Oracle VM Server for x86: OVM Administration Ed 1

In order to provide good coverage at work I needed to take this class between the time we hired a new DBA and the time our contract DBA rolled off our project. That narrowed the choice down to classes scheduled for September. The only class available was in San Jose CA. I had never visited any of the towns south of San Francisco so this was a good chance to experience the Silicon Valley culture. My hotel was walking distance from the classroom and there are several great places to eat along the way.

At work we are using Exalogic to host virtual machines on OVM. I had already dabbled in OVM and had set up some RAC databases on OVM running under Virtualbox on my Toshiba Qosmio before class (I bought the Qosmio with 32G specifically to run database VMs). I think this was good preparation for the class since there was a similar setup in our labs. We used remote OVM servers that hosted our lab OVM manager and our lab OVM servers. So we were running two levels of virtualization. We installed  OVM manager and OVM server in the first few labs (one OVM server was pre-built). There were other labs for configuring storage, networks, guest OS creation, templates, etc. I enjoyed the labs a lot.

The last virtualization class I had attended was for VMware back in 2008. I have used VMware ESX and Workstation over the past several years. I was pleasantly surprised with the performance of our lab systems.

We had an excellent instructor, Hans Forbrich (aka Fuzzy Graybeard). I knew of Hans because he’s an Oracle Ace director and Daniel Morgan, another Ace director had presented to our local Oracle User’s Group in July. One of Dan’s slides is about Hans. The name was also familiar because Hans has contributed to the Oracle-l mail group for several years and before that was a frequent contributor to the Usenet group  If you attend  “RAC Attack” at Oracle Open World you will probably see him. He is very knowledgeable about Oracle Virtual Machines and was able to answer most questions immediately. If he couldn’t answer, he would research during our lab time and was always able to provide a satisfactory answer.

I would recommend this class to anyone who wants to get started administering an Oracle Virtual Machine environment.

Class Link

Installing ASM/RAC without asmlib

I’m installing RAC (using ASM) on Red Hat Linux 6.2. Oracle has decided not to provide asmlib for Red Hat 6 and above. So I needed to figure out how to ensure correct permissions and ownership for the shared disks. Red Hat has an article on the support website which recommends using udev or multipath. I set up multipath on my VMware systems but it did not see any disks. VMware was not reporting the UUID’s of the disks to Linux. A little research on the VMware website gave me a clue, and I inserted this line into the vmx files:

disk.EnableUUID = “TRUE”

After rebooting, the multipath software could see the shared disks and automatically created the multipath devices.

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.