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Oracle 10g Release 2 RAC On RHEL4 Linux Using VMware ESX Server and NFS

This article describes the installation of Oracle 10g release 2 (10.2) RAC on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 using VMware ESX Server and NFS for shared storage.

Introduction

ESX Server is the enterprise level hypervisor from VMware, which installs on the "bare-metal", making it significantly more efficient than desktop virtualization tools. This article uses EXS Server to provide the infrastructure for an Oracle Real Application Clusters installation.

The article assumes you already have a VMware ESX Server and a VMware Infrastructure Client installation. The installation of these products is described here.

Download Software

Download the following software.

Virtual Machine Setup

Right-click on the ESX server in the left-hand pane and select the "New Virtual Machine..." menu option.

New Virtual Machine

Select the custom option and click the "Next" button.

Select Appropriate Configuration

Enter the virtual machine name (RAC1) as you would like it to appear in the right-hand pane of the client, then click the "Next" button.

Name VM

Select the default datastore by clicking the "Next" button.

Datastore

Select the "Linux" and "Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4" options, then click the "Next" button.

Choose Guest Operating System

Select the required number of CPUs for the virtual machine, then click the "Next" button.

Processors

For this proof of concept we can complete the installation with 1G of memory. Enter the required amount of memory for the virtual machines, then click the "Next" button.

Memory

We need at least two network cards. One for the public IP and virtual IP addresses and a separate one for the private IP address. Select the number and type of networks cards required, then click the "Next" button.

Network Configuration

Accept the default storage adapter by clicking the "Next" button.

IO Adapters

Accept the "Create a new virtual disk" option by clicking the "Next" button.

Select Disk

We are using NFS store the shared Oracle homes and the database files, so we don't need much disk space on each virtual machine. Assuming you are using 1G of memory, you will be defining 2G of swap, so 10G of disk space is plenty. If you are using more memory, you will need to increase the disk space accordingly. Enter the appropriate disk capacity, then click the "Next" button.

Disk Capacity

The local disks do not need to be sharable, so click the "Next" button to ignore the advanced options.

Advanced Options

If you are happy with the summary information, click the "Finish" button.

Ready To Complete

The virtual machine is now visible in the left-hand pane.

Created VM

Repeat the process to define the second RAC node (RAC2).

Created VM2

To start the virtual machine, click the play button on the toolbar.

Start VM

The virtual machine will start and attempt to boot from any installable media, or the network.

Guest Operating System Installation

Place the RHEL 4 DVD into the client PC's DVD drive and start the virtual machine by clicking the play button on the toolbar. The right pane of the VMware ESX Server client should display a boot loader, then the RHEL 4 installation screen.

Boot

Continue through the RHEL4 installation as you would for a normal server. A general pictorial guide to the installation can be found here. More specifically, it should be a server installation with a minimum of 2G swap, firewall and SELinux disabled and the following package groups installed:

To be consistent with the rest of the article, the following information should be set during the installation.

RAC1.

RAC2.

You are free to change the IP addresses to suit your network, but remember to stay consistent with those adjustments throughout the rest of the article.

Once the basic installation is complete, install the following packages whilst logged in as the root user.

# From Oracle Enterprise Linux 4 DVD
cd /media/dvd/RedHat/RPMS
rpm -Uvh setarch-1*
rpm -Uvh compat-libstdc++-33-3*
rpm -Uvh make-3*
rpm -Uvh glibc-2*
rpm -Uvh openmotif-2*
rpm -Uvh compat-db-4*
rpm -Uvh gcc-3*
rpm -Uvh libaio-0*
rpm -Uvh rsh-*
rpm -Uvh compat-gcc-32-3*
rpm -Uvh compat-gcc-32-c++-3*
rpm -Uvh openmotif21*
rpm -Uvh sysstat*
cd /
eject

Remember to perform the VMware Tools installation as described in the VMware ESX Server Installation article.

Oracle Installation Prerequisites

Perform the following steps whilst logged into the RAC1 virtual machine as the root user.

The "/etc/hosts" file must contain the following information.

127.0.0.1     localhost.localdomain   localhost
# Public
10.1.10.201   rac1.localdomain        rac1
10.1.10.202   rac2.localdomain        rac2
#Private
10.1.9.201    rac1-priv.localdomain   rac1-priv
10.1.9.202    rac2-priv.localdomain   rac2-priv
#Virtual
10.1.10.203   rac1-vip.localdomain    rac1-vip
10.1.10.204   rac2-vip.localdomain    rac2-vip
#NAS
10.1.10.61    nas1.localdomain        nas1

Add the following lines to the "/etc/sysctl.conf" file.

kernel.shmall = 2097152
kernel.shmmax = 2147483648
kernel.shmmni = 4096
# semaphores: semmsl, semmns, semopm, semmni
kernel.sem = 250 32000 100 128
#fs.file-max = 65536
net.ipv4.ip_local_port_range = 1024 65000
#net.core.rmem_default=262144
#net.core.rmem_max=262144
#net.core.wmem_default=262144
#net.core.wmem_max=262144

# Additional and amended parameters suggested by Kevin Closson
net.core.rmem_default = 524288
net.core.wmem_default = 524288
net.core.rmem_max = 16777216
net.core.wmem_max = 16777216
net.ipv4.ipfrag_high_thresh=524288
net.ipv4.ipfrag_low_thresh=393216
net.ipv4.tcp_rmem=4096 524288 16777216
net.ipv4.tcp_wmem=4096 524288 16777216
net.ipv4.tcp_timestamps=0
net.ipv4.tcp_sack=0
net.ipv4.tcp_window_scaling=1
net.core.optmem_max=524287
net.core.netdev_max_backlog=2500
sunrpc.tcp_slot_table_entries=128
sunrpc.udp_slot_table_entries=128
net.ipv4.tcp_mem=16384 16384 16384

Run the following command to change the current kernel parameters.

/sbin/sysctl -p

Add the following lines to the "/etc/security/limits.conf" file.

*               soft    nproc   2047
*               hard    nproc   16384
*               soft    nofile  1024
*               hard    nofile  65536

Add the following line to the "/etc/pam.d/login" file, if it does not already exist.

session    required     pam_limits.so

Disable secure linux by editing the "/etc/selinux/config" file, making sure the SELINUX flag is set as follows.

SELINUX=disabled

Alternatively, this alteration can be done using the GUI tool (Applications > System Settings > Security Level). Click on the SELinux tab and disable the feature.

Set the hangcheck kernel module parameters by adding the following line to the "/etc/modprobe.conf" file.

options hangcheck-timer hangcheck_tick=30 hangcheck_margin=180

To load the module immediately, execute "modprobe -v hangcheck-timer".

Create the new groups and users.

groupadd oinstall
groupadd dba
groupadd oper

useradd -u 500 -g oinstall -G dba oracle
passwd oracle

Configure SSH on each node in the cluster. Log in as the "oracle" user and perform the following tasks on each node.

su - oracle
mkdir ~/.ssh
chmod 700 ~/.ssh
/usr/bin/ssh-keygen -t rsa # Accept the default settings.
exit

The RSA public key is written to the "~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub" file and the private key to the "~/.ssh/id_rsa" file.

Log in as the "oracle" user on RAC1, generate an "authorized_keys" file on RAC1 and copy it to RAC2 using the following commands.

su - oracle
cd ~/.ssh
cat id_rsa.pub >> authorized_keys
scp authorized_keys rac2:/home/oracle/.ssh/
exit

Next, log in as the "oracle" user on RAC2 and perform the following commands.

su - oracle
cd ~/.ssh
cat id_rsa.pub >> authorized_keys
scp authorized_keys rac1:/home/oracle/.ssh/
exit

The "authorized_keys" file on both servers now contains the public keys generated on all RAC nodes.

To enable SSH user equivalency on the cluster member nodes issue the following commands on each node.

su - oracle
ssh rac1 date
ssh rac2 date
ssh rac1.localdomain date
ssh rac2.localdomain date
exec /usr/bin/ssh-agent $SHELL
/usr/bin/ssh-add

You should now be able to SSH and SCP between servers without entering passwords.

Login as the oracle user and add the following lines at the end of the ".bash_profile" file.

# Oracle Settings
TMP=/tmp; export TMP
TMPDIR=$TMP; export TMPDIR

ORACLE_BASE=/u01/app/oracle; export ORACLE_BASE
ORACLE_HOME=$ORACLE_BASE/product/10.2.0/db_1; export ORACLE_HOME
ORACLE_SID=RAC1; export ORACLE_SID
ORACLE_TERM=xterm; export ORACLE_TERM
PATH=/usr/sbin:$PATH; export PATH
PATH=$ORACLE_HOME/bin:$PATH; export PATH

LD_LIBRARY_PATH=$ORACLE_HOME/lib:/lib:/usr/lib; export LD_LIBRARY_PATH
CLASSPATH=$ORACLE_HOME/JRE:$ORACLE_HOME/jlib:$ORACLE_HOME/rdbms/jlib; export CLASSPATH

if [ $USER = "oracle" ]; then
  if [ $SHELL = "/bin/ksh" ]; then
    ulimit -p 16384
    ulimit -n 65536
  else
    ulimit -u 16384 -n 65536
  fi
fi

Remember to set the ORACLE_SID to RAC2 on the second node.

Create Shared Disks

This installation uses NFS to provide the shared storage for RAC. Amend the following instructions to suit the paths used by your NAS or NFS server.

If you are using a third Linux server as your NFS server, you will need to create some NFS shares as described below.

mkdir /shared_config
mkdir /shared_crs
mkdir /shared_home
mkdir /shared_data

Add the following lines to the "/etc/exports" file.

/shared_config               *(rw,sync,no_wdelay,insecure_locks,no_root_squash)
/shared_crs                  *(rw,sync,no_wdelay,insecure_locks,no_root_squash)
/shared_home                 *(rw,sync,no_wdelay,insecure_locks,no_root_squash)
/shared_data                 *(rw,sync,no_wdelay,insecure_locks,no_root_squash)

Run the following command to export the NFS shares.

chkconfig nfs on
service nfs restart

If you are using a NAS or some other storage applicance that supports NFS, make four equivalent shares.

On both RAC1 and RAC2 create the directories in which the Oracle software will be installed.

mkdir -p /u01/app/crs/product/10.2.0/crs
mkdir -p /u01/app/oracle/product/10.2.0/db_1
mkdir -p /u01/oradata
mkdir -p /u01/shared_config
chown -R oracle:oinstall /u01/app /u01/app/oracle /u01/oradata /u01/shared_config
chmod -R 775 /u01/app /u01/app/oracle /u01/oradata /u01/shared_config

Add the following lines to the "/etc/fstab" file on each server. The mount options are based on Oracle recommendations from Metalink Note:359515.1.

nas1:/shared_config /u01/shared_config                   nfs  rw,bg,hard,nointr,rsize=32768,wsize=32768,tcp,noac,vers=3,timeo=600  0 0
nas1:/shared_crs    /u01/app/crs/product/10.2.0/crs      nfs  rw,bg,hard,nointr,rsize=32768,wsize=32768,tcp,vers=3,timeo=600,actimeo=0  0 0
nas1:/shared_home   /u01/app/oracle/product/10.2.0/db_1  nfs  rw,bg,hard,nointr,rsize=32768,wsize=32768,tcp,vers=3,timeo=600,actimeo=0  0 0
nas1:/shared_data   /u01/oradata                         nfs  rw,bg,hard,nointr,rsize=32768,wsize=32768,tcp,actimeo=0,vers=3,timeo=600  0 0

Mount the NFS shares by running the following commands as the root user on both servers.

mount /u01/shared_config
mount /u01/app/crs/product/10.2.0/crs
mount /u01/app/oracle/product/10.2.0/db_1
mount /u01/oradata

Create the shared CRS Configuration and Voting Disk files.

touch /u01/shared_config/ocr_configuration
touch /u01/shared_config/voting_disk

Make sure the permissions on the shared directories are correct by running the following commands as the root user on each server.

chown -R oracle:oinstall /u01/shared_config
chown -R oracle:oinstall /u01/app/crs/product/10.2.0/crs
chown -R oracle:oinstall /u01/app/oracle/product/10.2.0/db_1
chown -R oracle:oinstall /u01/oradata

Before installing the clusterware, check the prerequisites have been met using the "runcluvfy.sh" utility in the clusterware root directory.

/mountpoint/clusterware/runcluvfy.sh stage -pre crsinst -n rac1,rac2 -verbose

If you get any failures be sure to correct them before proceeding.

Install the Clusterware Software

Place the clusterware and database software in the /u02 directory and unzip it.

cd /u02
unzip 10201_clusterware_linux32.zip
unzip 10201_database_linux32.zip

Login to RAC1 as the oracle user and start the Oracle installer.

cd /u02/clusterware
./runInstaller

On the "Welcome" screen, click the "Next" button.

Clusterware Welcome

Accept the default inventory location by clicking the "Next" button.

Clusterware Inventory

Enter the appropriate name and path for the Oracle Home and click the "Next" button.

Clusterware Oracle Home

Wait while the prerequisite checks are done. If you have any failures correct them and retry the tests before clicking the "Next" button.

Clusterware Prerequisites

The "Specify Cluster Configuration" screen shows only the RAC1 node in the cluster. Click the "Add" button to continue.

Clusterware Cluster Config

Enter the details for the RAC2 node and click the "OK" button.

Clusterware Cluster Config Add

Click the "Next" button to continue.

Clusterware Cluster Config

The "Specific Network Interface Usage" screen defines how each network interface will be used. Highlight the "eth0" interface and click the "Edit" button.

Clusterware Network Interface Usage

Set the "eth0" interface type to "Public" and click the "OK" button.

Clusterware Network Interface Eth0 Type

Leave the "eth1" interface as private and click the "Next" button.

Clusterware Network Interface Usage

Click the "External Redundancy" option, enter "/u01/ocr_configuration" as the OCR Location and click the "Next" button. To have greater redundancy we would need to define another shared disk for an alternate location.

Clusterware OCR Location

Click the "External Redundancy" option, enter "/u01/voting_disk" as the Voting Disk Location and click the "Next" button. To have greater redundancy we would need to define another shared disk for an alternate location.

Clusterware Voting Disk Location

On the "Summary" screen, click the "Install" button to continue.

Clusterware Summary

Wait while the installation takes place.

Clusterware Install

Once the install is complete, run the orainstRoot.sh and root.sh scripts on both nodes as directed on the following screen.

Clusterware Post Install Scripts

The output from the "orainstRoot.sh" file should look something like that listed below.

# cd /u01/app/oracle/oraInventory
# ./orainstRoot.sh
Changing permissions of /u01/app/oracle/oraInventory to 770.
Changing groupname of /u01/app/oracle/oraInventory to oinstall.
The execution of the script is complete
#

The output of the "root.sh" will vary a little depending on the node it is run on. The following text is the output from the RAC1 node.

# cd /u01/app/crs/product/10.2.0/crs
# ./root.sh
WARNING: directory '/u01/app/crs/product/10.2.0' is not owned by root
WARNING: directory '/u01/app/crs/product' is not owned by root
WARNING: directory '/u01/app/crs' is not owned by root
WARNING: directory '/u01/app' is not owned by root
Checking to see if Oracle CRS stack is already configured
/etc/oracle does not exist. Creating it now.

Setting the permissions on OCR backup directory
Setting up NS directories
Oracle Cluster Registry configuration upgraded successfully
WARNING: directory '/u01/app/crs/product/10.2.0' is not owned by root
WARNING: directory '/u01/app/crs/product' is not owned by root
WARNING: directory '/u01/app/crs' is not owned by root
WARNING: directory '/u01/app' is not owned by root
assigning default hostname rac1 for node 1.
assigning default hostname rac2 for node 2.
Successfully accumulated necessary OCR keys.
Using ports: CSS=49895 CRS=49896 EVMC=49898 and EVMR=49897.
node >nodenumber<: >nodename< >private interconnect name< >hostname<
node 1: rac1 rac1-priv rac1
node 2: rac2 rac2-priv rac2
Creating OCR keys for user 'root', privgrp 'root'..
Operation successful.
Now formatting voting device: /u01/shared_config/voting_disk
Format of 1 voting devices complete.
Startup will be queued to init within 90 seconds.
Adding daemons to inittab
Expecting the CRS daemons to be up within 600 seconds.
CSS is active on these nodes.
        rac1
CSS is inactive on these nodes.
        rac2
Local node checking complete.
Run root.sh on remaining nodes to start CRS daemons.
#

Ignore the directory ownership warnings. We should really use a separate directory structure for the clusterware so it can be owned by the root user, but it has little effect on the finished results.

The output from the RAC2 node is listed below.

# /u01/crs/oracle/product/10.2.0/crs
# ./root.sh
WARNING: directory '/u01/app/crs/product/10.2.0' is not owned by root
WARNING: directory '/u01/app/crs/product' is not owned by root
WARNING: directory '/u01/app/crs' is not owned by root
WARNING: directory '/u01/app' is not owned by root
Checking to see if Oracle CRS stack is already configured
/etc/oracle does not exist. Creating it now.

Setting the permissions on OCR backup directory
Setting up NS directories
Oracle Cluster Registry configuration upgraded successfully
WARNING: directory '/u01/app/crs/product/10.2.0' is not owned by root
WARNING: directory '/u01/app/crs/product' is not owned by root
WARNING: directory '/u01/app/crs' is not owned by root
WARNING: directory '/u01/app' is not owned by root
clscfg: EXISTING configuration version 3 detected.
clscfg: version 3 is 10G Release 2.
assigning default hostname rac1 for node 1.
assigning default hostname rac2 for node 2.
Successfully accumulated necessary OCR keys.
Using ports: CSS=49895 CRS=49896 EVMC=49898 and EVMR=49897.
node >nodenumber<: >nodename< >private interconnect name< >hostname<
node 1: rac1 rac1-priv rac1
node 2: rac2 rac2-priv rac2
clscfg: Arguments check out successfully.

NO KEYS WERE WRITTEN. Supply -force parameter to override.
-force is destructive and will destroy any previous cluster
configuration.
Oracle Cluster Registry for cluster has already been initialized
Startup will be queued to init within 90 seconds.
Adding daemons to inittab
Expecting the CRS daemons to be up within 600 seconds.
CSS is active on these nodes.
        rac1
        rac2
CSS is active on all nodes.
Waiting for the Oracle CRSD and EVMD to start
Waiting for the Oracle CRSD and EVMD to start
Oracle CRS stack installed and running under init(1M)
Running vipca(silent) for configuring nodeapps
The given interface(s), "eth0" is not public. Public interfaces should be used to configure virtual IPs.
#

Here you can see that some of the configuration steps are omitted as they were done by the first node. In addition, the final part of the script ran the Virtual IP Configuration Assistant (VIPCA) in silent mode, but it failed. This is because my public IP addresses are actually within the "10.1.255.255" range which is a private IP range. If you were using "legal" IP addresses you would not see this and you could ignore the following VIPCA steps.

Run the VIPCA manually as the root user on the RAC2 node using the following command.

# cd /u01/app/crs/product/10.2.0/crs/bin
# ./vipca

Click the "Next" button on the VIPCA welcome screen.

Clusterware VIPCA Welcome

Highlight the "eth0" interface and click the "Next" button.

Clusterware VIPCA Interfaces

Enter the vitual IP alias and address for each node. Once you enter the first alias, the remaining values should default automatically. Click the "Next" button to continue.

Clusterware VIPCA Virtual IPs

Accept the summary information by clicking the "Finish" button.

Clusterware VIPCA Summary

Wait until the configuration is complete, then click the "OK" button.

Clusterware VIPCA Complete

Accept the VIPCA results by clicking the "Exit" button.

Clusterware VIPCA Results

You should now return to the "Execute Configuration Scripts" screen on RAC1 and click the "OK" button.

Clusterware Post Install Scripts

Wait for the configuration assistants to complete.

Clusterware Config Assistants

When the installation is complete, click the "Exit" button to leave the installer.

Clusterware Complete

The clusterware installation is now complete.

Install the Database Software

Login to RAC1 as the oracle user and start the Oracle installer.

cd /u02/database
./runInstaller

On the "Welcome" screen, click the "Next" button.

Database Welcome

Select the "Enterprise Edition" option and click the "Next" button.

Database Installation Type

Enter the name and path for the Oracle Home and click the "Next" button.

Database Specify Home

Select the "Cluster Install" option and make sure both RAC nodes are selected, the click the "Next" button.

Database Cluster Installation

Wait while the prerequisite checks are done. If you have any failures correct them and retry the tests before clicking the "Next" button.

Database Prerequisites

Select the "Install database Software only" option, then click the "Next" button.

Database Configuration Option

On the "Summary" screen, click the "Install" button to continue.

Database Summary

Wait while the database software installs.

Database Install

Once the installation is complete, wait while the configuration assistants run.

Database Configuration Asistants

Execute the "root.sh" scripts on both nodes, as instructed on the "Execute Configuration scripts" screen, then click the "OK" button.

Database Post Install Scripts

When the installation is complete, click the "Exit" button to leave the installer.

Database Complete

Create a Database using the DBCA

Login to RAC1 as the oracle user and start the Database Configuration Assistant.

dbca

On the "Welcome" screen, select the "Oracle Real Application Clusters database" option and click the "Next" button.

DBCA Welcome

Select the "Create a Database" option and click the "Next" button.

DBCA Create Database

Highlight both RAC nodes and click the "Next" button.

DBCA Node Selection

Select the "General Purpose" option and click the "Next" button.

DBCA Database Template

Enter the values "RAC.WORLD" and "RAC" for the Global Database Name and SID Prefix respectively, then click the "Next" button.

DBCA Database ID

Accept the management options by clicking the "Next" button. If you are attempting the installation on a server with limited memory, you may prefer not to configure Enterprise Manager at this time.

DBCA Management Options

Enter database passwords then click the "Next" button.

DBCA Database Credentials

Select the "Cluster File System" option, then click the "Next" button.

DBCA CFS

Select the "Use Oracle-Managed Files" option and enter "/u01/oradata/" as the database location, then click the "Next" button.

DBCA Database Location

Check the "Specify Flash Recovery Area" option and accept the default location by clicking the "Next" button.

DBCA Recovery Config

Click the "Next" button on the "Database Content" screen.

DBCA Database Content

Accept the current database services configuration by clicking the "Next" button.

DBCA Services

Select the "Custom" memory management option and accept the default settings by clicking the "Next" button.

DBCA Parameters

Accept the database storage settings by clicking the "Next" button.

DBCA Storage

Accept the database creation options by clicking the "Finish" button.

DBCA Creation Options

Accept the summary information by clicking the "OK" button.

DBCA Summary

Wait while the database is created.

DBCA Creation

Once the database creation is complete you are presented with the following screen. Make a note of the information on the screen and click the "Exit" button.

DBCA Complete

The RAC database creation is now complete.

TNS Configuration

Once the installation is complete, the "$ORACLE_HOME/network/admin/listener.ora" file in the shared $ORACLE_HOME will contain the following entries.

# listener.ora Network Configuration File: /u01/app/oracle/product/10.2.0/db_1/network/admin/listener.ora
# Generated by Oracle configuration tools.

LISTENER_RAC2 =
  (DESCRIPTION_LIST =
    (DESCRIPTION =
      (ADDRESS_LIST =
        (ADDRESS = (PROTOCOL = TCP)(HOST = rac2-vip.localdomain)(PORT = 1521)(IP = FIRST))
      )
      (ADDRESS_LIST =
        (ADDRESS = (PROTOCOL = TCP)(HOST = 10.1.10.202)(PORT = 1521)(IP = FIRST))
      )
      (ADDRESS_LIST =
        (ADDRESS = (PROTOCOL = IPC)(KEY = EXTPROC))
      )
    )
  )

LISTENER_RAC1 =
  (DESCRIPTION_LIST =
    (DESCRIPTION =
      (ADDRESS_LIST =
        (ADDRESS = (PROTOCOL = TCP)(HOST = rac1-vip.localdomain)(PORT = 1521)(IP = FIRST))
      )
      (ADDRESS_LIST =
        (ADDRESS = (PROTOCOL = TCP)(HOST = 10.1.10.201)(PORT = 1521)(IP = FIRST))
      )
      (ADDRESS_LIST =
        (ADDRESS = (PROTOCOL = IPC)(KEY = EXTPROC))
      )
    )
  )

The shared "$ORACLE_HOME/network/admin/tnsnames.ora" file will contain the following entries.

# tnsnames.ora Network Configuration File: /u01/app/oracle/product/10.2.0/db_1/network/admin/tnsnames.ora
# Generated by Oracle configuration tools.

RAC =
  (DESCRIPTION =
    (ADDRESS = (PROTOCOL = TCP)(HOST = rac1-vip.localdomain)(PORT = 1521))
    (ADDRESS = (PROTOCOL = TCP)(HOST = rac2-vip.localdomain)(PORT = 1521))
    (LOAD_BALANCE = yes)
    (CONNECT_DATA =
      (SERVER = DEDICATED)
      (SERVICE_NAME = RAC.WORLD)
    )
  )

LISTENERS_RAC =
  (ADDRESS_LIST =
    (ADDRESS = (PROTOCOL = TCP)(HOST = rac1-vip.localdomain)(PORT = 1521))
    (ADDRESS = (PROTOCOL = TCP)(HOST = rac2-vip.localdomain)(PORT = 1521))
  )

RAC2 =
  (DESCRIPTION =
    (ADDRESS = (PROTOCOL = TCP)(HOST = rac2-vip.localdomain)(PORT = 1521))
    (CONNECT_DATA =
      (SERVER = DEDICATED)
      (SERVICE_NAME = RAC.WORLD)
      (INSTANCE_NAME = RAC2)
    )
  )

RAC1 =
  (DESCRIPTION =
    (ADDRESS = (PROTOCOL = TCP)(HOST = rac1-vip.localdomain)(PORT = 1521))
    (CONNECT_DATA =
      (SERVER = DEDICATED)
      (SERVICE_NAME = RAC.WORLD)
      (INSTANCE_NAME = RAC1)
    )
  )

This configuration allows direct connections to specific instance, or using a load balanced connection to the main service.

$ sqlplus / as sysdba

SQL*Plus: Release 10.2.0.1.0 - Production on Wed Aug 20 17:56:33 2008

Copyright (c) 1982, 2005, Oracle.  All rights reserved.


Connected to:
Oracle Database 10g Enterprise Edition Release 10.2.0.1.0 - Production
With the Partitioning, Real Application Clusters, OLAP and Data Mining options

SQL> CONN sys/password@rac1 AS SYSDBA
Connected.
SQL> SELECT instance_name, host_name FROM v$instance;

INSTANCE_NAME    HOST_NAME
---------------- ----------------------------------------------------------------
RAC1             rac1.localdomain

SQL> CONN sys/password@rac2 AS SYSDBA
Connected.
SQL> SELECT instance_name, host_name FROM v$instance;

INSTANCE_NAME    HOST_NAME
---------------- ----------------------------------------------------------------
RAC2             rac2.localdomain

SQL> CONN sys/password@rac AS SYSDBA
Connected.
SQL> SELECT instance_name, host_name FROM v$instance;

INSTANCE_NAME    HOST_NAME
---------------- ----------------------------------------------------------------
RAC1             rac1.localdomain

SQL>

Check the Status of the RAC

There are several ways to check the status of the RAC. The srvctl utility shows the current configuration and status of the RAC database.

$ srvctl config database -d RAC
rac1 RAC1 /u01/app/oracle/product/10.2.0/db_1
rac2 RAC2 /u01/app/oracle/product/10.2.0/db_1
$

$ srvctl status database -d RAC
Instance RAC1 is running on node rac1
Instance RAC2 is running on node rac2
$

The V$ACTIVE_INSTANCES view can also display the current status of the instances.

$ sqlplus / as sysdba

SQL*Plus: Release 10.2.0.1.0 - Production on Wed Aug 20 17:57:24 2008

Copyright (c) 1982, 2005, Oracle.  All rights reserved.


Connected to:
Oracle Database 10g Enterprise Edition Release 10.2.0.1.0 - Production
With the Partitioning, Real Application Clusters, OLAP and Data Mining options

SQL> SELECT * FROM v$active_instances;

INST_NUMBER INST_NAME
----------- ------------------------------------------------------------
          1 rac1.localdomain:RAC1
          2 rac2.localdomain:RAC2

SQL>

Finally, the GV$ allow you to display global information for the whole RAC.

SQL> SELECT inst_id, username, sid, serial# FROM gv$session WHERE username IS NOT NULL;

   INST_ID USERNAME                              SID    SERIAL#
---------- ------------------------------ ---------- ----------
         1 SYS                                   127          2
         1 SYS                                   128         28
         1 SYS                                   130         10
         1 SYS                                   131          4
         1 SYS                                   133          9
         1 DBSNMP                                134         27
         1 DBSNMP                                135          1
         1 SYS                                   153        122
         2 SYSMAN                                120        243
         2 DBSNMP                                122         37
         2 DBSNMP                                124         93

   INST_ID USERNAME                              SID    SERIAL#
---------- ------------------------------ ---------- ----------
         2 SYSMAN                                125          2
         2 SYSMAN                                127          6
         2 SYS                                   128         26
         2 SYS                                   129         30
         2 SYS                                   130          3
         2 SYS                                   133        149
         2 SYSMAN                                134         58
         2 SYS                                   136         32

19 rows selected.

SQL>

If you have configured Enterprise Manager, it can be used to view the configuration and current status of the database.

Oracle Enterprise Manager

Direct and Asynchronous I/O

Remember to use direct I/O and asynchronous I/O to improve performance. Direct I/O has been supported over NFS for some time, but support for asynchronous I/O over NFS was only introduced in RHEL 4 Update 3 (and its clones), so you need to use an up to date version of your Linux distribution to take advantage of this feature.

You can get details about this Direct and Asynchronous I/O by following the link.

For more information see:

Hope this helps. Regards Tim...

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