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Oracle Database Software with RAC Option

Oracle RAC Cluster Tips by Burleson Consulting

This is an excerpt from the bestselling book Oracle Grid & Real Application Clusters.  To get immediate access to the code depot of working RAC scripts, buy it directly from the publisher and save more than 30%.

Oracle Enterprise Edition contains the RAC database installation software and the Cluster Ready Services software. The Database software and Oracle CRS software need to be installed in separate Oracle Homes.

A valid license should be obtained to use the RAC option. The Oracle Configuration assistant?s tools are user-friendly with a graphical interface. Typically, the tools start automatically after installation depending on the selection made when starting the installer. The configuration assistant can also be started manually as a standalone tool. The options include:

* Oracle Database Configuration Assistant (DBCA) ? helps in the database creation. This is a cluster-aware utility.

* VIPCA ? Virtual IP Configuration Assistant - configures the HA services and manage them.

* Oracle Database Upgrade/Migration Assistant - helps the migration process from 9i to 10g version.

* Oracle Enterprise Manager Configuration Assistant.

Servers and Operating Systems

The first critical task is the selection of the right server, or node, and operating system to host the Oracle RAC database. Oracle maintains a certification matrix for supported servers and platforms. The certification is issued only after Oracle and other vendors conduct rigorous tests. Oracle will only support RAC on certified combinations of hardware and operating system. These authors strongly recommend checking with the server vendor for Oracle Certification Matrix even if they certify and market the cluster platform for other applications.

Oracle Certification Matrix is available at Oracle MOSC through the following simple steps:

1. Connect and login to

2. Click on the Certify and Availability button on the menu frame.

3. Click on View Certifications by Product hyperlink.

4. Choose Real Application Clusters.

5. Choose the correct platform.

There are many factors to be taken into consideration when deciding the number of nodes for the proposed cluster or deciding whether the cluster file system can be used:   What kind of shared storage system will be chosen? What kind of cluster software and which version will be used?

Here are some examples that illustrate application of the above factors:

* Sun Solaris Servers, combined with Sun Cluster 3.x, only support raw partitions for database files.

* Using Sun Solaris Cluster with more than two nodes requires SCSI-3 Persistent Group Reservation (PGR) supporting storage such as Sun StoreEdge T3, Hitachi 9990, or EMC Symmetrix.

* However, when implementing Sun Cluster with Veritas DBE/AC, one can choose to use the cluster file system. Veritas DBE/AC also requires storage with SCSI-3 PGR. DBE/AC stands for Database Edition/Advance Cluster.

* For the IBM AIX pSeries (RS/6000) Cluster, the maximum number of nodes is 8 if SSA disks are used. If VSD(s) are used, the maximum number of nodes is 128. Again, if the disks are shared through Cluster Logical Volume Manager (CLVM), the maximum number of nodes is 16. VSD stands for virtual shared disk.

* When using the O/S version of AIX 4.3 with cluster software of HACMP/ES (CRM) 4.4.X, use the raw partitions for RAC database. However, when using AIX 5.1, one can use the cluster file system (GPFS).

These authors strongly recommend that the readers verify with the Oracle Certification matrix, as well as the server vendor suppliers, in order to choose the right combination of RAC system components. Since these specifications are frequently updated, please check for the latest edition.

Oracle certifies the combination of UNIX and Clusterware for RAC implementation. The vendor is responsible for the hardware certification. Some of these features are presented next, based on the information available at the time of writing.

For Linux

In case of Linux operating system, both the RedHat and United Linux flavors are certified for 10g RAC. As shown in Figure 6.1, for RedHat both 2.1 and 3.0 versions are certified. The products supported by Oracle, as part of the United Linux, include Conectiva, Turbo Linux and Suse SLES8. 

Figure 6.1: Supported Linux Platform


In case of Windows based RAC database systems, both the Windows 2000 and Windows 2003 are supported. Windows 2003 refers to enterprise, data center, and standard edition. Windows 2000 refers to Advanced Server and Datacenter Edition. Clusterware is supplied by Oracle.

Figure 6.2: Supported Windows Platform


Oracle 10g RAC is available for all the widely used Unix Flavors as shown Figure 6.3.  A variety of Clusterware is supported for building RAC Clusters. In addition to Oracle provided CRS, vendor provided Clusterware can be used.

In the case of Solaris platform, RAC database system can be built with one of these Clusterwares: Sun Cluster software, Fujitsu-Siemens Prime Cluster software, Veritas DB Edition/Advance Cluster (DBE/AC) and Oracle provided clusterware.

Figure 6.3: Supported UNIX Platform and the cluster software modules

In the case of HP?s Tru64 Unix, TruCluster software is needed. However, when implemented on HPUX platform, one of these can be used: MC/Service Guard, MC/Service Guard Extension for RAC and Oracle OSD Clusterware.

HACMP cluster framework is needed when building the Oracle RAC database on IBM?s AIX pSeries RS/6000 servers. However, HACMP is not required when Oracle Files are placed on ASM or GPFS. HACMP is only required when data files are placed on concurrent raw logical volumes (CLVM). More details on the options available on RS/6000 AIX platform are provided in later sections.

Please note that as of this writing, Oracle has certified Oracle 10g RAC database mostly for the 64-bit Oracle version. It looks like Oracle is encouraging the use of 64-bit Oracle in preference over 32-bit version.


This is an excerpt from the bestselling book Oracle Grid & Real Application Clusters, Rampant TechPress, by Mike Ault and Madhu Tumma.

You can buy it direct from the publisher for 30%-off and get instant access to the code depot of Oracle tuning scripts.


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