This chapter provides an overview of the enterprise topology for Oracle SOA Suite. It contains the following sections:
The Enterprise Deployment Guide is an Oracle best practices blueprint based on proven Oracle high-availability and security technologies and recommendations for an Oracle SOA enterprise deployment. The best practices described in these blueprints span many Oracle products across the entire technology stack: Oracle Database, Oracle Fusion Middleware, and Enterprise Manager Fusion Middleware Control.
An Oracle Fusion Middleware enterprise deployment:
enables control over the length of time to recover from an outage and the amount of acceptable data loss from a natural disaster
uses Oracle best practices and recommended architecture, which are independent of hardware and operating systems.
For more information on high availability practices, see the Oracle Database High Availability page on Oracle Technology Network at
The Enterprise Deployment Guide for Oracle SOA focuses on enterprise deployments in Linux environments. However, you can also implement enterprise deployments using UNIX and Windows environments.
This section identifies enterprise deployment terminology used in the guide.
Oracle home: An Oracle home contains installed files necessary to host a specific product. For example, the SOA Oracle home contains a directory that contains binary and library files for Oracle SOA Suite. An Oracle home resides within the directory structure of the Middleware home. Each Oracle home can be associated with multiple Oracle instances or Oracle WebLogic Server domains.
Oracle Common home: This environment variable and related directory path refers to the Oracle home that contains the binary and library files required for the Oracle Enterprise Manager Fusion Middleware Control and Java Required Files (JRF).
WebLogic Server home: A WebLogic Server home contains installed files necessary to host a WebLogic Server. The WebLogic Server home directory is a peer of Oracle home directories and resides within the directory structure of the Middleware home.
Middleware home: A Middleware home consists of the Oracle WebLogic Server home, and, optionally, one or more Oracle homes. A Middleware home can reside on a local file system or on a remote shared disk that is accessible through NFS.
Oracle instance: An Oracle instance contains one or more active middleware system components, for example Oracle Web Cache, Oracle HTTP Server, or Oracle Internet Directory. You determine which components are part of an instance, either at install time or by creating and configuring an instance at a later time. An Oracle instance contains files that can be updated, such as configuration files, log files, temporary files.
failover: When a member of a high availability system fails unexpectedly (unplanned downtime), in order to continue offering services to its consumers, the system undergoes a failover operation. If the system is an active-passive system, the passive member is activated during the failover operation and consumers are directed to it instead of the failed member. The failover process can be performed manually, or it can be automated by setting up hardware cluster services to detect failures and move cluster resources from the failed node to the standby node. If the system is an active-active system, the failover is performed by the load balancer entity serving requests to the active members. If an active member fails, the load balancer detects the failure and automatically redirects requests for the failed member to the surviving active members. See Oracle Fusion Middleware High Availability Guide for information on active-active and active-passive systems.
failback: After a system undergoes a successful failover operation, the original failed member can be repaired over time and be re-introduced into the system as a standby member. If desired, a failback process can be initiated to activate this member and deactivate the other. This process reverts the system back to its pre-failure configuration.
hardware cluster: A hardware cluster is a collection of computers that provides a single view of network services (for example: an IP address) or application services (for example: databases, Web servers) to clients of these services. Each node in a hardware cluster is a standalone server that runs its own processes. These processes can communicate with one another to form what looks like a single system that cooperatively provides applications, system resources, and data to users.
A hardware cluster achieves high availability and scalability through the use of specialized hardware (cluster interconnect, shared storage) and software (health monitors, resource monitors). (The cluster interconnect is a private link used by the hardware cluster for heartbeat information to detect node death.) Due to the need for specialized hardware and software, hardware clusters are commonly provided by hardware vendors such as Oracle, HP, IBM, and Dell. While the number of nodes that can be configured in a hardware cluster is vendor dependent, for the purpose of Oracle Fusion Middleware high availability, only two nodes are required. Hence, this document assumes a two-node hardware cluster for high availability solutions employing a hardware cluster.
cluster agent: The software that runs on a node member of a hardware cluster that coordinates availability and performance operations with other nodes. Clusterware provides resource grouping, monitoring, and the ability to move services. A cluster agent can automate the service failover.
clusterware: A software that manages the operations of the members of a cluster as a system. It allows one to define a set of resources and services to monitor via a heartbeat mechanism between cluster members and to move these resources and services to a different member in the cluster as efficiently and transparently as possible.
Middleware Home software
AdminServer Domain Home
Tlogs (where applicable)
Managed Server homes can also be optionally located in the shared disk. The shared storage can be a Network Attached Storage (NAS), a Storage Area Network (SAN) or any other storage system that multiple nodes can access simultaneously and can read-write.
primary node: The node that is actively running an Oracle Fusion Middleware instance at any given time and has been configured to have a backup/secondary node. If the primary node fails, Oracle Fusion Middleware instance is failed over to the secondary node. This failover can be manual or automated using the Clusterware for Administration Server. For a server migration based scenario, WebLogic Whole Server Migration is used for automated failover.
secondary node: The node that is the backup node for an Oracle Fusion Middleware instance. This is where the active instance fails over when the primary node is no longer available. See the definition for primary node in this section.
network host name: Network host name is a name assigned to an IP address either through the
/etc/hosts file or through DNS resolution. This name is visible in the network that the machine to which it refers to is connected. Often, the network host name and physical host name are identical. However, each machine has only one physical host name but may have multiple network host names. Thus, a machine's network host name may not always be its physical host name.
physical host name: This guide differentiates between the terms physical host name and network host name. This guide uses physical host name to refer to the "internal name" of the current machine. On UNIX, this is the name returned by the
Physical host name is used by Oracle Fusion Middleware to reference the local host. During installation, the installer automatically retrieves the physical host name from the current machine and stores it in the Oracle Fusion Middleware configuration metadata on disk.
physical IP: Physical IP refers to the IP of a machine on the network. In almost all cases, it is normally associated with the physical host name of the machine (see the definition of the physical host name). In contrast to a virtual IP, it is always associated with the same machine when on a network.
switchover: During normal operation, active members of a system may require maintenance or upgrading. A switchover process can be initiated to allow a substitute member to take over the workload performed by the member that requires maintenance or upgrading, which undergoes planned downtime. The switchover operation ensures continued service to consumers of the system.
switchback: When a switchover operation is performed, a member of the system is deactivated for maintenance or upgrading. When the maintenance or upgrading is completed, the system can undergo a switchback operation to activate the upgraded member and bring the system back to the pre-switchover configuration.
virtual host name: Virtual host name is a network addressable host name that maps to one or more physical machines via a load balancer or a hardware cluster. For load balancers, the name "virtual server name" is used interchangeably with virtual host name in this book. A load balancer can hold a virtual host name on behalf of a set of servers, and clients communicate indirectly with the machines using the virtual host name. A virtual host name in a hardware cluster is a network host name assigned to a cluster virtual IP. Because the cluster virtual IP is not permanently attached to any particular node of a cluster, the virtual host name is not permanently attached to any particular node either.
Whenever the term "virtual host name" is used in this document, it is assumed to be associated with a virtual IP address. In cases where just the IP address is needed or used, it will be explicitly stated.
virtual IP: Also, cluster virtual IP and load balancer virtual IP. Generally, a virtual IP can be assigned to a hardware cluster or load balancer. To present a single system view of a cluster to network clients, a virtual IP serves as an entry point IP address to the group of servers which are members of the cluster. A virtual IP can be assigned to a server load balancer or a hardware cluster.
A hardware cluster uses a cluster virtual IP to present to the outside world the entry point into the cluster (it can also be set up on a standalone machine). The hardware cluster's software manages the movement of this IP address between the two physical nodes of the cluster while clients connect to this IP address without the need to know which physical node this IP address is currently active on. In a typical two-node hardware cluster configuration, each machine has its own physical IP address and physical host name, while there could be several cluster IP addresses. These cluster IP addresses float or migrate between the two nodes. The node with current ownership of a cluster IP address is active for that address.
A load balancer also uses a virtual IP as the entry point to a set of servers. These servers tend to be active at the same time. This virtual IP address is not assigned to any individual server but to the load balancer which acts as a proxy between servers and their clients.
The Oracle Fusion Middleware configurations discussed in this guide are designed to ensure security of all invocations, maximize hardware resources, and provide a reliable, standards-compliant system for enterprise computing with a variety of applications.
The security and high availability benefits of the Oracle Fusion Middleware configurations are realized through isolation in firewall zones and replication of software components.
This section includes the following topics:
The Enterprise Deployment architectures are secure because every functional group of software components is isolated in its own DMZ, and all traffic is restricted by protocol and port. The following characteristics ensure security at all needed levels, as well as a high level of standards compliance:
Communication from external clients does not go beyond the Load Balancing Router level.
No direct communication from the Load Balancing Router to the data tier is allowed.
Components are separated in different protection zones: the Web tier, application tier, and the data tier.
Direct communication across two firewalls at any one time is prohibited.
If a communication begins in one firewall zone, it must end in the next firewall zone.
Oracle Internet Directory is isolated in the data tier.
Identity Management components are in a separate subnet.
All communication between components across protection zones is restricted by port and protocol, according to firewall rules.