic, which was default to my environment. In any case, go ahead and create the *.vmdk disks. I would suggest that you allocate all space to it, it is faster to create a *growable* disk but clusterware might complain during installation, as the disk has to grow during installation.

Step 2: Now try to store all your *.vmdk disks in separate folders, something like this. And remember what I said about backups, then all you need is to just backup your root folder W2K3.

Step 3: Edit both the Virtual Machines *.vmx files like this:

Step 4: Having created the disks, you will need to convert these newly created and discovered disks on both machines into RAW disks before going for OCFS and/or ASM scenario. See Part II of this series for more details.

Step 5: Enable automount on all nodes.

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