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VMware Host Settings

Oracle Tips by Burleson Consulting

There is only one additional requirement this time around - you need your host to provide two network cards to virtual machine: one for the Oracle public network and one for the Oracle private network, i.e. the RAC interconnect. Hence, you need to end up with your host configured as shown in Figure 2 (next page). Do not be confused by the terminology here. The VMware network settings are both Host-only, which simply means that they cannot see the outside world. But they can see everything within that host including both the Oracle public and private networks. If you wanted this setup to be available to other PCs, then the first network setting, VMnet1, would need to be opened up.

Figure 2:  Host Configuration Screen

Note that the only difference between VMnet1 and VMnet2 are the assigned IP addresses. I?m allocating the range for my Oracle public network, and range for my Oracle private network. My hosts file changes as follows (new entries in bold):

# Laptop/Notebook Demo HOSTS file
#                     localhost         linux         linux_10g         linux_11g         linux_rac         linux_rac-priv         linux_rac-vip

Note that last new entry above for the Oracle virtual IP address, which is not represented in your VMware host network settings. Oracle will create a special network adapter itself on the VMware client operating system to handle load balancing and fault tolerance (this step is discussed and shown later in this chapter). Since your entire RAC cluster is really all on one node, you could just use the linux_rac alias. But in your efforts to attempt to keep this setup as realistic as possible, you should use the virtual IP address of linux_rac-vip just like any other normal RAC configuration.

Virtual Machine Setup

You need to make two key modifications to the virtual machine setup as shown in Figure 3 (following page). Both changes are very easy and should take only a moment to complete. These changes can be easily made to an existing VMware image in case you are reusing a pre-existing VMware golden image .

Figure 3:  Virtual Machine Setup Modifications

First, you need to add a second hard disk device to host your shared file system for the RAC cluster. Note above that I have added Hard Disk 2 and allocated 10 GB to it. That is going to house the Oracle Cluster File System, or ocfs2. You have numerous other options not covered here:

  • Allocate the second disk, but use Oracle ASM to manage the shared storage device (note that ASM will be used in the next chapter when doing a true multi-node RAC setup)

  • Not allocate second disk, use Linux loop back devices to create the ocfs2 file system within the existing ext3 Linux file system

  • Not allocate second disk, use Linux loop back devices to create raw devices to then allocate to ASM to manage as if real disks

  • Allocate the second disk, but use a Linux clustered file system such as Open GFS, Red Hat GFS, Veritas Storage Foundation CFS, Poly Serve Matrix Server , IBM General Parallel File System, SGI XFS for Linux, HP Storage Works Scalable File Share, Sun Lustre File System, Sun SAM-QFS, etc.

  • Allocate the second disk, but use VMware VMFS - a high performance cluster file system optimized for virtual machines

Of those choices, the first three alternatives could easily be used instead of the choice to allocate a second drive and use Oracle's ocfs2. And for simple demo, experimentation or playground type purposes, any of them will suffice without undo expense or difficulty. However, for testing and production purposes, only the first and final two choices make sense. Since ASM is free, readily supported (and preferred) for RAC setups, and being used by over 60% of new RAC deployments, it makes a good enough choice for our purposes.

Next, you need to add a second Ethernet network card based off VMnet2, which was defined in the prior step. This will be used by the RAC instances as the Oracle private network or interconnect. There are two important reasons for doing this. First, doing so most closely approximates a true RAC environment. Secondly, the RAC interconnect is often the bottleneck in overall maximum performance. So having it on a separate network provides better ability to monitor and diagnose such RAC interconnect issues if they occur.

This is an excerpt from
Oracle on VMWare: Expert tips for database virtualization by Rampant TechPress.



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