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September 2009

Oracle 11.2 Grid Infrastructure Installation

So Oracle 11gR2 was released earlier this week and I am an trying to install it on a 4-node cluster. I had previously installed the beta release on the same hardware/operating system configuration, so I was reasonably confident that a similar Advanced installation would work first time.

All went well until the final CVU check. This is the final step in the CVU installation. Oracle 11.2 requires SCAN (Single Client Access Names) to be specified. Three SCAN addresses are required for each cluster, irrespective of the number of nodes. The SCAN addresses are maintained as VIPs by the Clusterware. Instead of connecting to listener VIPs, in Oracle 11.2 applications should connect to the SCAN VIPs and they will then get redirected to the listeners.

In the beta it was possible to configure the SCAN addresses in /etc/hosts. For example I have been using: cluster3 cluster3 cluster3

Probably incorrect from a networking perspective, but enough to get through the installation procedure.

In the production version, CVU checks that the SCAN address is set in DNS. Tracing the CVU shows that it looks in /etc/nsswitch.conf and then runs nslookup. By default /etc/nsswitch.conf includes

hosts: files dns

which means look in /etc/hosts first and if you don't find the name there then go to DNS. CVU does check /etc/nsswitch.conf, but only to grumble if the hosts entry does not include dns. If the dns entry is present CVU will run nslookup. If it is not present, it does not, however, use /etc/hosts.

ASM Dynamic Volume Manager and ASM Clustered File System

Two of the top features in 11gR2 are the ASM Dynamic Volume Manager (ADVM) and ASM Clustered File System (ACFS). What is the big deal about these two?

ADVM allows you to create a volume from an ASM diskgroup. Here is an example where we created a volume called asm_vol1 of 100 MB on a diskgroup called DATA:

ASMCMD [+] > volcreate -G DATA -s 100M asm_vol1

Internally it issues the command

alter diskgroup DATA add volume 'asm_vol1' size 100M;

Now you enable the volume you just created:

ASMCMD [+] > volenable -G DATA asm_vol1

Internally it issues:

alter diskgroup DATA enable volume 'asm_vol1';

You can perform other commands like resize, delete, disable; but more on that later on a full length article.

Now that the volume is created, what can you do with it. Well, like all volumes, you can create a filesystem on it. Here is an example of creating a FS called acfs1:

[root@oradba2 ~]# mkdir /acfs1
[root@oradba2 ~]# /sbin/mkfs -t acfs /dev/asm/asm_vol1-207
mkfs.acfs: version =
mkfs.acfs: on-disk version = 39.0
mkfs.acfs: volume = /dev/asm/asm_vol1-207
mkfs.acfs: volume size = 268435456

Register MountPoint Command:

[root@oradba2 ~]# /sbin/acfsutil registry -a -f /dev/asm/asm_vol1-207 /acfs1
acfsutil registry: mount point /acfs1 successfully added to Oracle Registry

If you get an error, use the force option:

[root@oradba2 /]# /sbin/mkfs.acfs -f /dev/asm/asm_vol1-207
mkfs.acfs: version =
mkfs.acfs: on-disk version = 39.0
mkfs.acfs: volume = /dev/asm/asm_vol1-207

Oracle 11g R2 Features

Continuing on the previous posts, here is another gee-whiz feature of 11gR2 - the "deinstall" feature. Yes, that's right the deinstall one. Sometimes installations fail; sometimes you have to deinstall something to clean out the server for other use. Sometimes, I did, you have to clean out beta code to install production code. A deinstall utility stops all the processes, removes all the relevant software and components (such as diskgroups), updates all config files and make all necessary modifications to the other files. All these are done without you ever bothering about remnants that may cause issues later.

You have to download the deinstall software from 11gR2 download from OTN. Choose "see all" to get to that software.

Here is the demonstration of the deinstall utility:

[oracle@oradba2 deinstall]$ ./deinstall -home /opt/oracle/product/11.2/grid1
ORACLE_HOME = /opt/oracle/product/11.2/grid1
Location of logs /opt/oracle/oraInventory/logs/

############ ORACLE DEINSTALL & DECONFIG TOOL START ############

######################## CHECK OPERATION START ########################
Install check configuration START

Checking for existence of the Oracle home location /opt/oracle/product/11.2/grid
Oracle Home type selected for de-install is: SIHA
Oracle Base selected for de-install is: /opt/oracle
Checking for existence of central inventory location /opt/oracle/oraInventory
Checking for existence of the Oracle Grid Infrastructure home /opt/oracle/produc

Install check configuration END

Traces log file: /opt/oracle/oraInventory/logs//crsdc.log

Network Configuration check config START

Network de-configuration trace file location: /opt/oracle/oraInventory/logs/netd

Specify all Oracle Restart enabled listeners that are to be de-configured [LISTE

Oracle 11g Release 2 is Finally Out

Finally, it's that time again - the birth of a new versionof Oracle - 11g Release 2. Being Release 2, it does not have as much bells and whistles as the 11g.

I downloaded it immediately and started installation. Some of the gee-whiz features of this release are:

(1) Editions
(2) ASM Filesystem
(3) Oracle Restart
(5) Columnar Compression

I have been beta testing this for some time; so I had seen previews of the release. Continuing the previous serieses, I will write the new features series for 11gR2 on OTN as well - it will be a 11 part series.

A little bit about Oracle Restart. It adds a lightweight clusterware functionality to a single instance database. If the instance crashes, OR brings it up, monitors it ans so on. And by the way, this is called "Grid Infrastructure". So you have to install two Oracle Homes - one each for grid and the rdbms.

When there is Grid, there is srvctl, of course. The grid infrastructure comes with srvctl. Here is how you check what is running from a specific Oracle Home:

oracle@oradba1 ~# srvctl status home -o /opt/oracle/product/11gR2/db1 -s state.txt
Database d112d1 is running on node oradba1

The above command create a file called state.txt.

oracle@oradba1 ~# cat state.txt

It shows the database name - D112D1.

This is done on a single instance Oracle database; not a cluster. But the grid infrastructure looks and feels like a cluster. Here are some more commands to check status:

Oracle 11gR2 has been released – and with column oriented storage option

You may already have noticed that Oracle 11gR2 for Linux is available for download on website, with documentation.
And this document ends speculation about whether Oracle 11.2 will support column-oriented storage – yes it will:
However, this is apparently available on Exadata storage only as a new error message below indicates:
ORA-64307: hybrid columnar compression is only supported in tablespaces residing on Exadata storage
Cause: An attempt was made to use hybrid columnar compression on unsupported storage.