This is a blogpost about how I setup my test virtual machines. The seasoned sysadmin and DBA will notice that the techniques used here are perfectly usable for real production environments. The most important thing is there is no need to download or stage any software for installing the virtual machine, everything is downloaded when needed during installation. Obviously this works best when you have got reasonable bandwidth available for connecting to the internet.
The main infrastructure software components of this setup are:
– Virtualbox as the virtualisation software.
– Ansible as the configuration and management engine.
– Vagrant as the virtualisation manager.
As always, installations of Oracle server products on Fedora are not a great idea, as explained here.
I was reading some stuff about the Fedora 23 Alpha and realised Fedora 22 had passed me by. Not sure how I missed that.
Anyway, I did a run through of the usual play stuff.
This post looks like I am jumping on the bandwagon of IT orchestration like a lot of people are doing. Maybe I should say ‘except for (die hard) Oracle DBA’s’. Or maybe not, it up to you to decide.
Most people who are interested in IT in general will have noticed IT orchestration has gotten attention, especially in the form of Puppet and/or Chef. I _think_ IT orchestration has gotten important with the rise of “web scale” (scaling up and down applications by adding virtual machines to horizontal scale resource intensive tasks), in order to provision/configure the newly added machines without manual intervention, and people start picking it up now to use it for more tasks than provisioning of virtual machines for web applications.
The new versions of the WebLogic 12cR2 and ADF could not have come at a worse time for me. My top priority is learning about the 12cR1 version of the database. Second, is getting to grips with Cloud Control 12cR3. Third on the list is getting up to speed with the changes in WebLogic 12cR2 and ADF. Unfortunately, my personal priorities don’t quite match my work priorities, so WebLogic 12cR2 has moved up the list for a while. As a result, I did some installations last night.
I finally got my server problems sorted out yesterday, so I was able to do a 12c virtual RAC installation. You can see what I did here:
The setup is pretty much the same as the 11gR2 setup. So there’s no real drama at all.
With the basic installation articles out of the way I can start having a play with the functionality.
I did an EM Cloud Control 12cR2 installation at work yesterday. The database repository was 184.108.40.206 on HP-UX and the middle tier was installed on RHEL 5.8. The installation was pretty much the same as the 12cR1 version. Over the next few days I’ll be testing out some of the features to decide if we can move across to it permanently.
Today I did two run throughs of single server installations on Oracle Linux 5.8 and 6.3. There are a couple of minor differences, but nothing to worry about. You can see what I did here:
The installations are a little small, so they are not too fast, but it’s good enough to test things out.
While I was at Open World I tried a few times to get hold of the new Cloud Control software, but the hotel network wasn’t up to the job, so I had to wait until I got home.
The installation is pretty simple compared to previous versions of Grid Control and it installs fine on both Oracle Linux 5.x and 6.x. As always it’s a little greedy on the memory front, with the recommendation for a small installation being 4G for the Cloud Control and 2G for the repository database. That’s not including the OS requirement. On the subject of the repository database, you can use a number of 10g and 11g versions, but anything before 220.127.116.11 requires additional patches, so I stayed with 18.104.22.168.
You can see what I did here.
I had this comment today related to RAC installation.
“thanks for the feedback, but for newbies this is where it gets confusing. No clear guidelines”
This post is not specifically about this comment, but it does bring up the issue I keep going back to again and again…
One of the things that annoys me about the Oracle marketing machine is they still try to make out all Oracle products are accessible for newbies. Oh really? Are you seriously telling me that Oracle RAC and Oracle Grid Control 11g are accessible for newbies?
I’ve been using Oracle products for about 17 years. I’ve been using Linux for about 13 years. I’ve been administering RAC for about 10 years. I don’t claim to be an international consultant to the stars, but I have a long history with this stuff. I’m not saying this to brag, just to put this into context. With all this experience I still don’t think this stuff is easy.
Check out the Oak Table Members list. Excluding myself, this is a “who’s who” of the people you would love to have on your site to show you how Oracle stuff really works. If you were part of the Oak Table mailing list you would see these people are still struggling with the idiosyncracies of some of this Oracle stuff. There are lots of RAC related issues under discussion all the time.
Knowing all this, do you really think you can roll up off the street and do a good job of installing and administering this stuff in a production environment? Do you think it is OK to be an SQL Server DBA on Windows today and start a job as an Oracle DBA on Linux tomorrow? I see this happening all the time because bosses don’t understand how complicated this technology can be. People do one Oracle installation on Windows and think the logical next step is RAC or Exadata.
I’m happy that Oracle have invested time and money in making Oracle *easier* to install and administer, but trying to tell people that it is easy is totally the wrong message. A week long course or a 2-Day DBA manual is not going to get someone up to speed.
For the next marketing slogan I suggest,
“Oracle. It’s f*ckin’ complicated, but it’s really cool!”
Rant over … until the next time…
Fedora 14 is here and so are the obligatory articles:
My attitude to Fedora and Ubuntu as changed today, with most of that shift due to VirtualBox.
Before I switched to VirtualBox I was always reliant on my OS being able to run VMware Server. Over the years I had repeatedly encountered problems running VMware Server on Ubuntu and Fedora. Not all of them show stoppers, but enough to put me off them as my main desktop OS. Why did I stick with VMware Server? Just because it supported shared virtual disks, which allowed me to easily create virtual RAC installations. Version 3.2.8 of VirtualBox included support for shared disks for the first time, so I ditched VMware Server and launched full scale into using VirtualBox.
While I was playing around with Fedora 14 I was thinking how cool it would be to have a newer OS on my desktop that could run Google Chrome, then it dawned on me that now I can. I’ve been free of VMware Server for a while now and I hadn’t realized the knock-on effect of that.
My years of using RHEL mean I feel a little more comfortable with Fedora than Ubuntu, but to be honest all I do on a desktop is fire up VirtualBox, use a browser (preferably Chrome) and use a terminal for SSH. Virtually everything else is done in VMs.
Now, do I waste a few days assessing the various options for my desktop, or do I just stick with CentOS and deal with the fact I can’t use Chrome on it?