racattack, meet ansible-oracle!

A while back I was approached by Jeremy Schneider, who is one of the original contributors to the racattack project and he wanted to know if I was interested in integrating ansible-oracle with the RAC Attack automation project, and of course I was!

The idea was to provide a completely hands off installation of an Oracle RAC cluster, from VM creation to a fully configured cluster, and that is what we’re happy to be able to provide.

So Alvaro Miranda and I have been working on getting racattack-ansible-oracle going. Alvaro wrote the original packer/vagrant code for the Vagrant version of Racattack and then we’ve integrated ansible-oracle with that.

The actual integration worked straight away, so we’ve been weeding out edge cases and making it as easy and flexible to use as possible.
As of now it is possible to install 11.2.0.4, 12.1.0.1 & 12.1.0.2, which are the releases currently supported by ansible-oracle. As more releases are supported by ansible-oracle, they will also work with racattack-ansible-oracle.

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Creating a RAC Flex Cluster using ansible-oracle

As of version 1.3 it is possible to create a RAC Flex Cluster using ansible-oracle. From a ansible-oracle configuration perspective there is not a huge difference from a normal ‘standard’ cluster, basically a few new parameters. There are other differences though, specifically in how you have to run the playbook and deal with the inventory configuration.
In a ‘standard’ cluster, you have your database cluster nodes and that’s it (basically). In a Flex Cluster configuration there are 2 types of nodes:

  • Hub nodes. These have access to the shared storage and will house your databases
  • Leaf nodes. These nodes are connected to the interconnect network, but not to the shared storage. So for instance, you could run your application on these nodes.

So given that, from an ansible-oracle perspective, it presents a few challenges. With a normal cluster, you could just run the playbook against all your cluster nodes as they are all the same.
Now, when building a Flex Cluster, there are a few things that should only be done on the hub nodes (configuring shared storage, install the database server and create the database(s)
And how do we do that? With a little Ansible inventory ninja-ism.

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Changes in ansible-oracle v1.2

This is just a quick heads-up of a change that is coming, which unfortunately will not be backwards compatible.

As of version 1.2 of ansible-oracle, it is possible to have more than one database running out of an ORACLE_HOME. To make this possible a change had to be made to the structure and code that deals with installation of db software/db creation.
The dictionary structure oracle_databases had to be changed to a list structure, and this means that any config involving the ‘oracle_databases’ structure that was made before v1.2 will stop working.
The affected roles are:

  • oraswdb-install
  • oradb-create

The defaults will be changed as of the release, but any custom config you have done will have to be changed.

SO what you need to do is this:

In your config the following needs to be changed from this structure:

 oracle_databases: 
    racdb: 
       oracle_version_db: 12.1.0.2
       oracle_edition: EE
       oracle_db_name: racdb
       oracle_db_passwd: Oracle123
       oracle_db_type: RAC
       is_container: "false"
       pdb_prefix: racpdb
       num_pdbs: 2
       is_racone: "false"
       storage_type: ASM
       service_name: racdb_serv
       oracle_init_params: "open_cursors=300,processes=700"
       oracle_db_mem_percent: 30
       oracle_database_type: MULTIPURPOSE
       redolog_size_in_mb: 100
       delete_db: false

to this structure:

oracle_databases: 
   - home: racdb 
     oracle_version_db: 12.1.0.2
     oracle_edition: EE
     oracle_db_name: racdb
     oracle_db_passwd: Oracle123
     oracle_db_type: RAC
     is_container: "false"
     pdb_prefix: racpdb
     num_pdbs: 2
     is_racone: "false"
     storage_type: ASM
     service_name: racdb_serv
     oracle_init_params: "open_cursors=300,processes=700"
     oracle_db_mem_percent: 30
     oracle_database_type: MULTIPURPOSE
     redolog_size_in_mb: 100
     delete_db: false

There is a new parameter ‘home‘ which marks the ‘ending’ directory for the ORACLE_HOME, e.g: /u01/app/oracle/12.1.0.2/racdb

Then you have to line up the rest of the parameters to the ‘home’ one. This is the way yaml works so correct indentation is important.

And if you want to add more database from the same home, and perhaps add a new home with a different (or the same) version, this is what it should look like:

oracle_databases: 
   - home: racdb <-- original home
     oracle_version_db: 12.1.0.2
     oracle_edition: EE
     oracle_db_name: racdba <-- First database
     oracle_db_passwd: Oracle123
     oracle_db_type: RAC
     is_container: "false"
     pdb_prefix: racpdb
     num_pdbs: 2
     is_racone: "false"
     storage_type: ASM
     service_name: racdba_serv
     oracle_init_params: "open_cursors=300,processes=700"
     oracle_db_mem_percent: 30
     oracle_database_type: MULTIPURPOSE
     redolog_size_in_mb: 100
     delete_db: false

   - home: racdb <-- original home
     oracle_version_db: 12.1.0.2 
     oracle_edition: EE
     oracle_db_name: racdbb <-- second database using the original home
     oracle_db_passwd: Oracle123
     oracle_db_type: RAC
     is_container: "false"
     pdb_prefix: racpdb
     num_pdbs: 2
     is_racone: "false"
     storage_type: ASM
     service_name: racdbb_serv
     oracle_init_params: "open_cursors=300,processes=700"
     oracle_db_mem_percent: 30
     oracle_database_type: MULTIPURPOSE
     redolog_size_in_mb: 100
     delete_db: false

   - home:  blehome <-- new (second) home
     oracle_version_db: 11.2.0.4 <-- new version
     oracle_edition: EE
     oracle_db_name: bledb <-- new db (from the new home)
     oracle_db_passwd: Oracle123
     oracle_db_type: RAC
     is_container: "false"
     pdb_prefix: racpdb
     num_pdbs: 2
     is_racone: "false"
     storage_type: ASM
     service_name: ble_serv
     oracle_init_params: "open_cursors=300,processes=700"
     oracle_db_mem_percent: 30
     oracle_database_type: MULTIPURPOSE
     redolog_size_in_mb: 100
     delete_db: false

And that’s pretty much it.

Let me know if anything else is broken.

ansible-oracle, the RAC edition

First off, I’ll be setting up page, where I intend to have a complete list of parameters used in all roles and a description of what they actually do. Up until now I’ve kept it in a file in the github repo, but I think it will be easier to maintain this way. The page is empty at the moment but I’ll try add to it as soon as possible

Now, this is the 3rd post on how to get started with ansible-oracle. You can find the other 2 posts here and here.

This time we will perform a RAC installation, and we will also introduce a few other options we haven’t explored before (mostly because they got added recently).
We will be introducing a concept known as GI role separation which means that the user grid will own the Grid Installation including ASM, and the user oracle will own the database installation.
The default is false, meaning the user oracle will own/run everything (well, except for the parts that run as root then).

We will be creating a container database including 2 pluggable databases

The installation will be performed over nfs this time, using a central repository where all the media is located, instead of copying the files to the installation hosts.

So in summary, this is what we will try to accomplish:

  • Use group_vars & host_vars to alter the default values.
  • Do the installation over nfs
  • Setup RAC using role separation
  • Create a container database with 2 pluggable databases

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Ansible-oracle, the next step

So, I’ve been adding support for GI role separation to the roles so that is why it has taken so long to get this post out.

In the last post we created a single instance database with database storage on a filesystem. This time we’re going to take it a step further and create a single instance database, but now we’re going to use ASM for storage. This means we also have to install the Grid Infrastructure in a stand alone configuration, so we’re adding a few other roles to the playbook.
We’re also going to deploy this configuration on 2 machines in parallel (oradb01, oradb02).

We’re also going to deviate from the default ‘role configuration’, i.e not relying entirely on variable values in defaults/main.yml. You could of course change the default so they more suit your needs and just rely on the defaults, but that limits your options (unless you only have one system to deal with).
The easiest way to override the defaults is to ‘move’ the parameters to a higher priority location, i.e group_vars or host_vars. In this example we’re going to put our ‘host-group’ specifics in group_vars.

So what do I mean by specifics?

  • Storage config (storage devices for filesystems. This time, we’re going to put /u01 on its own device instead of the ‘root’-device)
  • Storage config (storage devices for ASM)
  • We’re going to call the database something else.
  • We may want to install a different versions of GI (or DB). So, this time we’re going to install 12.1.0.2 GI and a 11.2.0.4 database

This is where everything will be installed:

  • GI – /u01/app/oracle/12.1.0.2/grid
  • DB – /u01/app/oracle/11.2.0.4/myhomeasm

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Getting started with ansible-oracle

I thought I’d write a quick post on how to get started with ansible-oracle.

The reason I decided to use roles when putting this together was to make it easily reusable, and to be able to pick and choose which roles you want to use. If you want to do everything from the ground up you can, and also if you already have a properly configured server and just want to install Oracle and create a single instance database on a filesystem you can absolutely do just that, by using just the oraswdb-install and oradb-create roles.

So, we’re going to do both. And we’re just going to go with the defaults and create a single instance database with datafiles on a filesystem.

Note: The installation will be without a configured listener. I have not gotten around to fixing the listener issue with installations without GI.

1. Configuring the host + installing the database server & creating a database

First off, we’re going to take a newly installed machine and configure it from ground up.

  • Oracle version 12.1.0.2
  • ORACLE_HOME will be /u01/app/oracle/12.1.0.2/orcl
  • One database will be created, ‘orcl’
  • Datafiles/fra will reside in /u01/oradata & /u01/fra respectively. The u01 directory is created by Ansible and oradata + fra will be created by dbca
  • The Oracle software (linuxamd64_12102_database_1of2.zip, linuxamd64_12102_database_2of2.zip) has been downloaded and the files are placed in /tmp on the control-machine.

And now, on to the good stuff.

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