Monthly Archives: April 2011

ASM normal redundancy and failure groups spanning SANs

Julian Dyke has started an interesting thread on the Oak Table mailing list after the latest UKOUG RAC and HA SIG. Unfortunately I couldn’t attend that event, I wish I had, and I knew it would be great.

Anyway, the question revolved around an ASM disk group created with normal redundancy spanning two storage arrays. This should in theory protect against the failure of an array, although at a high price. All ASM disks exported from an array would be 1 failure group. Remember that disks in a failure group all fail if the supporting infrastructure (network, HBA, controller etc) fails. So what would happen with such a setup, if you followed these steps:

  • Shutdown the array for failure group 2
  • Stop the database
  • Shutdown the second array – failure group 1
  • Do some more maintenance…
  • Startup failgroup B SAN
  • Start the database
  • Startup failgroup A SAN

ASM can tolerate the failure of one failgroup (capacity permitting), so the failure of failgroup 2 should not bring the disk group down, which would result in immediate loss of service. But what happens if it comes up after the data in the other failure group has been modified? Will there be data corruption?

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Installing Oracle Linux 6 as a domU in Xen

Update: Please consider the context of the article-it was written in April 2011! The post refers to OpenSuSE 11.x, my current system uses OpenSusE 12.3 and the below problems of virt-manager appear to be solved. virt-manager however will perform similar steps as these under the covers.


Despite all recent progress in other virtualisation technologies I am staying faithful to Xen. The reason is simple: it works for me. Paravirtualised domUs are the fastest way to run virtual machines on hardware that doesn’t support virtualisation in the processor.

I read about cgroups yesterday, a feature that’s appeared in kernel 2.6.38 and apparently was back-ported into RedHat 6. Unfortunately I can’t get hold of a copy, so I decided to use Oracle’s clone instead. I wanted to install the new domU on my existing lab environment which is a 24G RAM core i7 920 system with 1.5TB of storage. The only limitation I can see is the low number of cores, I wish I could rent an Opteron 6100 series system instead (for the same price).

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