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Oracle 9i on OpenVMS Clusters

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Oracle 9i on OpenVMS Clusters

I'm looking for any information on running Oracle 9i (or 10g) on OpenVMS clusters. The Oracle people we have say that you can't run instances of oracle on multiple nodes in a cluster (withoug RAC) because the db properties are relegated to a node. Anyone doing it or done it before.
Hein van den Heuvel
Honored Contributor

Re: Oracle 9i on OpenVMS Clusters

They are right. You can not run the same instance on multiple nodes without RAC (or OPS in 8i).
There has to be synchronization between the access which RAC will manage with its lock manager.
Beside synchronization RAC will also offer 'cache fusion', moving blocks from cache to cache directly without needed to bounce of the disk (as they did in OPS)

You can run other instances on other nodes.
So if in your cluster you have node X and Y
and oracle instance DEV, TST and PRD.
You can run
- all on X,
- all on Y,
- DEV on X, TST + PRD on Y
- TST on X, DEV + PRD on Y
- the other 4 combo's
You can NOT run
- PRD on X and Y
- the other 2 double's


Re: Oracle 9i on OpenVMS Clusters

That being the case, then the use of VMS clusters with Oracle is limited if you have a small number of instances (large DB's, but only 3 or 3) and don't want to pay $400 per user for RAC. Is that about the size of it?
Martin P.J. Zinser
Honored Contributor

Re: Oracle 9i on OpenVMS Clusters

Hello Douglas,

well if you do want to take care of performance features like Row cache the situation is not that much different even on Oracle Rdb (as opposed to Oracle 8/9/10), although with JCCs LogMiner Loader (www.jcc.com) one can try to work around this a bit.

Greetings, Martin

Re: Oracle 9i on OpenVMS Clusters

Our issue isn't performance (although I've never seen a better performance product that VMS clustering), it is more an issue of cost. $400 per user for RAC, a new cluster product to share data, network only cluster interconnection media, etc. etc. etc. Just in the cost area, $80,000 for 200 user licenses will by approx. 11 ES45 cluster licenses. And we have to use a product that, from all I can tell, is not all that stable yet. So we have to use VMS clustering for stability AND incurr the cost of RAC as well. Not a good scenario from our standpoint.
Jeff Wolfe_1
Frequent Advisor

Re: Oracle 9i on OpenVMS Clusters

Assuming your issue is about fault tolerance then RAC is the only seemless solution. If access is the issue, any node can in the cluster can assess the database as long as the TNSNAMES.ORA file is set up properly. So, one node will be the DB server and the other nodes become clients. We also went throught the trouble of creating init files for the DB on the other nodes, so that in the event of a node failure, we could bring up the DB on another other node. Not as nice as how Rdb works, but it is a workable solution.

Re: Oracle 9i on OpenVMS Clusters

Did you create a separate ora_root:[dbs]sid_.properties for all other nodes in the cluster changing the node association
to prevent oracle from saying you can't start it up?
Attempting to setup environment for instance DEVDB on the wrong node.
You are on node "GRAKLE", but the ora_root:[dbs]sid_DEVDB.properties
file indicates this instance is associated with node "OSPREY"."
Jeff Wolfe_1
Frequent Advisor

Re: Oracle 9i on OpenVMS Clusters

First let me say that we are still using 8i. We did create a set of sid.ORA files for each node in the cluster. These files were in the same cluster common "admin" directory. I took us a few test tries before we found everything that needed to be changed. But we eventually got the database to start.
Hein van den Heuvel
Honored Contributor

Re: Oracle 9i on OpenVMS Clusters

Yes well, I am fortunate(?) to be able to be able to ignore licensing costs in my day-to-day work. I put a questionmark there because it detaches me from 'the real worlds' where obviously everthing counts towards an ultimate 'TCO'.

I don't suppose the the license cost is negotiable as a combination of CPU's and RAC such that 2 nodes with 2 cpus would price more similar to 1 node with 4 (assuming you can restrict oracle to 2 out of 4 cpus in a box).

Anyway... a VMS cluster remains (IMHO) very valuable. For starters there is ofcourse the near-transparant failover for the instances.
- the ability to pick and choose node where to run an application (oracle instance)
- the ability to do generic maintenance (backups) from any node
- the 'one system image' managemetn
- on and on...

Thanks for your real life feedback!

Martin P.J. Zinser
Honored Contributor

Re: Oracle 9i on OpenVMS Clusters


if you are able to make a tradeoff between performance and cost, Oracle Rdb actually might be an alternative. As far as I know the costs for the database server are the same as for Oracle Classic and support for VMS clusters is build-in (as long as you do not use row caches).

Greetings, Martin
Mike Naime
Honored Contributor

Re: Oracle 9i on OpenVMS Clusters


We run OPS (8I) on our 2-node production clusters. You have Instance1 on Node1, and Instance2 on Node2. The Application can connect to either Instance, Although you have the Primary Instance normally running on Node1.

SQL traffic is routed through a direct-connect crossover cable between the 2 nodes.

Our DBA's are playing with 9I on our test cluster. I'm not sure exactly were they are with it. I heard that installing 9I from CD took 6+ hours.
VMS SAN mechanic
Hein van den Heuvel
Honored Contributor

Re: Oracle 9i on OpenVMS Clusters

It shouldn't need much more than an hour.

Mike, tell them NOT to install directly from CD!
Offload the CD structures to directories on a hard-drive and install from there.
Much nicer, specially if you have to do it again... (and you will :-)

Metalink/releasenotes have articles on the desired structure (notably needed for a downloaded kit)

Andreas Fassl
Frequent Advisor

Re: Oracle 9i on OpenVMS Clusters


as already mentioned there are lots of articles on http://metalink.oracle.com, THE source for information regarding oracle.
The attached article is a question from another using about 9i on OpenVMS with lots of pointers to other notes.



From: Amit Jain 16-May-03 20:53
Subject: RAC on Alpha-VMS

RAC on Alpha-VMS

Hi, I want to test the RAC on ORACLE 9i Rel 2 ( on Alpha-VMS ( 7.3 ), But As I'm new to RAC field. I've some common questions to ask.

1. Does we any additional software from ORACLE to Install RAC,
I mean we do have ORACLE 9i EE ( Above Release ).
Is this enogh to Install, Configure and Test for
Testing/Developement purposes OR Do we have to buy or Download any
Additional other software for that.
2. What else do we need in Operating system side, I mean any other
patches/Software Etc.
3. Any Step-by-Step Document for this on VMS.
4. As I have to Difference Nodes, but they are not sharing the same
Storage and I gonna to try, making as One node as an ORACLE 9i RAC
and the other to just as a Simple Node..
OR How can I gonna to work out on this..Any Suggestion.

The main thing is that ORACLE 9i CD's are enough or do I need any extra Software/Script Etc on VMS


From: Oracle, MADHAVI YELESWARAPU 22-May-03 19:20
Subject: Re : RAC on Alpha-VMS

Hi Amit,

Please review the following document for installation information. This should give you an idea about installing RAC on 9202/Alpha OpenVMS

Ext/Pub Step-By-Step Installation of RAC on HP OpenVMS Cluster

This document will provide you with everything needed including:

1. Configuring the Cluster Hardware
1.1 Minimal Hardware list / System Requirements
1.2 Setup Server Parameters
2. Software Requirements
2.1 Operating System and Layered Products
2.2 Operating System Patches
3. Configuring the Cluster
3.1 Install the OpenVMS Operating System
3.2 Install the Operating System Patches
3.3 Adding the Second Node
3.4 Configuring TCP/IP
3.5 Adjusting System Parameters
4. Installing RAC
4.1 Creating the ORACLE Account
4.2 Installing the Software
5. Setting up the Database
5.1 Create the Database
5.2 Configuring the Database for RAC
5.3 Reserving Memory for the SGA
6. References

Another source is the OpenVMS FAQ Note 222553.1 (Section 9.1), there is a good section on RAC and 9202:

Section 9. RAC questions

9.1 Is the Real Application Cluster (RAC) feature available on OpenVMS?


Oracle Parallel Server (OPS) has been renamed to Real Application Cluster (RAC).
Please be sure that all OpenVMS ECO's are installed. This is very important
if you are running RAC.

For more information please read the following notes:

<132987.1> High Availability - Real Application Clusters Library Page
<162922.1> OpenVMS: How to redirect OPS TCP/IP traffic to a private network
<162725.1> OPS/RAC VMS: Using alternate TCP Interconnects on 8i OPS and 9i RAC on OpenVMS
<234484.1> How to relink Oracle 9.2.0.X on OpenVMS Alpha with or without RAC

There is another note for the OpenVMS patches needed to run RAC on OpenVMS:

<223566.1> VMS: List of patches for Oracle on OpenVMS

Andreas Fassl
Frequent Advisor

Re: Oracle 9i on OpenVMS Clusters


another point: Oracle 9 is only supported with 7.3. And only with TCPIP-Services by HP.

Certify - Certification Matrix: RAC for OpenVMS Alpha on HP Alpha OpenVMS

Server Certifications

OS Product Certified With Version Status Addtl. Info. Components Other Install Issue
7.3-2 9.2 64-bit N/A N/A Certified None None None None
7.3-1_EV7-V0100 9.2 64-bit N/A N/A Certified None None None None
7.3-1 9.2 64-bit N/A N/A Certified None None None None
7.3 9.2 64-bit N/A N/A Certified None None None None