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

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.

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.

Tarry Singh
Tarry Singh
I have been active in several industries since 1991. While working in the maritime industry I have worked for several Fortune 500 firms such as NYK, A.P. Møller-Mærsk Group. I made a career switch, emigrated, learned a new language and moved into the IT industry starting 2000. Since then I have been a Sr. DBA, (Technical) Project Manager, Sr. Consultant, Infrastructure Specialist (Clustering, Load Balancing, Networks, Databases) and (currently) Virtualization/Cloud Computing Expert and Global Sourcing in the IT industry. My deep understanding of multi-cultural issues (having worked across the globe) and international exposure has not only helped me successfully relaunch my career in a new industry but also helped me stay successful in what I do. I believe in "worknets" and "collective or swarm intelligence". As a trainer (technical as well as non-technical) I have trained staff both on national and international level. I am very devoted, perspicacious and hard working.

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