12.2 New Feature: the FLEX ASM disk group part 2

In the first part of this series I explained the basics and some potential motivation behind the use of ASM Flex disk groups. In this part I would like to complete the description of new concepts.

New Concepts related to FLEX ASM Disk Groups

With the Flex disk group mounted, the next steps are to create a few new entities. First, I want to create a Quota Group. The Quota Group – as the name implies – will enforce quotas for entities residing within it. It is optional to add one yourself, Oracle creates a default Quota Group for you that does not enforce storage limits. As you will see later, the default Quota Group will be assigned to all new databases in the Flex ASM disk group.

The entity to be stored inside the Quota Group is named a File Group, and serves to logically group files such as those belonging to a database. According to the SQL Language Reference version 12.2, the File Group can be created for a

  • Database (non-CDB, CDB, and PDB)
  • Cluster or
  • ASM Volume

Remember that the compatible.rdbms and compatible.asm parameters are to be set to 12.2.0.1(+) on the Flex ASM disk group, ruling out pre 12.2 databases. For this post I am intending to store database-related files in the File Group. And since I like CDBs, I’m using this database type.

Database Creation

With the FLEX disk group in place I fired up dbca in silent mode to create a database for me. Before submitting the command however I created a Quota Group, connected to the ASM instance, like this:

SQL> alter diskgroup flex add quotagroup QG_CDB set quota = 20g;

Diskgroup altered.

SQL> select QUOTAGROUP_NUMBER,NAME,USED_QUOTA_MB,QUOTA_LIMIT_MB from v$asm_quotagroup;

QUOTAGROUP_NUMBER NAME                           USED_QUOTA_MB QUOTA_LIMIT_MB
----------------- ------------------------------ ------------- --------------
                1 GENERIC                                    0              0
                3 QG_CDB                                     0          20480
SQL> 

Oracle provides a GENERIC Quota Group without storage limitations when the Flex ASM disk group is created. QG_CDB is the Quota Group I just created. In hindsight I don’t think that creating the Quota Group at this stage was necessary because it wasn’t used straight away… but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Here is the command to create the two-node RAC database on my FLEX diskgroup, which I ran next:

[oracle@rac122pri1 ~]$ dbca -silent -createDatabase -templateName martin_cdb12cr2_001.dbc \
> -gdbName CDB -sysPassword secretpwd1 -systemPassword secretpwd2 -storageType ASM \
> -diskGroupName FLEX -recoveryGroupName FLEX -sampleSchema true \
> -totalMemory 2048 -dbsnmpPassword secretpwd3 -nodeinfo rac122pri1,rac122pri2 \
> -createAsContainerDatabase true -databaseConfigType RAC

I should probably create a disk group +FLEXRECO for my Fast Recovery Area, but since this is a lab system I don’t quite care enough to justify the extra space usage. Your mileage will most definitely vary, this isn’t supposed to be a blue print, instead it’s just me dabbling around with new technology :)

It takes a little time for the dbca command to return. It appears as if the database had automatically created File Groups for the CDB’s components, mapping to the GENERIC Quota Group (quotagroup_number 1 from the listing above). Querying the ASM instance, I can find these:

SQL> select FILEGROUP_NUMBER, NAME, CLIENT_NAME, USED_QUOTA_MB, QUOTAGROUP_NUMBER from v$asm_filegroup
  2  /

FILEGROUP_NUMBER NAME                 CLIENT_NAME          USED_QUOTA_MB QUOTAGROUP_NUMBER
---------------- -------------------- -------------------- ------------- -----------------
               0 DEFAULT_FILEGROUP                                     0                 1
               1 CDB_CDB$ROOT         CDB_CDB$ROOT                  6704                 1
               2 CDB_PDB$SEED         CDB_PDB$SEED                  1656                 1

Just like with Quota Groups, there is a default entity, named DEFAULT_FILEGROUP. The CDB_CDB$ROOT and CDB_PDB$SEED seem to map to the newly created database. As you can see a little later in this post, the first “CDB” in CDB_CDB$ROOT maps to the database name. CDB$ROOT and PDB$SEED should sound familiar if you have previously worked with Container Databases.

Oracle creating File Groups for databases on its own is not too bad, because it takes half the work away from me. To test whether this holds true for newly created PDBs, I added a PDB named PDB1 to my CDB. Sure enough, after the create pluggable database command returned, there was a new File Group:

SQL> select FILEGROUP_NUMBER, NAME, CLIENT_NAME from v$asm_filegroup;

FILEGROUP_NUMBER NAME                 CLIENT_NAME
---------------- -------------------- --------------------
               0 DEFAULT_FILEGROUP
               1 CDB_CDB$ROOT         CDB_CDB$ROOT
               2 CDB_PDB$SEED         CDB_PDB$SEED
               3 PDB1                 PDB1

The output made me think – somehow name and client_name no longer look that useful for establishing a relation between CDB and PDB1. This might actually not be necessary from a technical point of view, but somehow I need to understand which PDB1 is meant in the view in case there is more than 1. I can think of a PDB1 in CDB as super important, whereas PDB1 in some other CDB is less important. One way would be to name the PDB differently to allow a human to map the PDB name to a CDB. Having said that I certainly don’t want to have references to the CDB in my PDB name, that defeats the purpose of pluggable databases and wouldn’t hold true anyway when I unplug/plug the PDB to a different CDB.

Interlude
If you wonder what happens when you create another PDB1 in a different CDB, I did so, too. After a quick change to my dbca command and after the creation of another CDB I named ORCL, I create a new PDB1 within it. This is the result:

SQL> select filegroup_number, name, client_name, guid from v$asm_filegroup;

FILEGROUP_NUMBER NAME                 CLIENT_NAME          GUID
---------------- -------------------- -------------------- --------------------------------
               0 DEFAULT_FILEGROUP
               1 CDB_CDB$ROOT         CDB_CDB$ROOT         4700A987085A3DFAE05387E5E50A8C7B
               2 CDB_PDB$SEED         CDB_PDB$SEED         536DF51E8E28221BE0534764A8C0FD81
               3 PDB1                 PDB1                 537B677EF8DA0F1AE0534764A8C05729
               4 ORCL_CDB$ROOT        ORCL_CDB$ROOT        4700A987085A3DFAE05387E5E50A8C7B
               5 ORCL_PDB$SEED        ORCL_PDB$SEED        537E63B952183748E0534764A8C09A7F
               6 PDB1_0001            PDB1                 537EB5B87E62586EE0534764A8C05530

7 rows selected.

The good news is there is no clash, or even a failure of the “create pluggable database” command. The new database’s CDB$ROOT and PDB$SEED namespaces don’t collide because of the database-name prefix. CDB.PDB1 and ORCL.PDB1 don’t clash because Oracle appends a number to the File Group’s name.

The not-so-good news is that the (File Group) name and client_name became ambiguous. But there is a solution: playing around a bit I found that the GUID column in v$asm_filegroup maps to the GUID in v$pdbs/v$container.

SQL> select sys_context('USERENV','CDB_NAME') cdb_name, guid 
  2  from v$pdbs where guid = '537EB5B87E62586EE0534764A8C05530';

CDB_NAME                       GUID
------------------------------ --------------------------------
ORCL                           537EB5B87E62586EE0534764A8C05530

Looks like it’s time to understand those GUIDs better, hopefully there will be more to come soon.

Quotas

As you can see from the previous example, is not necessary to enforce a quota, however it is possible. I’ll do this for the sake of completeness (and in preparation for part 3).

NOTE: This section of the blog post was actually written before I had created the second CDB (“ORCL”), which is why you don’t see it in the command output.

Many of the administrative commands related to File Group and Quota Groups that I entered in SQL can also be issued via asmcmd, as shown here:

ASMCMD> lsqg
Group_Num  Quotagroup_Num  Quotagroup_Name  Incarnation  Used_Quota_MB  Quota_Limit_MB  
5          1               GENERIC          1            10016          0               
5          3               QG_CDB           1            0              20480           

ASMCMD> lsfg
File Group         Disk Group  Quota Group  Used Quota MB  Client Name   Client Type  
DEFAULT_FILEGROUP  FLEX        GENERIC      0                                         
CDB_CDB$ROOT       FLEX        GENERIC      6704           CDB_CDB$ROOT  DATABASE     
CDB_PDB$SEED       FLEX        GENERIC      1656           CDB_PDB$SEED  DATABASE     
PDB1               FLEX        GENERIC      1656           PDB1          DATABASE     

ASMCMD> help mvfg
mvfg
        Moves a file group in a disk group to the specified Quota Group.

Synopsis
        mvfg -G  --filegroup  

Description
        The options for the mvfg command are described below.

        -G diskgroup     - Disk group name.
        --filegroup      - File group name.

Examples
        The following is an example of the mvfg command. The file group
        FG1 in the DATA disk group is moved to the Quota Group QG1.

        ASMCMD [+] > mvfg -G DATA --filegroup FG1 QG1

See Also
       mkqg rmqg chqg lsqg

ASMCMD> 

The first two should be self-explanatory: lsqg is short for list Quota Group, and lsfg is the equivalent for File Groups. the mvfg takes a couple of parameters but should be straight forward. With the commands introduced it’s time to perform the action. I need to move File Groups using mvfg:

ASMCMD> mvfg -G flex --filegroup CDB_CDB$ROOT QG_CDB
Diskgroup altered.
ASMCMD> mvfg -G flex --filegroup CDB_PDB$SEED QG_CDB
Diskgroup altered.
ASMCMD> mvfg -G flex --filegroup PDB1 QG_CDB
Diskgroup altered.
ASMCMD> lsfg
File Group         Disk Group  Quota Group  Used Quota MB  Client Name   Client Type  
DEFAULT_FILEGROUP  FLEX        GENERIC      0                                         
CDB_CDB$ROOT       FLEX        QG_CDB       6704           CDB_CDB$ROOT  DATABASE     
CDB_PDB$SEED       FLEX        QG_CDB       1656           CDB_PDB$SEED  DATABASE     
PDB1               FLEX        QG_CDB       1656           PDB1          DATABASE     

ASMCMD> lsqg
Group_Num  Quotagroup_Num  Quotagroup_Name  Incarnation  Used_Quota_MB  Quota_Limit_MB  
5          1               GENERIC          1            0              0               
5          3               QG_CDB           1            10016          20480           
ASMCMD> 

The command completes pretty much instantaneously, so it’s not actually “moving” data, it appears that all there is done is an update on meta-data. Moving the File Group is translated to the following SQL commands, found in the ASM instance’s alert.log:

2017-07-04 11:01:53.492000 +01:00
SQL> /* ASMCMD */ALTER DISKGROUP FLEX MOVE FILEGROUP CDB_CDB$ROOT TO QG_CDB
SUCCESS: /* ASMCMD */ALTER DISKGROUP FLEX MOVE FILEGROUP CDB_CDB$ROOT TO QG_CDB
2017-07-04 11:02:08.645000 +01:00
SQL> /* ASMCMD */ALTER DISKGROUP FLEX MOVE FILEGROUP CDB_PDB$SEED TO QG_CDB
SUCCESS: /* ASMCMD */ALTER DISKGROUP FLEX MOVE FILEGROUP CDB_PDB$SEED TO QG_CDB
SQL> /* ASMCMD */ALTER DISKGROUP FLEX MOVE FILEGROUP PDB1 TO QG_CDB
SUCCESS: /* ASMCMD */ALTER DISKGROUP FLEX MOVE FILEGROUP PDB1 TO QG_CDB

Summary Part 2

In part 2 of the article series I played around with Quota Groups and File Groups. Getting to grips with these concepts is necessary for a better understanding of how a Flex ASM disk group works. In part 3 I’ll try and investigate the effect of changing properties to file groups, and whether quotas are enforced.

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