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OCFS2 for Linux Certified for E-Business Suite Release 12 Application Tiers

Steven Chan
Senior Director

[Jun. 6, 2016 Update: OCFS2 is certified for EBS 12.2; see this article for details] 

[May 7, 2015 update: This article applies only to EBS 12.1.  OCFS2 is not certified with EBS 12.2 yet.]

Oracle E-Business Suite environments can be scaled up to handle large numbers of concurrent users by load-balancing across multiple application mid-tier servers.  At Oracle, we run Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 internally with a pool of approximately forty application tier servers. The novelty of applying the same patch to every one of those servers individually wears off pretty quickly.  There's a easier way: you can share a single file system between all of your E-Bu

siness Suite application tier servers.  This allows you to apply patches once to the central filesystem, rather than maintaining each application tier server node individually.  This approach reduces maintenance overheads and shortens your patching downtimes. 

r12sharedfilesystem2.jpg

Starting with Release 12, you can even share the same file system between multiple E-Business Suite instances (although for obvious reasons, you should do this only for non-production instances). Customers embarking upon this path inevitably ask, "Which shared filesystem do you recommend?"  The short answer is that we don't recommend any specific filesystem, but there's more to it than just that.  I've discussed the nuances of choosing a shared file system in this article. That article explicitly stated that we do not certify specific file systems with the E-Business Suite.  That was true at the time that article was published, and is still generally true for most file systems.  However, your requests made it clear that we needed to take a closer look at Oracle Cluster File System (OCFS2) for Linux, so we did.

What's new?

Oracle Cluster File System (OCFS2) for Linux OCFS2 1.4 and higher is now certified and supported for Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 application tier file systems. System administrators may deploy both the APPL_TOP and INST_TOP on Linux-based OCFS2 shared-disk cluster file systems. Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 certification tests with OCFS2-based application tier shared file systems used the following configuration:

  • Oracle Enterprise Linux Version 5 Update 4 (OEL5U4 64-bit) running OCFS2 1.4.4
  • Separate volumes for APPL_TOP and INST_TOP storage (INST_TOP was also tested and is certified with local storage)
  • Oracle E-Business Suite application tier mount options used: rw, _netdev, nointr
  • Mount option datavolume was not used in the application tier mounts

For detailed instructions on configuring OCFS2, see OCFS2: A Cluster File System for Linux: User's Guide for Release 1.4 on the Project: OCFS2 website.

What about EBS database tiers?

The E-Business Suite's database tier is built on the Oracle Database.  The Oracle Database is certified with OCFS2.   Therefore, OCFS2 is supported for the E-Business Suite database tier, too.  This applies to both Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i and 12.

What's not certified or supported?

Oracle Cluster File System (OCFS2) for Linux is not certified with Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i application tier file systems. Oracle Cluster File System for Windows is not certified with application tier file systems for either Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i or Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.

How well does this work for you?

As with all new certifications, we're very interested in hearing about your experiences with this.  If you've experimented with OCFS2 for Linux for your Apps mid-tiers, please post a comment here or drop me a private email with your feedback.  I'll make sure that your comments get back to the OCFS2 team directly.

References

Related Articles
 

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Comments ( 46 )
  • John Piwowar Wednesday, March 10, 2010

    Awesome news. Certainly removes some ambiguity from the "what are our options for shared application tier file systems?" question, and provides some comfort for organizations that have a bias against using NFS.

    With the arrival of 11gR2, have you started getting queries about ACFS? :)

    Regards,

    John P.


  • Steven Chan Wednesday, March 10, 2010

    Hi, John,

    Yes, we're pretty happy about completing this certification.

    I'm afraid that the Fusion Middleware team has explicitly stated that they have no current plans to certify or support Oracle Application Server 10g components on the ACFS file system.

    Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 is built on Oracle Application Server 10g, of course. So, if the Fusion Middleware team doesn't support the use of ACFS with Oracle Application Server 10g, neither can the E-Business Suite division.

    Customers interested in running Oracle Application Server 10g (and the E-Business Suite) on ACFS are encouraged to log SRs against the Fusion Middleware product to request this certification. If sufficient numbers of customers request it, they may consider it.

    Regards,

    Steven


  • Balaji Srinivasan Wednesday, March 10, 2010

    Hi Steven,

    Happy to see you again. But, i have a big question, how can this be better technology, if alreay oracle EBS R12 is having Read-only Shared APPL_TOP in its place? can you guide me in detail.

    BALAJI SRINIVASAN,

    Delivery Manager Oracle Applications DBA.

    Sony DADC| Bangalore


  • Arnoud Roth Thursday, March 11, 2010

    Hi Steven,

    This is certainly good news! I am sure that this certification was long awaited for by the community.

    You write about sharing the Application Tier File System across multiple instances of E-Business Suite: "although for obvious reasons, you should do this only for non-production instances".

    I have written a weblog about this feature and found a number of reasons why one would be able to benefit from this, even in a production environment. See http://oraclever.blogspot.com/2009/12/e-business-suite-r12-shared-application.html for details about this. Can you share your opinion on sharing the ATFS across multiple E-Business Suite environments that (together) make up one Production Environment (for example when you separate the ASCP environment from the OLTP environment, according to Oracle's recommendation)?

    Regards,

    Arnoud Roth


  • Steven Chan Thursday, March 11, 2010

    Hi, Arnoud,

    Thanks for the reminder about your blog article. I remember reading it last December but didn't think to review it before announcing this certification.

    I agree that there may be some circumstances where it might be appropriate to share a filesystem with a production instance. Your example of EBS + ASCP instances sharing the same filesystem is a good one.

    That said, I have deep reservations about mixing and matching production and test instances, based on best practices where there's an airgap between the two classes of systems. I view that as a dangerous shortcut, one that depends upon a sysadmin's skill and knowledge to avoid corruption or changes to your production instance. Knowing human nature, with all of its inherent frailties and fallibility, I can easily see a sysadmin inadvertently forgetting that the production instance is affected by his or her changes to their "test" instance, and bringing everything down. Nightmare scenario.

    When PROD and TEST are separated, there is no chance whatsoever of such mistakes from happening. I'm a belt-and-suspenders kind of guy, so that'd be the approach that I would take.

    Regards,

    Steven


  • Hardik Desai Friday, March 12, 2010

    This is great news.

    This will save big chunk of money spent on license every year...

    Will be good if Oracle certify it for 11i as well.

    Regards

    Hardik


  • Steven Chan Friday, March 12, 2010

    Hi, Hardik,

    Thanks for your comment. The Fusion Middleware team has no plans to certify Oracle9i Application Server 1.0.2.2.2 on OCFS2, so it is unlikely that we'll ever see this for Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i (EBS 11i is built on 9iAS 1.0.2.2.2).

    Regards,

    Steven


  • Steven Chan Wednesday, March 17, 2010

    Hi, Balaji,

    The use of a shared file system allows you to maintain your application tier code in a single place, rather than redundantly for each application server. This latest certification is for OCFS2 for Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 application tiers.

    If you aren't sharing a central file system between multiple app servers, having a read-only shared APPL_TOP per server still means that you need to patch every individual app server individually.

    Regards,

    Steven


  • Vasu Balla Friday, March 26, 2010

    Hi Steve,

    Good to see that OCFS is now supported.

    I have one question though. If INST_TOP is not certified to be on OCFS shared filesystem, how do we ensure that concurrent manager log and out files are available on secondary node when the primary middle tier fails in a PCP environment?

    thanks

    Vasu


  • Steven Chan Friday, July 2, 2010

    Hi, Vasu,

    I just realized that I hadn't closed the loop on this; my apologies for this slipping through the cracks.

    We tested INST_TOPs on OCFS2; this is a certified configuration.

    Regards,

    Steven


  • raj Thursday, July 22, 2010

    hi,

    we are planned to use

    operating system : redhat 4.5 (64-bit) Operating system

    Oracle database : 10G RAC

    Oracle applictions : 12.0.6

    cluster file system :OCFS2 1.2.8

    voting disk, OCR :OCFS2 1.2.8

    SAN : ISCSI environment

    Nodes : 3

    Parallel Concurrent processing:$APPLCSF, $APPLTMP in OCFS2 1.2.8

    going to convert single instance to RAC USING Note.388577.1 - Configuring Oracle Applications Release 12

    with 10g R2 RAC

    in production Environment

    is it possible


  • Steven Chan Thursday, July 22, 2010

    Hi, Raj,

    This looks good to me. Good luck with your implementation.

    Regards,

    Steven


  • Neel Friday, July 23, 2010

    Steven,

    Does mixed Platform on DB & Applications Tiers in CASE you will use OCFS2.

    DB Tier (11gr2 RAC AIX 6.1)

    Application Tier (12.1.2 OEL 5.x)

    Getting some issues to run application try to find the certification matrix for OCFS2 but failed :(

    Can you please help here?

    Thanks,

    Neel


  • Raj Friday, July 23, 2010

    hi neel,

    OCFS2 is designed for linux platforms. if u want to use RAC ,using same platforms for all dbTier,Appplication Tier, it is always best using same platform for EBS .then easy to tract if any problem arises


  • Neel Monday, July 26, 2010

    Raj,

    Thanks for the reply, I was going through the documentation and it does not say anyehere that I should use only "linux". You have mention "it is always best using the same platform for EBS" my question is does it work with mixed platform or not ? Does any one try in Oracle with mixed platfrom of not? Is there any certification matrix for OCFS2?

    Reply will be appreciated.

    thanks,

    Neel


  • Steven Chan Monday, July 26, 2010

    Neel,

    As stated in the article above, we have certified only "Oracle Cluster File System (OCFS2) for Linux OCFS2 1.4 and higher." We do not have any plans to certify OCFS2 on AIX at this point.

    Regards,

    Steven


  • Neel Tuesday, July 27, 2010

    Hello Steven,

    Please disregard my previous question.

    Let me give me more information on what is current configuration :

    We have IBM P570 Server using lpar, hba and ethernet card are dedicated to each partition. ASM is on shared san storage between Node1 and Node2. Database is RAC but we are not using OCFS2 for Database Tier.

    For Application tier we are using DEL PowerEdge 710, hardware raid for internal disk. 160GB shared disk (APPL_TOP/COMM_TOP) where we have OCFS2.

    Q - Does mixed Platform on DB & Applications Tiers in CASE you will use OCFS2 on APPLIATION TIER only.

    DB Tier (11gr2 RAC AIX 6.1)

    Application Tier (12.1.2 OEL 5.5)

    thanks,

    Neel


  • Steven Chan Tuesday, July 27, 2010

    Hello, Neel,

    The Oracle Support team handling your SR has also been in contact with me directly. At this point, I've asked them to continue this discussion via your logged Service Request. Please monitor your Service Request for updates on this.

    Regards,

    Steven


  • Neel Tuesday, July 27, 2010

    Thanks Steven.

    Getting the answer on SR was difficult this is reason I've in on the blog. Anyway thanks again.

    Cheers,

    Neel


  • raj Thursday, July 29, 2010

    hi Neel,

    what are problems u facing using AIX and linux mixed. I see AIX and Linux seperately in RAC environment. Assumptions not yield result any time. Only Field work gives right decision

    regards

    Raj


  • raj Wednesday, September 1, 2010

    hi vasu and chan

    Inst_top not working in OCFS2 1.2.9 but it is not all necessary for PCP configuration put $APPLTMP and $APPLCSF paths in OCFS2 1.2.9 (i.e) seperate mount pts and $INST_TOP in local mount points(ext3) it is working fine.

    regards

    raj


  • raj Thursday, September 2, 2010

    hi chan,

    I implement OCFS21.2.9 with R12 in Production Envirnoment as well as 10G RAC also in OCFS21.2.9.

    RAC is already certified by oracle with OCFS2.

    Regarding R12, if put INST_TOP in local mount pt(ext3) and COMMN_TOP AND APPL_TOP it going fine for every aspect. u can do normal works using operating system utilities like mv,cp, tar,nfs exportings folders commands on OCFS2.


  • Raj Thursday, September 2, 2010

    Hi chan,

    Please suggest me for low cost DRP site for production. It is urgent requirement

    regards

    Raj


  • Steven Chan Friday, September 3, 2010

    Hi, Raj,

    I don't know what DRP stands for, so I'm going to have to try and guess what you're asking. Disaster Recovery?

    If you're looking for assistance with creating a disaster recovery plan for your E-Business Suite environment, I would recommend contacting your Oracle account manager.

    Regards,

    Steven


  • Raj Tuesday, September 7, 2010

    Hi Chan,

    u assumption is correct.I mean DRP "Diaster Recovery Plan "

    At present we not able to contact Oracle account manager.

    we r seeking low cost budget DRP. Pl give some suggestions to implement low cost budget DRP.

    Regards

    Raj


  • Steven Chan Tuesday, September 7, 2010

    Hi, Raj,

    I would recommend against relying upon terse answers via blog entries for something as critical as a disaster recovery plan.

    Such plans need to be based upon a detailed analysis of your business requirements, operating environment, and other factors. If you're unable to get assistance from your Oracle account manager in identifying Oracle Consulting expertise for this, I would recommend contracting with other third-party consultants or your hardware vendor for assistance with this project.

    I would recommend that you do more research on disaster recovery architectures, capabilities and approaches. One possible starting point is here:

    http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/database/features/availability/maa-090890.html

    Regards,

    Steven


  • Deborah Schuster Thursday, September 9, 2010

    We are implementing r12.1.2 and originally used a gfs2 filesystem which did not perform well so we are in the process of removing it. We are implementing 2 application tiers a load balancer and shared filesystem. I see in an earlier blog that oracle internally is using nfs. In your opinion at this time is it better for us to use nfs or ocfs2. The os is redhat 5.5

    We are not implementing RAC.

    Thanks


  • Steven Chan Friday, September 10, 2010

    Hello, Deborah,

    Our official position is that we support the use of any filesystem that's transparent to the E-Business Suite. I don't have sufficient personal experience with the performance of NFS vs. OCFS2 to make any informed recommendations.

    I would recommend conducting benchmark comparisons of the two options in your environment to assess which one meets your needs better.

    Regards,

    Steven


  • Raj Monday, September 13, 2010

    Hi chan,

    Here, customer requirement is like that RAC is primary and dataguard in stand-alone. I am searching thoroughly in OTN and blogs. But, I not getting sufficient documents. Pl suggest and guide for implementing RAC primary and dataguard is stand-alone.

    Regards

    Raj


  • Vaughan Tuesday, September 14, 2010

    Hi Steven

    Will EBS be certified if you put OCFS2 on top of ACFS?

    Regards

    Vaughan


  • Steven Chan Tuesday, September 14, 2010

    Hi, Vaughan,

    I don't think anyone has tested this in the E-Business Suite division. First question: can OCFS2 run on ACFS, independent of the E-Business Suite? I'm afraid that I don't know (I don't have visibility into OCFS2 + ACFS compatibility -- those products are not owned by the E-Business Suite division, so we don't test compatibility in my group).

    You should log a Service Request with the OCFS2 team to validate this If they say yes, then the answer for the E-Business Suite depends upon the tier. Our Fusion Middleware team has explicitly stated that they will not certify or support Fusion Middleware components on ACFS today. This rules out ACFS for the E-Business Suite middle-tier.

    Therefore, ACFS is certified only for the database tier for the E-Business Suite. If the OCFS2 team states that their product can run on ACFS, then that will be supported for the E-Business Suite's database tier, too.

    Regards,

    Steven


  • Abhijit Kulkarni Thursday, October 7, 2010

    Now, since 11gR2 is certified with EBS R12 , Is ACFS certified to use for shred app tier on Oracle EBS 12 on Linux ?


  • Steven Chan Thursday, October 7, 2010

    Hi, Abhijit,

    I'm afraid that the Fusion Middleware team has explicitly stated that they

    have no current plans to certify or support Oracle Application Server 10g

    components on the ACFS file system.

    Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 is built on Oracle Application Server

    10g, of course. So, if the Fusion Middleware team doesn't support the use

    of ACFS with Oracle Application Server 10g, neither can the E-Business Suite

    division.

    Customers interested in running Oracle Application Server 10g (and the

    E-Business Suite) on ACFS are encouraged to log SRs against the Fusion

    Middleware product to request this certification. If sufficient numbers of

    customers request it, they may consider it.

    Regards,

    Steven


  • Steven Chan Monday, November 1, 2010

    A follow-up to my previous comment:

    As it turns out, the Fusion Middleware division handles these types of things a bit differently than the E-Business Suite division. They don't handle this via Service Requests in Fusion Middleware Support.

    Customers interested in lobbying for this certification should contact their Oracle account manager and direct them to this Oracle Internal website:

    http://aseng-wiki.us.oracle.com/asengwiki/display/StratOffc/New+Configuration+Support+Requests+for+Customer+Requests

    Note that this site is accessible only to Oracle employees.

    Regards,

    Steven


  • Neil Tuesday, December 7, 2010

    Hi Steve,

    I hope you can spare me a couple of minutes for advice?

    I implemented R12 on Linux RHEL 4 x86_64 a couple of years back. This was a shared appl_top using 4 node RAC and for APPLCSF (fndreviver PCP etc) only, I used ocfs2 1.2.9

    I am still, (even after re-reading your older blogs etc) unclear as to whether this is a supported, or certified (or both) combination?

    Is OCFS2 1.2.9 on RHEL4 x86_86 supported for APPLCSF log files?

    Many thanks

    Neil


  • Steven Chan Wednesday, December 8, 2010

    Hi, Neil,

    A couple of points of variance between your configuration and the configuration that we certified:

    1. As noted in the article above, we certified Oracle Enterprise Linux Version 5 Update 4 (OEL5U4 64-bit) running OCFS2 1.4.4.

    You're on OCFS2 1.2.9, so that's at a lower level than the version that we certified. If you report any issues to the OCFS2 team, their first recommendation will be to upgrade to OCFS2 1.4.4 (or higher).

    2. We tested OCFS2 with EBS APPL_TOPs and INST_TOPs. I don't think we tested APPLCSF located on OCFS2 volumes.

    I don't think that's particularly notable, but once again, if you report an issue with your configuration, the first recommendation may be to relocate your APPLCSF to local storage to see if the problem reproduces in that modified configuration.

    Regards,

    Steven


  • mlr Wednesday, December 8, 2010

    Current structure: Ebusiness suite R12 (12.0.0.6) with 10.2.0.4 database

    Installation type : Multinode installation

    Database Node 1: Database and Concurrent manager(primary application node)

    ================

    Operating system : RHEL 4.0 (32 bit)

    Database

    : 10.2.0.4

    Application

    : Application tier is owned by this node and running concurrent manager process

    Install top

    : San mountpoint local to this system

    $APPLCSF/$APPLTMP: San mountpoint local to this system

    Application node 1: Runs forms , 10gAs , Apache, root services

    ==================

    Application

    : Application tier is nfs mounted from database node for shared appl_top.

    install top

    : San mountpoint local to this system

    Application node 2 : Hosting selfservice application runs apache

    =====================

    Application

    : Application tier is nfs mounted from database node for shared appl_top.

    install top

    : San mountpoint local to this system

    Implementation plan:

    ====================

    Database Tier:Implementing 3 node RAC for the database using 11g RAC and ASM

    =============

    Application Tier:Implementing PCP and Shared file system OCFS2

    ================

    RAC node 1: RHEL 5.5 (64 bit)

    ==========

    RAC

    : 11g RAC installation on RHEL 5.5 (64 bit) with ASM

    DB OH

    : 10g databases are going to run on 11g RAC

    /Application

    : Shared file system OCFS2 - Need this for running concurrent managers

    Install top

    : SAN mountpoint local to this system

    $APPLCSF/$APPLTMP: Shared file system OCFS2 - For concurrent manager logs

    All three RAC nodes are going to have the above structure.

    Application Node 1: Runs forms , 10gAs , Apache, root services

    ===================

    Application

    : Shared file system OCFS2 for shared appl_top.

    install top

    : SAN mountpoint local to this system

    Application node 2 : Hosting selfservice application runs apache

    ====================

    Application

    : Shared file system OCFS2 for shared appl_top.

    install top

    : Shared file system OCFS2

    How does this plan look?

    And Need opinion about the following :

    keeping the concurrent manager on database node(rac nodes) and sharing the node for application (or)

    Move the concurrent manager processes to the application node (away from rac nodes) and implement PCP . So that rac nodes will be used by databases. Sorry if it is too much info.


  • Steven Chan Thursday, December 9, 2010

    MLR,

    I would recommend implementing PCP for your concurrent manager setup, since you're planning to run RAC.

    Aside from that, upon a superficial scan, your physical architecture looks fine. You should note that this blog isn't really the best vehicle to assess whether a particular configuration meets your requirements, though. I'd recommend reviewing this with someone who understands both the technology as well as your operational and business plans.

    Regards,

    Steven


  • guest Thursday, December 20, 2012

    Hi Steven,

    Is OCFS2 compatible RHEL5 & is it certified.

    If we use a shared application file system, does it cause a single point of failure if the storage/primary node goes down due to hardware failure ?

    What preventions are in place to avoid such single point of hardware failure.

    i'm a newbie to shared application file system.


  • lohith Monday, June 17, 2013

    Is there any plan to release OCSF2 lib's for RHEL 6?


  • Steven Chan Monday, August 5, 2013

    Hello, Guest, Iohith,

    My apologies for the delay in responding to these questions; these got lost in our queue for some reason.

    All consolidated storage systems are vulnerable to becoming single points of failure. You should consult with your storage vendor to discuss failover and disaster recovery architectures.

    All versions of OCFS2 1.4 and higher are certified with their respective Linux releases. I don't have much visibility into this team's release plans, but if they have released OCFS2 for OEL 6, then we would consider that certified with the E-Business Suite. The usual support coverage for RHEL would apply.

    Regards,

    Steven


  • Venkatesh Monday, April 13, 2015

    Hello Steven,

    We are plan to Implement R12.2.4 with 12cR1 database in RAC for one of our customer. For this configuration we have suggested ASM for Database storage and ocfs2 file system for application tier. Here I have few doubts on, please clarify me.

    1) While installing R12.2 using rapidwiz installer it not giving option for additional nodes and also it not prompts what services needs to be run on which node.

    2) If we add second node after the installation means, for shared application tier, each node has it's unique inst top but the installer not allows to choose that too.

    3) If we select all the services for primary node and later we add second node how we have to enable parallel concurrent processing

    Please clarify me on this.

    Thanks,

    Venkatesh


  • Max Arderius Tuesday, April 21, 2015

    Venkatesh, Here are the answers for your questions.

    1) This is the standard behavior. In StartCD#49, we removed the option to add nodes. This has to be achieved from the command line to simplify the upgrade patching process to the latest Maintenance Pack (ie 12.2.4) and to assure that all the nodes have the same code level.

    2) The same concept as #1, you should add the nodes manually, and the INST_TOP on each node will be created as part of the process.

    3) You should enable PCP after adding the nodes manually. You can find all the details in the System Administrators Guide.


  • guest Tuesday, April 21, 2015

    Thanks Stevan,

    Unfortunately we are unable to install application tier in ocfs2 file system using rapidwiz startCD 49.

    We are getting unusual error, that fs2 appl_top itself consumes more than 120 GB before installing all the required application binaries and finally the installer end up with error no space left on device.

    we have mounted the file system like below mount options

    /dev/mapper/mpathb /appbin ocfs2 rw,_netdev,nointr,noatime 0 0

    Please advise me on this.

    Regards,

    Venkatesh


  • Steven Chan Tuesday, April 21, 2015

    Hi, Venkatesh,

    I'm sorry to hear that you've encountered an issue with this.

    We can provide general conceptual guidance here, but I'm afraid that this blog isn't the best place to get technical support for specific issues like the one that you're working through.

    Your best bet would be to log a formal Service Request via My Oracle Support (formerly Metalink) to get one of our specialists engaged.

    Please feel free to forward your Service Request number to me if it gets stuck in the support process for some reason.

    Regards,

    Steven


  • Venkatesh Tuesday, April 21, 2015

    Hello Stevan,

    Thanks for the quick response on this, We have raised SR for this 2weeks before. below is the SR number.

    SR 3-10554434561 : rapidwiz failed to install - Cannot execute install of appltop

    can you please help us on this issue?

    Regards,

    Venkatesh


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