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

December 1, 2005

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.

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