Friday Apr 06, 2012

Easy Made Easier - Networking

    In my last post, I highlighted the feature of the Appliance Manager Configurator to auto-fill some fields based on previous field values, including host names based on System Name and sequential IP addresses from the first IP address entered. This can make configuration a little faster and a little less subject to data entry errors, particularly if you are doing the configuration on the Oracle Database Appliance itself.

    The Oracle Database Appliance Appliance Manager Configurator is available for download here. But why would you download it, if it comes pre-installed on the Oracle Database Appliance? A common reason for customers interested in this new Engineered System is to get a good idea of how easy it is to configure. Beyond that, you can save the resulting configuration as a file, and use it on an Oracle Database Appliance. This allows you to verify the data entered in advance, and in the comfort of your office. In addition, the topic of this post is another strong reason to download and use the Appliance Manager Configurator prior to deploying your Oracle Database Appliance.

    The most common source of hiccups in deploying an Oracle Database Appliance, based on my experiences with a variety of customers, involves the network configuration. It is during Step 11, when network validation occurs, that these come to light, which is almost half way through the 24 total steps, and can be frustrating, whether it was a typo, DNS mis-configuration or IP address already in use. This is why I recommend as a best practice taking advantage of the Appliance Manager Configurator prior to deploying an Oracle Database Appliance.

    Why? Not only do you get the benefit of being able to double check your entries before you even start on the Oracle Database Appliance, you can also take advantage of the Network Validation step. This is the final step before you review all the data and can save it to a text file. It can be skipped, if you aren't ready or are not connected to the network that the Oracle Database Appliance will be on. My recommendation, though, is to run the Appliance Manager Configurator on your laptop, enter the data or re-load a previously saved file of the data, and then connect to the network that the Oracle Database Appliance will be on. Now run the Network Validation. It will check to make sure that the host names you entered are in DNS and do resolve to the IP addresses you specifiied. It will also ping the IP Addresses you specified, so that you can verify that no other machine is already using them (yes, that has happened at customer sites).

    After you have completed the validation, as seen in the screen shot below, you can review the results and move on to saving your settings to a file for use on your Oracle Database Appliance, or if there are errors, you can use the Back button to return to the appropriate screen and correct the data. Once you are satisfied with the Network Validation, just check the Skip/Ignore Network Validation checkbox at the top of the screen, then click Next. Is the Network Validation in the Appliance Manager Configurator required? No, but it can save you time later. I should also note that the Network Validation screen is not part of the Appliance Manager Configurator that currently ships on the Oracle Database Appliance, so this is the easiest way to verify your network configuration.




    I hope you are finding this series of posts useful. My next post will cover some aspects of the windowing environment that gets run by the 'startx' command on the Oracle Database Appliance, since this is needed to run the Appliance Manager Configurator via a direct connected monitor, keyboard and mouse, or via the ILOM. If it's been a while since you've used an OpenWindows environment, you'll want to check it out.

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A place where Perley Mears sounds off on topics relevant to his work at Oracle.

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