Re: RAC for dev env

  • From: Thomas Roach <troach@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: cicciuxdba@xxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 2 Feb 2010 17:30:39 -0500

I will give you a story where this bit me BIGTIME.

We had a Solaris 10 RAC cluster ( for production but the business
skimped because they didn't want to pay "all that money" for RAC just for a
Dev/QA environment. This was a system that was generating 600+ million
dollars in revenue, but they didn't want to spend a few hundred thousand to
get RAC. Sounds like the tail wagging the dog, and it was!

So time came around to do security patches and what not. They also wanted
CRS Bundle patches. So we patched Dev/QA, no problem. When we went to apply
the CRS_BUNDLE patch there was an error with the patchset and it wiped out
the inittab. (I didn't know what happened, but eventually uncovered
inittab). The upgrade script bombed multiple times. I got Oracle support on
the line and we troubleshooted it. 8 hours later we got the systems back

The owner of this business segment was pissed. We had a post mortem that was
not pretty. She looked straight at me and said, why didn't we see these
problems in QA or even Dev? It cost us (a lot of money, more than Oracle RAC
licensing for Dev/QA would have cost). I told her that her environments did
not match. She said why? I said because no one wanted to spend the money to
make the environments match. That shut her up real quick.

Needless to say it was a high priority to make them match and they spared no
money to get environments up to speed.

I knew the lesson learned, but it was a lesson for the business. You need to
explicitly tell them that unless environments match, there is a risk that
not everything can be pretested prior to going into production. Let them
decide if it is worth it. If they say no, get it in writing.


On Tue, Feb 2, 2010 at 4:51 PM, Guillermo Alan Bort <cicciuxdba@xxxxxxxxx>wrote:

> Hi Ram
> I have seen this in several places and it always leads to severe downtime
> in production. non RAC Dev environments could work for functional
> development. For performance and concurrency testing and for staiblity
> testing, you need a RAC environment. Furthermore, I'd suggest you get
> someone with a lot of experience in RAC before actually going to production
> with it. Having a TEST/DEV/QA RAC could help you gain that experience.
> I cannot speak as to licensing, but if you have the DB up, then it doesn't
> matter what you use it for... you still have to have a license, at least
> that is how I understand it.
> One suggestion, if you can't get someone with experience... get a couple of
> virtual machines and toy around with them. You can delete them afterwards,
> or burn them to DVD and hide them under your desk in case of an audit by
> Oracle, and still have a RAC sandbox... you wouldn't be able to perform
> stress tests here, but you can test functionality and the quirks of RAC.
> That being said, perhaps reviewing WHY they want RAC would reveal that they
> actually don't need RAC but a simple DataGuard. I've recently recommended
> moving from a two-node RAC to a single instance on a better server (better
> hardware, 64 bit instead of 32 bit and AIX instead of windows) and setting
> up a DataGuard for fast recovery and minimal data loss
> And just a word of advice... never, EVER, use RAC on Windows. Actually...
> never user windows for a database server...
> RAC is like exadata... it's useful only in very specific situations, other
> than that is just a waste of money and resources.
> hth
> Alan.-
> On Tue, Feb 2, 2010 at 6:30 PM, Ram Raman <veeeraman@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>> Hi
>> A decision has been made by upper management to use RAC for production
>> environment and nonRAC for dev/test environments. I would prefer to have a
>> parallel environment which is identical to prod.  Is it possible to run a
>> dev environment without having to worry about license. If license might
>> be an issue for dev, can we have one environment where we just install RAC
>> for practice before deploying it in production.
>> Any thoughts or guidances on the issue would be highly appreciated.
>> Thanks,
>> Ram.

Thomas Roach

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