Wednesday Jun 27, 2012

ODA: New + Updated white papers on OTN

We just published a number of ODA best practice technical white papers on OTN

On the main OTN ODA page

http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/server-storage/engineered-systems/database-appliance/overview/index.html

Under the White Papers section:

Protecting Oracle Database Appliance – Tape Backup with Oracle Secure Backup (New!)

Under the Third Party Agent Best Practice White Papers section (click the links) or

http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/server-storage/engineered-systems/database-appliance/overview/thirdpartyagents-1375737.html

Protecting Oracle Database Appliance – Tape Backup with Symantec NetBackup (Updated!)

Protecting Oracle Database Appliance – Tape Backup with CommVault Simpana (New!)
Protecting Oracle Database Appliance – Tape Backup with EMC NetWorker (New!)

Wednesday Jun 06, 2012

ODA: FAQs now in MOS

Please note that the Oracle Database Appliance team have added the ODA FAQs in MOS under note ID: 1463638.1 for your convenience.

Access MOS

ODA: Information Center on MOS

Under the Information Center for the Oracle Database Appliance (ID 1417713.2) in MOS you will find a collection of news, documents, alerst, how-to docs and other ODA related information. It is woth to mark it as one of your favorits.

Access MOS

Monday May 07, 2012

ODA: Deploying Oracle Data Guard with Oracle Database Appliance

Please see the just published "Deploying Oracle Data Guard with Oracle Database Appliance" technical white paper. 

This new white paper describes:

  • Why do I need a standby database environment?
  • Why Oracle Data Guard?

It shows also "Best Practices for Setup".

Thursday Apr 19, 2012

ODA: Software update 2.2.0.0.0 now on MOS

The software update patch 2.2.0.0.0 for ODA is now available via MOS.  This Patch can be applied on ODA nodes running any previous versions 2.1.0.0.0, 2.1.0.1.0, 2.1.0.2.0, 2.1.0.3.0 or 2.1.0.3.1.

Also available in the 2.2.0.0.0 flavor are the ISO bare metal restore image and end user bundle.

The three biggest changes are:

1- Upgrade GI/DB to 11.2.0.3.2 (optional)
2- Upgrade the OS to 5.8 UEK1 (Mandatory)
3- New firmwares for existing components and new to Support new Disk Models (both SAS and SATA)

Latest releases:

  • ODA Patch 2.2.0.0.0 Patch :13858874
    • Upgrades OS from OEL 5.5 to UEK 5.8
    • Upgrades GI/RDBMS from 11.2.0.2.[4,5] to 11.2.0.3.2
  • End User GI/RDBMS clone 2.2.0.0.0 Patch: 12978712
    • Used for all new deployments.
    • Latest 2.2.0.0.0 End User GI/RDBMS clone includes 11.2.0.3.2 GI + RDBMS for Oracle Database Appliance
  • OS ISO Image 2.2.0.0.0: Patch:12999313
    • Used for Bare Metal Restore.

For more details see MOS note 888888.1

Thursday Mar 29, 2012

ODA: Announcing ODA External Storage (read/write) Support

Effective immediately a customer can now use ODA with database files stored on an external NFS file server for both read and write operations.   This effectively eliminates ODA's 4TB storage capacity limit, which has been a concern with some of potential ODA customers.

Below is some additional information regarding the ODA external storage support

Q: What are we announcing?

A: Effective immediately, you can now use the Oracle Database Appliance with database files stored on a NFS-attached file server for both read and write operations.

Q: Does this differentiate the Oracle Database Appliance from an Oracle Database running on a 3rd-party server?

A: No, this feature is a generic feature of the Oracle Database. This puts Oracle Database Appliance on par with other Oracle Database server platforms.

Q: Is there an approved list of NFS servers I can use with the Oracle Database Appliance?

A: No, but we strongly recommend using a commercial file server such as an Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance, or a similar product from a major storage vendor (i.e., EMC, NetApp).

Q: Do I use ASM with the NFS-attached storage?

A: No. Simply mount the file system and store your files on it the same way you would store Oracle database files in any file system. Use of ASM for NFS-attached storage is not recommended.

Q: Can I have some of their database files on internal ODA storage, and some on NFS-attached storage?

A: Yes, you can have a mix of tablespaces—some on the local SAS storage internal to the ODA, and some on the NFS server.

Q: Can I create an ASM diskgroup that spans the local storage and the NFS storage?

A: No. ASM diskgroups should be constructed on disks internal to the ODA. ASM is not needed (nor recommended) for use on NFS-attached storage.

Q: If I don’t use ASM with my NFS Filer, how do I online add storage to my NFS-attached file system.

A: Most commercial NFS filers provide this functionality.

Q: Will I be required to patch their storage sub-system separately or will the ODA patching process take care of the NFS server?

A: The ODA patching process will only patch the local ODA server. If patches are required for an NFS filer, the customer is responsible for patching that themselves.

Q: If I put critical business data on an NFS filer and the server is down, what happens?

A: Your database is down. Make sure you use a highly available NFS filer.

Q: if I put non-critical archive data on an NFS filer, can I configure it so a failure to the filer won’t affect my database?

A: Yes, mark the archive data read-only, and set the init.ora parameter READ_ONLY_OPEN_DELAYED=TRUE

Q: What NIC in the ODA should I use to connect to NFS-attached storage?

A: The ODA has plenty of NICs. Use a bonded pair that is not in use.

Q: What mount options should I use?

A: rw,bg,hard,rsize=32768,wsize=32768,vers=3,nointr,timeo=600,tcp,actimeo=0*

Q: Where can I find more information?

A: http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E11882_01/install.112/e24321/app_nas.htm

Q: What is Direct NFS (dNFS)?

A: dNFS is a feature of the Oracle Database that allows an NFS client in the database kernel to directly connect to and access data on an NFS Filer.

Q: Should I used the native OS client or dNFS to connect to my NFS Filer?

A: You can use either, but Oracle recommends using dNFS.

Q: How do I configure and use dNFS?

A: Refer to MOS note 762374.1.

Q: How can I use Hybrid Columnar Compression (HCC) with ODA?

A: HCC is available for use with database files stored on and Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance. You can thus use HCC with ODA as long as the files are stored on and NFS-attached ZFS Storage Appliance. Your ODA must be running 11.2.0.3 database (releasing in April 2012) and you must connect via dNFS.

Q: How should I distribute my data between the local storage and the NFS filer?

A: Put hot data on the internal storage, as that will give the best performance. Put colder data on the NFS filer.

Q: I have tables containing both hot and cold data. How can I move just the cold data to the filer without affecting the application which expects everything in one table?

A: Use the database partitioning option to keep data in different partitions. Place the hot data in partitions on the internal storage, and cold data in partitions on the NFS Filer.

Q: Is there a limit to the amount of data I can store on the NFS Filer?

A: Yes, it is limited by the maximum database size supported by the Oracle Database. This is very big.

Q: Is there a white paper on this subject I can read?

A: An ODA specific white paper will be available shortly. In the mean time, a dNFS white paper is available describing the generic functionality. You can find it here: http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/articles/directnfsclient-11gr1-twp-129785.pdf

Monday Mar 19, 2012

ODA: Mandatory Patch 2.1.0.3.1 available

Today announcing the availability of an important mandatory patch 2.1.0.3. for the Oracle Database Appliance. Please check MOS note 888888.1 for more details and installation instructions.

Saturday Feb 18, 2012

ODA: MOS notes related to ODA

The following list give you an overview of MOS notes that are related to ODA (data as of February 2012).

Oracle Database Appliance - 2.1 Supported Versions [ID 888888.1]
This document currently lists the Patches, Known issues and Workarounds for Oracle Database Appliance.
Latest Releases

Oracle Database Appliance ( ODA )End User Deployment [ID 1373617.1]
When an Oracle database appliance (ODA) is shipped from the factory it comes with the Linux OS and Oracle Appliance Kit pre-installed. However, the Grid and Database software does not come installed on ODA.
This note describes the  End user deployment steps on how to install the Grid and Database software for a fully functional Database Appliance including
  • Pre-Deployment Steps: Up to 14 steps using the Database Appliance Offline Configurator 
  • End User Deployment: Twelve steps to complete your Database Appliance deployment
Oracle Database Appliance Bare Metal Restore Procedure. [ID 1373599.1]
Oracle Database Appliance ships from the factory with OS and Appliance Manager Pre-Installed. The document outlines the steps to be performed if there is a need to Re-image the Appliance also commonly referred to as "Bare Metal Restore".

ODA (Oracle Database Appliance): Patching [ID 1397680.1]
This document describe the patching phase on ODA (Oracle Database Appliance)

Oracle Database Appliance ( ODA ) patch 2.1.0.0.0 reference [ID 1378147.1]
This doc is intended as a reference point to check the standard revisions installed when one runs image  2.1.0.0.0 or right after re-imaging.

How To Install And Configure EM 12c For Oracle Database Appliance [ID 1409193.1]
This note provides a methodology for setting up and configuring the monitoring of an Oracle Database Appliance using Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control.  The note assumes a working knowledge of both Enterprise Manager and the Oracle Database Appliance.

How to Convert Single-Instance database to RAC on Oracle Database Appliance Using Rconfig Utility [ID 1362116.1]
This article is intended for Oracle Support Analysts and DBAs who support or administrate Oracle Database Appliance. It provides a method to convert a Single Instance database to a RAC database on Oracle Database Appliance.

ILOM configuration via Serial port on ODA (Oracle Database Appliance) [ID 1395445.1]
The document contains the steps to connect Oracle Database Appliance(ODA) via serial port.

How to replace FAILED SYSTEM BOOT DISK on Oracle Database Appliance [ID 1382300.1]
This article provides steps to replace failed / faulty system boot disk on Oracle Database Appliance Servers.

Oracle Database Appliance (ODA): Simulated Failure tests [ID 1391655.1]
The aim of this bulletin is provide some Failure Tests to check ODA HW & SW configuratio.
The below are just a few simple suggested tests. You may perform additional tests as you see appropriate.

Gathering data for the Oracle Database Appliance server [ID 1358795.1]
Collecting data for the Oracle Database Appliance server.

Inside the Oracle Database Appliance (ODA) [ID 1385831.1]
The aim of this bulletin is provide the main ODA HW & SW configuration. It is intended for information purposes only

To read the complete note, you need to loggin to MOS and search for the provided document ID.

ODA: ESG report "Proven Value with The Oracle Database Appliance"

ESG has published a customer case study on Oracle Database Appliance -  Proven Value with The Oracle Database Appliance.

The case study is a strong, non-commissioned endorsement of Oracle Database Appliance.

ESG says ODA provided significant benefit in: hardware and power savings, software-hardware compatability, performance, patching, pay-as-you-grow scaling, high availability, one button configuration.

Get the report here.

ODA: Support Policy FAQ (February 2012)

The following FAQ describes in more detail the support policy changes which have been announced at 15th. Feb. 2012.

Q:  What defines an agent that is allowed to be installed on the database appliance?

A:  An agent is anything used to manage, monitor, backup, replicate, authenticate, or otherwise act on the database, the server, or the environment.  An agent may store operational data in the database, but does not store or operate on end-user data.

Q:  Will there be third party agent installation guides and best practice white papers?

A:  Yes we will publish installation guides and best practice white papers for selected tier one agents (NetBackup, Networker, etc.) and encourage other vendors to publish their own installation guide/best practice white paper.

Q:  Can I install an application on the appliance? 
Can I install a database on one server, and an application on the other server?

A:  No, you still cannot install an application on the appliance.  Support for applications is planned for the future (estimated CY2013).


Q:  My agent if cpu intensive and consumes a complete core of cpu resources.  Can I pin my agent to a core and not license that core for the database?

A:  No.  All cores in the server hosting a database must be licensed for the database, unless the server is used only for failover, and you operate failed over fewer than 10-days per year.

Q:  Will Oracle provide patch updates for my agent software?

A:  No.   Customers will be responsible for patching agents they install on the appliance.

Q:  What are some examples of supported multiple home configurations?


A:  The following examples below all would be supported multi-home configurations


Supported Examples
:

  • Grid Infrastructure (11.2.0.3)
    • DB Home 1 (11.2.0.3)
    • DB Home 2 (11.2.0.3)
  • Grid Infrastructure (11.2.0.3)
    • DB Home 1 (11.2.0.2)
    • DB Home 2 (11.2.0.2)
  • Grid Infrastructure (11.2.0.3)
    • DB Home 1 (11.2.0.2)
    • DB Home 2 (11.2.0.3)
Q:  What are some examples of unsupported multiple home configurations?

A:  The examples below all are not supported.  The reason they are not supported is given for each example.

Unsupported Examples
:

Example Configuration
Reason not supported
  • Grid Infrastructure  (11.2.0.2) 
    • DB Home 1 (11.2.0.2)
    • DB Home 2 (11.2.0.2)
Grid Infrastructure must be 11.2.0.3 or later for multi-home support
  • Grid Infrastructure (11.2.0.3) 
    • DB Home 1 (11.2.0.2)
    • DB Home 2 (11.2.0.3)
    • DB Home 3 (10.2.0.4)
Release 10.2.0.4 is not supported on the appliance.  Only 11.2.0.3 and 11.2.0.2 are supported.


Q:  Can one of my multiple homes be Standard Edition 11.2.0.3?

A:  No, only Enterprise Edition is supported on the Oracle Database Appliance.

Q:  How do I patch a multiple home environment?

A:  Details will be provided in future communications

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