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Oracle RAC on VMware ESX 3.0.1 Server for production?

Why not! I am looking for folks who are willing to talk about their experiences about Oracle RAC with VMware. Do you think you are ready to run your RAC on ESX in production? Have you tried it? Do you as a manager and DBA (both, if you're lucky!) wonder why you didn't have that similar Staging, Test and Development environment? Sure you have that environment if you are a massive enterprise but do you want to quadruple your TCO?

Can you imagine that you can reduce your TCO hugely by getting a little creative? You could also do that on a typical 4 CPU quad core Machine with some extra space for SAN and there you go, you have your 4-way RAC (Test, Development, Staging and well someday Production too! You have sen me talking about a Virtualized Globally Deliverable RAC. I have even spoken about it on my video on Google Video sometime back.

Imagine if you have it in your development , staging or even in production? Then you are the dude! Yes, we know Oracle still does not support RAC in production. We also know that there are those cheeky time issue that may be a bit of a pain with cache fusion and coherency.

But anyways I have run a test Oracle RAC on ESX Server 2.5.3 on production. You have already noticed my series on VMware's GSX Server or VMware Server. I also have had my 2 way (vCPU) 4-node RAC on ESX 2.5.3. I am trying to find some time to do a 4-way (vCPU) 4- node RAC on ESX 3.0.1. Obviously what I really would want is :

  • That I have my VMFS3's on SAN
  • 2 ESX Servers 4 dual-core CPUs. (Honestly Intel or AMD, It shouldn't matter, until obviously you say that RAC would perform better on one of them!)
  • 32 GB RAM per box
  • Gigabit Network Cards
  • All redundant controllers, fans, power units etc
These should give me the opportunity to build 4 4-way smp nodes (8G per node) and then we can put these beasts under solid performance test. This could be a perfect business case for any DBA or Service & Delivery manager to their bosses. Start with a test and development environment and then graduate to a staging environment. I am pretty sure when the proverbial FUD is gone, you'll too be wanting to have this in your production.

Any IT shop with a RACs should be testing this already.


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