RAC Attack - Oracle Cluster Database at Home/Overview

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RAC Attack is a free curriculum and platform for hands-on learning labs related to Oracle RAC (cluster database). We believe that the best way to learn about RAC is with a lot of hands-on experience. This curriculum has been used by individuals at home and by instructors in classes since 2008.

The original contributors were Jeremy Schneider, Dan Norris and Parto Jalili. The handbook was published at http://www.ardentperf.com for several years before its migration to this wikibook. All RAC Attack content was released under the CC-BY-SA license in May 2011 when this project was initiated.

To learn about upcoming RAC Attack events or to organize one yourself, visit the Events page. You can use the shortcut http://racattack.org/events to access this page at any time.

The goal of this workbook is to help students learn about Oracle RAC cluster databases through guided examples. (Specifically, 11gR2 RAC on VMware Server with ASM or Shared Filesystem and Oracle Enterprise Linux 5.) It can be used by organizers of events, by instructors in classes or by individuals at home.

RAC Attack differs in depth from other tutorials currently available.

  • Every keystroke and mouse click is carefully documented here.
  • The process is covered from the very beginning to the very end - from the very first installation of VMware on your laptop to various experiments on your running cluster database... with everything in between.
  • The labs in the main workbook have been tested thoroughly and repeatedly.

Prerequisites[edit | edit source]

Students should be able to navigate in Unix - for example, listing files with "ls".

Hardware Minimum Requirements[edit | edit source]

Most modern laptop and desktop computers should be powerful enough to run a two-node virtual RAC cluster. In a nutshell, these are the recommended minimums:

  • Dual-core 2GHz 32-bit processor (it's been done with single-core)
  • 4GB memory (it's been done with 3GB)
  • Two physical hard disks - not partitions (it's been done with one)
    • External HD for laptops (it's been done with certain USB flash memory sticks)
    • 50 GB + 10.5 GB free space (it's been done with slightly less)
  • Windows XP or Vista (Linux & Mac & Windows 7/8 are not directly covered in these instructions, but a supplementary PDF covering VirtualBox can be downloaded)

Making This Lab Successful[edit | edit source]

  • Focus on what you can learn.
    • Choose as many specific learning goals as possible and take your time to investigate them.
    • Be creative and experiment.
    • Take risks and don't be afraid to break things.
  • Take advantage of the classroom or event setting, if you're in one
    • You can "jumpstart" back to the beginning of a lab with one click.
    • Record discoveries and questions to share with others.
    • Help each other out. There are more participants than instructors!
  • When possible, cut-and-paste steps directly into a PuTTY SSH terminal session.

Lab Tips[edit | edit source]

  • All passwords are racattack
  • Always choose "I moved this VM" when asked, unless instructions specifically say to choose "copied".
  • If using your own laptop, start the VMs one after another. That is, wait until the first VM completes bootup - including clusterware and database - before starting the second.
  • Classroom specific tips:
    • Common login account for Workstation and VMware console: "admin"
    • Common changes from the lab handbook:
      • Use 5GB shared disks – not 3.25GB
      • Use 900MB memory – not 760MB
    • Jumpstarts could take longer than you think... read: Planning Your Time
    • "RAC11g" directory is often at C:\RAC11g
    • Handout is available with stretch goals for advanced participants

Storage Overview[edit | edit source]

ASM Shared FS
/dev/sdb DATA /u51 (/u61)
/dev/sdc BACKUP /u52

Networking Overview[edit | edit source]

collabn1 collabn2