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12c Release 1

Runtime Load Balancing Advisory in RAC 12c

This is a follow-up on yesterday’s post about services in the new 12c database architecture. After having worked out everything I needed to know about TAF and RAC 12c in CDBs I wanted to check how FCF works with PDBs today. While investigating I found out that the Runtime Load Balancing Advisory does not seem to work as expected in some cases. But I’m getting ahead of myself. First of all, here is my test case:

  • Oracle Linux 6.4 x86-64
  • Grid Infrastructure, i.e. January 2014 PSU applied
  • RDBMS, likewise patched with the January PSU
  • A CDB with just 1 PDB for this purpose, named DEMOPDB
  • Service FCFSRV is used

Service setup

The service is specifically created to connect against the PDB:

RAC and Pluggable Databases

In preparation of the OUGN Spring Seminar and to finally fulfill at least a part of my promise from July I was getting ready to research RAC, PDBs and services for my demos. It turned out to become a lot more interesting than I first assumed.

RAC and Multi-Tenancy

So the first attempt to really look at how this works has started with my 2 node cluster where I created a RAC database: RAC12C, administrator managed with instance RAC12C1 and RAC12C2. The database is registered in Clusterware. Clusterware and RDBMS are patched to the January PSU, i.e.

Applying GI PSU in the lab

In my previous posts about the first RAC Grid Infrastructure Patchset I document a few issues I encountered that were worth noting. But where things work as advertised I am more than happy to document it too. In a way, the January 2014 GI PSU works as you’d hope it would (at least in my lab for my 2 node cluster). Well-almost: if you have a non 12.1 database in your environment you might encounter this.

UPDATE: You might want review some additional information with regards to datapatch.

Admittedly it’s taken from an Oracle Restart (i.e. non cluster) environment but I can’t see this not happening in RAC:

Applying PSU to Oracle Restart

I was actually hoping I had already written enough about applying the PSU for but today I tried to apply the patch to my Oracle Restart home in my lab VM and guess what-it wasn’t as automatic as I thought.

I must have performed the classic copy & paste error and applied the patch to the GRID_HOME only. Please don’t do this! The README clearly states you can but if you do, you will run into this mess. At the time of writing there was no hit for the error on my favourite search engine, hence this post. If you see this on a real database and not on your personal lab VM you should of course consult support what to do. This is for educational purposes only, so to say.

Interesting post-install steps for Oct 2013 PSU

I have already written about RAC/Grid Infrastructure related patching of to, aka the October 2013 PSU for the database.

This post is a follow-up for pure RDBMS-only installations. I initially thought it wasn’t worth blogging about it (and hence the lag between the posts) but I came across an interesting post-apply step that is required for the databases: datapatch.

This is a new tool to run post the Patch Set Update installation against the non-CDB.

UPDATE: Oracle discourages the application of the patch set for RAC/GI on Multi-Tenant.

Here is the reference output for a non-CDB:

Getting up and running with UCP and Application Continuity

I have already posted a couple of articles on the use of Oracle’s Universal Connection Pool in the past with regards to Workload Management and Oracle RAC 11.2. Since then a lot happened, with the release of Oracle 12c being the most notable event. With 12c you get lots of interesting new features for JDBC, and the one I would like to present today is Application Continuity. This continues the previous post on playing with Application Continuity outside of a midlle-tier environment. Well, if you allow me to call Tomcat 7 “middle-tier” that is.

The aim of this post is to extend my previous posts about setting up UCP with Application Continuity. The basic setup remains unchanged, but this time I tested with JDK 1.6 (build 1.6.0_45-b06) and Tomcat 7.0.47 on Oracle Enterprise Linux 6.4 64bit.

Playing with Application Continuity in RAC 12c

One of the more interesting features in Oracle 12c RAC is application continuity. Why do I believe it is? Because it relieves developers from having to think about retrying connections and catch SQLExceptions in the code. I already thought that Fast Application Notification and Fast Connect Failover (FCF) are great, _but_ they required the developer to understand RAC and Oracle which you can’t take for granted. In fact looking back over the last few years since I co-wrote Pro Oracle Database 11g RAC on Linux the number 1 complaint I got from developers was that RAC was too complex (see for example in this thread on oracle-l)

Now Application Continuity takes away 2 problems I have seen.

Inside a RAC 12c GNS cluster

Based on some reader feedback I started looking at GNS again, but this time it will be for RAC 12c. According to the documentation GNS has been enhanced so that you can use it without subdomain delegation. I decided to try the “old fashioned” way though: DHCP for VIPs, SCAN IPs, subdomain delegation and the like as it is the most complex setup. I occasionally like complex.

The network setup is exactly the same as I used before in 11.2 and thankfully didn’t require any changes. The cluster I am building is a 2 node system on Oracle Linux 6.4 and the Red Hat compatible kernel. I have to use this as the Unbreakable Kernel doesn’t know about block devices made available to it via virtio-scsi. I use virtio-scsi for shared block devices very much in the same way I did for Xen.

Applying PSU in the lab environment

Since the first patch for Oracle 12c has been made available I was of course keen to see how to apply it. For a first test I opted to use my 3 node RAC cluster which is running on Oracle Linux 6.4 with UEK2. This post is not terribly well-polished, it’s more of a log of what I did…

The cluster makes use of some of the new 12c RAC features such as Flex ASM but it is not a Flex Cluster:

[oracle@rac12node3 ~]$ srvctl config asm
ASM home: /u01/app/
Password file: +OCR/orapwASM
ASM listener: LISTENER
ASM instance count: 2
Cluster ASM listener: ASMNET1LSNR_ASM
[oracle@rac12node3 ~]$

My database is a standard 3 node administrator managed build:

Support for Pluggable Databases in Enterprise Manager

Currently there is an interesting thread on the oracle-l mailing list about OEM 12c support for database 12c Release. Unlike previous OEM generations this time OEM was not lagging behind. I am using OEM with the database plugin and yes, I can see PDBs!


The above snapshot is from the database targets overview page. As you can see there is a Container Database (CDB1) and it has exactly 1 PDB. When you click on the CDB you get to the main page: