Martins Blog

Trying to explain complex things in simple terms

Archive for October, 2010

Database Gateway for Sybase

Posted by Martin Bach on October 26, 2010

Before starting to write this article I was wondering if it was of any use to anyone. Who in their right state of mind would use the Database Gateway for xxx, be it Sybase or Adabase or whatever othere database was to be used. If you have to, simply configure another data source in your code and read data from where you need it. Note that I said read! Ever since Piet de Visser’s presentation about simplicity I have been a great supporter of the simplicity approach. Or, like James Morle likes to quote, simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication.

Transparent Gateways desupported

So, anyway, I have been asked to link Sybase ASE 15.0.3 to an Oracle database, all on Solaris 10/SPARC 64bit. A quick proof of concept had to be performed. Initially I started out with Transparent Gateway for Sybase, the name of the product for 10g Release 2. I should have known something was wrong when the link to download the software was broken and I had to manually copy & paste it. Well to cut a long story short, 10.2 gateways are desupported since 2008! I wasted a whole 2 hours before that came up on MOS. The workaround is to use > 10.2 software for this, and I went for 11.2. MOS states that this is possible for >, > and > My database was which means I’m fine.

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Build your own stretched RAC part IV

Posted by Martin Bach on October 22, 2010

Finally I have some more time to work on the next article in this series, dealing with the setup of my two cluster nodes. This is actually going to be quite short compared to the other articles so far. This is mainly due to the fact that I have streamlined the deployment of new Oracle-capable machines to a degree where I can comfortably set up a cluster in 2 hours. It’s a bit more work initially, but it paid off. The setup of my reference VM is documented on this blog as well, search for virtualisation and opensuse to get to the article.

When I first started working in my lab environment I created a virtual machine called “rhel55ref”. In reality it’s OEL, because of Red Hat’s windooze like policy to require an activation code. I would have considered CentOS as well, but when I created the reference VM the community hadn’t provided the “update 5”. I like the brand new shiny things most :)

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Posted in 11g Release 2, Linux, Xen | Leave a Comment »

First contact with Oracle RAC

Posted by Martin Bach on October 19, 2010

As you may know, Oracle released the first patchset on top of 11g Release 2. At the time of this writing, the patchset is out for 32bit and 64bit Linux, 32bit and 64bit Solaris SPARC and Intel. What an intersting combination of platforms… I thought there was no Solaris 32bit on Intel anymore.


Oracle has come up with a fundamentally different approach to patching with this patchset. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in 11g Release 2, Linux, RAC | 18 Comments »

Build your own stretched RAC part III

Posted by Martin Bach on October 4, 2010

On to the next part in the series. This time I am showing how I prepared the iSCSI openFiler “appliances” on my host. This is quite straight forward, if one knows how it works :)

Setting up the openFiler appliance on the dom0

OpenFiler 2.3 has a special download option suitable for paravirtualised Xen hosts. Proceed by downloading the file from your favourite mirror, the file name I am using is “openfiler-2.3-x86_64.tar.gz”, you might have to pick another one if you don’t want a 64bit system.

All my domU go to /var/lib/xen/images/vm-name, and so do the openFiler ones. I am not using LVM to present storage to the domUs, my system came without free space I could have turned into a physical volume. Here are the steps to create the openFiler, remember to repeat this 3 times, one for each storage provider.

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Posted in Linux, Xen | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

Build your own stretched RAC part II

Posted by Martin Bach on October 1, 2010

I promised in the introduction to introduce my lab environment in the first part of the series. So here we go…


Similar to the Fedora project, SuSE (now Novell) have come up with a community distribution some time ago which can be freely downloaded from the Internet. All these community editions give the users a glimpse at the new and upcoming Enterprise distribution, such as RHEL or SLES.

I have chosen the OpenSuSE 12.2 distribution for the host operating system. It has been updated to xen 3.4.1, kernel and libvirt 0.7.2. These packages provide a stable execution environment of the virtual machines we are going to build. Alternative xen-based solutions have not been considered. During initial testing I found that Oracle VM 2.1.x virtual machines could not mount iSCSI targets without kernel-panicking and crashing. Citrix’s xenserver is too commercial, and the community edition is lacking needed features, and finally Virtual Iron had already been purchased by Oracle.

All kernel 2.6.18-x based distributions such as Red Hat 5.x and clones were discarded for lack of features and their age. After all, 2.6.18 has been introduced three years ago and although features were back-ported to it, xen support is way behind what I needed. The final argument in favour of OpenSuSE was the fact that SuSE provide a xen-capable 2.6.31 kernel out of the box. Although it is perfectly possibly to build one’s own xen-kernel, this is an advanced topic and not covered here. OpenSuSE also makes configuring the networking bridges very straight forward by a good integration into yast, the distributions setup and configuration tool. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Linux, Xen | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »