Time Required: 60 minutes
- 10GB of free disk
- An operational VMware Workstation 8 or later install
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.5 64-bit install media
To create our Oracle RAC database on VMware Workstation 8, we first need to create a Linux VM.
In this example I have the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.5 64-bit install software as an ISO image of the DVD install media. Having a single ISO image allows VMware to use its Easy Install feature that pretty much automates the OS install entire process.
I am going to deliberately use a generic install process for now and customer for RAC later on. This will allow you to make clones of the VMs at given points and store them for future Oracle experimentation that might not involve the use of RAC clustering.
Okay, to begin, let’s fire up VMware Workstation and create a new VM.
From the main VMware Workstation menu, select File->New Virtual Machine. We are going to create a Custom (advanced) VM.
On the next screen we confirm that our new VM will be compatible with Workstation 8.0.
On the next screen we point the installer at our ISO DVD image containing the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.5 software.
On the next screen we name our VM. Since I want to be able to recycle these efforts in the future for non-RAC experimentation, I am going to name my new VM Red Hat Enterprise Linux 64-bit. We also enter in here a username to be created in Linux as well as set the passwords for our new account and the root account. Make a note of this since you will need this password later!
VMware Workstation then allows us to set the location for the VM files. Since this is a Windows laptop, VMs are created in the user’s Documents area in a sub-directory called Virtual Machines.
Next we select the number of processors for our VM. Since this is for demonstration purposes only, a single vCPU and core is fine here. We don’t want to over tax the host machine.
Next we set the amount of RAM for our new VM. In this example I set it to 2GB. Remember you will end up with two of these machines running concurrently, so be sure not to exceed your physical RAM. Since I have 8GB of RAM on my laptop, I am comfortable giving the VM 2GB.
Next we set the networking option. We will to revisit this later on for the RAC, but for now we can select “Use Bridged Networking”. This will allow our VM to have its own IP on the network and should allow you to access the Internet from inside the VM. Since I am deploying this on a laptop, that IP will change as I travel, but that’s okay.
Next we add a SCSI controller. Again we will revisit this later on, but for now we can select the recommended LSI Logic option.
Next we add a SCSI disk to our VM. Each of our two RAC VMs will eventually have a local disk each, plus access to shared disks, but for now we can simply “Create a new virtual disk”.
Next we select SCSI as the disk type.
Next we size the new disk at 60GB and select “Split virtual disk into multiple files”. At the end of the install the new disk will actually be about 4GB, but sizing it larger allows us to install the Oracle binaries later on.
Splitting the disk into multiple smaller parts allows us some flexibility in backing up the files later. Many external USB drives come as FAT32 format, which cannot handle files larger than 4GB. NTFS can handle much later files, but RHEL 5.5 cannot by default talk to an NTFS formatted drive.
Next we specify the disk file name. VMware Workstation likes to name the disk file using the same name as the VM. Although this allows disks from multiple VMs to live in the same directory, the names start to get very unwieldy, especially if you later add a second and third disk. I prefer to name the disks “local disk n” and keep such local disk in the same directory as the other VM files. Be sure to add the vmdk extension so you can identify the files as VM disk files later on.
Finally we are ready to create our new VM. If everything looks good, clock the Finish button to start the Easy Install process.
VMware Workstation will now load the RHEL 5.5 operating system into your new VM as well as handle all initial start up tasks such as setting time zones, setting security policy, partitioning the local disk and so on.
If we are successful, at the end of the process we should have a Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.5 login screen:
Now would be a great time to shut down the new VM and make a clone to be kept for future uses.
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