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Oracle 10g RAC on ESXi3 using SLES9 SP5 – Part 1

January 21st, 2009

Oracle 10g Real Application Cluster on SuSE Linux Enterprise Server virtualized with VMware ESXi 3

The purpose of this article is to help people deploy successfully Oracle Real Application Cluster consisting of two nodes
on a VMware ESXi host. The Operating system chosen for the Nodes is SLES9 x64 SP5.
In Part 1 of this article I will provide the steps to install the operating system for the two Nodes.

1. Pre-requisites

For the deployment of SLES9 on ESXi host following pre-requisites need to be met:

  • Administrative access with VMware VI client to a configured ESXi 3 host and root access to the SSH of the ESXi host.
  • Download the images for SLES9 x64 SP5 (Novell).
  • 30 GB space on the ESXi host for the virtual hard drives of the two Nodes [ additional 12GB space on the ESXi host for shared Oracle storage will be required in Part 2 so please consider it as important pre-requisite].
  • VMware Infrastructure client software (VMware)
  • VMware Converter software (VMware)

2. Configuration of the ESXi host

I suggest you for the purpose of this installation to create a new resource pool in your ESXi host.
Create the resource pool by logging to the ESXi host using VI client and selecting File >> New >> Resource Pool

ESXi Resource Pool

You have now created the resource pool where your node servers will reside.
For the purpose of the oracle RAC infrastructure I suggest you to create a new Virtual Machine Port Group within your existing Networking environment on the ESXi.
To do so you have to select from the left windows your ESXi host and then from the right screen you have to select the Configuration Tab.
Under Hardware select the Networking option. You will be presented with the networking screen in the right window.
Select Properties (next to Remove)

New Virtual Machine Port Group 1

On the poppup screen that is usually called vSwitch0 Properties select the Add… button and a new popup screen called Add Network Wizard will appear.

New Virtual Machine Port Group 2

Click Next on this screen and on the new screen fill out your Network Label, leave the VLAN ID unselected unless you really know what you are doing.
In my case I have called this RAC Private Interconnect.
Select next and then Finish on the last screen. This should add a new port group in your ESXi host.

The sole purpose to create this new virtual machine port group is to isolate the network interfaces dedicated to the Private interconnect in a separate network group.
Not only this eases the configuration but it could be used to separate the private traffic through a different physical interface.

The above steps are enough for us to start with the OS installation of the first node.

3. Installation of the SLES9 Operating System on the first node

My plan here is to install one virtual machine completely and then clone the configuration using VMware Converter so I save myself some time.
The limited capabilities of the ESXi don’t allow the cloning of virtual machines as you would normally do with ESX 3 for example.

For this step you should have already obtained the installation files for SLES9 x64 SP5.

3.1 Creating the node machine under the new resource pool

In the newly created resource pool right click and select “New Virtual Machine”

Type should be Custom.

I have come up with my own convention and I am using for the first node a name of rac01. This way I know I could have quite a few machines following the same convention.

For a datastore I select a local LUN that has lots of free space.

Operating system is Linux – SUSE Linux Enterprise server – 64bit

Number of CPUs = 2

Memory = 2048M

How many nics do you want to connect? = 2

NIC 1: (this will be your public network interface so here you select your default network port group) [Adapter is E1000] [connect at power on]

NIC 2: (this will be your private network interface so here you select your new network port group that you created before) [Adapter is E1000] [connect at power on]

[At this stage some of you might want to put more than 2 network cards and attempt bonding of the eth ]

Storage Adapter is LSI Logic

Create a new virtual disk

2GB [Location – store with virtual machine]

Virtual device node is SCSI (0:0) (Leave the mode as it is .. and it is unselected)

At the summary screen select the check box “Edit virtual machine settings before submitting”

Add another Hard Disk >> Create new virtual disk >> 15GB Store with virtual machine >> Virtual Device Node SCSI(0:1)

Finish! and Finish again.

You have added your first node machine under the designated resource pool.

3.2 Starting the SLES9 installation

The OS installation is quite straight forward process. I am mounting the installation ISO images from my local computer.

I usually change the boot sequence from the bios of the virtual machine so CD boots first.
In the installation menu of SLES I make few changes from the default configuration.

SLES9 SP5 Installation

3.3 SLES 9 software package selection

In detailed list of software I remove KDE and put GNOME instead.. just a personal choice.
I select C/C++ Conpiler and Tools and Analyzing Tools. Check the picture….

SLES9 SP5 Software Packages

3.4 It’s time for disk partitioning…

the 2GB disk I use for swap so I create /dev/sdb1 for Linux Swap
the 10GB disk I will partitoin the following way:
/dev/sda1 / boot 256MB
/dev/sda2 / 4G
/dev/sda3 /u01 5.7G

Next change is timezone.. adjust this as you wish. Please keep in mind that time is VERY important for Oracle and in general.

the I accept and start the installatoin . .you will have to change CDs 2 and 3 for the installation files.

Post installation configuration:

Once the installatoin si done, the server will reboot and you have to configure some stuff
root password here…

Networking configuration:
networking I don’t configure at all on this step. so I remove the configured interface with DHCP and leave network adapters not configured.

Service Configuration:
I disable the LDAP server and leave only the CA

User authentication method:
I skip adding a user at this step

3.5 Writing the system configuration

No changes on the graphic configuration…
The X server will fail so on the suse loading screen I push F2.
Login with the root username

Go back to your VMware infrastructure client and right click on the machine.
select Install/Upgrade VMware tools

Get back to your console…

now you have the VMware tools rpm mounted in your /media/cdrom folder

linux:~#rpm -Uvh /media/cdrom/VMwareTools-3.5.0-110271.i386.rpm

now run VMWare-config-tools.pl and configure your display properties.
I use option 3

after you see the

–the VMware team

you are ready to go with


The first part of your installation is now complete. You have a clean node ready to be worked on.

4. Cloning the node to make a second one

Before you have done any snapshots of the newly installed virtual machine you must create a clone.
shutdown the sles9 with “shutdown -h now” for example.
Using VMware converter you can start a new conversion from the VMware Infrastructure to the VMware Infrastructure.
You can of course create a backup copy somewhere on a local hard disk.

After the cloning is complete you have 2 machines rac01 and rac02 that are identical.
Networking is not yet configured for the two machines.

We are now ready to continue in creating an Oracle RAC on ESXi.

What we have done in Part 1 so far is:

  • Create a new resource pool for our Oracle RAC on the ESXi
  • Create a new Port Group on the ESXi
  • Add a new SLES 64-bit virtual machine with custom settings
  • Install and configure the basic settings for the SLES9 SP5 Operating System
  • In following parts of our Guide to Oracle 10g RAC on ESXi using SLES9 SP5 we are going to perform tasks such as the following:

  • Configure hostnames, networking, /etc/hosts file, etc. for both nodes
  • Create and add the shared storage for the Clustered Oracle Database in ESXi
  • Create and map the raw devices on both nodes
  • Check and configure kernel, package and environment requirements
  • Create the oracle user and required groups
  • Create the folder structure required for the Oracle software
  • Categories: Database, ESX, ESXi, Linux, Oracle, SLES, VMware Tags: , , , ,
    1. November 19th, 2009 at 03:45 | #1

      Thank you for this perfect HowTo. My task is to create an 2 node Oracle-RAC on VMware ESX 3.5U4 and i am looking forward to read the next parts.

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