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Silent installation: Oracle Restart 19c, ASM Filter Driver, UEK 5 edition

As promised in an earlier post here are my notes about installing Oracle Restart with ASM Filter Driver (ASMFD) 19c on Oracle Linux 7 using UEK 5.

Since the approach you are about to read isn’t explicitly covered in the documentation I suggest you ask Oracle Support whether it is supported before using this outside a playground/lab environment.

I also forgot about this post waiting to be published in my drafts folder, it should have gone out early April. Some components I used to put the post together aren’t the latest and greatest, please adjust accordingly.

Creating a new disk group for use with ASM Filter Driver on the command line in Oracle 19c

In my previous post I shared my surprise when I learned that calling 19c for use with Oracle ASM Filter Driver (ASMFD) required me to specify the names of the native block devices. This is definitely different from installing ASM with ASMLib where you pass ASM disks as “ORCL:diskname” to the installer.

Um, that’s great, but why did I write this post? Well, once the installation/configuration steps are completed you most likely need to create at least a second disk group. In my case that’s going to be RECO, for use with the Fast Recovery Area (FRA). This post details the necessary steps to get there, as they are different compared to the initial call to

Silent installation: Oracle Restart 19c, ASM Filter Driver, RHCK edition

As promised in the earlier post here are my notes about installing Oracle Restart 19c on Oracle Linux 7.7 using the RedHat compatible kernel (RHCK). Please consult the ACFS/ASMFD compatibility matrix, My Oracle Support DocID 1369107.1 for the latest information about ASMFD compatibility with various kernels as well.

Why am I starting the series with a seemingly “odd” kernel, at least from the point of view of Oracle Linux? If you try to install the Oracle Restart base release with UEK 5, you get strange error messages back from gridSetup telling you about invalid ASM disks. While that’s probably true, it’s a secondary error. The main cause of the problem is this:

Oracle Restart 19c: silent installation and ASM Filter Driver

Oracle 19c is has been getting a lot of traction recently, and I have been researching various aspects around its installation and use. One topic that came up recently was the installation of Oracle Restart 19c using ASM Filter Driver. ASM Filter Driver has been around for a little while, but I never really looked at it closely. I found very little has been written about ASMFD in the context of Oracle 19c either, so I thought I’d revert the trend and write a series of posts about it (maybe I just didn’t find the relevant articles, I didn’t look too closely)

12.2 New Feature: the FLEX ASM disk group part 5

Some time ago I had a very interesting twitter conversation after publishing the first part of this series. The question was whether using ASM templates, which admittedly exist since Oracle 10.1, didn’t provide similar functionality as Flex Disk Groups. In other words, wouldn’t using ASM templates allow you to have high redundancy files on normal redundancy disk groups anyway?

This question has been answered by Alex Fatkulin in a blog post some time ago. In this post I would like to replay his test with my 12.2 setup. Initially I had hoped to compare the approach using ASM templates with the Flex ASM Disk Group but the post has become too long again … The actual comparison will be done with the next instalment of the series.

12.2 New Feature: the FLEX ASM disk group part 4

Flex Disk Group Properties

In the previous 3 parts I shared my investigation into ASM Flex Disk Groups, Quota Groups, File Groups, and how Quota Groups actually enforce space limits. What I haven’t discussed yet was changing properties of a File Group and the effects thereof. Properties I have in mind are related to the protection level, as discussed in the official documentation-Automatic Storage Management Administrator’s Guide, Administering Oracle ASM Disk Groups. There are of course other properties as well (and you’ll find a link to all of the modifiable properties later in this post), but they are out of scope for this investigation.

12.2 New Feature: the FLEX ASM disk group part 3

In the previous 2 parts of this mini series I introduced the Flex ASM disk group and two related concepts, the Quota Group and File Group. In what should have become the final part (but isn’t) I am interested in checking whether quotas are enforced.

(Un)fortunately I have uncovered a few more things that are worth investigating and blogging about, which is why a) this isn’t the last post and b) it got a bit shorter than the previous two. Had I combined part 3 and 4 it would have been too long for sure … BTW, you can navigate all posts using the links at the very bottom of the page.

Are quotas enforced?

The purpose of the Quota Group is … to enforce quotas on a disk group, much like on a file system. This is quite interesting, because you now have a hard limit to which databases can grow within a disk group even for non-CDBs.

12.2 New Feature: the FLEX ASM disk group part 2

In the first part of this series I explained the basics and some potential motivation behind the use of ASM Flex disk groups. In this part I would like to complete the description of new concepts.

New Concepts related to FLEX ASM Disk Groups

With the Flex disk group mounted, the next steps are to create a few new entities. First, I want to create a Quota Group. The Quota Group – as the name implies – will enforce quotas for entities residing within it. It is optional to add one yourself, Oracle creates a default Quota Group for you that does not enforce storage limits. As you will see later, the default Quota Group will be assigned to all new databases in the Flex ASM disk group.

12.2 New Feature: the FLEX ASM disk group part 1

I knew about the 12.2 FLEX ASM disk group type from other presenters but until now – when researching the feature for the upcoming DOAG HA Day – I haven’t been able to appreciate how cool this is. And I really think it is pretty cool and worth sharing! There is a lot to be said about the feature and these tests, which is why I am splitting it into multiple parts.

Please be aware that this post is about my lab experiments, I have no production experience with FLEX ASM disk groups. As with all new features it might take a while to mature, so test, test, test…

Little things worth knowing: when a transient ASM disk failure cannot be fixed in time

In the previous blog post I used libvirt and KVM in my lab environment to simulate a transient disk failure and how to recover from it. This post takes this example a step further: I am simulating another disk failure, but this time won’t pretend I can fix the issue and put it back. In other words, I simulate the effect of the disk_repair_time hitting zero.

Most of what I am covering here is an extension of the previous post, I’ll mention the main detail here for your benefit, but would like to invite you to revert to the previous post for more detail.

The idea is to show you the output of the ASM alert.log and result of the lost disk in the V$-views.

As with the previous post, the code examples in this one are for demonstration purposes only!