Deep Dive into Oracle Database Appliance

Deep Dive into Oracle Database Appliance
Deep Dive into Oracle Database Appliance
Tammy Bednar
Keywords: Oracle Database Appliance, ODA, Appliance
The Oracle Database Appliance X5-2 is the fourth generation of the Oracle Database Appliance. It is
an Oracle Engineered System consisting of hardware and software that saves customers time and
money by simplifying deployment, maintenance, and support of high availability database solutions.
Built using the world’s most popular database, Oracle Database, along with Oracle Real Applications
Clusters (Oracle RAC), it offers customers a fully integrated system of software, servers, storage and
networking that delivers high availability database services for a wide range of custom and packaged
OLTP, Data Warehousing, and In-Memory workloads.
The Oracle Database Appliance X5-2 offers customers capacity-on-demand database software
licensing, allowing seamless scalability from 2 to 72 processor cores without any hardware upgrades.
With the Oracle Database Appliance X5-2, a database cache capability is provided using four 400GB
solid-state disks to dramatically improve performance of frequently accessed data. The appliance also
offers the option of deploying a virtualized platform based on Oracle VM. Support for virtualization
allows customers and ISVs to build a solution-in-a-box that efficiently uses resources and extends
capacity-on-demand licensing to both database and application workloads by leveraging Oracle VM
hard partitioning.
The Oracle Database Appliance is a 6-rack unit (RU) system consisting of two x86 servers and one
storage shelf. All hardware and software components are provided by Oracle, allowing customers to
benefit from streamlined single vendor support. And, by integrating the hardware and software
components to work together, the Oracle Database Appliance is engineered to provide a high
availability database and application solution that is:
The Oracle Database Appliance is ideal for customers who value simplicity and who seek to avoid the
complexity, costs, and risks in deploying high availability solutions. Customers can now benefit from
high availability (HA) solutions without having special skills or HA expertise.
Oracle Database Appliance Manager
Oracle Database Appliance provides software called Oracle Database Appliance Manager commandline interface, or the oakcli commands, also known as known as the Oracle Appliance Kit
Command Line Interface, or OAKCLI. Use the Oracle Appliance Manager command-line interface to
perform Oracle Database Appliance management tasks such deploying the software, configuring core
keys, applying patches, monitoring and troubleshooting, managing virtual machines, and creating
Oracle Database homes and databases. Since the initial release of the Oracle Database Appliance, the
OAKCLI has been extended to provide new functionality. With the latest release,
functionality has been added to support database and VM snapshots, and Virtual Disk management.
The Appliance Manager software provides the simplicity and automation of manual tasks.
Oracle Database Appliance 12.1.2
The latest release of Oracle Database Appliance 12.1.2 release supports both Oracle Database 12c and
Oracle Database 11gR2 versions. Oracle Database 12c includes exciting new features such as the
Oracle Multitenant option, Oracle Active Data Guard Far Sync, information lifecycle management
enhancements and new data types just to name a few. Customers wishing to take advantage of these
and other new features will often need to upgrade their existing databases from older versions to
Oracle Database 12c. The Oracle Database Appliance makes it easy to provision and upgrade your
Oracle Database Appliance database to the latest Oracle Database 12c version.
Provisioning Oracle Database Appliance
When your new Oracle Database Appliance arrives, you will need to unpack and cable it in your data
center. The Oracle Database Appliance documentation set provides step-by-step instructions listed in
the Oracle Database Appliance Setup Poster to setup and install the Oracle Database Appliance
hardware. This includes cabling of servers and storage, and powering up the two server nodes. The
Oracle Database Appliance Setup Poster can be viewed and downloaded from Additional Oracle Database Appliance
documentation, including the Getting Started Guide provides a checklist of IP addresses, domain
names, NTP servers, and node names that are required during the initial deployment.
Best Practice Tip: Determine your IP addresses, type of deployment (bare metal or virtualized),
backup location, and system name before you deploy. Use the Oracle Appliance Manager
Offline Configurator to validate your network configuration. By having this information
planned and validated ahead of time, it will make the deployment seamless.
Oracle Database Appliance includes the Integrated Lights out Manager. Oracle Integrated Lights Out
Manager (ILOM) is an embedded service processor that enables full out-of-band management,
providing a “Just like being there” remote management capability. You will setup the ILOM on each
Oracle Database Appliance server node by connecting a keyboard, video, and mouse (KVM) to Oracle
Database Appliance server node 0 and boot the server by pressing the power button on the front of the
server. As the server starts to boot, press the F2 key to enter the BIOS setup menu and then configure
ILOM network. Refer to My Oracle Support note 1393191.1 for instructions on how to setup ILOM
using the BIOS menu. Using the ILOM means you can remotely mange and complete the
provisioning of the Oracle Database Appliance from your desk.
The Oracle Appliance Manager configurator is a Java-based tool that enables you to generate your
deployment plan and validate your network settings before the actual deployment. If you wish to use
this tool before deployment, then you must download and run the configurator on a local client system
that can be a Linux, UNIX, MAC, or Windows system. However, if you prefer to configure your
system at the time you deploy it, you can wait and use the online configurator that is part of the base
Oracle Database Appliance software.
Download the standalone Oracle Appliance Manager configurator that matches your version of Oracle
Database Appliance software. All versions of the configurator are available at
At the end of an offline configurator session, you can save your deployment plan in a configuration
file. When you are ready to deploy, copy the configuration file to Oracle Database Appliance and run
the online Oracle Appliance Manager configurator to import and deploy your saved plan. You can also
print the file's content and use the printout as a checklist for setting up your external network
Prior to saving your configuration file, Oracle recommends that you test your network settings.
However, this will only work correctly if your client system is connected to same network that you
will use for Oracle Database Appliance.
After you have entered the required information in the configurator, the Appliance Manager will
automatically complete the following steps in about 90 minutes.
Command: oakcli deploy
1. Configure the network: Configure domain name, DNS server addresses, public and VIP
addresses for your two nodes, SCAN name and addresses, Netmask and Gateway addresses.
2. Configure the storage: Double or Triple mirroring, Internal/External backups determine usable
disk space. Internal backups configure 40% of useable storage for database files while
external backups configure 80% of the usable storage for database files.
3. Create the cluster: Clusterware installed.
4. Create the database (optional – can be deployed later): Database templates are provided that
incorporates all best practice database init parameters as well as for the sizing for CPU and
Memory, out of the box allocation for SGA and PGA, and advise on the storage
characteristics, plus multiple sizes to satisfy various workloads
5. Deploy Auto Service Request (optional – can be configured later)
Patching the Oracle Database Appliance
All patching of Oracle Database Appliance is accomplished with the regular Oracle Database
Appliance Patch-Set Bundle. The Patch-Set Bundle provides all relevant patches for the entire system,
Hardware drivers
Oracle Linux
Oracle ILOM
Oracle Database clone binaries with the latest PSU
Oracle Grid Infrastructure updates
When the Oracle Database Appliance Patch Set Bundle is available, log on to My Oracle Support as
the registered Oracle Database Appliance software owner. Follow the instructions in My Oracle
Support note 888888.1 as well as the instructions in the patch README file for information about
patching the system.
Oracle Database Appliance Manager provides a single command to patch the complete hardware and
software stack, oakcli update –patch.
Command: Updates all firmware, OS, ILOM, Appliance Manager, and ASR
oakcli update –patch –-infra
Command: Updates Grid Infrastructure
oakcli update –patch –-gi
Command: Update one, set or all databases to the latest PSU
oakcli update –patch –-database
The patching of the Oracle Database Appliance requires the ‘infra’ and ‘gi’ to be completed first
before the latest database PSU is applied. If you choose to upgrade your database from an earlier
release, Oracle Database Appliance Manager also provides commands to automate the task.
Best Practice Tip: If you want the flexibility to patch individual databases, it is recommended to
create a separate Oracle Home for each database. When the Oracle Database Appliance patches
a database, it patches the Oracle Home that it is associated with. Therefore all databases in that
Oracle Home are also patched.
To upgrade an Oracle Database, an Oracle Home with the version you want to upgrade to must exist.
If it does not, you can use the Appliance Manager command to create it: oakcli create
dbhome –version The Appliance Manager automatically assigns a name to
the Oracle Home as you currently cannot assign a custom tag. You are now ready to upgrade your
Command: oakcli upgrade database –db <dbname> –to <dest_home>
ASM Cluster File System (ACFS) Integration
Oracle Database Appliance software stack has adopted Oracle ASM Cluster File System (ACFS) as
the primary cluster file system to store database files and general-purpose data. Four default file
systems are created automatically in the Oracle Database Appliance ASM disk groups (DATA,
RECO, REDO, and Flash) when Appliance Manager 12.1.2+ patchset is deployed or imaged. When
new databases are created, the associated database files are created in these three ACFS file systems
instead of in the ASM disk groups directly.
Oracle ACFS is the default for your database version or higher. However, if you are
upgrading a previous release to 12.1.2.+, the databases that were previously created on ASM can coexist with the new databases that are created on ACFS. In addition, you may choose to migrate your
existing databases from ASM to ACFS.
Oracle ACFS was chosen as the primary file system for Oracle Database Appliance because it
Increased functionality without requiring additional management
No performance penalty versus Oracle ASM
Ability to manage all data (database and general purpose files) with a single file system
Industry standard and simple user interface
Database snapshots to quickly and easily provision test and development environments at a
fraction of the disk storage required with full database copies
Industry standard CIFS/NFS network file storage protocol support for sharing (exporting) file
systems over the network to share data with application or database servers. In addition,
Oracle ACFS comes with a highly available HANFS feature that enables highly available file
system exports over virtual IPs.
Complimentary increased functionally for non-database files that may need management
along side with database files. These functions include file system replication, tagging,
security, encryption, audit and snapshot. Please note that these functions, except snapshot, are
not supported for database files because corresponding functionality available directly from
the database.
Internal testing of database workloads has show similar performance for Oracle ACFS and ASM.
Both Oracle ACFS and ASM provide direct I/O to disk resulting in high performance for database
files. In addition, Oracle ACFS performs buffered I/O for non-database files that benefit from
cached data in the system memory.
Database Snapshots
Oracle Database Appliance ACFS databases can take advantage of advanced ACFS functionality to
create a rapid and space efficient snapshot in about 5 minutes – regardless the size of the database. An
Oracle ACFS snapshot is an online, read-only or read-write, point in time copy of an Oracle ACFS file
system. The snapshot copy is space-efficient and uses Copy-On-Write functionality. Before an Oracle
ACFS file extent is modified or deleted, its current value is preserved in the snapshot to maintain the
point-in-time view of the file system. The Oracle Database Appliance Manager has extended its
command line to automate the creation of a database snapshot.
Command: oakcli
Oracle Database Appliance Virtualized Platform
Oracle Database Appliance provides the choice to deploy bare metal or virtualized platform. The
Virtualized platform provides the ability to deploy addtional software such as Oracle WebLogic and
applications and the flexiblity to modify resources to the guest VMs.
With the current architecture, all databases
are deployed in the privileged domain
called ODA Base. ODA Base is deployed
on both nodes with the same number of
cores. All management of the Oracle
Database Appliance is executed from within
ODA Base.
Other software can be
deployed using the resources not allocated
to ODA Base.
The Appliance Manager commands are
extended to provision and manage the
virtualized platform.
The following
capabilities are managed from Appliance Manager:
Partitioning of cores to VMs to isolate workloads
Support VLan to provide additional networks and security
High Availability of Guest VMs with automatic restart, failover, and live migration
Start/Stop VMs
Creation and management of shared repositories for the storage of VMs and Virtual Disk
The latest release of Appliance Manager includes VM snapshots and Virtual Disk management.
VM Snapshots
Utilizing ACFS, snapshots of VMs are rapid and storage efficient. VM snapshots can be used to clone
or register a VM from a vmtemplate or take a point in time snapshot from an existing VM.
Command: Create VM Snapshot from VM template
oakcli clone vm <vmname> -vmtemplate <template_name> -snap
Command: Create VM Snapshot from existing VM
oakcli clone vm <vmname> -vm <src_name> -snap
Deployment time of VMs can be greatly decreased by using the clone-template-snap capability. The
latest Oracle Database Appliance-Oracle WebLogic templates take advantage of this new feature to
decrease the deployment time from 90 minutes to 15 minutes.
VDisk Management
Oracle Database Appliance provides for the dynamic addition of storage to existing VMs with
extended Appliance Manager commands. In addition, a VDisk can be attached to a single VM
referred to as local attachment or shared between clustered VM deployments.
Command: Create VDisk
oakcli create vdisk <vdisk_name> -repo <repo_name> -size <size>
-type <shared|local>
Command: Show VDisk
oakcli show vdisk <vdisk_name> -repo <repo_name>
Command: Delete VDisk
oakcli delete vdisk <vdisk_name> -repo <repo_name>
Command: Attach VDISK to VM
oakcli modify vm <vmname> -attachvdisk <vdisk_name>
Command: Detach VDisk from VM
oakcli modify vm <vmname> -detachvdisk <vdisk_name>
Command: Clone (snapshot) VDisk
Oakcli clone vdisk <new_vdisk_name>
Taking advantage of the integrated VM management, you can easily upgrade VMs by deploying the
software on the VDisk. When it is time to upgrade, you simply detach to the VDisk containing the
older version of the software and attach the VDisk containing the newer version of the software. This
eliminates long downtime due to the time it takes to upgrade the software online.
For customers seeking a simple, reliable, and affordable database solution, the Oracle Database
Appliance is the ideal choice. The Oracle Database Appliance is the first enterprise-class highly
available database solution that:
Reduces complexity
Reduces risk
Reduces cost
To learn more about the Oracle Database Appliance X5-2, please visit:
Contact address:
Tammy Bednar
400 Oracle Parkway
Redwood Shores, CA 94065
+1 650-506-4780
[email protected]
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