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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Exadata Database Machine Administration Workshop

I spent last week in downtown Chicago attending this class. It was a very good class and the instructor, Andy Fortunak was excellent. We had lots of labs to work through. The computers we used ran virtual database servers and virtual storage servers. This setup caused some problems, mainly slowness. My virtual database machine’s clusterware failed towards the end of the week but the virtual storage servers continued to work fine.

The main message was: invest the time needed to set up services and Database Resource Manager.  IO Resource Manager and Instance Caging depends on it.

We also discussed consolidation and using RAC one-node. We are consolidating scores of databases on Exadata. Most of them do not require multiple RAC nodes for workload but we do want high availability and load balancing. This week I tested manually moving one-node databases between nodes and it works great. The client does not get disconnected but does get an error message. Srvctl actually makes it a two node RAC and then stops the original node. I tested automatic failover of rac one-node and compared it with a full rac two-node with one instance down. They both work the way I wanted, a second instance starts up. I can’t see any technical reason for going with one-node.