Best Practices for Oracle Linux for Production Systems

I found this needed a blog post because most of the customers I meet, just install their Redhat/Oracle Linux environment and start using it out of the box in production. I believe this list should be included in every post-installation procedure.

  • Hostname : Make sure it’s a FQDN. Especially when you connect with NFS to other systems. If your hostname is not FQDN, locks will not be freed on the NFS server when you reboot.
  • Support : If you have support, make sure you register your system with ULN.
  • Update : Update your system with yum or up2date to the latest version.
  • Hugepages : If you are running Oracle Databases, this is a must. Metalink note. 361468.1
  • Ipmitool : This allows for control over the hardware from inside the OS. Can be very usefull for Cluster setups or automated scripts to collect information.
  • Kexec : This allows the system to dump the kernel-memory to disk whenever a kernel panic occurs. Instead of rebooting or hanging, the system boots into a separate kernel with the task of dumping the memory to disk in the form of a vmcore file. This file can then later be analysed with the crash utility. Don’t forget to test it!!
  • magic sysrq key : This enables some key-strokes in the console to force a kernel to do all sorts of things ( show locks, reboot without FS corruption, … ). It is often used to dump a kernel stacktrace to /var/log/messages and reboot a system after soft hangs ( hangs on console with numlock flashing ). This is default enabled in OL5 but in OL6 you need to enable it manually. Also, make sure you know the keystrokes for when you need them.
  • Oswatcher BB : Monitoring tool of Oracle. Can show you if there were spikes just before or leading to the crash. Metalink note.301137.1
  • vncserver : allows for X11 environment over vnc. Faster then X11 over the net and allows you to continue where you left off when you lose your connection during an installation or configuration.
  • oratop : utility for near real-time monitoring of databases, RAC and Single Instance. Metalink note. 1500864.1.
  • dstat : allows you to view all of your system resources in real-time
  • Rlwrap: Saves you time 😉

If anyone is interested in how to perform some of these tasks, let me know and I’ll consider writing some blog entries about them. But most procedures can be found in the manual or official pages about it. Keep in mind that this list also applies to Oracle Engineered Systems.( ODA, EXADATA, … )

IOUG Virtualization SIG – Day 1

So, Day 1 of the Virtualization SIG on www.ioug.org is over. All by all an interesting day.
The schedule was :

Session 1 – Oracle on Oracle VM – Expert Panel
Session 2 – Maximizing your Virtualized Environment with Oracle VM
Session 3 – The RAC OVM Templates and the new DeployCluster tool on OVM3
Session 4 – The Latest on Oracle VM
Session 5 – Simplifying Application Deployment in Cloud Using Virtual Assemblies and EM 12c

The first session was a general session about Cloud, Virtualization and introduction to OVM.

Roger Lopez talked about OVM and it’s features in detail in the second session. I had the pleasure of seeing Roger on OOW with this session. It was very well structured and provided a look at how you deploy RAC clusters on OVM with the new templates and DeployCluster tool. A perfect introduction for the next session off course where Saar Maoz talked really enthusiastic about this tool and explained in detail how it worked and how you could go to a very low level and perform the commands yourself. It was no surprise to me that the tool used the same OVM API as I blogged about here. It was a surprise however to see how robust the application was written and how well it adjusted to reruns and failures. There was even some time for demo’s that I really appreciated.

Xsigo was something I talked about in my presentation aswell and was glad to see it in the presentation of Ronen Kofman ( Latest on OVM ). It really simplifies your whole Network topology. I have no idea on prices yet though. The rest of his presentation handled the new features in the 3.2.1 open Beta.

The last session of the day handled the Virtual Assembly Builder, A pretty powerful tool to create, manage and deploy your assemblies as fully functional interconnected Virtual Machines. It’s on my todo list to play around with it.

Tonight is Day 2, the VMWare day. I hope this time it will talk a little bit more about best practices on running Oracle Databases Virtualised, but from the titles of the sessions, I’m sure that will be the case.

You can register here