RAC and Grid Infrastructure Administration Accelerated Ed 3

This is a combination of two courses, “Oracle Grid Infrastructure 11g: Manage Clusterware” and “ASM  and Oracle Database 11g: RAC Administration”. The two courses are normally taught in five days and three days respectively.  This combination was taught in five days by extending the classroom time (8:30AM – 6:30PM). Knowledge  Services instructor Pat Frey taught the class in Columbus/Dublin OH. There is some overlap in the two courses so it’s not as bad as it sounds 🙂

There are lots of good labs in these courses and we did all of them except the overlapping parts. I was surprised that the virtual machines for our three node clusters worked so well. There were some performance issues and one student’s cluster became unresponsive on the last day.  Mine stayed up and I always finished the labs in about half the time other students took.

I couldn’t understand why it took the other students so long to work through the labs until I realized how much more experience I have with Oracle. For some of them it was their first exposure to Clusterware and RAC. I got the training materials the week before and one of the exercises actually solved an issue I was having on our Exadata RAC systems. Also, I have been using RAC since it first came out on 9i. Here’s a review of the RAC class I took back in 2003. So I think my experience and knowledge of Oracle in general made a huge difference in my ability to perform the lab work efficiently and quickly. I also asked a lot more questions for clarification than anyone else because I was able to see how the different features were relevant to production uptime and performance.

This was a very good course for me and I recommend it to anyone who already has a basic grounding in single-instance Oracle.

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RAC on AIX

I just finished the class: X0161 Oracle RAC on AIX Systems Workshop taught by Andrei Socoliuc of IBM Romania. Andrei knew a lot about Oracle RAC and AIX so it was a good class. I thought the best part was the hands on labs, especially the pre-installation preparation of the operating system. There was also a lot of good information on hardware and LPAR configuration. This is my first RAC class since 2003 when it had just been released, so the overview of RAC was a good way for me to get a refresher on RAC internals. My only complaint  is that we spent a lot of time on IBM’s shared disk solution (GPFS) and very little on Oracle’s ASM .

CRS-2800: Cannot start resource ‘ora.asm’ as it is already in the INTERMEDIATE state on server

I got this error when I was installing Oracle RAC 11.2 on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.6.  I was installing Clusterware using ASM on VMware shared disks.  When I created the independent persistent virtual disks, I left the “allocate all disk space now” option unselected. Oracleasm was happy on both RAC nodes. The Oracle installer was happy when it created +ASM1 on the first RAC node. But when the ASM instance started on node 2 it did not like the “virtually provisioned” disk. The +ASM2 instance was not open and was complaining about one of the shared disks being corrupt at a certain byte. When I checked the virtual disk files, I saw that Oracle was trying to read past the end of the file. I started all over with new fully allocated shared disk and that fixed the problem. Everything is up and running now.

Real Application Clusters class in Chicago

I was in Chicago all week taking the RAC class. It’s new in Oracle 9. It is a complete rewrite of Oracle Parallel Server. There were excellent lab exercises – we each build a cluster and tested failure of one node. I had a long select running and stopped the node where it was running. The output paused a few seconds then started back up where it left off. This early version only runs on Sun and only uses raw files. We have been clustering databases for high availability for a long time. I think the market for RAC is going to be for databases where you can’t get a box big enough for the load. This lets you add more boxes to increase the cpu and memory available to Oracle.