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Re: RAC on the cheap

From: Scott <>
Date: Thu, 24 Oct 2002 19:48:37 -0800
Message-ID: <>

Steve, You can create a RAC environment on SUN if you get can get the necessary software. The hardware for SUN is easy to get if you purchase it for eBay but the clustering software is whole other story.

You need Sun Cluster 3.0 and and a LVM for the disks. Getting SC3.0 may be easy but the LVM usually require a license and most people use the Veritas Cluster Volume Manager which requires a license key to activate.


You can use Veritas DBE/AC 3.5 on Sun but this still requires a license Key. In some cases Veritas may give you Demo License Key but it would only be valid for a few months at most.

All you need is 2 Ultra 2's or 2 ultra 60's 4 NIC cards ( veritas and SC3.0 require a minium of 2 NIC devices for the interconnect) and a shared disk array (preferably a D1000) to make a basic cluster.

You can usually get an Ultra 2 with a 1 gig of memory, 2 300 mhz CPU's and at least a 9G HD drive for about $300-$500 a similar configuration for the Ultra 60 will cost you about $600-$1000 depending on the CPU speed.

The NIC cards for Ultra2 SBUS are around $30-$50 apiece but NIC cards for PCI SUN's run about $80-$100 apiece.

The D1000 disk array costs about $500-$700 with 12 9G 10000rpm SCSI drives. You also need to purchase 2 SCSI HVD Cards for your ultras. The SBUS cards are usually under $100 but the PCI cards usually won't sell for much less that $150 apiece.

Linux is the easiest becuase Oracle provides a cluster manager and will provdide a CFS for linux in the upcoming months. Oracle's Cluster manager only requires 1 NIC card for the interconnect and you can use the public NIC card if needed. You would also need a SCSI card for the 2 intel machines. The SCSI card should be newer so you can access the bios to change the SCSI-initiator-ID on one of the machines. 2 machines can't access that same SCSI array if they have the same SCSI-initiator-ID (Usually 7 for most cards). You need an external SCSI disk array. These external disk arrays are relatively inexpensive and can purchased at some of the more technically oriented computers stores.

The other alternitive is using NFS but NFS could pose some unexpected I/O issues that could become annoying even in a test environment. NFS has some unusual affects on the "gsd" process as well as the config file required srvconfig and srvctl commands. You also will have to use 920 if plan using files instead of raw devices for "gsd" and the srv commands. 901 doesn't support regular files(raw devices only) for srv commands while 920 does support files. The last issue is that 9201 with Linux requires watchdog and 9202 does not. Oracle has re-written the cluster manager with 9202 and you no longer need watchdog to setup the cluster manager.

Hope some of this information helps,


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Author: Scott

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Received on Thu Oct 24 2002 - 22:48:37 CDT

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