Oracle 12cR1 2-node RAC on CentOS 6.4 on VMware Workstation 9 – Part I

Time Required: 60 minutes

Class Materials:

  • 60GB of free disk
  • An operational VMware Workstation 9 or later install
  • CentOS 6.4 64-bit ISO install media

To create our Oracle 12c RAC database on VMware Workstation 9, we first need to create a Linux VM.

Oracle 12c will eventually be released for a multitude of platforms, but the initial release only support Solaris SPARC, Solaris x86 and Oracle Linux 6.4.

I don’t own a SPARC machine, so instead I am going to install Oracle 12c RAC on CentOS 6.4.

VMware makes the initial OS install super simple, with the use of the Easy Installer facility. To start, use the VMware interface to create a new VM – we are going to create a Custom (advanced) VM.

On the next screen we confirm that our new VM will be compatible with Workstation 9.0. On the next screen we point the installer at our ISO DVD image containing the CentOS 6.4 install media.

On the next screen we create a basic user. The password specified here will apply to the root account as well. Since I am going to create the oracle user later on, I create a dummy account at this point.

On the next screen we name our VM. I am going to continue my operatic theme from my earlier RAC blog posts Oracle 11gR2 2-node RAC on VMWare Workstation 8 and Oracle 11gR2 2-node RAC on Windows 2008 on VMWare Workstation 9, and this time draw from the opera La Rondine. My first VM is named Ruggero, but obviously you can choose whatever you like.

VMware Workstation then allows us to set the location for the VM files so accept the default.

At the next screen select a single processor with two cores.

Next we set the amount of RAM for our new VM. In 11g we could get away with a 2GB VM, but no longer. Oracle 12c RAC requires an absolute minimum of 3GB per host, and 4GB is barely usable.

If you have an 8GB host then stick with 3GB per VM. Your implementation will be slow, and you will have to ignore a number of warnings and errors from the cluster verification tool, but it will be functional.

If you have 12GB or more, then use 4GB per VM. Note that due to the way Linux manages memory, a setting of 4096KB will yield a visible memory amount of 3.76GB to Linux, which is less than the required 4GB of the 12c cluster verification tool. Consider using 4416MB per host for minimal clean install.

If you have a 16GB host, then I recommend you use a 6GB per VM setting to avoid a multitude of warnings and problems with the installer. Yes, this release is a hog.

I have found little advantage to the install process of setting the VM memory size larger than 6GB, but if you plan to do some heavy testing with your virtual 12c RAC then you may choose to use a larger size.

Next we set the networking option. 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 40GB and select “Split virtual disk into multiple files”. At the end of the install the new disk will actually be about 6GB, but sizing it larger allows us to install the Oracle binaries later on.

Specify the disk file name and click Next. Finally we are ready to create our new VM. If everything looks good, click the Finish button to start the Easy Install process.

VMware Workstation will now load the CentOS 6.4 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 CentOS 6.4 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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