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Oracle® Real Application Clusters Administration and Deployment Guide
11g Release 2 (11.2)

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8 Cloning Oracle RAC to Nodes in a New Cluster

This chapter describes how to clone Oracle Real Application Clusters (Oracle RAC) database homes on Linux and UNIX systems to nodes in a new cluster. To extend Oracle RAC to nodes in an existing cluster, see Chapter 9, "Using Cloning to Extend Oracle RAC to Nodes in the Same Cluster".

This chapter describes a noninteractive cloning technique that you implement with scripts. The cloning techniques described in this chapter are best suited for performing multiple simultaneous cluster installations. Creating the scripts is a manual process and can be error prone. If you only have one cluster to install, then you should use the traditional automated and interactive installation methods, such as Oracle Universal Installer, or the Provisioning Pack feature of Oracle Enterprise Manager.


Cloning is not a replacement for Oracle Enterprise Manager cloning that is a part of the Provisioning Pack. During Oracle Enterprise Manager cloning, the provisioning process interactively asks you the details about the Oracle home (such as the location to which you want to deploy the clone, the name of the Oracle Database home, a list of the nodes in the cluster, and so on).

The Provisioning Pack feature of Oracle Enterprise Manager Grid Control provides a framework to make it easy for you to automate the provisioning of new nodes and clusters. For data centers with many Oracle RAC clusters, the investment in creating a cloning procedure to easily provision new clusters and new nodes to existing clusters is worth the effort.

This chapter includes the following topics:

Introduction to Cloning Oracle RAC

Cloning is the process of copying an existing Oracle RAC installation to a different location and updating the copied bits to work in the new environment. The changes made by one-off patches applied on the source Oracle home, would also be present after the clone operation. The source and the destination path (host to be cloned) need not be the same.

Some situations in which cloning is useful are:

  • Cloning provides a way to prepare an Oracle home once and deploy it to many hosts simultaneously. You can complete the installation silently, as a noninteractive process. You do not need to use a graphical user interface (GUI) console and you can perform cloning from a Secure Shell (SSH) terminal session, if required.

  • Cloning enables you to create an installation (copy of a production, test, or development installation) with all patches applied to it in a single step. Once you have performed the base installation and applied all patch sets and patches on the source system, the clone performs all of these individual steps as a single procedure. This is in contrast to going through the installation process to perform the separate steps to install, configure, and patch the installation on each node in the cluster.

  • Installing Oracle RAC by cloning is a very quick process. For example, cloning an Oracle home to a new cluster of more than two nodes requires a few minutes to install the Oracle base software, plus a few minutes more for each node (approximately the amount of time it takes to run the script).

The cloned installation behaves the same as the source installation. For example, the cloned Oracle home can be removed using Oracle Universal Installer or patched using OPatch. You can also use the cloned Oracle home as the source for another cloning operation. You can create a cloned copy of a test, development, or production installation by using the command-line cloning scripts. The default cloning procedure is adequate for most usage cases. However, you can also customize various aspects of cloning, for example, to specify custom port assignments, or to preserve custom settings.

The cloning process works by copying all of the files from the source Oracle home to the destination Oracle home. Thus, any files used by the source instance that are located outside the source Oracle home's directory structure are not copied to the destination location.

The size of the binaries at the source and the destination may differ because these are relinked as part of the clone operation and the operating system patch levels may also differ between these two locations. Additionally, the number of files in the cloned home would increase because several files copied from the source, specifically those being instantiated, are backed up as part of the clone operation.

Preparing to Clone Oracle RAC

In the preparation phase, you create a copy of an Oracle home that you then use to perform the cloning procedure on one or more nodes. You also install Oracle Clusterware.

Step 1   Install Oracle RAC

Use the detailed instructions in the Oracle Real Application Clusters Installation Guide to install the Oracle RAC software and patches:

  1. Install Oracle RAC and choose the Software only installation option.

  2. Patch the release to the required level (for example, 11.2.0.n).

  3. Apply one-off patches, if necessary.

Step 2   Create a backup of the source home

Create a copy of the Oracle RAC home. Use this file to copy the Oracle RAC home to each node in the cluster (as described in "Deploying Oracle RAC Clone to Nodes in a Cluster").

When creating the backup (tar) file, the best practice is to include the release number in the name of the file. For example:

# cd /opt/oracle/product/11g/db_1
# tar –zcvf /pathname/db1120.tgz .
Step 3   Install and start Oracle Clusterware

Before you can use cloning to create an Oracle RAC home, you must first install and start Oracle Clusterware on the node or nodes to which you want to copy a cloned Oracle RAC home. In other words, you configure an Oracle RAC home that you cloned from a source cluster onto the nodes in a target cluster in the same order that you installed the Oracle Clusterware and Oracle RAC software components on the original nodes.

See Also:

Oracle Clusterware Administration and Deployment Guide for information about cloning Oracle Clusterware homes to create new clusters, and starting Oracle Clusterware by issuing the crsctl start crs command

Deploying Oracle RAC Clone to Nodes in a Cluster

After you complete the prerequisite tasks described in "Preparing to Clone Oracle RAC", you can deploy cloned Oracle homes.

Deploying the Oracle RAC database home to a cluster is a multiple-step process.

This section provides step-by-step instructions that describe how to:

  1. Prepare the new cluster nodes

  2. Deploy the Oracle RAC database software

  3. Run the script on each node

  4. Run the $ORACLE_HOME/ script on each node

  5. Run DBCA on one node to create the Oracle RAC instances on each node

Step 1   Prepare the new cluster nodes

Perform the Oracle RAC preinstallation steps, including such things as:

  • Specify the kernel parameters.

  • Ensure Oracle Clusterware is active.

  • Ensure that Oracle ASM is active and that at least one Oracle ASM disk group exists and is mounted.

See your platform-specific Oracle RAC installation guide for a complete preinstallation checklist.

Step 2   Deploy the Oracle RAC database software

To deploy the Oracle RAC software, you must:

  1. Copy the clone of the Oracle home to all nodes. For example:

    [root@node1 root]# mkdir -p /opt/oracle/product/11g/db
    [root@node1 root]# cd /opt/oracle/product/11g/db
    [root@node1 db]# tar –zxvf /path_name/db1120.tgz

    When providing the home location and path_name, the home location can be in the same directory path or in a different directory path from the source home that you used to create the tar.

  2. If either the oracle user or the oinstall group, or both is different between the source and destination nodes, then change the ownership of the Oracle Inventory files, as follows:

    [root@node1]# chown -R oracle:oinstall /opt/oracle/product/11g/db

    When you run the preceding command on the Grid home, it clears setuid and setgid information from the Oracle binary.


    You can perform this step at the same time you perform Step 3 and Step 4 to run the and $ORACLE_HOME/ scripts on each cluster node.
Step 3   Run the script on each node

To run the script, which performs the main Oracle RAC cloning tasks, you must:

  • Supply the environment variables and cloning parameters in the script, as described in Table 8-2 and Table 8-3. Because the script is sensitive to the parameters being passed to it, you must be accurate in your use of brackets, single quotation marks, and double quotation marks.

  • Run the script as oracle or the user that owns the Oracle RAC software.

Table 8-1 lists and describes the script parameters.

Table 8-1 Script Parameters

Parameter Description

The complete path to the Oracle home you want to clone. If you specify an invalid path, then the script exits. This parameter is required.


The complete path to the Oracle base you want to clone. If you specify an invalid path, then the script exits. This parameter is required.

Oracle_home_name |

The Oracle home name of the home you want to clone. Optionally, you can specify the -defaultHomeName flag. This parameter is optional.


Specify the operating system group you want to use as the OSDBA privileged group. This parameter is optional.


Specify the operating system group you want to use as the OSOPER privileged group. This parameter is optional.


Specify the operating system group you want to use as the OSASM privileged group. This parameter is optional.


The script passes anything following this flag to the Oracle Universal Installer command line.


Specify this option to run the script in debug mode


Specify this option to obtain help for the script.

Example 8-1 shows an excerpt from the script that calls the script.

Example 8-1 Excerpt From the Script to Clone Oracle RAC for Linux and UNIX

cd $ORACLE_HOME/clone
THISNODE='hostname -s'

C01="-O'\"CLUSTER_NODES={node1, node2}\"'"

perl $ORACLE_HOME/clone/bin/ $E01 $E02 $E03 $C01 $C02

Example 8-2 shows an excerpt from the start.bat script that the user must create that calls the script.

Example 8-2 Excerpt From the start.bat Script to Clone Oracle RAC for Windows

set ORACLE_home=C:\oracle\product\11g\db1
cd %ORACLE_home%\clone\bin
set THISNODE=%hostname%
set E03=ORACLE_BASE=Oracle_Base
set C01="-O'\"CLUSTER_NODES={node1,node2}\"'"
set C02="-O'\"LOCAL_NODE=%THISNODE%\"'"
perl %E01% %E02% %E03% %C01% %C02%

Table 8-2 describes the environment variables E01, E02, and E03 that are shown in bold typeface in Example 8-1.

Table 8-2 Environment Variables Passed to the Script

Symbol Variable Description



The location of the Oracle RAC database home. This directory location must exist and must be owned by the Oracle operating system group: oinstall.



The name of the Oracle home for the Oracle RAC database. This is stored in the Oracle Inventory.



The location of the Oracle Base directory.

Table 8-3 describes the cloning parameters C01 and C02, that are shown in bold typeface in Example 8-1.

Table 8-3 Cloning Parameters Passed to the Script.

Variable Name Parameter Description


Cluster Nodes


Lists the nodes in the cluster.


Local Node


The name of the local node.

Step 4   Run the $ORACLE_HOME/ script on each node


This step applies to Linux and UNIX installations, only.

Run the $ORACLE_HOME/ as the root operating system user as soon as the procedure completes on the node.

[root@node1 root]# /opt/oracle/product/11g/db/ -silent

Note that you can run the script on each node simultaneously:

[root@node2 root]# /opt/oracle/product/11g/db/ -silent

Ensure the script has completed on each node before proceeding to the next step.

Step 5   Run DBCA on one node to create the Oracle RAC instances on each node


You need only run DBCA on one node in the cluster to create Oracle RAC instances on all nodes.

This step shows how to run the DBCA in silent mode and provide response file input to create the Oracle RAC instances.

The following example creates an Oracle RAC database named ERI on each node, creates database instances on each node, registers the instances in OCR, creates the database files in the Oracle ASM disk group called DATA, and creates sample schemas. It also sets the SYS, SYSTEM, SYSMAN and DBSNMP passwords to password, which is the password for each account:

[oracle@node1 oracle]$ export ORACLE_HOME=/opt/oracle/product/11g/db
[oracle@node1 oracle]$ cd $ORACLE_HOME/bin/
[oracle@node1 bin]$./dbca -silent -createDatabase -templateName General_Purpose.dbc \
-gdbName ERI -sid ERI \
-sysPassword password -systemPassword password \
-sysmanPassword password -dbsnmpPassword password \
-emConfiguration LOCAL \
-storageType ASM -diskGroupName DATA \
-datafileJarLocation $ORACLE_HOME/assistants/dbca/templates \
-nodelist node1,node2 -characterset WE8ISO8859P1 \
-obfuscatedPasswords false -sampleSchema true

See Also:

Oracle Database 2 Day DBA for information about using DBCA to create and configure a database

Locating and Viewing Log Files Generated During Cloning

The cloning script runs multiple tools, each of which may generate its own log files. After the script finishes running, you can view log files to obtain more information about the cloning process.

The following log files that are generated during cloning are the key log files of interest for diagnostic purposes:

  • Central_Inventory/logs/cloneActionstimestamp.log

    Contains a detailed log of the actions that occur during the Oracle Universal Installer part of the cloning.

  • Central_Inventory/logs/oraInstalltimestamp.err

    Contains information about errors that occur when Oracle Universal Installer is running.

  • Central_Inventory/logs/oraInstalltimestamp.out

    Contains other miscellaneous messages generated by Oracle Universal Installer.

  • $ORACLE_HOME/clone/logs/clonetimestamp.log

    Contains a detailed log of the actions that occur before cloning and during the cloning operations.

  • $ORACLE_HOME/clone/logs/errortimestamp.log

    Contains information about errors that occur before cloning and during cloning operations.

Table 8-4 describes how to find the location of the Oracle inventory directory.

Table 8-4 Finding the Location of the Oracle Inventory Directory

Type of System... Location of the Oracle Inventory Directory

All UNIX computers except Linux and IBM AIX


IBM AIX and Linux

/etc/oraInst.loc file.


C:\Program Files\Oracle\Inventory