Direct NFS, configuring and network considerations in practise

Oracle Direct NFS (dNFS for short) is an NFS Client functionality integrated directly in the Oracle database software, optimizing the I/O (multi)path to your NFS storage without the overhead of the OS client/kernel software.

In this blog post I’ll describe network considerations, configurations and problems I have encountered during set-ups I have done.

dNFS uses two kinds of NFS mounts, the OS mount of NFS (also referred to as kernel NFS of kNFS) and, of course, Oracle’s database NFS mount, Direct NFS or dNFS.

According to [Direct NFS: FAQ (Doc ID 954425.1)] and [How to configure DNFS to use multiple IPs (Doc ID 1552831.1)], an kNFS mount is needed, although Oracle also claims it will also work on platforms that don’t natively support NFS, e.g. Windows… [Oracle Database 11g Direct NFS Client White Paper] (I don’t know how yet…).

Because dNFS implements multipath I/O internally, these is no need for bonding the interfaces to storage via active-backup or Link Aggregation. However, it’s good practice to bond the OS kNFS connection:

1 - eth0 -\
           - bond0 - OS / kNFS
2 - eth1 -/
3 - eth2 --------- - dNFS path 1
4 - eth3 --------- - dNFS path 2

Above schematic shows [How to configure DNFS to use multiple IPs (Doc ID 1552831.1)]:
“A good solution could be to use bonded NICs (…) to perform the mount and then use unbonded NICs via dNFS for the performance critical path.” Continue reading

Update / install Oracle Linux 6.4 corrupts console in Oracle VM 3.x

After updating Oracle Linux 6.3 to 6.4 or installing 6.4 from scratch will give a corrupt (blank) VNC remote console when launching the console from Oracle VM Manager:


As discussed in and Oracle Support note ‘Corrupted VNC console in PVM guests running Oracle Linux 6.4 on Oracle VM’ (Doc ID 1537278.1), this issue is addressed in ‘X Window System Does Not Run in a PVHVM guest’.

Uninstalling the xorg-x11-drv-cirrus guest driver solves the issue

If you uninstall the xorg-x11-cirrus driver from the guest OS, it will solve this issue.

# rpm -ev --nodeps xorg-x11-drv-cirrus

Reboot the guest OS after uninstalling.

Happy Launching!

Remove Oracle Database Options with chopt in 12c

In 10g and 11g Enterprise Edition, one could select which options to install or not to install during the installation process (excl. the 10g ‘custom database’ option, you would get partioning, OLAP and rat). In 12g, one is not able to choose during install anymore, you will get all the options and they must be removed afterwards. Remove / disable them after installing the database software (only), but before creating databases.

The best way to do this is using the ‘chopt’ tool, or when the option is not available, the Oracle Universal Installer must most likely be used. It’s available in Windows and Linux. When using Windows, one can also rename the .dll’s which ‘enable’ the options. It will NOT remove the objects from the database! Continue reading

The oratab usage comment is not correct… or it’s a bug in dbstart/dbshut (sort of)…

I’m talking about the ‘third’ field in the database entries. Field number three. Which indicates there could be a fourth, fifth etc… right?

A customer where I came (who went from AIX to Linux), who had interpreted this comment and therefore expanded the oratab with an extra column, to datapump the database (y/n).

When I shut down the databases, there was some unexpected behaviour when I invoked dbshut… Strange, but the extra (last) field ‘for datapump’ was read, not the third!

Continue reading

Bug: /def/shm does not use /etc/fstab attributes after reboot

SOLVED: this issue is solved in Linux 6.4 (kernel: 2.6.39-400.17.1.el6uek and 2.6.32-358.el6).
A single entry in /etc/fstab like [tmpfs /dev/shm tmpfs size=3g 0 0] now works as it should!

There is a bug in Red Hat Linux 6 and Oracle Enterprise Linux 6 (UEK and RHEL-kernel) and probably all other Red Hat 6 related Linux Distro’s.

When you need more memory for SGA/PGA when using MEMORY_MAX_TARGET, you need to resize /dev/shm. By default this is 50% of total memory and Oracle tells you to add the following to /etc/fstab, ‘mounting’ the /dev/shm twice (?):

shmfs /dev/shm tmpfs size=3g 0 0

Which works… Continue reading

oracle.cluster.verification.VerificationException: [hostname]: [hostname]

A couple of days ago I did a new install of the Oracle Database Software (on a Virtual Machine) and it kept failing. I got some oracle.cluster.verification.VerificationException error, but I could not get more information from the logs. Usually it’s a bit more detailed after the colon, but this time it just said: [hostname]: [hostname]. Continue reading

Partition pruning fails when using functions: use virtual column partitioning

Using partitions may decrease search time when searching through a lot of data from minutes to seconds, from hours to minutes. Storing information partitioned per month/year and retrieving it knowing which month/year you want from millions of records is more efficient than an index on all those months and years. Unfortunately changing to partitions afterwards almost always needs application changes, (I actually never tried an sql_profile…).

When looking for a solution using partitioning, I came across another problem. They were using a function in the one and only predicate in the query and the fact is that when a database uses partitioning for storing data, using a function on the partitioned column will the optimizer searching all data, not the partition. Understandable, because with the function you are searching for derived values, not the actual values in the partition. Oracle must search all the partitions and can not ‘prune’ the partitions. Determining and using a partition is called Partition Pruning.

The solution to be used here is called Virtual Column Partitioning and as a coincidence and nice extra they didn’t even had to change the application! Continue reading

Updating Oracle VM Servers with public YUM

You can update your Oracle VM Servers (3.x) with the Oracle Public Yum Server. In the Oracle VM Manager console go to the ‘Tools and Resources’ tab and click ‘Server Update Management (YUM)’.

For the ‘YUM Base URL:’, use:

When enabling the GPG key, use:
(Oracle VM 3.x is based on OEL5) Continue reading

Oracle Linux 6, oracle-validated is missing? no renamed!

In Oracle Linux 6, it looks like the ‘oracle-validated’ package is missing, but Oracle actually renamed it to ‘oracle-rdbms-server-11gR2-preinstall.x86_64‘.

To quickly use the public yum repository of Oracle and install ‘oracle-rdbms-server-11gR2-preinstall.x86_64’:

cd /etc/yum.repos.d
#vi /etc/yum.repos.d/public-yum-ol6.repo
yum clean all
yum repolist
yum install oracle-rdbms-server-11gR2-preinstall.x86_64

You will get the ‘latest’ build enabled.
If you don’t want this, vi /etc/yum.repos.d/public-yum-ol6.repo .

Happy installing!