Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Creating VMWare and RAC on Windows Part Three

This is part three in my journey to installing Oracle 11gR2 RAC on Oracle Unbreakable Linux. In the last installment we got VMWare running after a few mis-steps... Now we are ready to install Oracle Unbreakable Linux. You can easily download and install Oracle unbreakable Linux from Oracle's Linux Download Page. I downloaded the individual CD ISO's (It's a habit), but they also offer a DVD image. One benefit of installing the CD ISO's is that you can download them in parallel, so it can speed up the time to download if you have a big pipe.

Having downloaded the CD ISO's you are ready to install Linux. Notice that I did not burn CD's. What I will do instead is point the VMWare CDRom Drive to the first ISO image, and start the install. What is nice is that as the install requires the next CD image, you can simply go to the VMWare console for that machine and repoint the virtual CDRom drive to the next ISO image. Since you can do this without restarting the machine, it makes installing from the CD ISO images much easier.

The install went well and after a short time I was up and running. Having completed the install, I proceeded to configure the Operating system. At this point, I just had one virtual machine setup, so all I needed to configure was the one machine. Once the configuration (ie: the hosts file, etc) is complete, we will clone the VM and create the second machine.

If you want a real handy guide to configuring Linux and Oracle RAC using VMWare, I highly recommend Tim Hall's Oracle Base site. Tim has done a great job detailing the steps required to create a RAC cluster on VMWare. While his page uses LINUX as the VMWare host, I can attest to the fact that it works with Windows running VMWare too.

Now that we have installed and configured Linux, we are ready to clone the VM. Tim's site does a great job of walking through this process. However there is one small issue to contend with here and I'm thinking this is a windows issue. In VMWare each VM has it's own GUID. The GUID of the VM's are used to assign the MAC addresses to the NIC's in the VM. This means that you have a problem when you bring the second machine up because it's NIC will have the same MAC address of the NIC in the first machine. I think that VMWare is supposed to correct this issue when you cope a VM, but it does not seem to work correctly. So, after cloning the VM, you will need to change the machine's GUID (they call it a UID) in the VMWare configuration file before you start the cloned VM. If you do not do this, you will find your two Linux boxes will not network correctly.

In the next installment we will start laying down Oracle Clusterware. Unfortunately that came with it's own set of problems, and the name of that problem was MS Vista... and it's one nasty problem. Nasty.... nasty.... nasty.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Creating VMWare and RAC on Windows Part Two

This is part two of my series on installing RAC on Windows using VMWare and Oracle Unbreakable Linux. I will be presenting a 1/2 day university session on this topic at the RMOUG. I hope you will come.

Why Win/Vmware/Linux/RAC on a laptop? Many DBA's have not had an opportunity to experience RAC for themselves. This configuration is one way for them to do so with minimal cost.

So, I'm on a quest .... a quest to install RAC on VM's sitting on top of Windows. This isn't, shouldn't be, a quest that involves rabbits, holy hand grenades or needing the services of Tim the Enchanter.... But oh, how wrong I was. It seems that Vista was not the right place to be starting and indeed, I did need the services of Tim the Enchanter to even get VMWare 2 started on Vista.

I bought a brand new Dual core Dell Inspiron laptop with 4GB for the task. I can tell you right now that if your installing 11gR2 RAC, you need all of that 4GB. I did 10gR2 RAC on 2 successfully (it was slow and painful)... there is no way your doing that on this install!

I then downloaded the new web based version of VMWare and installed it. No problem there. However, when I click on the icon for VMWare I run into my first problem. It asks me for a username and password. Well, I have no idea what username and password it's expecting. After some research I find that it wants the username/password for the Windows session I'm logged in as. That's intuitive .... So, I enter the credentials. Next it throws a certificate exception at me which I approve and then, I get an error and it won't start the interface to VMWare. I should have taken a screen print of the error but it was like a 404 or something....

Well this is a fine piece of junk!! I start doing some internet research and find that many people have run into the problem. One solution is to use the IP address in the URL that you use to bring up the VMWare console in the browser. I tried that and it worked fine. Still, it wasn't the way it was supposed to work. After reading through some more threads about this problem, I decided to de-install VMWare and re-install it using the administrator account. Of course, you have to enable the administrator account with the net user command first and then you also need to give it a password.

I then re-installed VMWare 2 under the administrator. Everything loaded great this time ... so now, I have my VM Setup and I'm ready to move onto the next step - Installing Oracle Unbreakable Linux. In the next installment, I'll show you a little trick to making the install easier from VM. Rather than having to burn the Linux CD's or the DVD you can simply load directly from the ISO images.

More on that in my next installment.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

11gR2 RAC on VMWare Part One

“Live life fully while you're here. Experience everything. Take care of yourself and your friends. Have fun, be crazy, be weird. Go out and screw up! You're going to anyway, so you might as well enjoy the process. Take the opportunity to learn from your mistakes: find the cause of your problem and eliminate it." - Anthony Robbins

So, with that quote in mind, I set out on my new venture, installing Oracle 11gR2 RAC on VMWare on MS Vista. Did I mention on 4gb?! I do this hopeful that I can use this configuration for my RMOUG class on creating a RAC cluster on Windows using VMWare.

Already I hear the collective gasp from the crowd. You are right, I must be mad.

I've installed RAC many a time, and in fact, I've successfully installed it on Win XP with 2GB using VMWare and 10GR2. It was slow, it was unusable but it would come up and I could access the SCOTT schema and query the EMP table. Thus, I called it a success and moved on.

Now the target is a much loftier one... This would be my first foray into the new 11gR2 RAC, believe it or not. Since R2 has come out, I've played with the database quite a bit, but not with a clustered version. It just has not been something I needed to do, and I'm also a bit of a manager type now.... so getting my hands dirty is only an occasional thing I'm afraid.

So, let me first describe to you my environment. I'm running on a dual core Pentium, running Vista and 4GB. Now, already I know I'm in trouble because from all accounts 4GB is like the bare bones minimum. But I am a manly DBA, and I face resource constraints and spit in the face of them. I can and will get this working.

In my next blog post, I'll share with you my first few frustrations and failures. As a hint, the new version of VMWare and Vista don't play nice.
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