In this chapter, we are going to create a recipe
for installing a streamlined Oracle 11g setup. The example in this
chapter will make a perfect laptop/notebook demo platform, as it
should run in a minimal demo machine (e.g. decent single-core CPU
with >= 1.5 GB memory). However, if we do not follow such a recipe,
Oracle 11g by default can very easily swamp a laptop/notebook.
Remember, it is an enterprise level database that happens to also
function on lesser hardware. So we should not just run the Oracle
installer and accept a starter database (i.e. accept all default
choices by just pressing next repeatedly). We need to fine tune our
selections so that we are assured that we can use the Oracle 11g
VMware image built on such low-end equipment; otherwise, demos may
possibly run too slowly to be useful.
Since we are assuming with this example that it
is for demo purposes on a laptop or notebook, we can also assume
that the host operating system (Windows, Linux, or whatever) is
already up and running. By this I mean that, unlike a new server,
the host machine has its operating system already installed. Thus,
in this chapters example we will primarily focus on the following
Host Setup (Chapter 4)
Optimize BIOS Settings
Operating System Tuning
Host Default Settings
Virtual Network Settings
Guest Setup (Chapter 5)
Virtual Machine Creation
Operating System Install
Operating System Tuning
The only step we will be missing here is the
host operating system install under Host Setup tasks.
Back in Chapter 3, we discussed that the host
machine is the center of your virtual universe and that all tuning
attempts made here would benefit all hosted virtual machines.
Therefore, a simple change might yield spectacular results since all
virtual machines would benefit in a cumulative fashion. With a
laptop/notebook, you get one additional bang for the buck since
the hardware is so minimal. Basically, a single disk machine with
limited memory will benefit most notably from such efforts and, for
demos, this can often make or break the engagement.
We will start with optimizing the BIOS. On the
following page is a screen snapshot from the main menu of the very
common Phoenix-Award BIOS (Figure 1).
Phoenix-Award BIOS screen
The two sections we should visit, which are the
ones that contain settings which provide best bang for the buck, are
the Advanced BIOS Features and Advanced Chipset Features. You will
typically find the following options to set:
Of course, no two BIOS menus and screens are
the same, but just look for similar items. The good news is that
even though you may already have your host operating system
installed, these changes will take effect on the next reboot without
requiring any OS changes. So it is quite safe and easy to make such
Optimizing the host operating system is next.
While you may be satisfied with your systems current performance,
adding VMware, a second operating system and an Oracle 11g database
could well change things. However, changing the recommended Windows
registry settings using the freeware program on the DVD to change
the default settings to those shown on the next page (Figure 2) can
often yield significant positive results. Plus, like the BIOS
settings, these recommendations should not interfere with or
negatively impact anything else on your system. Also like those BIOS
settings, these changes will not take effect until the next reboot.
The only potentially negative side effect could be disabling 8 dot 3
name creation since some older Windows programs could rely upon
this. But I have yet to find anything that old in my Windows
repertoire anymore. So you should be fine.
Windows Registry Settings
Remember back in Chapter 3 I said not to install
anti-virus and anti-spyware programs on a minimal server we
might construct to serve as our host operating system and
hypervisor. Well, in this scenario the system will almost
undoubtedly have both already installed and possibly several
anti-spyware programs at that. A very critical step here is to
exclude your VMware default location for virtual machines from both
manual and automatic scans. Since I have set mine to be C:\Virtual
Images, I need to exclude that location in Norton anti-virus as
shown in Figure 3. And remember, best to do so both for automatic,
nonstop monitoring and for default manual scans.
You also need to make similar exclusions in any
and all anti-spyware programs such as Webroot Spy Sweeper, PC Tools
Spyware Doctor, AVG Anti-Spyware, Spyware Terminator, Spyware
Blaster and a host of other similar programs. Remember that, unlike
anti-virus programs where you run just one, people often run more
than one anti-spyware program.
One last host operating system adjustment that I
find makes a difference, especially on notebooks/laptops, is to
exclude your VMware network adapters from Windows firewall
protection. I have illustrated doing so using the standard Windows
Firewall software (Figure 4, next page), but you might be using a
different firewall program such as those from Zone Alarm, Kerio or
Sygate. The performance gain here will be minimal, but such firewall
settings can sometimes interfere with VMware client to host
communications with an example being between database applications
and the Oracle listener. So it is worth the time and effort to set
Windows Firewall Preferred Settings
The final step is to verify your Windows
Services settings, i.e. which services start automatically vs.
disabled vs. manual, as shown below in Figure 5. It is best to be
very careful here as some of these settings can cause instability or
negative side effects. Make sure you only turn off those services
you are 100% sure that you will not need for something else on that
Figure 5: Windows
Your host system should now be fairly well
optimized for running VMware.
This is an excerpt from
Oracle on VMWare:
Expert tips for database virtualization
by Rampant TechPress.