RE: Solution to 100's of Oracle clients installed with Net8 and local tnsnames.ora, sqlnet.ora

Paula, Niall, Rich, 

If you are using Windows based clients and Windows based network
authentication you may want to consider using the Microsoft Distributed
File System technology (DFS) in tandem with the Oracle TNS_ADMIN
environment variable.  With this method, the Oracle client networking
files (tnsnames.ora, sqlnet.ora,..etc.) are stored on one file server (
the root of the Distributed File System ) and replicated automatically
to other servers defined to the DFS.  At network authentication, the
customer receives the TNS_ADMIN environment variable with a UNC path to
the DFS domain.  DFS locates the nearest server for each customer and
delivers the Oracle client files to him or her (upon request).  If the
assigned DFS server becomes inaccessible due to network, hardware, or
other issues, the DFS will automatically roll the customer to the next
available DFS server in the list.  We are currently doing this with over
700 clients (Windows XP Professional) without an issue.  When I make a
change to tnsnames on DFS root, the change is reflected on every
connected client within one minute with no file locking issues. 
prerequisites include Windows 2000 Server at a minimum (Windows 2003
Server is preferred) and a savvy Windows SA.

Here are several URL's from the Microsoft web site if you are still

Simplifying Infrastructure Complexity with Windows Distributed File
This document introduces you to the many improvements to Distributed
File System (DFS) that help administrators manage their distributed
resources in all the editions of Windows Server 2003. 
Distributed File System: Simplifying Complexity
In this demo, you'll learn about DFS, a strategic storage management
solution that helps you manage distributed resources more easily. 
Distributed File System: Frequently Asked Questions
This article contains frequently asked questions and answers about the
Distributed File System (DFS) for the Windows Server 2003 family.

Distributed File System White paper
This white paper describes the Microsoft distributed file system
technology, including the version for Microsoft Windows 2000 operating

Distributed File System (DFS): Best Practices and Troubleshooting
This guide is designed for administrators to supplement existing
Distributed File System (DFS) documentation. It contains important
information about DFS that has not been adequately addressed in other

812487 - Overview of DFS in Windows 2000
This article describes the Microsoft Distributed File System (DFS) in
Windows 2000 and provides information about how to administer DFS.;en-us;812487 
Designing and Deploying File Servers
Visit Microsoft TechNet for detailed information on designing a DFS
Namespace and FRS replication, which can be found in the Planning Server
Deployments guide.

Good Luck!

- Chris 

Chris Welton
Database Administrator
System Services Unit
Department of Information Technology
New York State Thruway Authority
200 Southern Blvd
Albany, NY 12209-2098
Phone: (518) 436-3105

>>> "Jesse, Rich" <Rich.Jesse@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> 09/15/2004 12:11:00 PM
I'm fearing file locking issues with this approach.  Multi-platform is
another issue, although a SAMBA/NFS combo on the "central location" =
should take care of that.

Or are my fears unfounded?  We're in the same boat, wondering what to
do =
about replacing the functionality of our replicated ONAMES servers for
the future.  OiD 9.0.1 was not mature/stable enough to be production. 
We haven't tested future versions and I don't plan to until the
damnable =
thing is at least free (i.e. included with our EE license).


-----Original Message-----
Sent: Wednesday, September 15, 2004 10:32 AM
Cc: oracle-l@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
Subject: Re: Solution to 100's of Oracle clients installed with Net8
local tnsnames.ora, sqlnet.ora

[super snip]

However once I'd got this far, it did seem appropriate to wonder if it
might not be better just to set TNS_ADMIN to a central location and
just have the one copy.

Niall Litchfield
Oracle DBA


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