RACing ahead with Oracle on VMware - Part 6
January 6, 2006
Preparing for a 2-node Oracle 10gR2 RAC on RHEL 4.2 Linux with VMware
A Brief Pep talk: Year 2005 and Oracle RAC
The year 2005 has been a great year for the IT industry, mainly the Web but for databases too. Oracle had a very busy year with acquisitions and its continued support and contribution to Open Source Community (like membership on Eclipse Board, JDeveloper was released free).
To top it all, it has been a RAC year for Oracle. Oracle had just about a flat year in revenues and it was RAC that was the hero. So, you see RAC is getting more and more attention and is being adopted more rapidly than ever. I see RAC deployment, with help of Virtualization technologies such as ESX Server, only to soar higher in 2006.
In this article, we will go through the preparation and planning. We will take time to study the groundbreaking technologies like OCFS2 and ASMlib and breeze through the ESX Server in general.
Will VMware and RAC ever work in Production?
Will VMware and RAC ever work in production? An obvious question with a simple answer: YES! VMware came out with ESX Server for production and until ESX Server 2.5.x versions (which I use occasionally on my Regular blog and other Oracle blog to discuss such developments in more detail to illustrate its usefulness with Virtual Center Interface) no one even considered running Oracle RAC under VMware in production.
There were memory limitations (maximum 3.6 G for ESX 2.5), and only two virtual SMPs. Recently VMware announced its ESX Server 3 (which is already in Beta) and Virtual Center 2, which will cause the world to not only take notice and be totally blown away by its sheer capacity to accommodate real enterprise mainframe class software like Oracle RAC. Why? Just see for yourself; these are my favorite enhancements
I have not seen this, but VMotion support for Clustered Setups would top it all off! Imagine no downtime at all! How can you argue with that? You can have two 32G RAM and 4 CPU boxes and run a highly available Mission Critical Oracle RAC with enough money left to setup a mirrored SAN somewhere else and have an amazing 5-Nine score for the rest of your (business) life! Read more of those enhancements here .
So what all do I need for Linux and Oracle RAC on VMware?
You can either get Centos (which is a complete rebuild from SRPMS of Red Hat Linux) for free here or get an evaluation version of RHEL 4.2 "Red Hat Enterprise Linux AS." Download them all and keep them as *.iso. You can just plug in the *.iso into your Vmware CD/DVD drive.
Getting Oracle 10gR2 Software
Get a free OTN subscription if you don't have one and then download the following
Getting OCFS2 for Oracle 10g Release 2
OCFS tools are a must too. The ocfs2console is an excellent and handy GUI utility. You can however, do everything via the command line interface if that suits you as well.
Getting Oracle ASMLib 2.0
Oracle recommends using ASMlib and we will go about getting those packages right away. We will be needing the ASM Library, tools and drivers.
Drivers for kernel Drivers for kernel 2.6.9-22.EL
Library and Tools
Getting Additional Tools
I mentioned in my first article about getting Putty, VNC or NoMachine ( I have some instructions for installing NoMachine here, although I still don't see any binaries for the RHEL4 version here ). These are handy tools to log on to the Virtual Machines directly. I personally find logging on via the VMware console or via the remote console (an application that you can download if you are using GSX Server or ESX Server) a little too slow.
Although our intention is just to test and learn Oracle RAC, we will not exclude the possibility of using an underutilized PC/Laptop or even a Server, or putting those test servers in your test environment to some real use, by trying ESX Server on them. If you have bought a dual core AMD PC with 2Gig RAM, you might just be ready to give the ESX Server a spin.