Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5
Configuration Example - Oracle
HA on Cluster Suite
Configuring Oracle for High Availability (HA) on Red Hat Cluster Suite
Edition 1
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Configuration Example - Oracle HA on
Cluster Suite
Configuring Oracle for High Availability (HA) on Red Hat Cluster Suite
Edition 1
Landmann m
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T his manual provides a step-by-step installation of Oracle for High Availability (HA) using the Red Hat
Advanced Platform product, Cluster Suite. T his manual presents both the simple RDBMS Enterprise
Edition failover scenario, as well at Oracle RDBMS Real Applications Clusters (RAC) on Shared GFS
filesystems. A sample 2-node cluster is provided for both installation types, and incorporates best
practices that are both common and specific to the chosen method of Cluster Suite HA.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4. . . . . . . . . .
1. About T his Guide
2. Audience
3. Related Documentation
4. Feedback
5. Document Conventions
5.1. T ypographic Conventions
5.2. Pull-quote Conventions
5.3. Notes and Warnings
. . . . . . . . 1.
. . .Overview
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8. . . . . . . . . .
1.1. Oracle Enterprise Edition HA Components
1.1.1. Oracle Enterprise Edition HA for Red Hat Cluster Suite
1.1.2. Oracle Real Application Clusters for Red Hat Cluster Suite and GFS
1.2. Sample T wo-Node Cluster
1.3. Storage Considerations
1.4. Storage T opology and DM-Multipath
1.5. Fencing T opology
1.6. Network T opology Overview
. . . . . . . . 2.
. . .Hardware
. . . . . . . . . . Installation
. . . . . . . . . . . . and
. . . . .Configuration
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
2.1. Server Node
2.2. Storage T opology
2.2.1. Storage Allocation
2.3. Network T opology
2.4. RAC/GFS Considerations
2.5. Fencing Configuration
. . . . . . . . 3.
. . .Software
. . . . . . . . . .Installation
. . . . . . . . . . . .and
. . . . Configuration
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
3.1. RHEL Server Base
3.2. Storage T opology
3.2.1. HBA WWPN Mapping
3.2.2. Multipath Configuration
3.2.3. qdisk Configuration
3.3. Network T opology
3.3.1. Public Network
3.3.2. Red Hat Cluster Suite Network
3.3.3. Fencing Network
3.3.4. Red Hat Cluster Suite services
. ...RAC/GFS
. . . . . . . . . .Cluster
. . . . . . . . Configuration
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30
4.1. Oracle Clusterware
4.1.1. Cluster Recovery T ime
4.2. Network T opology
4.3. GFS Configuration
4.3.1. GFS File System Creation
4.3.2. /etc/fstab Entries
4.3.3. Context Dependent Pathnames (CDPN)
4.4. Oracle Settings and Suggestions
4.4.1. RHEL Settings and Suggestions
4.4.2. Huge T LBs
. . . . . . . . . 5.
. . .Cold
. . . . . Failover
. . . . . . . . .Cluster
. . . . . . . . Configuration
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Configuration Example - Oracle HA on Cluster Suite
5.1. Red Hat Cluster Suite HA
5.2. Red Hat Cluster Suite T imers
5.3. RGManager Configuration
5.3.1. Customizing Environment Variables DB_PROCNAMES LSNR_PROCNAME
5.3.2. Network VIP for Oracle Listeners listener.ora Configuration
5.3.3. Files System Entries
. . . . . . . . .cluster.conf
. . . . . . . . . . . . File
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4. .2. . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . .History
. .3. . . . . . . . . .
. .3. . . . . . . . . .
Table of Contents
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Configuration Example - Oracle HA on Cluster Suite
1. About This Guide
T his manual provides a step-by-step installation of Oracle for High Availability (HA) using the Red Hat
Advanced Platform product, Cluster Suite. T his manual presents both the simple RDBMS Enterprise
Edition failover scenario, as well at Oracle RDBMS Real Applications Clusters (RAC) on Shared GFS file
systems. A sample 2-node cluster is provided for both installation types, and incorporates best practices
that are both common and specific to the chosen method of Cluster Suite HA.
2. Audience
T his book is intended to be used by system administrators managing systems running the Linux
operating system. It requires familiarity with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, Red Hat Cluster Suite, GFS file
systems, Oracle Enterprise Edition HA for Cluster Suite, and Oracle Real Aplication Clusters for Cluster
3. Related Documentation
T his manual is intended to be a standalone Install Guide, so it should not be necessary to seek out
other manuals, unless further information is required to research configuration customization or
advanced topics. Notes and T ips throughout the document provide some insight into why certain
decisions were made for this guide. Much of that rationale is found in these reference documents, which
provide further information on administering Red Hat Cluster Suite:
Red Hat Cluster Suite Overview — Provides a high level overview of the Red Hat Cluster Suite.
Logical Volume Manager Administration — Provides a description of the Logical Volume Manager
(LVM), including information on running LVM in a clustered environment.
Global File System: Configuration and Administration — Provides information about installing,
configuring, and maintaining Red Hat GFS (Red Hat Global File System).
Using Device-Mapper Multipath — Provides information about using the Device-Mapper Multipath
feature of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.
Red Hat Cluster Suite Release Notes — Provides information about the current release of Red Hat
Cluster Suite.
Red Hat Cluster Suite documentation and other Red Hat documents are available in HT ML, PDF, and
RPM versions on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux Documentation CD and online at
4. Feedback
If you spot a typo, or if you have thought of a way to make this manual better, we would love to hear from
you. Please submit a report in Bugzilla ( against the component
Docum entation-cluster.
Be sure to mention the manual's identifier:
Bugzilla component: TBD
Book identifier: TBD(EN)-5 (2010-07-23T15:20)
By mentioning this manual's identifier, we know exactly which version of the guide you have.
If you have a suggestion for improving the documentation, try to be as specific as possible. If you have
found an error, please include the section number and some of the surrounding text so we can find it
5. Document Conventions
T his manual uses several conventions to highlight certain words and phrases and draw attention to
specific pieces of information.
In PDF and paper editions, this manual uses typefaces drawn from the Liberation Fonts set. T he
Liberation Fonts set is also used in HT ML editions if the set is installed on your system. If not, alternative
but equivalent typefaces are displayed. Note: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 and later include the Liberation
Fonts set by default.
5.1. Typographic Conventions
Four typographic conventions are used to call attention to specific words and phrases. T hese
conventions, and the circumstances they apply to, are as follows.
Mono-spaced Bold
Used to highlight system input, including shell commands, file names and paths. Also used to highlight
keys and key combinations. For example:
T o see the contents of the file m y_next_bestselling_novel in your current working
directory, enter the cat m y_next_bestselling_novel command at the shell prompt
and press Enter to execute the command.
T he above includes a file name, a shell command and a key, all presented in mono-spaced bold and all
distinguishable thanks to context.
Key combinations can be distinguished from an individual key by the plus sign that connects each part of
a key combination. For example:
Press Enter to execute the command.
Press Ctrl+Alt+F2 to switch to a virtual terminal.
T he first example highlights a particular key to press. T he second example highlights a key combination:
a set of three keys pressed simultaneously.
If source code is discussed, class names, methods, functions, variable names and returned values
mentioned within a paragraph will be presented as above, in m ono-spaced bold. For example:
File-related classes include filesystem for file systems, file for files, and dir for
directories. Each class has its own associated set of permissions.
Proportional Bold
T his denotes words or phrases encountered on a system, including application names; dialog box text;
labeled buttons; check-box and radio button labels; menu titles and sub-menu titles. For example:
Choose System → Preferences → Mouse from the main menu bar to launch Mouse
Preferences. In the Buttons tab, select the Left-handed m ouse check box and click
Close to switch the primary mouse button from the left to the right (making the mouse
suitable for use in the left hand).
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Configuration Example - Oracle HA on Cluster Suite
T o insert a special character into a gedit file, choose Applications → Accessories →
Character Map from the main menu bar. Next, choose Search → Find… from the
Character Map menu bar, type the name of the character in the Search field and click
Next. T he character you sought will be highlighted in the Character T able. Double-click
this highlighted character to place it in the T ext to copy field and then click the Copy
button. Now switch back to your document and choose Edit → Paste from the gedit menu
T he above text includes application names; system-wide menu names and items; application-specific
menu names; and buttons and text found within a GUI interface, all presented in proportional bold and all
distinguishable by context.
Mono-spaced Bold Italic or Proportional Bold Italic
Whether mono-spaced bold or proportional bold, the addition of italics indicates replaceable or variable
text. Italics denotes text you do not input literally or displayed text that changes depending on
circumstance. For example:
T o connect to a remote machine using ssh, type ssh username@ at a shell
prompt. If the remote machine is exam and your username on that machine is
john, type ssh john@ exam .
T he m ount -o rem ount file-system command remounts the named file system. For
example, to remount the /hom e file system, the command is m ount -o rem ount /hom e.
T o see the version of a currently installed package, use the rpm -q package command. It
will return a result as follows: package-version-release.
Note the words in bold italics above — username,, file-system, package, version and
release. Each word is a placeholder, either for text you enter when issuing a command or for text
displayed by the system.
Aside from standard usage for presenting the title of a work, italics denotes the first use of a new and
important term. For example:
Publican is a DocBook publishing system.
5.2. Pull-quote Conventions
T erminal output and source code listings are set off visually from the surrounding text.
Output sent to a terminal is set in m ono-spaced rom an and presented thus:
Source-code listings are also set in m ono-spaced rom an but add syntax highlighting as follows:
static int kvm_vm_ioctl_deassign_device(struct kvm *kvm,
struct kvm_assigned_pci_dev *assigned_dev)
int r = 0;
struct kvm_assigned_dev_kernel *match;
match = kvm_find_assigned_dev(&kvm->arch.assigned_dev_head,
if (!match) {
printk(KERN_INFO "%s: device hasn't been assigned before, "
"so cannot be deassigned\n", __func__);
r = -EINVAL;
goto out;
kvm_deassign_device(kvm, match);
kvm_free_assigned_device(kvm, match);
return r;
5.3. Notes and Warnings
Finally, we use three visual styles to draw attention to information that might otherwise be overlooked.
Notes are tips, shortcuts or alternative approaches to the task at hand. Ignoring a note should
have no negative consequences, but you might miss out on a trick that makes your life easier.
Important boxes detail things that are easily missed: configuration changes that only apply to the
current session, or services that need restarting before an update will apply. Ignoring a box
labeled 'Important' will not cause data loss but may cause irritation and frustration.
Warnings should not be ignored. Ignoring warnings will most likely cause data loss.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Configuration Example - Oracle HA on Cluster Suite
Chapter 1. Overview
T his manual provides a step-by-step installation of Oracle for High Availability (HA) using the Red Hat
Advanced Platform product, Cluster Suite. T his manual provides installation instructions for the following
two scenarios:
Simple RDBMS Enterprise Edition failover
Oracle RDMBS Real Applications Cluster (RAC) on shared GFS file systems
A sample two-node cluster is provided for both installation types. Each installation incorporates best
practices that are both common and specific to the chosen method of Red Hat Cluster Suite HA.
T he remainder of this chapter describes the components of the sample installation configurations and
provides general overviews of the configuration issues an Oracle HA installation must address. It is
organized as follows:
Section 1.1, “Oracle Enterprise Edition HA Components”
Section 1.2, “Sample T wo-Node Cluster”
Section 1.3, “Storage Considerations”
Section 1.4, “Storage T opology and DM-Multipath”
Section 1.5, “Fencing T opology”
Section 1.6, “Network T opology Overview”
Installing Oracle for use with Red Hat Cluster Suite HA is complex and requires close
collaboration across the entire IT organization, including development when RAC is deployed. HA
computing is a single platform that must span these departments successfully, in order to achieve
the intended reliability. T he quality of this collaboration cannot be under-estimated.
1.1. Oracle Enterprise Edition HA Components
T he first installation scenario this document describes requires Oracle Enterprise Edition HA for Red
Hat Cluster Suite. T he second installation scenario this document describes requires the Real
Application Clusters (RAC) option of Oracle Enterprise edition. T he following sections summarize these
components and their certification requirements.
1.1.1. Oracle Enterprise Edition HA for Red Hat Cluster Suite
Oracle has supported a simple, exclusive failover, since Oracle7. Customers familiar with HP’s
Serviceguard will recognize this Red Hat Cluster Suite HA configuration.
In this configuration, there are two servers that are licensed to run Oracle Enterprise Edition, but only
one server may access the database at any given time. Oracle refers to this as single-instance, nonshared operation. Red Hat Cluster Suite ensures isomorphic, or mutually exclusive operation of these
two servers. If both servers access the database simultaneously, corruption may result. Red Hat Cluster
Suite is responsible for ensuring this does not happen. T he Enterprise Edition HA failover case will
assume the file system is ext3, but others are supported.
T here are no specific certification requirements for combinations of Red Hat Cluster Red Hat Cluster,
RHEL file systems and Oracle Enterprise Edition HA. Oracle supports any certified, non-local file system
that is supported by Red Hat Cluster Suite. For more information on Oracle HA on Red Hat Cluster Suite,
Chapter 1. Overview
see the kbase article “Red Hat Support for Oracle Enterprise Edition and Cold Failover Cluster Suite
1.1.2. Oracle Real Application Clusters for Red Hat Cluster Suite and GFS
Oracle Enterprise Edition has a separately priced option called Real Application Clusters (RAC), and this
does provide for shared access, or multi-instance, shared operation. Red Hat Cluster Suite Oracle RAC
is certified only for use with GFS shared volumes.
Although Oracle RAC supports more than eight nodes, most customer deployments are typically four to
eight nodes. T he mechanics of a multi-node RAC installation can be demonstrated with the same twonode cluster that can be used for Enterprise Edition HA. T his provides an equivalent configuration for
comparison and to determine which option is best for your requirements.
Oracle RAC has very specific certification requirements that include a minimal update release level of
RHEL and a patchset specific version of the Oracle RDBMS RAC kernel. Certified configurations of
Oracle RAC with GFS can be found in the Oracle Support document ID 329530.1.
In the RAC configuration described in this document, there are two servers licensed to run Oracle
Enterprise Edition simultaneously. T his is referred to as shared disk architecture. T he database files,
online redo logs, and control files for the database must be accessible to each node in the cluster. Red
Hat Cluster Suite and Oracle Clusterware work together to ensure the health of the cluster is optimal.
1.2. Sample Two-Node Cluster
T he sample two-node cluster that will be used for this configuration is a simple cluster that can be
configured for either of the two install types. T ips and Notes will be provided to help with the process of
customizing the install to a particular set of business requirements.
Figure 1.1, “Sample T wo-Node Oracle Cluster” shows a generalized overview of the configuration this
installation yields. In this configuration, there are two nodes, each with a fencing agent and each
connected to shared storage. A quorum disk has been configured. T here is also an application tier
network that accesses the nodes.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Configuration Example - Oracle HA on Cluster Suite
Figure 1.1. Sample T wo-Node Oracle Cluster
Figure 1.2, “Cluster Node Connections” shows a generalized summary of the connections for each node
in the configuration. Each node is connected to a public network, to a private network, and to shared
storage. In addition, each node is configured with a fencing device that is also connected to the private
Figure 1.2. Cluster Node Connections
Chapter 1. Overview
Asymmetrical RAC topologies
RAC clusters are often configured to be symmetrical; the type of workload presented to the nodes
is similar. In this topology, the servers are also of the same relative computing strength. T ypically,
the servers are over-configured by 50% in order for the failover node to handle the work of both
nodes. However, this assumes that the business requirements for degraded operation are
identical to normal operation, which is not always the case.
An alternative configuration is to build asymmetric topologies. In our simple two-node case, one
node might be used to update the database (ET L - Extract, T ransform and Load), and the other
node may be used to run queries. Some nodes could be significantly larger in order to be
dedicated to just one form of processing (e.g., Parallel Queries). Oracle RAC is not universally
transparent to SQL workloads; awareness of when and where writes occur (SQL inserts, updates
and deletes) can dramatically improve scalability, even in the two-node case.
Asymmetrical RAC topologies do have implications for failover, as a set of nodes might be tuned
for queries and now must handle other work on behalf of the failed node. T his topology is more
common with higher node counts.
1.3. Storage Considerations
A database does only a couple of things: it reads a lot of data and it writes a lot of data. It produces and
consumes I/O, and with few exceptions most of those I/O operations are in the form of small, random
reads and writes. A well-tuned application (they do exist) will access most of the data in the most
efficient way possible. T his means extensive use of indexes and that translates into random IOPS, or
I/Os per second.
Disk drives are physical media and are at the mercy of the law of physics. A disk drive (or spindle) must
deliver as many IOPS as possible to make it a good candidate for database use. T his usually means a
high RPM, and support for SCSI. Modern SAS drives (Serial Access SCSI) replaced the SCSI bus with a
cheaper, serial bus. Modern SAT A (Serial AT A) replaced the ribbon cable in your PCI with a much
cheaper cable. SAS drives tend to be higher RPM, support something called tagged queuing and usually
have the best IOPS/spindle. However, disk drive technology changes often, so insist on the highest
IOPS/spindle/$; regardless of the technology. It is not possible to buy too many spindles.
T he storage layer must absolutely preserve the persistency of the data, so the data is still there when
the lights go out. Be more aware of what hardware actually fails in a typical no single point of failure
configuration. Drives fail, the grid fails, power supplies fail, in that order. Most other components outlast
the lifetime of the deployed cluster.
RAM disks versus Flash RAM cards
Drive technology has not kept up with CPU and memory technology, and much of this has to do
with basic physics. A recent trend is the use of Flash technology in a disk form factor (Solid State
Drives or SSD). T he other trend is the use of large Flash RAM cards (connected by 8-16 lanes of
PCI-e) to operate as a coherent, write cache, either in the storage array or somewhere between
you and the physical disks. Both Flash cards and SSDs are very fast, but must be just as
persistent. Since Red Hat Cluster Suite Oracle HA requires shared storage (in either case), the
storage vendor tends to have both options. Either can work well for a given workload, but it is
always the workload adaptability that will determine the success of these technologies (or any
disk technology).
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Configuration Example - Oracle HA on Cluster Suite
RAID technology
T here seem to be more RAID options than ever before. A simple thing to remember for databases
is that, on average, a 144GB 15K drive is the same speed as a 36GB 15K, so if you factor for
IOPS throughput, you don’t need to worry about space.
RAID5 is often used as a speed/space compromise, but is very slow especially for random writes,
which databases do a lot. Sometimes the RAID controllers can hide this effect, but not well, and
not forever. Another common algorithm uses one or more parity drives (most notably Netapp and
HP EVA), and this option is a much better alternative to RAID5.
For database performance, the gold standard is RAID10 (a stripe of mirrored drives), which can
tolerate the loss of 50% of the spindles and keep running at full performance. It might seem like a
“waste” of space, but you are purchasing IOPS/spindle/$; the size of the drive is not relevant to
database performance.
Various RAID options can create extra I/O in order to maintain the persistency, so the actual
numbers of IOPS available to the database (payload IOPS), tends to be less than the spindle
count, as is a function of the selected RAID algorithm.
Shared or non-shared file systems tend to be blocks-based file systems that are constructed on a set of
physical or logical LUNs, as in the case of Red Hat’s Logical Volume Manager (LVM), or the clustered
equivalent for the shared GFS install, CLVMD. An example of a files-based file system would be the NFS
file system. T his guide assumes that LUNs are presented for formatting into the appropriate filesystem
type for either Enterprise Edition HA, or RAC.
T here are 3 main factors in calculating IOPS or I/O's Per Second:
Rotational Speed – AKA spindle speed (RPM)
Average Latency – T ime for sector being accessed to be under a r/w head
Average Seek – T ime it takes for hard drive's r/w head to position itself over the track to be
read or written.
IOPS is calculated as 1/(Avg. Latency + Avg. Seek)(ms)
T otal IOPS = IOPS * T otal number of drives
For example, let's say we want to find the total IOPS in our storage subsystem and we have the
following storage:
4 X 1TB 10kRPM SAS (RAID 0)
Avg. Latency = 3ms
Avg. Seek = 4.45ms
1(.003 + .0045)= 133 IOPS
T otal IOPS = 4 * 133 IOPS = 532 IOPS
1.4. Storage Topology and DM-Multipath
Blocks-based clusters still tend to be deployed on Fiber Channel (FCP), but other technologies, such as
iSCSI and FCoE (FCP transport captured into, typically, 10GbE Ethernet) also exist and are supported
Oracle technologies. Device-Mapper multipath is a RHEL service that provides multiple pathways to the
shared storage array. T he array is usually accessed through an FCP switch that contains partitioned
Chapter 1. Overview
zones to regulate the use of the array. It is recommended that the all the FCP ports from the servers be
isolated into a zone with the access ports (or HCAs) on the storage array. Although many customers
use large storage arrays and then sub-divide their use amongst many consumers in the datacenter, we
would not recommend this for Oracle clusters. Production Oracle databases tend to place great
demands on storage arrays, and sharing them will only complicate the deployment. And complication
always means a reduction in reliability.
In the iSCSI case, bonded NICs can be used in lieu of DM-multipath, but should be a separate set of
NICs that will be used for the Red Hat Cluster Suite heartbeat service, or Oracle RAC Clusterware
1.5. Fencing Topology
Fencing is one of the most important features of Red Hat Cluster Suite HA. Fencing is ultimately
responsible for guaranteeing the integrity of the cluster and preventing wholesale corruption of an
Oracle database.
Red Hat Cluster Suite HA supports a variety of fencing technologies, but we recommend the use of
fencing agents that manage the power to the server nodes. T his is performed using either the server’s
Baseboard Management Controller (BMC), or with external Power Distribution Units (PDUs). Most IPMIbased BMCs, as well as a few popular PDUs are supported.
In this sample cluster, the nodes are HP Proliants, and the IPMI-based BMC is call iLO (Integrated LightsOut Management).
For the certified Oracle RAC configurations, Oracle Clusterware does not support power-managed
fencing and must be configured so as to not interfere with Red Hat Cluster Suite HA fencing agents.
1.6. Network Topology Overview
Up to three sets of network pathways are needed for an Oracle HA cluster to operate properly:
T he application tier, on behalf of users, must have access to the database nodes.
T he Red Hat Cluster Suite node monitoring services need access to all nodes to determine the state
of the cluster.
In the RAC case, Oracle Clusterware needs a high-speed pathway to implement Oracle Cache
Fusion (or Global Cache Services – GCS).
Oracle RAC was certified with GCS running over bonded pairs of Ethernet interfaces, as was the Red
Hat Cluster Suite heartbeat service to ensure coordinated cluster activity. It is optional to use bonded
links for the Red Hat Cluster Suite heartbeat (or Oracle Clusterware GCS), but is highly recommended.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Configuration Example - Oracle HA on Cluster Suite
T he Oracle Cache Fusion links can run over standard UDP Ethernet (GbE links, at least), but can
also run over a proprietary RDMA Infiniband network, and is fully supported by Oracle on RHEL,
starting with RDBMS version T he Oracle GCS protocol functions like many other
conventional cache protocols and must broadcast to all nodes when requesting a cache block.
On a hardware bus, this is called Snooping. With GCS, this tends to generate geometric UDP
broadcast traffic when node count exceeds eight. Most applications become the bottleneck long
before, but GCS snoop traffic eventually limits the scalability of all RAC clusters. T he IB/rdma
feature (AKA Reliable Datagram Sockets – RDS/skgxp), mitigates this geometric growth, and
makes larger node counts more practical. T his effect is rarely seen in the majority of clusters,
which tends to less than eight nodes.
T he heartbeat networks for a cluster should be isolated into a dedicated, private VLAN that also filters
for UDP broadcasting, in the RAC cluster case. All of these service networks should be a private and
physically isolated as is possible. T hese fabrics should not be considered public, production networks.
Make this clear when requesting network provisioning from NetOPS, or give them a copy of this
Chapter 2. Hardware Installation and Configuration
Chapter 2. Hardware Installation and Configuration
A Cluster is a complex arrangement of bits and pieces that, once combined with the software
configuration, produces a highly available platform for mission critical Oracle databases. T he hardware
configuration requires some knowledge of the application, or at a minimum, its expectation of
performance. T he goal is always to produce a reliable Red Hat Cluster Suite HA platform, but rarely at
the expense of performance or scalability. Oracle uses the terms MAA or Maximum Availability
Architecture, but whatever the term, optimizing a platform for availability, scalability and reliability often
feels like juggling chainsaws.
2.1. Server Node
Most servers that are configured to run Oracle must provide a large amount of memory and processing
power, and our sample cluster is no exception. Each node is an HP Proliant DL585, with 32GB of RAM,
and multi-core processors.
T he server comes standard with HP’s Integrated Light Out processor management that will be used as
the Red Hat Cluster Suite fencing mechanism. It also has two built-in GbE NICs. T his configuration also
includes an additional dual-ported GbE NIC used by Red Hat Cluster Suite and Oracle Clusterware (in
the RAC install).
T he local storage requirements on each server are minimal and any basic configuration will have more
than adequate disk space. It is recommended that you configure the local array for reliable speed, not
space (i.e., not RAID5). Oracle can produce a trace log load, especially Clusterware, which may impact
cluster recovery performance.
2.2. Storage Topology
Storage layout is very workload dependent, and some rudimentary knowledge of the workload is
necessary. Historically, database storage is provisioned by space, not speed. In the rare case where
performance is considered, topology bandwidth (MB/sec) is used as the metric. T his is the wrong
performance metric for databases. All but the largest data warehouses require 1000s of IOPs to perform
well. IOPS only come from high numbers of spindles that are provisioned underneath the file system.
T he easiest way to configure an array for both performance and reliability is to use a RAID set size of 812 (depending on the RAID algorithm). Many RAID sets can be combined to produce a single large
volume. It is recommended that you then use this volume and strip the LUNs off this high IOP volume to
create the specific number of sized LUNS. T his is often called the "block of cheese" model, where every
strip independent of size has full access to the IOP capacity of this large, single volume. T his is the
easiest way to produce high performance LUN for a database.
Acquire as many 15K spindles as is practical or affordable. Resist the temptation to use large, low RPM
drives (i.e., SAT A). Resist the temptation to use drive technology (including controllers and arrays) that
don’t support tagged queuing (i.e., most SAT A). T agged queuing is critical to sustained high IOP rates. In
the SAT A world, it is called NCQ (Native Command Queuing). In the FCP/SAS world, it is called T agged
Queuing. It is usually implemented at the shelf level; insist on it.
Contrary to some detailed studies, in general a 15K 72GB drive has better performance than a 10K
300GB drive. Outer track optimizations cannot be relied upon over the lifecycle of the application, nor
can they be relied upon with many storage array allocation algorithms. If you could ensure that only the
outer tracks were used, then larger capacity drives should seek less. It is difficult to buy small, high RPM
drives, but they will always have the best IOP price/performance ratio.
Software, or host-based RAID is less reliable than array-based RAID, especially during reconstruction,
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Configuration Example - Oracle HA on Cluster Suite
and load balancing. Host-based RAID operations compete for resources and could compromise
throughput on the database server.
Many storage topologies include FCP switch infrastructure and this can be used to isolate the I/O traffic
to the array. We recommend that the storage array HCAs and the four ports of the two HBAs all be
placed in one zone. For more information on HBA configuration see Section 3.2.2, “Multipath
We do not recommend the multi-purposing of a storage array. Many customers buy very large arrays
and place multiple Oracle databases (including dev and test) all on one array. T his is ill advised, and the
write-back cache policies in the array (which will become the bottleneck) are difficult to tune. Relative to
the cost of Oracle and the critical nature of most Oracle databases to their respective enterprises, the
storage is free; dedicate the storage, if possible. Oracle workloads are voracious, and unpredictable
consumers of arrays.
2.2.1. Storage Allocation
Red Hat Cluster Suite requires a single, 64MB LUN for quorum disk support. It is recommended that the
qdisk feature be used for Oracle Cold Failover.
RAC/GFS Requirement
T he qdisk feature is mandatory for RAC/GFS clusters.
RAC/GFS clusters require Oracle Clusterware to be installed, and they require five 384MB LUNS (two for
registry, three for quorum). It is recommended that three Clusterware voting (quorum) disks be
configured, but a single, externally (array) redundant Clusterware vote disk is fully supported.
In either the HA or RAC/GFS install, the LUNs will be used to create file systems. Oracle supports AIO
and DIO for both EXT 3 and GFS; this provides raw device performance. In our configuration, the
performance of any given LUN is the same; the size of the LUN does not affect performance. However,
the size of the LUN may affect filesystem performance if large numbers of files are placed in many
directories. Most Oracle databases use a relatively low number of datafiles in a file system, but this is at
the discretion of the DBA and is determined by the ongoing operational requirements of the database.
T ablespaces consist of datafiles, and contain base tables and indexes. T ables are indexes are usually
in separate tablespaces (if you are lucky) and the datafiles are usually created to be as large as
possible. In some cases, tablespaces and datafiles are intentionally created small, with AUT OEXET END
disabled. T his generates alerts that cause DBAs to be notified of dynamic growth requests in the
database. No two shops have the same policy towards AUT OEXT END.
Redo Logs, UNDO tablespaces and Redo Archive logs often get their own file system. Redo log file
systems normally have write latency sensitivity, and can be impacted by an Archive log switch
(ARCHIVELOG is usually enabled for production databases).
Chapter 2. Hardware Installation and Configuration
During a log switch, the previously closed log is copied to the archive destination, and is usually
not throttled. T his can impact transaction commit response times. One of the simplest ways to
mitigate this effect is to place the Archive Log destination on DIO-enabled NFS mount, and the
network connection be forced to 100T X. T his is the easiest way to throttle archive log copies.
Customers often use NFS as an archive log destination, so this can be as simple as a NIC reconfiguration request.
A LUN (and subsequent file system) should be allocated for ORACLE_HOME. T his file system should not
contain any database files. T his LUN must only hold the product home, and spare capacity for trace files.
It could be as small as 8GB.
RAC/GFS Requirement
For RAC/GFS, Oracle Clusterware Home (ORA_CRS_HOME) cannot be located on a clustered GFS
mount point.
Virtualized Storage
Like virtualized anything else, Oracle and virtualization tend to make very strange bedfellows.
Oracle database applications are voracious consumers of hardware resources and rarely share
well with other applications, and often not well even with the host OS. Oracle is a fully portable OS
that is completed implemented in user space. It is best to dedicate the hardware to Oracle, and
this goes for the storage array too. EMC invented “virtualized” storage years ago with the concept
of busting up a single, big disk into four pieces, or Hypers. T hese Hypers combine in a way that
create a Meta LUN. T his looks like a highly efficient utilization of storage, but misses the point -- A
15K drive busted up into four pieces, does not serve four times the IOPS. If you run several
instances of Oracle on a virtualized server and several copies of Oracle databases on a
virtualized storage array, your life will be much harder (and very likely shorter).
2.3. Network Topology
T here are only two main network pathways used by the cluster: the frontside, or public, and the
backside, or private, cluster interconnect network.
Clients or application servers mostly use the public network in order to connect to the database. When a
node fails, existing transactions, sessions and connections disappear and this can create an
interruption in service to these connections. T he decision to deploy Cold Failover or RAC/GFS depends
on how fast connections and transactions must restart. Cold Failover does not preserve any state, but
can still restart very quickly, without having to reconstruct, re-connect, and re-synchronize with the
application. RAC provides the ability to preserve much more context about sessions and transactions. If
configured properly (including the application tier), this can dramatically reduce the downtime, but it
increases both cost and complexity.
T he most difficult situation is with existing connections that have opened a T CP/IP socket to the
database. When the database node fails, the client socket needs to be notified as soon as possible.
Most JDBC drivers now use out-of-band signaling to avoid the dreaded hung socket. Connection pools
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Configuration Example - Oracle HA on Cluster Suite
within application servers must be configured correctly, so failover delay is minimized.
T he backside network is a private, dedicated network that should be configured as a four-port VLAN, if a
non-private switch is used.
Most customers buy dual-ported NICs, which are not as reliable as two single-ported NICs. However,
bonding ports across different drivers is also not recommended (bonding a T G3 port and an e1000
port, for instance). If possible use twp outboard single-ported NICs. Servers with the same out-board
ports as the built-in ports (all e1000 ports, for instance), can safely cross-bond.
Connecting the ports to two different switches may also not work in some cases, so creating a fully
redundant bonding NIC pathway is harder than it should be. Since the goal of the back-side network is
for heartbeat, if the NIC fails but the server is up the server is still fenced. Statistically, the cluster might
fence a little more often, but that’s about it.
2.4. RAC/GFS Considerations
Oracle Clusterware implements Virtual IP routing so that target IP addresses of the failed node can
be quickly taken over by the surviving node. T his means new connections see little or no delay.
In the GFS/RAC cluster, Oracle uses the back-side network to implement Oracle Global Cache
Fusion (GCS) and database blocks can be moved between nodes over this link. T his can place extra
load on this link, and for certain workloads, a second dedicated backside network might be required.
Bonded links using LACP (Link Aggregation Control Protocol) for higher capacity, GCS links, using
multiple GbE links are supported, but not extensively tested. Customers may also run the simple,
two-NIC bond in load-balance, but the recommendation is to use this for failover, especially in the
two-node case.
Oracle GCS can also be implemented over Infiniband using the Reliable Data Sockets (RDS)
protocol. T his provides an extremely low latency, memory-to-memory connection. T his strategy is
more often required in high node-count clusters, which implement data warehouses. In these larger
clusters, the inter-node traffic (and GCS coherency protocol) easily exhausts the capacity of
conventional GbE/udp links.
Oracle RAC has other strategies to preserve existing sessions and transactions from the failed node
(Oracle T ransparent Session and Application Migration/Failover). Most customers do not implement
these features. However, they are available, and near non-stop failover is possible with RAC. T hese
features are not available in the Cold Failover configuration, so the client tier must be configured
Oracle RAC is quite expensive, but can provide that last 5% of uptime that might make the extra cost
worth every nickel. A simple two-node Red Hat Cluster Suite Oracle Failover cluster only requires one
Enterprise Edition license. T he two-node RAC/GFS cluster requires two Enterprise Edition licenses
and a separately priced license for RAC (and partitioning).
2.5. Fencing Configuration
Fencing is a technique used to remove a cluster member from an active cluster, as determined by loss of
communication with the cluster. T here are two fail-safe mechanisms in a typical Oracle HA configuration:
the quorum voting disk service, qdisk, and the cm an heartbeat mechanism that operates over the
private, bonded network. If either node fails to “check-in” within a prescribed time, actions are taken to
remove, or fence the node from the rest of the active cluster. Fencing is the most important job that a
cluster product must do. Inconsistent, or unreliable fencing can result in corruption of the Oracle
database -- it must be bulletproof.
Red Hat Cluster Suite provides more fencing technologies than either Veritas Foundation Suite, or
Chapter 2. Hardware Installation and Configuration
Oracle Clusterware. T he fencing methods that we recommend for use with Oracle databases, are all
power-based, and have been in the Red Hat Cluster Suite for several releases. Mature, power-based
fencing methods are, indeed, the foundation of any robust cluster.
Most T ier 1 server vendors provide built-in baseboard management controllers (BMC), but they are
called many things (HP iLO, Dell DRAC, Sun ILOM). All BMCs provide network-signaled access to the
server’s power supply. When Red Hat Cluster Suite must fence a node in the cluster, the fencing
process on the node that detected the fault will connect to the other nodes BMC and literally power-off
the server node. T his is the most discrete form of fencing, and it the mechanism we use. In this case, we
use HP iLO, which comes standard on all Proliant 300 and 500 series.
Red Hat Cluster Suite also supports levels of fencing for those who find BMC-based fencing insufficient.
Among many other available methods (such as FCP switch port disable), Red Hat Cluster Suite also
supports signaled power distribution units (PDUs). PDUs are also connected to an Ethernet network,
and when engaged for fencing, they cut the power to the server’s power supply, much as the BMC does
on-board. T he need to use multi-levels can be necessary because most, if not all, BMC interfaces are
single Ethernet ports. T his could be a single point of failure. Most PDUs also only have 1 network
interface, but combined, these two methods provide redundant power signaling.
Our example will show iLO, and how it can be combined with an APC switched PDU infrastructure.
Red Hat Cluster Suite is typically configured to access the fencing network over the private bonded
fabric, but any network fabric can be subsequently configured if a dedicated (and likely bonded) network
is dedicated just to the fencing network. Our example will access the fencing network over the private,
bonded network.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Configuration Example - Oracle HA on Cluster Suite
Chapter 3. Software Installation and Configuration
A Cluster is a complex arrangement of bits and pieces that, once combined with the software
configuration, produces a highly available platform for mission critical Oracle databases. We probably
can’t repeat that often enough, but complexity is public enemy #1. Clusters, by definition, are complex.
When clusters are poorly configured, they completely defeat the purpose for which they were originally
sought: high availability.
T he software components of a cluster combine with a particular set of hardware components to often
produce a unique platform that could fail because it was not fully tested in this specific configuration.
T his is the just the reality of the modern enterprise. Under abnormal operation conditions (when you
most want the cluster most to work), it is safe to say that no two clusters are alike in their ability to
produce conditions that might cause instability. Do not assume that your unique combination of hardware
and software has ever existed, let alone been tested in some mythical, multi-vendor testing lab. T orture it
before you put it into production.
T he steps outlined in this chapter assume one node at a time, and most of the process simply replicates
to each node.
3.1. RHEL Server Base
Some customers install every last package onto an Oracle database server, because that simplifies their
process. Some Oracle customers have been known to hand build kernels and delete every nonessential package, with everybody else in between.
For our sanity (and we hope, yours), we install the minimum set of RPM groups that are necessary to run
Red Hat Cluster Suite and Oracle Enterprise Edition.
T he following shows the kickstart file for:
HP Proliant server, with iLO, Storageworks controller, outboard e1000, and Qlogic 2300 series FCP
You should take the following into account when considering what sofware components to install.
T his example is an NFS-based install. As always, no two kickstart files are the same.
Customers often use auto-allocation, which creates a single logical volume to create partitions. It is
not necessary to separate the root directories into separate mounts. A 6GB root partition is probably
overkill for an Oracle node. In either install configuration, ORACLE_HOME must be installed on an
external LUN. ORA_CRS_HOME (Oracle Clusterware for RAC/GFS) must be installed on a local
partition on each node. T he example below is from our RAC/GFS node.
Only the groups listed below are required. All other packages and groups are included at the
customer’s discretion.
SELINUX must be disabled for all releases of Oracle, except 11gR2.
Firewalls are disabled, and not required (customer discretion).
Deadline I/O scheduling is generally recommended, but some warehouse workloads might benefit
from other algorithms.
Chapter 3. Software Installation and Configuration
device scsi cciss
device scsi qla2300
nfs --server= --dir=/vol/ed/jneedham/ISO/RHEL5/U3/64
reboot yes
lang en_US.UTF-8
keyboard us
network --device eth0 --bootproto=static --device=eth0 --gateway= -ip= --ip= --nameserver= -netmask= --onboot=on
rootpw "oracleha"
authconfig --enableshadow --enablemd5
selinux --disabled
firewall --disabled --port=22:tcp
timezone --utc America/Vancouver
bootloader --location=m br --driveorder=cciss/c0d0 --append="elevator=deadline"
# P A R T I T I O N
part swap --fstype swap --ondisk=cciss/c0d0 --usepart=cciss/c0d0p2
part / --fstype ext3 --ondisk=cciss/c0d0 --usepart=cciss/c0d0p3
part /ee --fstype ext3 --ondisk=cciss/c0d0 --usepart=cciss/c0d0p5
size 32768
--size=16384 --size=6144 --noformat --
Following installation, we often disable many of the services in the /etc/rc3.d file. Most of these
services are not required when the server is configured for Oracle use.
ext3 file systems that are created during an install do not have the maximum journal size. For
RAC/GFS nodes, where ORA_CRS_HOME must live on this mount, we recommend that you rebuild
the file system with the maximum journal size:
$ mke2fs –j –J size=400 /dev/cciss/cod0p5
Oracle Clusterware can churn a file system, so larger journals and a local RAID algorithm that
favors performance will be beneficial.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Configuration Example - Oracle HA on Cluster Suite
3.2. Storage Topology
Once the server has all the required software installed, configuration can commence. Configuring the
server node to map the external LUN will require some incremental configuration on the server, some
incremental configuration on the array and then back to the server to verify that all LUNs were mapped.
Since the storage pathways will be multipathed, all LUNS must be visible down both ports on the HBA
before moving onto the multipath configuration.
3.2.1. HBA WWPN Mapping
Fiber Channel HBAs typically have two ports or, for extra redundancy, two single-ported HBAs are
deployed. In either case, the World-Wide Port Number (WWPN) for each port must be acquired for both
nodes and used to register the LUNS so the storage array will accept the connection request. T ry to
install the FCP ports into the server before RHEL is installed. T his will insure they are configured for use,
once the install is complete.
When FCP switch zones are deployed to isolate database traffic to a specific set of FCP array ports on
the array, the switch will identify the ports physically, or you can also use the specific WWPN. Most
storage administrators know how to do this, but this is what must happen to make sure two copies of the
LUNS show on each server node.
T he storage array typically bundles the LUNS that are reserved for this cluster into an initiator group,
and this group list must contain all four WWPNs so that all four requesting HBA ports can see the set of
On RHEL, the easiest place to look for the HBA WWPNs is in the /sys directory, but the switch often has
logged the port names as well, so you can look there if you know how the HBAs are connected to the
$ cat /sys/class/block/fc_host/host0/port_name
$ cat /sys/class/block/fc_host/host1/port_name
Use the hex values from the /sys inquiry. Do not use the WWNN or node name. WWPNs needed to be
added to the initiator group on the array, and to the appropriate zone on the switch. Once these steps
are complete, reboot the server and you should see two sets of identical LUNS. You cannot proceed to
the multipath configuration section until there are two identical sets.
3.2.2. Multipath Configuration
T he software feature Device-Mapper Multipath (DM-Multipath) was installed as part of the kickstart and
is used to provide pathway redundancy to the LUN. Configuring DM-Multipath must be the next step.
Both the Red Hat Cluster Suite quorum disk and the Oracle Clusterware support disks will need to use
the resulting DM-Multipath objects. Once DM-Multipath is configured, the block device entries that will be
used appear in /dev/m apper.
T he installation of DM-Multipath creates an rc service and a disabled /etc/m ultipath.conf file.
T he task in this section is to create reasonable aliases for the LUN, and also to define how failure
processing is managed. T he default configuration in this file is to blacklist everything, so this clause
must be modified, removed, or commented out and then multipath must be restarted or refreshed. Be
sure the multipah daemon is set to run at reboot. Also, reboot of the server should take place now to
ensure that the duplicate sets of LUN are visible.
T o create aliases for LUNs, the WWID of the scsi LUN must retrieved and used in the alias clause. T he
Chapter 3. Software Installation and Configuration
previous method for gathering WWIDs required the execution of the scsi_id command on each LUN.
$ scsi_id -g -s /block/sdc #External LUN, returns
$ scsi_id -g -s /block/sdd #External LUN, returns
T he following example of a multipath configuration file shows the Red Hat Cluster Suite quorum disk and,
for the RAC/GFS node, the first of three Oracle Clusterware Voting Disks. T his excerpt is the stanza that
identifies the WWID of the LUNS in the m ultipath.conf file.
multipath {
#The following 3 are voting disks that are necessary ONLY for the RAC/GFS
multipath {
multipath {
multipath {
T he only two parameters in the mulipath configuration file that must be changed are
path_grouping_policy (set to failover) and path_checker (set to tur). Historically, the
default was to readsector0, or directio, both of which create an I/O request. For voting disks on
highly loaded clusters, this may cause voting “jitter”. T he least invasive path checking policy is T UR
(T est Unit Ready), and rarely disturbs qdisk or Clusterware voting. T UR and zone isolation both
reduce voting jitter. T he voting LUNS could be further isolated into their own zone, but this would require
dedicated WWPN pathways; this would likely be more trouble than it is worth.
Some storage vendors will install their HBA driver and also have specific settings for the
m ultipath.conf file, including procedures, defined by the prio_callout parameter. Check with the
T he following example shows the remaining portion of the m ultipath.conf file.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Configuration Example - Oracle HA on Cluster Suite
defaults {
"round-robin 0"
"/sbin/scsi_id -g -u -s /block/%n"
Now that the m ultipath.conf file is complete, try restarting the m ultipath service.
$ service multipathd restart
$ tail -f /var/log/messages #Should see aliases listed
$ chkconfig multipathd on
Customers who want to push the envelope to have both performance and reliability might be surprised
to find that m ultibus is slower than failover in certain situations.
Aside from tweaking for things like failback or a faster polling_interval, the bulk of the recovery
latency is in the cluster take-over at the cluster and Oracle recover layers. If high-speed takeover is a
critical requirement, then consider using RAC
RAC/GFS Considerations
Because RAC (and therefore Clusterware) is certified for use with Red Hat Cluster Suite,
customers may chose a third configuration option of using either OCFS2 or ASM. T his is an
unusual configuration, but this permits RAC/asm use, combined with the superior fencing of Red
Hat Cluster Suite. T his configuration is not covered in this manual.
3.2.3. qdisk Configuration
A successful DM-Multipath configuration should produce a set of identifiable inodes in the
/dev/m apper directory. T he /dev/m apper/qdisk inode will need to be initialized and enabled as a
service T his is the one of the first pieces of info you need for the /etc/cluster.conf file.
$ mkqdisk –l HA585 –c /dev/mapper/qdisk
By convention, the label is the same name as the cluster; in this case, HA_585. T he section of the
cluster.conf file looks like the following.
Chapter 3. Software Installation and Configuration
<?xml version="1.0"?>
<cluster config_version="1" name="HA585">
<fence_daemon post_fail_delay="0" post_join_delay="3"/>
<quorumd interval="7" device="/dev/mapper/qdisk" tko="9" votes="3"
You may need to change the maximum journal size for a partition. T he following procedure
provides an example of changing the maximum journal size of an existing partition to 400MB.
/dev/mapper/vg1-oracle |grep -i "journal inode"
"stat <8>" /dev/mapper/vg1-oracle 2>&1 | awk '/Size: /{print $6}
^has_journal /dev/mapper/vg1-oracle
size=400 /dev/mapper/vg1-oracle
Fencing in two-node clusters is more prone to fence and quorum race conditions than fencing in
clusters with three or more nodes. If node 1 can no longer communicate with node 2, then which
node is actually the odd man out? Most of these races are resolved by the quorum disk, which is
why it is important for the HA case, and mandatory for RAC/GFS.
RAC/GFS Requirement
Red Hat Cluster Suite must be implemented with qdisk, or the configuration is unsupported. Red
Hat Cluster Suite has to retain quorum to support a single, surviving RAC node. T his single-node
operation is required for certified combinations of RAC/GFS.
3.3. Network Topology
A cluster’s network is either complicated, or really complicated. T he basic cluster involves several sets
of logical network pathways. Some of these share physical interfaces, and some require dedicated
physical interfaces and VLANs, depending on the degree of robustness required. T his example is based
on a topology that Red Hat uses to certify Oracle RAC/GFS, but is also suitable for the HA configuration.
Cluster networks require several VLANs and multiple address assignments across those VLANs.
If bonds are going to span VLANs or switches, then it might be required to use ARP to ensure the
correct behavior in the event of a link failure.
3.3.1. Public Network
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Configuration Example - Oracle HA on Cluster Suite
T he public network is the pathway used by the application tier to access the database. T he failure
scenario is the loss of an entire node, so although bonding does provide protection in the event of the
public interface failure, this is not as likely. Bonded public interfaces complicate application tier network
configuration and failover sequencing. T his network is not bonded in our example.
T he hostnames of the server nodes are identified by the public address. All other network interfaces are
private, but they still may need addresses assigned by network operations.
RAC/GFS Considerations
Oracle Clusterware (CRS) creates it’s own set of Virtual IPs (VIP) on the public interface. T his
mechanism makes it possible for CRS on another node to provide continued access to the failed
node’s specific public address. Bonded public interfaces, in the presence of CRS VIPs, are not
recommended. See Oracle SQL*Net Configuration in both the HA and RAC/GFS Chapters.
3.3.2. Red Hat Cluster Suite Network
T he Red Hat Cluster Suite network is used by CMAN to monitor and manage the health of the cluster.
T his network is critical to the proper functioning of the cluster and is the pathway that is bonded most
RAC/GFS Considerations
RAC requires GFS clustered file systems, which utilize the Distributed Lock Manager (DLM) to
provide access to GFS. T he Oracle Global Cache Services (GCS) is often configured to use this
pathway as well. T here is a risk of overloading this network, but that is very workload dependent.
An advanced administrator may also choose to use Infiniband and Reliable Data Sockets (RDS)
to implement GCS.
T he network is private, and only ever used by cluster members. T he dual-ported e1000 NIC is used for
the Red Hat Cluster Suite hearbeat service or Oracle RAC Clusterware services.
T he file /etc/m odprobe.conf contains all four interfaces, and the two ports of the e1000 will be
bonded together. T he options for bond0 set the bond for failover (not load balance), and the sampling
interval is 100ms. Once the file m odprobe.conf file is modified, either remove and reload the e1000
kernel module, or the modification will take effect at the next reboot.
alias eth0 tg3
alias eth1 tg3
alias eth2 e1000
alias eth3 e1000
alias bond0 bonding
options bond0 mode=1 miimon=100
T he configuration of the bond requires three network-scripts files: One for bond0, and then the
corresponding interface files have to be set as well, as shown in the following example.
Chapter 3. Software Installation and Configuration
# Intel Corporation 82546GB Gigabit Ethernet Controller
# Intel Corporation 82546GB Gigabit Ethernet Controller
3.3.3. Fencing Network
When Red Hat Cluster Suite has determined that a cluster node must be removed from the active
cluster, it will need to fence this node. T he methods used in this cluster are both power-managed. T he
HP iLO BMC has one Ethernet port, which must be configured, and this information must exactly match
the fencing clauses in the /etc/cluster.conf file. Most IPMI-based interfaces only have one network
interface, which may prove to be a single point of failure for the fencing mechanism. A unique feature of
Red Hat Cluster Suite is the ability to nest fence domains to provide an alternative fence method, in case
the BMC pathway fails. A switched Power Distribution Unit (PDU) can be configured (and it frequently
has only one port). We do not recommend the use of FCP port fencing, nor T .10 SCSI reservations fence
agent for mission critical database applications. T he address and user/password must also be correct
in the /etc/cluster/conf file.
<fencedevice agent="fence_ilo" hostname="" login="rac" name="jLO7"
<fencedevice agent="fence_ilo" hostname="" login=”rac” name="jLO8"
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Configuration Example - Oracle HA on Cluster Suite
You can test the fencing configuration manually with the fence_node command. T est early and
3.3.4. Red Hat Cluster Suite services
T here are now enough hardware and software pieces in place that the cluster.conf file can be
completed and parts of the cluster can be initialized. Red Hat Cluster Suite consists of a set of services
(cm an, qdisk, fenced) that ensure cluster integrity. T he values below are from the RAC example, with
HA values in comments. T he timeouts are good starting points for either configuration and comments
give the HA equivalent. More details on the RAC example will be provided in Chapter 4, RAC/GFS Cluster
Configuration. More details on the HA example will be provided in Chapter 5, Cold Failover Cluster
<cluster config_version="2" name="HA585">
<fence_daemon post_fail_delay="0" post_join_delay="3" />
<quorumd interval="7" device="/dev/mapper/qdisk" tko="9" votes="1"
<cman deadnode_timeout="30" expected_nodes="7"/>
<!-- cman deadnode_timeout="30" expected_votes=”3”/ -->
<!-- totem token=”31000”-->
<multicast addr=""/>
<clusternode name="rac7-priv" nodeid="1" votes="1">
<multicast addr="" interface="bond0"/>
<method name="1">
<device name="jLO7"/>
<clusternode name="rac8-priv" nodeid="2" votes="1">
<multicast addr="" interface="bond0"/>
<method name="1">
<device name="jLO8"/>
<fencedevice agent="fence_ilo" hostname=""
login="rac" name="jLO7"
<fencedevice agent="fence_ilo" hostname=""
login="rac" name="jLO8"
T he cluster node names rac7-priv and rac8-priv need to be resolved and therefore are included
in all nodes' /etc/hosts file:
Chapter 3. Software Installation and Configuration
When doing initial testing, set the init level to 2 in the /etc/inittab file, to aid node testing. If
the configuration is broken and the node reboots back into init 3, the startup will hang, and this
impedes debugging. Open a window and tail the /var/log/m essages file to track your
T he qdiskd service is the first service to start and is responsible for parsing the cluster.conf file.
Any errors will appear in the /var/log/m essages file and qdiskd will exit. If qdiskd starts up, then
cm an should be started next.
Assuming no glitches in configuration (consider yourself talented, if the node enters the cluster on first
attempt) we can now ensure that the qdisk and cm an services will start on boot:
$ sudo chkconfig –level 3 qdiskd on
$ sudo chkconfig –level 3 cman on
At this point, we should shut down all services on this node and repeat the steps in this chapter for our
second node. You can copy the m ultipath.conf and cluster.conf configuration files to the
second node to make things easier. Now the configuration process diverges to the point that further
configuration is very RAC/GFS or HA specific. For information on configuring a RAC/GFS cluster,
continue with Chapter 4, RAC/GFS Cluster Configuration. For information on configuring cold failover HA
cluster, continue with Chapter 5, Cold Failover Cluster Configuration.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Configuration Example - Oracle HA on Cluster Suite
Chapter 4. RAC/GFS Cluster Configuration
T his chapter provides information on a configuring RAC/GFS cluster. For information on configuring a
cold failover HA cluster, see Chapter 5, Cold Failover Cluster Configuration.
Preparing a cluster for RAC requires additional package installation and configuration. Deploying Oracle
RAC on a certified GFS cluster requires additional software and configuration. T he aim of this section is
to demonstrate these scenarios.
Oracle RAC is a shared-disk option of Enterprise Edition that requires another Oracle product
(Clusterware) to be installed as well. T his complicates the Red Hat Cluster Suite install, as there are
now 2 independent clustering layers running simultaneously on the cluster. Oracle requires that
Clusterware (CRS) be installed on top of Red Hat Cluster Suite, and this will be the chapter’s focus. T he
chapter assumes that the user can install CRS (as well as the RDBMS).
All Oracle database files can reside on GFS clustered volumes, except Oracle Clusterware product files
(ORA_CRS_HOME). T he Oracle RDBMS product files (ORACLE_HOME) can be installed on shared GFS
volumes, although Context Dependent Pathnames (CDPN) will be required for some ORACLE_HOME
4.1. Oracle Clusterware
Oracle Clusterware is a stand-alone cluster layer that Oracle provides for use with the RAC option. CRS
mimics all the functionality of Red Hat Cluster Suite, but must be tuned so as to not interfere with Red
Hat Cluster Suite’s ability to manage the cluster (and the GFS clustered file systems).
CRS requires a set of dedicated LUNs (that were allocated and configured for use with Multipath).
Starting with 11gR1, the helper LUNS no longer need to be raw devices, but can be standard block
devices. T he inodes in the /dev/m apper file can now be used directly for the CRS Cluster Registry
(OCR) and quorum (VOT E) files.
Oracle CRS installation permits external redundancy and internal redundancy. T he external option
assumes the storage array is responsible for their protection. In this installation option, only one copy of
OCR and one copy of VOT E are allocated. In the internal redundancy configuration, Oracle creates two
OCR files, organized as a simple RAID1 mirror, and generates three quorum VOT E files. T he number of
VOT E files can be higher, providing it is a prime number of files. Most installations choose three VOT E
files, and most installations choose internal redundancy. CRS is certified for use in both internal and
external redundancy.
Oracle CSS network services must be configured, and then set with sufficiently high timeouts to insure
that only Red Hat Cluster Suite is responsible for heartbeat and fencing. T hese values must be set, or
the configuration will not be supported.
CSS T imeout should be set to at least 300 seconds to 500 seconds. CSS Disk T imeout should be set
to 500 seconds.
Oracle cluster nodes are usually set to reboot and automatically re-enter the cluster. If the nodes
should remain fenced, then the option="off" value in the fence section of the
cluster.conf file can be set to ensure nodes are manually restarted. (T he option value can
be set to "reboot", "on", or "off"; by default, the value is "reboot".)
Chapter 4. RAC/GFS Cluster Configuration
T he time a node takes to reboot depends on several factors, including BIOS settings. Many
servers scan all of memory and then scan PCI buses for boot candidates from NICs or HBAs (of
which there should only be one). Disabling these scans and any other steps in the BIOS that take
time, will improve recovery performance. T he grub.conf file often continues a built-in 5-second
delay for screen hold. Sometimes, every second counts.
4.1.1. Cluster Recovery Time
In RAC/GFS, the road to transaction resumption starts with GFS filesystem recovery, and this is nearly
instantaneous once fencing is complete. Oracle RAC must wait for CRS to recover the state of the
cluster, and then the RDBMS can start to recover the locks for the failed instance (LMS recovery). Once
complete, the redo logs from the failed instance must be processed. One of the surviving nodes must
acquire the redo logs of the failed node, and determine which objects need recovery. Oracle activity is
partially resumed as soon as RECO (DB recovery process) determines the list of embargoed objects
that need recovery. Once roll-forward is complete, all non-embargoed and recovered objects are
available. Oracle (and especially RAC) recovery is a complex subject, but its performance tuning can
result in reduced downtime. And that could mean $Ms in recovered revenue.
It is possible to push the CSS T imeout below 300 seconds, if the nodes can boot in 60 seconds
or less.
4.2. Network Topology
Clusterware requires a heartbeat network, and an inter-node network for moving database block
between nodes (GCS). T hese are usually the same network, and often the same network as the Red
Hat Cluster Suite network.
It is critical that Red Hat Cluster Suite operates heartbeat services over the private, bonded network and
not the public network. If the private network fails for a node, then this node must be removed from the
cluster. If the public network fails, the application tier cannot access the database on the node, but the
CRS VIP service is responsible for the public network.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Configuration Example - Oracle HA on Cluster Suite
<clusternode name="rac7-priv" nodeid="1" votes="1">
<multicast addr="" interface="bond0"/>
<method name="1">
<device name="jLO7"/>
<clusternode name="rac8-priv" nodeid="2" votes="1">
<multicast addr="" interface="bond0"/>
<method name="1">
<device name="jLO8"/>
While most customers do not bond this interface, it is supported by Oracle.
4.3. GFS Configuration
GFS file systems are certified for use with specific versions of Oracle RAC. For Oracle customers, see
the Oracle Support Document 329530.1 for all currently certified combinations.
Clustered GFS requires that the Distributed Lock Manager (DLM) and the Clustered LVM services be
configured and started. T he DLM, if present will be started by CMAN. T he RPM group should have
installed all relevant components.
CLVMD only requires 1 change to the /etc/lvm /lvm .conf file; you must set locking_type to 3:
# Type of locking to use. Defaults to local file-based locking (1).
# Turn locking off by setting to 0 (dangerous: risks metadata corruption
# if LVM2 commands get run concurrently).
# Type 2 uses the external shared library locking_library.
# Type 3 uses built-in clustered locking.
locking_type = 3
T he GFS service will not start up if the fenced service has not started.
Host-based mirroring (or more importantly host-based RAID) is not recommended for use with
RAC (especially mission critical databases). RAC requires a storage array and any storage array
worthy of running an Oracle RAC cluster will have superior RAID and RAIDSET management
capabilities. Concatenating volumes does not involve RAID management, so that is less bug
prone than using multiple layers of RAID.
Chapter 4. RAC/GFS Cluster Configuration
GFS volumes can be grown if the file system requires more capacity. T he gfs_grow command is
used to expand the file system, once the LUN has been expanded. By keeping the filesystem
mapping to single LUNs, it reduces an errors (or bugs) that might arise during gfs_grow
operations. T here is no performance difference between using the DDM inode, or subsequent
CLVMD created logical volumes, built on these inodes. However, it must be stressed that you
should perform a backup of your data before attempting this command as there is a potential to
render you data unusable.
4.3.1. GFS File System Creation
For RAC, the file system must be created with arguments that are specific to the locking mechanism
(always DLM), and the name of the cluster (HA585, in our case).
$ sudo gfs_mkfs -r 512 -j 4 -p lock_dlm -t rac585:gg /dev/mapper/ohome
$ sudo gfs_mkfs-j 4 -p lock_dlm -t rac585:gg /dev/mapper/db
Oracle manages data files with transaction redo logs, and with Oracle configuration in AIO/DIO mode, the
writes always go to disk. T he default journal is usually sufficient. T he increased size of resource groups
for GFS file systems is recommended for ORACLE_HOME, where the $OH/diag directory can contain
thousands of trace files, spanning tens of GBs.
Oracle Clusterware HOME is not supported on GFS clustered volumes at this time. For most
installations, this will not be an imposition. T here are several advantages (including, async rolling
upgrades) to placing ORA_CRS_HOME on the node’s local file system, and most customers follow
this practice.
4.3.2. /etc/fstab Entries
_netdev 0 0
_netdev 0 0
T he _netdev mount option is also useful as it ensures the file systems are unmounted before cluster
services shut down.
4.3.3. Context Dependent Pathnames (CDPN)
When ORACLE_HOME ($OH) is located on a GFS clustered volume, certain directories need to appear
the same to each node (including names of files, such as listener.ora), but have node-specific
T o enable CDPN for $OH/network/admin, perform the following steps.
1. Change to the OH/network directory:
$ cd $OH/network
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Configuration Example - Oracle HA on Cluster Suite
2. Create directories that correspond to the hostnames:
$ mkdir rac7
$ mkdir rac8
3. Create the admin directory in each directory:
$ mkdir rac7/admin
$ mkdir rac8/admin
4. Create the CPDN link (from each host).
ON RAC7, in $OH/network:
$ ln –s @hostname admin
On RAC8, in $OH/network:
$ ln –s @hostname admin
4.4. Oracle Settings and Suggestions
Among the thousands of tuning variables in Oracle, the 2 most important are SGA_T ARGET and
FILESYST EMIO_OPT IONS. Oracle performs more efficient I/O operations of the files on the GFS
volumes are opened with DirectIO (DIO) and AsyncIO (AIO). T his is accomplished using the
filesystem io_options parameter:
DirectIO bypasses the page cache for all I/O operations. If DIO is disabled, all datafile I/O will be use the
page cache, which effectively double buffers the I/O. Oracle already contains a page cache, called the db
block buffer cache. Double buffering increases response time latency for reads, and when the page
cache runs the server out of Free memory, system throughput usually drops by 30-50%.
T he third most important init.ora parameter must be decided upon first: db_block_size. T he
default db_block_size for Oracle on Linux is 8K. GFS uses 4K blocks (as does x64 hardware).
Although 4K blocks will out-perform 8K blocks in GFS, other factors in the application might mask this
effect. Application performance requirements take precedence, and do not change it unless you know
what you are doing. It is not recommended that 2K blocks be used on GFS. Most customers leave it 8K.
RAC/GFS was certified using both 4K and 8K blocks, but supports all block size values that the Oracle
RDBMS supports.
4.4.1. RHEL Settings and Suggestions
T he RDBMS needs non-default values in the /etc/sysctl.conf that involve shared memory,
semaphores. Clusterware requires the network settings to be altered. T hese are documented in the
Oracle Install Guide or release notes for that particular version.
It is highly recommended that you install the 64-bit (x64) version of RHEL, Red Hat Cluster Suite and
Oracle. Although 32-bit (x86) platforms are still fully certified and supported by both Oracle and Red Hat,
Oracle performs better when allowed to access more memory.
4.4.2. Huge TLBs
Chapter 4. RAC/GFS Cluster Configuration
T he Oracle SGA (Shared Global Area) contains several memory structures that used to improve the
performance of the executing SQL. T he largest, and most critical is the db block buffer cache. T his cache
typically consumes over 80% of the SGA. Several SQL pools used for results and complex parallel
operations consume the next largest block.
T he advent of x64 systems make it possible to SGA ranges in the 8-1024GB range. For any SGA that is
over 16GB, a consistent improvement of 8-15% should be possible; the larger the SGA, the more the
improvement. In addition to making it possible for the hardware to do less work when providing memory
to the RDBMS, it also saves user memory by reducing the number of process page table entries (T LBs)
that must be stored by each process.
For information on optimizing SGA settings, consult your Oracle user guide.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Configuration Example - Oracle HA on Cluster Suite
Chapter 5. Cold Failover Cluster Configuration
T his chapter provides information on configuration a cold failover HA cluster. For information on
configuring a RAC/GFS cluster, see Chapter 4, RAC/GFS Cluster Configuration.
Long before RAC (and its progenitor, OPS) was suitable for high availability, customers still needed
Oracle databases to be more reliable. T he best way to do this was with a (relatively) simple two-node
cluster that provided a second server node to take over in the event the primary node crashed. T hese
early clusters still required many of the shared attributes that OPS/RAC databases required, but
mandated that only one Oracle instance could be running at once; the storage was shared, but Oracle
access was not. T he use of this “failover” configuration remains in wide use today.
An Oracle instance is the combination of OS resources (processes and shared memory) that
must be initiated on a server. T he instance provides coherent and persistent database access,
for the connecting users or clients. Oracle workloads are extremely resource intensive, so
typically there is only one instance/server. Oracle RAC consists of multiple instances (usually on
physically distinct servers), all connecting to the same set of database files. Server virtualization
now makes it possible to have more than one instance/server. However, this is not RAC unless
these instances all connect to the same set of database files. T he voraciousness of most Oracle
workloads makes multiple instance/server configurations difficult to configure and optimize.
T he OS clustering layer must insure that Oracle is never running on both nodes at the same time. If this
occurs, the database will be corrupted. T he two nodes must be in constant contact, either through a
voting disk, or a heartbeat network, or both. If something goes wrong with the primary node (the node
currently running Oracle), then the secondary node must be able to terminate that server, take over the
storage, and restart the Oracle database. T ermination is also called fencing, and is most frequently
accomplished by the secondary node turning off the power to the primary node; this is called powermanaged fencing. T here are a variety of fencing methods, but power-managed fencing is recommended.
T he Oracle database is a fully journaled file system, and is capable of recovering all relevant
transactions. Oracle calls the journal logs redo logs. When Oracle or the server fails
unexpectedly, the database has aborted and requires crash recovery. In the failover case, this
recovery usually occurs on the secondary node, but this does affect Oracle recovery. Whatever
node starts up Oracle after it has aborted must do recovery. Oracle HA recovery is still just single
instance recovery. In RAC, there are multiple instances, each with it’s own set of redo logs. When
a RAC node fails, some other RAC node must recover the failed node’s redo logs, while
continuing to provide access to the database.
T he Oracle database must be installed on a shared storage array and this file system (or these file
systems) can only be mounted on the active node. T he clustering layer also has agents, or scripts that
must be customized to the specific installation of Oracle. Once configured, this software can
automatically start the Oracle database and any other relevant services (like Oracle network listeners).
T he job of any cluster product is to ensure that Oracle is only ever running on one node.
Clusters are designed specifically to handle bizarre, end-case operating conditions, but are at the mercy
of the OS components that might fail too. T he heartbeat network operates over standard T CP/IP
networks, and is the primary mechanism by which the cluster nodes identify themselves to other
Chapter 5. Cold Failover Cluster Configuration
members. T his ensures the cluster is viable and that Oracle can continue to operate on the primary
node. Some failure cases can cause the heartbeat to become erratic or unreliable, so modern clustering
products provide a second check-in mechanism, which insures that quorum is maintained. Quorum
voting causes each cluster member to identify itself by voting, in the form of a simple write to a shared
vote, or quorum disk. T he combination of heartbeat and quorum disk minimizes the risk of split-brain
cluster states. Split-brain clusters occur when the two nodes think they are both in the correct cluster
state, so both access the shared storage. Split-brain states create the highest risk of database
corruption, so this is the functional core of the cluster.
T he two most common examples of Oracle Cold Failover are HP ServiceGuard and Veritas Cluster
Server (VCS). Red Hat Cluster Suite’s implementation for Oracle closely models these products, so
customers familiar with them will be immediately familiar with Red Hat Cluster Suite Oracle HA. Of course,
the devil is most definitely in the details.
5.1. Red Hat Cluster Suite HA
Red Hat Cluster Suite contains all the requisite components to implement Oracle HA: heartbeat, quorum
disk voting, fencing and a resource harness to relocate the Oracle instance, when necessary. T he major
differences between how Red Hat Cluster Suite is set up for RAC and how it is set up for single instance
involves appropriate timeout settings and the configuration of the resource harness, aptly named
5.2. Red Hat Cluster Suite Timers
When Oracle RAC is installed, Red Hat Cluster Suite must interact with Oracle Clusterware, but also is in
control of the timeouts and eventually the fencing. When Oracle HA is configured, Red Hat Cluster Suite
is also in charge, so the timeouts are very similar.
It is critical that the Red Hat Cluster Suite heartbeat service operates over the private, bonded
network, not the public network. If the private network fails for a node, then this node must be
removed from the cluster.
All installations will have subtly different timeout requirements, but start with these recommended
<cluster config_version="11" name="dl585">
<fence_daemon clean_start="1" post_fail_delay="0"post_join_delay="3" />
<quorumd device="/dev/mapper/qdisk" interval="2" log_level="5" tko="8"
votes="1" />
<cman expected_votes="3" two_node="0" />
<totem token="33000" />
In this example, the quorum disk is the level fencing mechanism with a timeout of 16 seconds; that is, two
intervals of 8 seconds. T he tko parameter stands for T echnical Knock Out — a boxing metaphor. T he
CMAN heartbeat timeouts must be more than two time the tko timeouts; we choose 33 seconds (value
in ms). T his delay gives the quorum daemon adequate time to establish which node is the master during
a failure, or if there is a load spike that might delay voting. T he expected_votes parameter is set to
the number of nodes + 1.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Configuration Example - Oracle HA on Cluster Suite
5.3. RGManager Configuration
At this point in the process, we have installed Oracle on a shared volume disk (i.e. SAN).
T he Resource manager is required only in the HA configuration and is responsible for ensuring that the
selected node is capable of supporting an Oracle instance. T he manager must ensure that network
connectivity (provided by a Virtual IP address) is available, and mount the appropriate shared file
systems that contain the Oracle database and the Oracle product installation and finally start the Oracle
RGManager is capable of terminating Oracle services, dismantling the file systems and network so that
the other node may safely start the Oracle services. T here is a sample script,, found in
/usr/share/cluster. T he customer must always modify this script so that RGManager can identify
the Oracle services that require cluster management. Oracle environment variables, such as
ORACLE_HOME and ORACLE_SID are critical to this identification. Oracle will likely use several file
system mount points, and all mounts that are required to successfully run the database must be made
known to RGManager.
RGManager is not enabled to start upon RHEL boot, so it must be enabled for the appropriate run level
(typically 3):
$ sudo chkconfig –level 3 rgmanager on
5.3.1. Customizing Environment Variables
Here are some notes from the script’s preamble:
(1) You can comment out the LOCKFILE declaration below. This will prevent
the need for this script to access anything outside of the ORACLE_HOME
ORACLE_HOSTNAME to match your installation if not running from within
(3) Do NOT place this script in shared storage; place it in ORACLE_USER's
home directory in non-clustered environments and /usr/share/cluster
in rgmanager/Red Hat cluster environments.
T he original script supported Oracle’s attempt at an application server (iAS), which has been replaced
by a real product, Weblogix. It is also not common to co-locate the connection pool on the database
T he script also attempts to start up the OEM (Oracle Enterprise Manger) console. T he console is also
not generally run on server, but runs on some random Windows box, and the OEM agents are
configured on the server. If you happen to be using an older version of RHEL, the script
might need to have all of this disabled, including references to these obsolete services in the start_db,
stop_db and get_db_status functions in the script. DB_PROCNAMES
Chapter 5. Cold Failover Cluster Configuration
T here has been some debate over what constitutes a running instance and RGManager uses a list of
Oracle background processes (daemons in unix) to test for their existence. Historically, PMON and
SMON are the most frequently selected and they are a good set. PMON is the Process Monitor part of
the instance, and mostly cleans out latches and locks left by dead processes. It does dead process
detection, including the death of critical background process like LGWR (redo log writer), DBWR
(database writer), including SMON (system monitor). It is SMON’s job to make sure the instance is in a
healthy state. If SMON crashes for some reason, then PMON will kill the instance. T he presence of both
of these is a reasonable test. LSNR_PROCNAME
T he SQL*Net Network Listener must be running for clients running on other machines to connect to the
instance. T he database can be accessed on the server node with the use of a Listener. Some instances
that don’t need client access (like batch ET L, or extremely security sensitive instances), do not have to
run a Listener. Most conventional databases with a mid-tier connection pool need a listener, so
RGManager ensures that the Listener is up and running. T he lack of a Listener will look like a dead
database to the mid-tier.
5.3.2. Network VIP for Oracle Listeners
T he Oracle SQL*Net Listener service must listen on a common IP address that must be accessible from
either host, and this is accomplished using a Virtual IP, or VIP.
# ip addr add dev eth0
T he VIP is managed and relocated by rgm anager, and must be in the same submit as the public, or
front-side physical network interfaces. T he front-side network is the network the Listener uses, and
clients will also have access.
<rm log_level="7">
<service domain="OracleHA" autostart=”1” exclusive=”1” name=”oracle11g”
<oracledb home="/ff/11g/db" name="ed" type="11g" user="jneedham"
<ip address="" />
<fs device...
Alternatively, you can use a hostname for the virtual IP:
edb home="/ff/11g/db" name="ed" type="11g" user="jneedham" vhost="hacf-vip"/>
<ip address="hacf-vip" />
T he vhost argument must match the IP address clause in the service domain definition, and the
/etc/hosts file must contain all the required addresses:
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Configuration Example - Oracle HA on Cluster Suite
# Cold Failover VIP
rac6-jlo listener.ora Configuration
T he listener is managed by the rgm anager package, but the functionality is determined by the Oracle
configuration file, listener.ora. T he bolded LIST ENER tag in the file is the specific name of this
listener instance. T his is the default, but this can be changed, and often is, when there is more than 1
SQL*Net Listener service for this database.
(ADDRESS=(PROTOCOL=tcp)(HOST=hacf-vip)(PORT=1521)) #1521 is too common
# Needs to match DBNAME in inited.ora
(ORACLE_HOME = /ff/11g/db)
(SID_NAME = ed)
# Needs to match the instance’s ORACLE_SID
(ORACLE_HOME = /ff/11g/db)
(PROGRAM = extproc)
T he Listener must listen on the VIP, not on the host-specific public interfaces. T he connecting clients
use an SQL*Net tnsnam es.ora configuration file that contains an alias that directs them to the virtual
IP. T he location of the database instance is now transparent to clients.
(ADDRESS = (PROTOCOL = TCP)(HOST = hacf-vip)(PORT = 1521))
# This is the ORACLE_SID
Most JDBC clients do not install Oracle client libraries, so must use the T hin client driver. (More
advanced JDBC connectivity does require an Oracle client install). For JDBC thin, the connection string
cannot use the SQL*Net alias, but must encode the same information:
… getConnection (“jdbc:oracle:thin:@hacf-vip:1521:ed”, “scott”, “tiger”)
Chapter 5. Cold Failover Cluster Configuration
5.3.3. Files System Entries
Oracle single-instance can run on any RHEL-supported filesystem type. T hs is unlike RAC, where only
GFS is specifically certified for use. Most customers use EXT 3, but EXT 4, GFS and NFS are supported
as well.
<fs device="/dev/mapper/dbp5" force_unmount="1" fstype="ext3" mountpoint="/ff"
<fs device="/dev/mapper/dbp6" force_unmount="1" fstype="ext3" mountpoint="/gg"
And for NFS mounts:
<netfs host="F3040" export="/vol/ed" force_unmount="1" mountpoint="/mnt/ed"
NFS must be mounted using only the mount options that are required by Oracle. T he most
important of these is actim eo and it should be set to zero to ensure the access times stay
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Configuration Example - Oracle HA on Cluster Suite
Sample cluster.conf File
T his appendix provides a sample cluster.conf file for a two node cold failover configuration with
power fencing via an APC power strip.
<?xml version="1.0"?>
<cluster config_version="1" name="HA585">
<fence_daemon clean_start="1" post_fail_delay="0" post_join_delay="3"/>
<quorumd interval="2" device="/dev/mapper/qdisk" tko="8" votes="1"
<cman expected_votes="3" two_node="0"/>
<totem token="33000"/>
<fencedevice agent="fence_apc" ipaddr="" login="adminl"
name="apc" passwd="password"/>
<clusternode name="ora11-priv" nodeid="1" votes="1">
<method name="1">
<device name="apc" option="off" switch="1" port="2"/>
<clusternode name="ora12-priv" nodeid="2" votes="1">
<method name="1">
<device name="apc" option="off" switch="1" port="5"/>
<rm log_level="7">
<service domain="OracleHA" autostart="1" exclusive="1" name="oracle11g"
<ip address=""/>
<fs device="/dev/mapper/diskdp1" force_unmount="1" fstype="ext3"
mountpoint="/diskd" name="diskd"/>
<oracledb home="/diskd/ora11gR1/db_1" name="oracledb" type="11g"
user="oracle" vhost=""/>
Revision History
Revision History
Revision 1-24 .4 00
Rebuild with publican 4.0.0
Rüdiger Landmann
Revision 1-24
Rebuild for Publican 3.0
Anthony T owns
Revision 1.0-0
First edition
Fri Jul 23 2010
Steven Levine
actimeo mount option, Files System Entries
application tier, Network T opology Overview
ARCHIVELOG parameter, Storage Allocation
auto-allocation, RHEL Server Base
AUT OEXT END parameter, Storage Allocation
bonded public network interface, Public Network
cluster recovery time, Cluster Recovery T ime
Cluster Suite network, Red Hat Cluster Suite Network
Cluster Suite timeout settings, Red Hat Cluster Suite T imers
cluster, two-node sample, Sample T wo-Node Cluster
cman service , Fencing Configuration, Red Hat Cluster Suite services
context dependent pathnames (CDPN), Context Dependent Pathnames (CDPN)
CSS network services, Oracle Clusterware
datafile, Storage Allocation
Device-Mapper Multipath (DM-Multipath), Storage T opology and DM-Multipath,
Multipath Configuration
- configuration file, Multipath Configuration
Enterprise Edition license, RAC/GFS Considerations
ext3 file system, Oracle Enterprise Edition HA for Red Hat Cluster Suite, RHEL Server
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Configuration Example - Oracle HA on Cluster Suite
FCP switch infrastructure, Storage T opology
feedback, Feedback
fenced service, Red Hat Cluster Suite services, GFS Configuration
fence_node command, Fencing Network
fencing, Fencing T opology
- configuration, Fencing Configuration, Fencing Network
- power-managed, Cold Failover Cluster Configuration
- technologies, Fencing Configuration
file system
- blocks-based, Storage Considerations
- files-based, Storage Considerations
- journal size, qdisk Configuration
FILESYST EMIO_OPT IONS tuning variable, Oracle Settings and Suggestions
firewalls, RHEL Server Base
Flash RAM card, Storage Considerations
fstab file, /etc/fstab Entries
GbE NIC, Server Node
GCS protocol, Network T opology Overview
GFS file system, GFS Configuration
- creation, GFS File System Creation
- growing, GFS Configuration
gfs_grow command, GFS Configuration
Global Cache Fusion (GCS), RAC/GFS Considerations
Global Cache Services (GCS), see Oracle Cache Fusion
- Cache Fusion, Network T opology Overview
heartbeat network, Network T opology Overview, Cold Failover Cluster Configuration
HP Proliant DL585 server, Fencing T opology, Server Node, RHEL Server Base
init.ora parameter, Oracle Settings and Suggestions
Integrated Lights-Out Management (iLO), Fencing T opology, Server Node, Fencing
Configuration, RHEL Server Base, Fencing Network
IOPS math, Storage Considerations
Revision History
IP routing, virtual, RAC/GFS Considerations
iSCSI technology, Storage T opology and DM-Multipath
journal size, file system, qdisk Configuration
kickstart file, RHEL Server Base
- Enterprise Edition, RAC/GFS Considerations
- Real Application Clusters (RAC), RAC/GFS Considerations
Link Aggregation Control Protocol (LACP), RAC/GFS Considerations
listener.ora configuration file, listener.ora Configuration
LUN, high-performance, Storage T opology
Maximum Availability Architecture (MAA), Hardware Installation and Configuration
modprobe.conf file, Red Hat Cluster Suite Network
multipath.conf file, Multipath Configuration
Native Command Queuing (NCQ), Storage T opology
- private, Network T opology
- public, Network T opology
- topology, Network T opology Overview
- dual-ported, Network T opology
- single-ported, Network T opology
node testing, Red Hat Cluster Suite services
- Cache Fusion, Network T opology Overview
- Cache Fusion links, Network T opology Overview
- Global Cache Fusion (GCS), RAC/GFS Considerations
- Real Application Clusters, see Real Application Clusters, Oracle Real Application Clusters
for Red Hat Cluster Suite and GFS
- Shared Global Area (SGA), Huge T LBs
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Configuration Example - Oracle HA on Cluster Suite
Oracle Enterprise Manager (OEM) console, Customizing Environment
Variables script, RGManager Configuration
- directory, Storage Allocation, RHEL Server Base, RAC/GFS Cluster Configuration, Context
Dependent Pathnames (CDPN)
- environment variable, RGManager Configuration
ORACLE_SID environment variable, RGManager Configuration
ORA_CRS_HOME directory, Storage Allocation, RHEL Server Base, RAC/GFS Cluster
Configuration, GFS File System Creation
path_grouping_policy multipath parameter, Multipath Configuration
power distribution unit (PDU), Fencing Configuration
power-managed fencing, Cold Failover Cluster Configuration
private network, Network T opology
public network, Public Network, Network T opology
qdisk service, Red Hat Cluster Suite services
qdisk, see quorum disk, Storage Allocation
- Native Command, Storage T opology
- T agged, Storage T opology
quorum disk (qdisk), Storage Allocation, Fencing Configuration, qdisk Configuration,
Cold Failover Cluster Configuration, Red Hat Cluster Suite T imers
RAC, see Real Application Clusters, Oracle Real Application Clusters for Red Hat Cluster
Suite and GFS
RAID set, Storage T opology
RAID technology, Storage Considerations
Real Application Clusters (RAC), Oracle Real Application Clusters for Red Hat Cluster
Suite and GFS
- asymmetrical, Sample T wo-Node Cluster
- certification requirements, Oracle Real Application Clusters for Red Hat Cluster Suite and
- license, RAC/GFS Considerations
- symmetrical, Sample T wo-Node Cluster
recovery time, cluster, Cluster Recovery T ime
Revision History
Reliable Data Sockets (RDS) protocol, RAC/GFS Considerations
rgmanager package, Red Hat Cluster Suite HA
RHEL server bse, RHEL Server Base
RPM groups, installation, RHEL Server Base
scsi_id command, Multipath Configuration
Serial Access SCSI (SAS) drives, Storage Considerations
Serial AT A (SAT A), Storage Considerations, Storage T opology
Serviceguard, HP, Oracle Enterprise Edition HA for Red Hat Cluster Suite
SGS_T ARGET tuning variable, Oracle Settings and Suggestions
shared disk architecture, Oracle Real Application Clusters for Red Hat Cluster Suite and
Shared Global Area (SGA), Huge T LBs
single-instance non-shared operation, Oracle Enterprise Edition HA for Red Hat Cluster
Solid State Drive (SSD), Storage Considerations
SQL workloads, Sample T wo-Node Cluster
storage considerations, Storage Considerations
storage topology, Storage T opology
sysctl.conf file, RHEL Settings and Suggestions
tablespace, Storage Allocation
T agged Queuing, Storage T opology
testing, node, Red Hat Cluster Suite services
timeout settings, Cluster Suite, Red Hat Cluster Suite T imers
tnsnames.ora configuration file, listener.ora Configuration
virtual IP routing, RAC/GFS Considerations
virtualization, Storage Allocation
VLAN, Network T opology
World-Wide Port Number (WWPN) mapping, HBA WWPN Mapping
WWID, Multipath Configuration
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