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Posted Jan 17, 2008

Oracle RAC 64 bit for Windows: Preparing the Virtual environment

By Tarry Singh

Brief intro

In our last article we saw Oracle VM and if you haven’t been asleep at the wheel, then you’ve obviously noticed that Virtualization is getting hot Hot HOT! The whole industry is going crazy with it. It’s growing in all directions. Virtualization is not only coming to the Data Center but it is also taking everything else with it; it will soon address issues like I/O, CMDB and Change Management. Surely, Oracle won’t be a stranger to virtualization either.

Several organizations across the globe have Oracle single nodes running happily on virtualization software, mainly VMware. Moreover, Oracle plans to get the most of that market share for itself. Today we are addressing the need of learning Oracle RAC on laptops, but I do know many shops that are successfully running Oracle RAC in their test and development environments. This is a big money saver. The day is not far away when Oracle RAC will run on Virtualized environments. Which hardware it will be running on and the type of hypervisor that will support it may really become irrelevant.

Let’s get started here with Windows 2003 Service Pack 2 - 64 bit installation. We covered our last Oracle 10g RAC on 32 bit versions of both Windows and Linux, so this time we will try to scale our Oracle 11g RAC on 64 bit systems.

Preparing the Windows 2003 VMware skeleton

This is pretty easy. We will use our workstation 6.x version; do however note that we will create all the VMs with ESX 3.x compatibility, meaning that we will then take these versions and scale them up on our ESX 3i version. Should you want to do it directly on your VMware ESX 3i, then please do so. I have made a small video doc on how to install the ESX 3i here. We will also be upgrading our workstation version soon to Workstation 6.5, which is in private beta now.

Now let’s get started with the preparation of the skeleton: click Ctrl+N to create a new machine.

Click “Next” and pick “Custom” as we will make this machine our Windows 2003 Enterprise version 64 bit. I am using an Evaluation version here.

Now make sure to Click “Workstation 5” compatible and click on the checkbox “ESX Server Compatible.” This will reduce your options compared to the ones that you have with Version 6.x, particularly memory, which drops down from 8G to 3.5G, but we don’t need that much memory for a laptop anyways.

Click “Next” and select “Microsoft Windows.” In the version dropdown bar go to “ Windows server 2003 Enterprise x64 Edition.”

Click “Next” and name the machine “racwin01” here. We will, after the completion and installation of our Windows 64 bit edition, make a clone, so we don’t have to go through the process of doing this all over again.

NOTE: Newcomers to the site make sure to create a simple ADS/DNS Server VM as well. I have already created one here and have dedicated a small memory of 192M to it, which is more than sufficient. I also have another VM, which I use for the purpose of Virtual Center and I manage my ESX servers, yes ESX VMs, you got that right!, from it.

Location: Select a large volume; I use an external storage with RAID5 option here.

Number of processors: 2. I have a dual core laptop here but many of you will soon be having a Quad core machine, which is only better!

Click “Next.” I normally give my Oracle VMs a memory of 1G or 1024Mb, which is sufficient to date. If you have more memory, feel free to assign more to it.

Click “Next,” and choose “Use Bridged networking.” We will also create another Network Card, but that you can see in the post skeleton creation step.

Click “Next” and select “create a new virtual disk.” If you have already created disks with the vmksfstool (in ESX), or vmware-vdiskmanager.exe (In Windows), then you can choose the option “Use an existing disk.”

NOTE: Do please create your shared disks, which you will be using for ASM, OCR, Votingdisk, ASMSPfile, etc., in a separate folder “Shared.” See the screenshots below for how I created them:

Here is the Dir structure:

Here you see all of our shared disks:

However, for the local disk (For Oracle installation files and Clusterware) we go ahead and create the disks from the GUI wizard:

Click “Next.” As you can see, since we choose the ESX 3.x compatibility option, we are not allowed to pick IDE disks; we go with the only option here, which is SCSI.

Click “Next.” Now we pick a typical size of 8 GB and check the “Allocate all disk space now” for better performance since we will be running our RAC here for quite a while.

Click “Next” and give a name to your VMDK file; we go for “11g64bit.vmdk:”

Upon clicking “Finish,” your disk creation starts and after a while, depending on how fast your spindle speed is, your VM skeleton is created.

Post-skeleton Jobs

Here we do the following:

  • Create the 2nd NIC: Click on settings and create another NIC card. Set this one to “Host Only” since we want it to only talk to the other VM for Cache Fusion traffic. This will be our HIS (High Speed Interconnect).
  • Remove the floppy drive. Most of our new machines have USB ports, in fact the new IBM, Dell, HP servers don’t come with Floppy Drives anymore.
  • Select the Windows x64 bit ISO: You can see the print screen here:

Then finally, your VM skeleton will look like this:


We have done the basic preparation of our Oracle 11g 64 bit RAC setup. In our next article, we will install Windows x64 bit version.

» See All Articles by Columnist Tarry Singh

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