RAC One Node 12c-revisited on ODA featuring database on ACFS

Thanks to Andy Colvin (@acolvin) and the Enkitec lab I have been able to get my hands on an ODA X4-2. And since that’s a lot quieter than turning on my own lab server, and also a lot faster I used the environment to test RAC One Node in I recently had a question from a customer about the usefulness of the solution and what it brings to the HA table. Well here you go.

There is just a slight caveat: to make use of the high availability features in RAC One Node you need to have an application that has been written to take advantage of them. Using Fast Connection Failover or Application Continuity is the way to go. Although I have written sample code to exploit the functionality of FCF/FAN and Application Continuity it has recently come to my attention that the very popular swingbench benchmark can do the same. I saw the connection pool tab in my demos but it didn’t “click”. Now I would like to show you what happens with your application during common scenarios in RAC One Node.

Scenario 1: Database relocation

For this blog post I’d like to try a database live migration from the first to the second host in the cluster. The database has been created using oakcli, primarily because I wanted to get more familiar with it. This is ODA release, the latest and greatest at the time of writing. I also love the fact that the ODA comes with quite a few of these: Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-2697 v2 @ 2.70GHz. To be precise, each node has 2s24c48t of Ivy Bridge Xeons. Nice.

[oracle@server1 ~]$ /opt/oracle/oak/bin/oakcli show version

As root (indeed!) I invoked oakcli, the primary ODA command line tool. The first time around I was bitten by not having read the documentation: if you specify the -version flag oakcli will create a new RDBMS home in both cluster nodes. That was _not_ what I had in mind. On the other hand I am now familiar with checking the environment (various permutations of oakcli show…) and deleting an Oracle home. This command created the datbase in the end:

[root@server1 ~]# oakcli create database -db RON -oh OraDb12102_home1

The command will prompt you for the datbase type (single instance, RAC One, clustered) – good stuff, simple to use, and more importantly: it worked first time.

Databases in ACFS

Now remember that from ODA release 12.1.2 onwards and 12.1.x databases will be created on ACFS. In my case that looks slightly odd, I guess I have to get used to it first:

SQL> select name from v$datafile;


6 rows selected.

SQL> select name from v$tempfile;


SQL> select member from v$logfile


SQL> show parameter control_files

NAME                                 TYPE        VALUE
------------------------------------ ----------- ------------------------------
control_files                        string      /u01/app/oracle/oradata/datast
SQL> show parameter db_recovery_file_dest

NAME                                 TYPE        VALUE
------------------------------------ ----------- ------------------------------
db_recovery_file_dest                string      /u01/app/oracle/fast_recovery_
db_recovery_file_dest_size           big integer 465G

The funny bit is that /u02/app/oracle/oradata/datastore contains snapshots… This is visible in the data file location where you find an .ACFS/snaps component. I believe the naming convention is to use .ACFS (invisible) followed by the snapshot name. You can view the snapshot detail using acfsutil:

[grid@server1 ~]$ acfsutil snap info RON /u02/app/oracle/oradata/datastore/
snapshot name:               RON
snapshot location:           /u02/app/oracle/oradata/datastore/.ACFS/snaps/RON
RO snapshot or RW snapshot:  RW
parent name:                 /u02/app/oracle/oradata/datastore/
snapshot creation time:      Wed Dec 17 15:26:24 2014

Interestingly the /u01 data store does not have a snapshot:

[grid@server1 ~]$ acfsutil snap info /u01/app/oracle/oradata/datastore
    number of snapshots:  0
    snapshot space usage: 0  ( 0.00 )

But I digress…

Database setup and configuration

After the database has been created, it is defined in Clusterware as follows:

[oracle@server1 ~]$ srvctl config database -d ron
Database unique name: RON
Database name: RON
Oracle home: /u01/app/oracle/product/
Oracle user: oracle
Spfile: /u02/app/oracle/oradata/datastore/.ACFS/snaps/RON/RON/spfileRON.ora
Password file: /u02/app/oracle/oradata/datastore/.ACFS/snaps/RON/RON/orapwRON
Start options: open
Stop options: immediate
Database role: PRIMARY
Management policy: AUTOMATIC
Server pools: 
Disk Groups: 
Mount point paths: /u01/app/oracle/fast_recovery_area/datastore,/u01/app/oracle/oradata/datastore,/u02/app/oracle/oradata/datastore
Services: RON_racone
Type: RACOneNode
Online relocation timeout: 30
Instance name prefix: RON
Candidate servers: server1,server2
OSDBA group: dba
OSOPER group: racoper
Database instances: 
Database is administrator managed
[oracle@server1 ~]$ 

The mandatory service is defined like this:

[oracle@server1 ~]$ srvctl config service -d ron
Service name: RON_racone
Server pool: 
Cardinality: 1
Disconnect: false
Service role: PRIMARY
Management policy: AUTOMATIC
DTP transaction: false
AQ HA notifications: false
Global: false
Commit Outcome: false
Failover type: 
Failover method: 
TAF failover retries: 
TAF failover delay: 
Connection Load Balancing Goal: LONG
Runtime Load Balancing Goal: NONE
TAF policy specification: NONE
Pluggable database name: 
Maximum lag time: ANY
SQL Translation Profile: 
Retention: 86400 seconds
Replay Initiation Time: 300 seconds
Session State Consistency: 
GSM Flags: 0
Service is enabled
Preferred instances: RON_2
Available instances: 
[oracle@server1 ~]$ 

With RAC One Node it is even more important to connect to the service, and not to the instance.

Getting ready for the testing

The situation before the test is shown here:

[oracle@server1 ~]$ srvctl status database -d ron
Instance RON_2 is running on node server2
Online relocation: INACTIVE
[oracle@server1 ~]$ srvctl status service -d ron
Service RON_racone is running on instance(s) RON_2

For swingbench to benefit from FCF it needs to be configured so that it uses a connection pool. I have used the swingbench FAQ (http://www.dominicgiles.com/swingbenchfaq.html) to do so. My connection is defined as follows:

      <DriverType>Oracle jdbc Driver</DriverType>
         <Property Key="StatementCaching">50</Property>
         <Property Key="FastFailover">true</Property>
         <Property Key="OnsConfiguration">nodes=server1:6200,server2:6200</Property>
         <Property Key="AppContinuityDriver">true</Property>
         <Property Key="FetchSize">20</Property>

This part and the rest of the configuration is based largely on this post: Application Continuity in Oracle Database 12c (

Now – finally – for the test!

Starting charbench will trigger the creation of 100 sessions on the currently active instance (I set NumberOfUsers to 100) and they will be chugging along nicely. Here is the output after a couple of minutes:

[oracle@server1 bin]$ ./charbench -c oda_soe.xml 
Author  :        Dominic Giles
Version :

Results will be written to results.xml.
Hit Return to Terminate Run...

Time            Users   TPM     TPS

7:24:28 AM      100     17242   291                                            

I saw about 290 TPS for a total of around 18,000 TPM over some time. Let’s start the live migration. But first, I’d like to use the glass bowl to see what might happen (new in

[oracle@server1 ~]$ srvctl predict database -db RON -verbose
Database ron will be started on node server1
Database ron will be stopped on node server2
Service ron_racone will be started on node server1

Well I guess that might be correct, but let’s try:

[oracle@server1 ~]$ srvctl relocate database -d ron -verbose -node server1
Configuration updated to two instances
Instance RON_1 started
Services relocated
Waiting for up to 30 minutes for instance RON_2 to stop ...
Instance RON_2 stopped
Configuration updated to one instance
[oracle@server1 ~]$ 

While this command executed I didn’t lose a single connection – 100 SOE connections were always established. It also takes a few second for the cache to warm up, during which the transaction rate dips a little bit:

[oracle@server1 bin]$ ./charbench -c oda_soe.xml
Author  :        Dominic Giles
Version :

Results will be written to results.xml.
Hit Return to Terminate Run...

Time            Users   TPM     TPS

7:29:11 AM      100     13135   191                                            

One minute after this the throughput is back to normal.

[oracle@server1 bin]$ ./charbench -c oda_soe.xml
Author  :        Dominic Giles
Version :

Results will be written to results.xml.
Hit Return to Terminate Run...

Time            Users   TPM     TPS

7:30:50 AM      100     16800   295          

Online relocation with RAC One node is certainly a possibility and works nicely if your application is ready for connection pools and the new way of connecting to the database.

Preview of the next article in the series

In the next article I’d like to add a couple of things I haven’t had time to test yet: 12.1.0.x extends the concept of the database resident connection pool to Java applications (and other middle tier) which would allow me to scale even further. I’d also like to show you what happens if the current RAC One Node instance fails. Stay tuned!


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