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Oracle Database 12c Release 1 (12.1) RAC On Windows 2012 Using VirtualBox

This article describes the installation of Oracle Database 12c Release 1 (12.1) RAC on Windows 2012 Server Standard Edition using VirtualBox with no additional shared disk devices.

Related articles.

Introduction

One of the biggest obstacles preventing people from setting up test RAC environments is the requirement for shared storage. In a production environment, shared storage is often provided by a SAN or high-end NAS device, but both of these options are very expensive when all you want to do is get some experience installing and using RAC. A cheaper alternative is to use a FireWire disk enclosure to allow two machines to access the same disk(s), but that still costs money and requires two servers. A third option is to use virtualization to fake the shared storage.

Using VirtualBox you can run multiple Virtual Machines (VMs) on a single server, allowing you to run both RAC nodes on a single machine. In additon, it allows you to set up shared virtual disks, overcoming the obstacle of expensive shared storage.

Virtual RAC

Before you launch into this installation, here are a few things to consider.

Download Software

Download the following software.

VirtualBox Installation

First, install the VirtualBox software. On RHEL and its clones you do this with the following command as the root user.

# rpm -Uvh VirtualBox-4.2-4.2.16_86992_el6-1.x86_64.rpm

The package name will vary depending on the host distribution you are using. Once complete, VirtualBox is started from the menu.

Virtual Machine Setup

Now we must define the two virtual RAC nodes. We can save time by defining one VM, then cloning it when it is installed.

Start VirtualBox and click the "New" button on the toolbar. Enter the name "w2012-121-rac1", OS "Microsoft Windows" and Version "Windows 2012 (64 bit)", then click the "Next" button.

New VM Wizard - Name and Operating System

Enter "4096" as the base memory size, then click the "Next" button.

New VM Wizard - Memory Size

Accept the default option to create a new virtual hard disk by clicking the "Create" button.

New VM Wizard - Hard Drive

Acccept the default hard drive file type by clicking the "Next" button.

Create Virtual Hard Drive - Hard Drive File Type

Acccept the "Dynamically allocated" option by clicking the "Next" button.

Create Virtual Hard Drive - Storage on Physical Hard Drive

Accept the default location and set the size to "30G", then click the "Create" button. If you can spread the virtual disks onto different physical disks, that will improve performance.

Create Virtual Hard Drive - File Location And Size

The "w2012-121-rac1" VM will appear on the left hand pane. Scroll down the details on the right and click on the "Network" link.

VirtualBox - Console

Make sure "Adapter 1" is enabled, set to "Bridged Adapter", then click on the "Adapter 2" tab.

VirtualBox - Network Adapter 1

Make sure "Adapter 2" is enabled, set to "Internal Network", then click on the "System" section.

VirtualBox - Network Adapter 2

Move "Hard Disk" to the top of the boot order and uncheck the "Floppy" option, then click the "OK" button.

VirtualBox - System Settings

The virtual machine is now configured so we can start the guest operating system installation.

Guest Operating System Installation

With the new VM highlighted, click the "Start" button on the toolbar. On the "Select start-up disk" screen, choose the relevant Oracle Linux ISO image and click the "Start" button.

VirtualBox - Select start-up disk

The resulting console window will contain the Windows 2012 boot screen.

Windows 2012 Boot

Continue through the Full Standard Edition installation as you would for a normal server. In this case I was using an evaluation version of Windows 2012, so I picked the "Windows Server 2012 Standard Evaluation (Server with a GUI)" option. Pick the custom install when doing a fresh installation.

When the installation is complete, install the VirtualBox Guest Additions on the server. This is initiated from the "Devices > Install Guest Additions..." menu. Accept all the defaults and reboot the server when requested.

Create a shared folder (Devices > Shared Folders) on the virtual machine, pointing to the directory on the host where the Oracle software was unzipped. Check the "Auto-mount" and "Make Permanent" options before clicking the "OK" button.

Shared Folders

The VM will need to be restarted for the guest additions to be used properly. The next section requires a shutdown so no additional restart is needed at this time. Once the VM is restarted, the shared folder will be available as the "E:\" drive.

Oracle Installation Prerequisites

Perform the following steps whilst logged into the virtual machine.

Turn off the Windows firewall "Server Manager > Local Server > Windows Firewall > Public:On > Turn Windows Firewall on or off" to prevent it from interfering with the sever communication. You can turn it on later and open up any required ports if you want to.

Amend the "C:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts" file to contain the following information. Even if you are using DNS to resolve the SCAN, include the SCAN entries in the "hosts" files. Without them the installer had trouble recognising the SCAN.

127.0.0.1       localhost.localdomain   localhost
# Public
192.168.0.151   w2012-121-rac1.localdomain          w2012-121-rac1
192.168.0.152   w2012-121-rac2.localdomain          w2012-121-rac2
# Private
192.168.1.151   w2012-121-rac1-priv.localdomain     w2012-121-rac1-priv
192.168.1.152   w2012-121-rac2-priv.localdomain     w2012-121-rac2-priv
#Virtual
192.168.0.153   w2012-121-rac1-vip.localdomain      w2012-121-rac1-vip
192.168.0.154   w2012-121-rac2-vip.localdomain      w2012-121-rac2-vip
# SCAN
192.168.0.155   w2012-121-scan.localdomain          w2012-121-scan
192.168.0.156   w2012-121-scan.localdomain          w2012-121-scan
192.168.0.157   w2012-121-scan.localdomain          w2012-121-scan

Open the "Network Connections" screen (Server Manager > Local Server > Ethernet (click link next to it)). Rename the "Ethernet" to "public" and "Ethernet 2" to "private", making sure you apply the names to the appropriate connections. You can do this by right-clicking on the connection and selecting "Rename" from the pop-up menu.

Set the correct IP information for the public and private connections. Right-click on a connection and select the "Properties" menu option. Click on "Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)" option and click the "Properties. button. Enter the appropriate IP, subnet, default gateway and DNS for the networks.

public:

private:

Click on the "Advanced" button, followed by the "DNS" tab. Select the "Append these DNS suffixes (in order)" option and add the domain suffix, in this case "localdomain". Use the "OK" buttons to exit the dialogs.

Note. It's worth double-checking the MAC addresses of the network adapters in the VM against those of the network interfaces on the guest operating system. Make sure the public interface is the bridged connection. The guest OS sometimes shows the interfaces out of order.

If any of the network connections are left in a disabled state, right-click on then and select the "Diagnose" option to repair them.

Ensure the public interface is first in the bind order:

Disable Windows Media Sensing for TCP/IP:

Open the "System Properties" dialog (Start > Control Panel > System and Security > System > Change Settings) and do the following:

Restart the server.

Create Shared Disks

Make sure the VM is shutdown, create a directory to host the shared virtual disks on the host OS, then create the shared disks. My host is Linux, so the paths to the virtual disks are UNIX-style paths. If your host is Windows, then you will be using Windows-style paths.

$ mkdir -p /u04/VirtualBox/w2012-121-rac
$ cd /u04/VirtualBox/w2012-121-rac
$
$ # Create the disks and associate them with VirtualBox as virtual media.
$ VBoxManage createhd --filename asm1.vdi --size 5120 --format VDI --variant Fixed
$ VBoxManage createhd --filename asm2.vdi --size 5120 --format VDI --variant Fixed
$ VBoxManage createhd --filename asm3.vdi --size 5120 --format VDI --variant Fixed
$ VBoxManage createhd --filename asm4.vdi --size 5120 --format VDI --variant Fixed
$
$ # Connect them to the VM.
$ VBoxManage storageattach w2012-121-rac1 --storagectl "SATA" --port 1 --device 0 --type hdd --medium asm1.vdi --mtype shareable
$ VBoxManage storageattach w2012-121-rac1 --storagectl "SATA" --port 2 --device 0 --type hdd --medium asm2.vdi --mtype shareable
$ VBoxManage storageattach w2012-121-rac1 --storagectl "SATA" --port 3 --device 0 --type hdd --medium asm3.vdi --mtype shareable
$ VBoxManage storageattach w2012-121-rac1 --storagectl "SATA" --port 4 --device 0 --type hdd --medium asm4.vdi --mtype shareable
$
$ # Make shareable.
$ VBoxManage modifyhd asm1.vdi --type shareable
$ VBoxManage modifyhd asm2.vdi --type shareable
$ VBoxManage modifyhd asm3.vdi --type shareable
$ VBoxManage modifyhd asm4.vdi --type shareable

Start the w2012-121-rac1 virtual machine by clicking the "Start" button on the toolbar. When the server has started, log in so you can partition the disks.

We will partition the disks using the "DiskPart" utility. To get alist of the current disks do the following.

C:\>diskpart

Microsoft DiskPart version 6.0.6001
Copyright (C) 1999-2007 Microsoft Corporation.
On computer: RAC1

DISKPART> list disk

  Disk ###  Status      Size     Free     Dyn  Gpt
  --------  ----------  -------  -------  ---  ---
  Disk 0    Online        30 GB      0 B
  Disk 1    Online        10 GB    10 GB
  Disk 2    Online        10 GB    10 GB
  Disk 3    Online        10 GB    10 GB
  Disk 4    Online        10 GB    10 GB

DISKPART>

In the diskpart utility we will perform the following commands.

automount enable
select disk 1
create partition extended
create partition logical
select disk 2
create partition extended
create partition logical
select disk 3
create partition extended
create partition logical
select disk 4
create partition extended
create partition logical
exit

Stamp the disks for use with ASM. This is done using the asmtool that comes with the Grid Infrastructure media.

C:> E:
E:> cd grid\asmtool
E:> asmtool -add \Device\HardDisk1\Partition1 ORCLDISK1
E:> asmtool -add \Device\HardDisk2\Partition1 ORCLDISK2
E:> asmtool -add \Device\HardDisk3\Partition1 ORCLDISK3
E:> asmtool -add \Device\HardDisk4\Partition1 ORCLDISK4

E:> asmtool -list

NTFS                             \Device\Harddisk0\Partition1              350M
NTFS                             \Device\Harddisk0\Partition2            30368M
ORCLDISK1                        \Device\Harddisk1\Partition1             5117M
ORCLDISK2                        \Device\Harddisk2\Partition1             5117M
ORCLDISK3                        \Device\Harddisk3\Partition1             5117M
ORCLDISK4                        \Device\Harddisk4\Partition1             5117M

E:>

The shared disks are now configured.

Clone the Virtual Machine

VirtualBox allows you to clone VMs, but these also attempt to clone the shared disks, which is not what we want. Instead we must manually clone the VM.

Shutdown the "w2012-121-rac1" VM.

Manually clone the virtual disk using the following commands on the host server.

$ mkdir -p /u03/VirtualBox/w2012-121-rac2
$ VBoxManage clonehd /u02/VirtualBox/w2012-121-rac1/w2012-121-rac1.vdi /u03/VirtualBox/w2012-121-rac2/w2012-121-rac2.vdi

Create the "w2012-121-rac2" virtual machine in VirtualBox in the same way as you did for "w2012-121-rac1", with the exception of using an existing "w2012-121-rac2.vdi" virtual hard drive.

Remember to add the three network adaptors as you did on the first VM. When the VM is created, attach the shared disks to this VM.

$ cd /u04/VirtualBox/w2012-121-rac
$
$ VBoxManage storageattach w2012-121-rac2 --storagectl "SATA" --port 1 --device 0 --type hdd --medium asm1.vdi --mtype shareable
$ VBoxManage storageattach w2012-121-rac2 --storagectl "SATA" --port 2 --device 0 --type hdd --medium asm2.vdi --mtype shareable
$ VBoxManage storageattach w2012-121-rac2 --storagectl "SATA" --port 3 --device 0 --type hdd --medium asm3.vdi --mtype shareable
$ VBoxManage storageattach w2012-121-rac2 --storagectl "SATA" --port 4 --device 0 --type hdd --medium asm4.vdi --mtype shareable

Start the "w2008-112-rac2" virtual machine.

Open the "Network Connections" screen (Server Manager > Local Server > Ethernet (click link next to it)) and amend the IP address values of each network to the appropriate values for the second node.

Open the "System Properties" dialog (Start > Control Panel > System and Security > System > Change Settings) and change the machine name by clicking the "Change" button. Click all "OK" buttons to exit the "System Properties" dialog and restart the server when prompted.

Once the RAC2 virtual machine has restarted, start the RAC1 virtual machine. When both nodes have started, check they can both ping all the public and private IP addresses using the following commands.

ping w2012-121-rac1
ping w2012-121-rac1-priv
ping w2012-121-rac2
ping w2012-121-rac2-priv

At this point the virtual IP addresses defined in the hosts file will not work, so don't bother testing them.

The virtual machine setup is now complete.

Before moving forward you should probably shut down your VMs and take snapshots of them. If any failures happen beyond this point it is probably better to switch back to those snapshots, clean up the shared drives and start the grid installation again. An alternative to cleaning up the shared disks is to back them up now using zip and just replace them in the event of a failure.
$ cd /u04/VirtualBox/w2012-121-rac
$ zip PreGrid.zip *.vdi

Install the Grid Infrastructure

Make sure both virtual machines are started. Login to "w2012-121-rac1" and start the Oracle installer.

e:
cd grid
setup.exe

Select the "Skip software updates" option, then click the "Next" button.

Grid - Download Software Updates

Select the "Install and Configure Oracle Grid Infrastructure for a Cluster" option, then click the "Next" button.

Grid - Select Installation Option

Select the "Typical Installation" option, then click the "Next" button.

Grid - Select Installation Type

On the "Specify Cluster Configuration" screen, enter the correct SCAN Name and click the "Add" button.

Grid - Specify Cluster Configuration

Enter the details of the second node in the cluster, then click the "OK" button.

Grid - Add Cluster Node Information

Click the "Identify network interfaces..." button and check the public and private networks are specified correctly. Remember to mark the NAT interface as "Do Not Use". Once you are happy with them, click the "OK" button and the "Next" button on the previous screen.

Grid - Network Interfaces

Enter the ORACLE_BASE of "c:\app\12.1.0.1", a software location of "c:\app\12.1.0.1\grid" and the SYSASM password. click the "Next" button.

Grid - Specify Install Locations

Set the redundancy to "External", select all 4 disks and click the "Next" button.

Grid - Create ASM Disk Group

Wait while the prerequisite checks complete. If you have any issues, either fix them or check the "Ignore All" checkbox and click the "Next" button. It is likely the "Windows firewall status", "Physical Memory" and "Administrator" tests will fail for this type of installation.

Grid - Perform Prerequisite Checks

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

Grid - Summary

Wait while the setup takes place.

Grid - Setup

Click the "Close" button to exit the installer.

Grid - Finish

The grid infrastructure installation is now complete. We can check the status of the installation using the following commands.

C:\>C:\app\12.1.0.1\grid\bin\crsctl stat res -t
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Name           Target  State        Server                   State details
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Local Resources
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ora.DATA.dg
               ONLINE  ONLINE       w2012-121-rac1           STABLE
               ONLINE  ONLINE       w2012-121-rac2           STABLE
ora.LISTENER.lsnr
               ONLINE  ONLINE       w2012-121-rac1           STABLE
               ONLINE  ONLINE       w2012-121-rac2           STABLE
ora.asm
               ONLINE  ONLINE       w2012-121-rac1           Started,STABLE
               ONLINE  ONLINE       w2012-121-rac2           Started,STABLE
ora.net1.network
               ONLINE  ONLINE       w2012-121-rac1           STABLE
               ONLINE  ONLINE       w2012-121-rac2           STABLE
ora.ons
               ONLINE  ONLINE       w2012-121-rac1           STABLE
               ONLINE  ONLINE       w2012-121-rac2           STABLE
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cluster Resources
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ora.LISTENER_SCAN1.lsnr
      1        ONLINE  ONLINE       w2012-121-rac2           STABLE
ora.LISTENER_SCAN2.lsnr
      1        ONLINE  ONLINE       w2012-121-rac1           STABLE
ora.LISTENER_SCAN3.lsnr
      1        ONLINE  ONLINE       w2012-121-rac1           STABLE
ora.cvu
      1        ONLINE  ONLINE       w2012-121-rac1           STABLE
ora.oc4j
      1        OFFLINE OFFLINE                               STABLE
ora.scan1.vip
      1        ONLINE  ONLINE       w2012-121-rac2           STABLE
ora.scan2.vip
      1        ONLINE  ONLINE       w2012-121-rac1           STABLE
ora.scan3.vip
      1        ONLINE  ONLINE       w2012-121-rac1           STABLE
ora.w2012-121-rac1.vip
      1        ONLINE  ONLINE       w2012-121-rac1           STABLE
ora.w2012-121-rac2.vip
      1        ONLINE  ONLINE       w2012-121-rac2           STABLE
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

C:\>

At this point it is probably a good idea to shutdown both VMs and take snapshots. Remember to make a fresh zip of the ASM disks on the host machine, which you will need to restore if you revert to the post-grid snapshots.

$ cd /u04/VirtualBox/w2012-121-rac
$ zip PostGrid.zip *.vdi

Install the Database Software

Make sure the "w2012-121-rac1" and "w2012-121-rac2" virtual machines are started, then login to "w2012-121-rac1" and start the Oracle installer.

e:
cd database
setup.exe

Uncheck the security updates checkbox and click the "Next" button and "Yes" on the subsequent warning dialog.

DB - Configure Security Updates

Check the "Skip software updates" checkbox and click the "Next" button.

DB - Download Software Updates

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

DB - Select Installation Option

Accept the "Oracle Real Application Clusters database installation" option by clicking the "Next" button.

DB - Grid Installation Options

Make sure both nodes are selected, then click the "Next" button.

DB - Node Selection

Select the required languages, then click the "Next" button.

DB - Product Language Support

Select the "Enterprise Edition" option, then click the "Next" button.

DB - Select Database Edition

Decide the credentials for the database user, then click the "Next" button. In this case I picked the "Use Windows Built-in Account" option, which is not recommended. If you pick this option, accept the following warning dialog.

DB - Specify Oracle Home User

Enter "c:\app\oracle" as the Oracle base and "c:\app\oracle\product\12.1.0.1\db_1" as the software location, then click the "Next" button.

DB - Specify Installation Location

Wait for the prerequisite check to complete. If there are any problems either fix them, or check the "Ignore All" checkbox and click the "Next" button.

DB - Perform Prerequisite Checks

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

DB - Summary

Wait while the installation takes place.

DB - Install Product

Click the "Close" button to exit the installer.

DB - Finish

Shutdown both VMs and take snapshots. Remember to make a fresh zip of the ASM disks on the host machine, which you will need to restore if you revert to the post-db snapshots.

$ cd /u04/VirtualBox/w2012-121-rac
$ zip PostDB.zip *.vdi

Create a Database

Make sure the "w2012-121-rac1" and "w2012-121-rac2" virtual machines are started, then login to "w2012-121-rac1" and start the Database Creation Asistant (DBCA).

c:\>dbca

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

DBCA - Database Operation

Select the "Create a database with default configuration" option. Enter the container database name (cdbrac), pluggable database name (pdbrac) and administrator password. Click the "Next" button.

DBCA - Creation Mode

Wait for the prerequisite checks to complete. If there are any problems either fix them, or check the "Ignore All" checkbox and click the "Next" button.

DBCA - Pre Requisite Checks

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

DBCA - Summary

Wait while the database creation takes place.

DBCA - Progress Page

If you want to modify passwords, click the "Password Management" button. When finished, click the "Exit" button.

DBCA - Complete

Click the "Close" button to exit the DBCA.

DBCA - Finish

The RAC database creation is now complete.

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.

C:\>srvctl config database -d cdb12c
Database unique name: cdb12c
Database name: cdb12c
Oracle home: C:\app\oracle\product\12.1.0.1\db_1
Oracle user: nt authority\system
Spfile: +DATA/cdb12c/spfilecdb12c.ora
Password file: +DATA/cdb12c/orapwcdb12c
Domain:
Start options: open
Stop options: immediate
Database role: PRIMARY
Management policy: AUTOMATIC
Server pools: cdb12c
Database instances: cdb12c1,cdb12c2
Disk Groups: DATA
Mount point paths:
Services:
Type: RAC
Start concurrency:
Stop concurrency:
Database is administrator managed

C:\>

C:\>srvctl status database -d cdb12c
Instance cdb12c1 is running on node w2012-121-rac1
Instance cdb12c2 is running on node w2012-121-rac2

C:\>

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

C:\>sqlplus / as sysdba

SQL*Plus: Release 12.1.0.1.0 Production on Mon Jul 22 23:12:22 2013

Copyright (c) 1982, 2013, Oracle.  All rights reserved.


Connected to:
Oracle Database 12c Enterprise Edition Release 12.1.0.1.0 - 64bit Production
With the Partitioning, Real Application Clusters, Automatic Storage Management,
Advanced Analytics and Real Application Testing options

SQL> SELECT inst_name FROM v$active_instances;

INST_NAME
------------------------------------------------------------
W2012-121-RAC1:cdb12c1
W2012-121-RAC2:cdb12c2

SQL>

For more information see:

Hope this helps. Regards Tim...

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