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Don Burleson Blog 







VMware: Oracle 11g Software Install

Oracle Tips by Burleson Consulting

The Oracle Installer is a Java based GUI that is pretty straightforward, so I am not going to elaborate every step along the way, but rather point out the areas where you need to make some very conscious decisions. First, I highly recommend that you choose the Advanced Installation option off the first page as shown below (Figure 19). The reason is that you know you do not want to create a starter database and you know you may want to make other options decisions along the way.

Figure 19:  Advanced Installation Option in Oracle 11g

As you progress, the installer will offer an option to install either the Enterprise Edition (i.e. the whole enchilada) or custom. I generally just choose the former, but if you are truly trying to keep your install to a bare minimum, then choose custom install and deselect the following as you deem appropriate for your demo needs:

  • Oracle Advanced Security

  • Oracle Spatial

  • Oracle OLAP

  • Oracle Data Mining RDBMS Files

  • Oracle Real Application Testing

  • Oracle Programmer

Though you might not want the XML Development Kit, that is a mandatory component that must be installed. When later asked about creating a database, choose Install Database Software Only for now.

Create the Demo Database

The Oracle Database Configuration Assistant (DBCA) is a Java based GUI that is also straightforward, so I am not going to elaborate every step along the way, but simply point out the areas where you need to make some conscious decisions. I am going to assume you chose Enterprise Edition during the install, which means you may have more choices to make during the database creation process than if you had minimized the Oracle installation.

Now I know there lots of us who say GUIs are bad, real DBAs run scripts. On the purely technical side, there was a time when the only way I would create a database was via my own handwritten SQL scripts. But over the years, the Oracle database has become so complex in terms of options that writing such scripts became inefficient. Fortunately at the very same time, the Database Configuration Assistant (DBCA) has become so good that I rarely write my own scripts anymore, especially for RAC deployments, where DBCA is much quicker and better than I could even aspire to be.

But now because this very factor that DBCA is generally good enough for creating databases it has been easy to miss the fact that the database software has many more options that require deliberate decisions. What I mean is that you can no longer start up DBCA to create a database and then mindlessly press the Next button until it starts working. That may have been acceptable and safe back with 8i, but 11g is definitely a different animal. So you should carefully navigate the DBCA screens and options and feel free to choose to disable or change significant items if deploying Oracle on a notebook or desktop with limited resources.

Here are just a few examples of why I strongly recommend cautiously navigating and selecting from DBCA (many items listed below are generally not really needed all the time or very conducive to use on simple non-production or demo systems with limited I/O bandwidth):

  • 11g now defaults to auditing turned on and stored in the database

  • DBCA defaults to installing Java Virtual Machine and XML DB

  • DB multi file read count seems to default to a much higher value

  • File system I/O options defaults to NONE wish it would just choose SETALL

  • Job queue processes now defaults to 1000 instead of 10 that is a very big change

  • There are more pre-supplied Oracle jobs to actually do self-maintenance

  • Max dump file size still defaults to UNLIMITED never a good choice for PCs

  • XML DB Events default to ENABLED since default is now to install XML DB

  • Recycle BIN still defaults to ON and thus people potentially collect junk

  • SGA now has some additional new areas: Results Cache, Function Cache, etc.

I could go on, but just the above should be sufficient for most people to see that when creating an Oracle database on a smaller machine, like a notebook, it is clearly best not to just blindly accept the DBCA defaults anymore. When done properly, I have been able to run 10g, 11g and a two node 10g RAC cluster all on my Windows XP notebook without any major headaches. Even when running them all concurrently!

When running DBCA, please make sure to pick Custom Database (Figure 20). The reason is very simple if you want to change redo log and data file size allocations, then you must go with the custom option. Otherwise, DBCA blindly copies over some pre-existing files of a set size that usually is not too good. You can often pick better, so choose custom.

Figure 20:  Database Configuration Screen

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


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