Sunday, November 4, 2012

New lab setup

After couple of month playing with Oracle VM I decided to install and configure VMWare. Thanks to VMware Guru Program I’m able to test ESX 5i with one year license. This is excellent opportunity for me to get more familiar with newest VMware solutions. I have been using VMware tools for years and I remember times when I deployed my first Oracle RAC 9i on Workstation 3.x and had to "hack" configuration file to change disk.locking parameter to false.
When I start instalation I have run into couple of issues as I decided to leave my current disk setup and I had only one free disk. New ESX is using GPT partition table and I couldn’t use it together with Grub to start Linux or VMware. This is when USB sticks went to play and I have installed ESX 5i on it and force my PC to boot from USB only. With other USB with Grub I have boot selection on my headless PC based on which USB key is connected at boot time. First problem solved.
Next issue appears to when I created my first VM and want to clone it – there was no such option in Windows vSphere Client. I read a manual (frankly I just googled) and I found out that I need to install vSphere 5 vCenter Server to be able to clone my VM automatically. Well I don’t have other host for it but I found out that I can download a VM image and deploy it on same ESX host. Here is a link to very nice instruction - vSphere vCenter virtual appliance quick start guide and you can find documentation here - vSphere documentation.
After I downloaded and installed vCenter and used vSphere Client to connect into I was able to use all features I was looking for. Actually it is strange for me that I need to have additional management server to clone VM. But I can’t complain Oracle VM need management server even to start VM so I would say both are quite similar in terms of management overhead for home usage. I can give VMWare stack one point more as you can stop vCenter and keep it down if you don’t need all features implemented in it.
I'm using now my new lab as Oracle server in various configurations and also as development box and additional workstation. I spend some time trying to setup remote desktop from my laptop to workstation with sound but without luck. I have tried FreeNX and NoMachine solution but setting audio transport was too much for me. After couple of days thanks to Twitter discussion with @simon_haslam peoples from ThinLinc joined it I have been told that we can use their remote desktop solution for free up to 10 connection. And that is what I was looking for  - remote desktop with video and audio support. Good work ThinLinc.

Now time for my TODO list with my little virtual server:
- install free version of Cisco Nexus V1000 switch and play with RAC NIC failovers
- Learn Hadoop and Oracle DB Hadoop integration
- Install Cloudera software (including newest Impala)
- extend day to 48h to have time to do all above ;)



Jakub Wartak said...

Hi Marcin,

regarding the RAC NIC failovers:
do yourself a favor and go straight to the most recent, or if you feel adventurous you can try going to GI first and later help yourself with two key words "VIP" (SCAN is good enough too) and "bug" on metalink... to discover how sh***y QA at Oracle is... ;)


BTW: if you are about to seriously play with that 1000V could you please do a short post/comment regarding interconnect failover (w/ or without HAIP), there was something buggy even on but i didn't have time to investigate further...

Marcin Przepiorowski said...

Hi Jakub,

Thanks for comment.
I have been working with NIC failover in and with HAIP and bonding but now need to create a couple test cases.

I will publish my tests for sure.