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Zero downtime storage migration operations

January 27th, 2011 by TheBonsai

For some systems a downtime is complicated to organize, or bad at all. We have such a system, a RAC database.

In the past, all storage migration operations there had two problems that lead to downtime:

  • CRS votedisk migration at best only with offline CRS
  • kick old devices from the device management in the operating system

In December I migrated the system to something more modern

  • SLES11
  • Oracle Grid Infrastructure (CRS/ASM) 11.2
  • Oracle Database (yes, still quite old, but it has to be a 10.2 for now)

The use of a modern Linux kernel (especially a modern SCSI stack) and 11gR2 infrastructure fixed all my trouble from the past.


With 11gR2 Grid Infrastructure, the clusterware manages its vital files (VD, OCR) using an ASM instance. A migration of the ASM diskgroups holding these files is now as easy as a migration of a normal diskgroup. ASM takes care of moving the votedisks and the OCR and collaborates with CRS here.

Linux devices

The new Linux kernels with a finally sane SCSI stack and native multipathing helps with the second problem. It’s not a problem anymore to remove old device references from the stack:

  • deconfigure the devices from multipathd (not needed technically, since multipathd itself holds no device references)
  • remove the device references from the Linux device mapper
    # see /dev/mapper/* for the name
    # an alternative and probably more safe is: multipath -F (flush all unused maps)
    dmsetup remove mpathX
  • remove the LUNs from the SCSI stack
    # X:X:X:X LUN number
    echo 1 > /sys/bus/scsi/X:X:X:X/delete

After that, you can safely edit the FC zone – no errors should occur in any logs.

Category: english, Oracle, Work | No Comments »

Happy 2011

December 31st, 2010 by TheBonsai

In a few hours (CET) it’s 2011, so it’s time to say ‘happy new year’.

Regards and best online-wishes for 2011 fly to (the order doesn’t matter)

Category: english, Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

Make all instances in a RAC environment switching the logfile with one single command

December 2nd, 2010 by TheBonsai

You know the need to sometimes manually switch logfiles with


In a RAC with some more nodes, it can be quite disturbing to do that on all instances.

When you inspect the protocol files of the right services, you will find another, undocumented method:


This works at least on Since it’s undocumented, I can’t tell you under which circumstances this command works or not, but it looks like always possible. Please find out yourself and let me know.

Category: english, Oracle | 3 Comments »