Overview of Oracle RAC Database Administration

Oracle RAC databases support two different management styles and deployment models:

  • Administrator-managed deployment is based on the Oracle RAC deployment types that existed before Oracle Database 11g release 2 (11.2) and requires that you statically configure each database instance to run on a specific node in the cluster, and that you configure database services to run on specific instances belonging to a certain database using the preferred and available designation.

  • Policy-managed deployment is based on server pools, where database services run within a server pool as singleton or uniform across all of the servers in the server pool. Databases are deployed in one or more server pools and the size of the server pools determine the number of database instances in the deployment.

You can manage databases with either the administrator-managed or policy-managed deployment model using the same commands or methods (such as DBCA or Oracle Enterprise Manager). All commands and utilities maintain backward compatibility to support the management of Oracle databases that only support administrator-based management (Oracle databases before Oracle Database 11g release 2 (11.2)).

In general, a database is defined as a resource in Oracle Clusterware. The database resource is automatically created when you create your database with DBCA, or you can manually create the database resource by adding your database with SRVCTL. The database resource contains the Oracle home, the SPFILE, one or more server pools, and one or more Oracle ASM disk groups required for the database. The database resource also has a weak start dependency on the listener type, which means that the resource tries to start all listeners for the node when the database instance starts. Oracle Clusterware tries to start listeners on the node where the database instance starts. Starting the listeners in turn starts the VIP for the node.

When you review the database resource for an administrator-managed database, you see a server pool defined with the same name as the Oracle database. This server pool is part of a special Oracle-defined server pool called Generic. Oracle RAC manages the Generic server pool to support administrator-managed databases. When you add or remove an administrator-managed database using either SRVCTL or DBCA, Oracle RAC creates or removes the server pools that are members of Generic. You cannot use SRVCTL or CRSCTL commands to modify the Generic server pool.

See Also:

Oracle Clusterware Administration and Deployment Guide for more information about defining resources, server pools, and resource dependencies

Use policy-managed databases to simplify management of dynamic systems. Policy management allows clusters and databases to expand or shrink as requirements change. If you use policy-managed databases, then you must install the Oracle home software on every node in your cluster. Policy-managed databases must use Oracle Database 11g release 2 (11.2) or higher software and cannot coexist on the same servers as administrator-managed databases.


You cannot run more than one instance of the same database on the same node.

A policy-managed database is defined by cardinality, which is the number of database instances you want running during normal operations. A policy-managed database runs in one or more database server pools that the cluster administrator creates in the cluster, and it can run on different servers at different times. Every server pool of a policy-managed database should have at least one database service. A database instance starts on a server that is in the server pools defined for the database. If you are using Oracle Automatic Storage Management (Oracle ASM) with Oracle Managed Files for your database storage, then, when an instance starts and there is no redo thread available, Oracle RAC automatically enables one and creates the required redo log files and undo tablespace. Clients can connect to a policy-managed database using the same SCAN-based connect string no matter which servers they happen to be running on at the time.

Using the Same Cluster for Administrator-Managed and Policy-Managed Databases

If you want to create an administrator-managed database on a cluster that already hosts policy-managed databases, then you must carefully select the nodes for the administrator-managed database. This is because the nodes that you select for an administrator-managed database that are in policy-managed server pools will be moved into the Generic server pool as part of this process.

If you select nodes that already run other policy-managed database instances, then DBCA prompts you with a message that lists the instances and services that will be shut down when DBCA creates the administrator-managed database. If you select the Yes button on the dialog box when DBCA asks "Do you want to continue?", then your policy-managed database instances and services will be shut down because of the administrator-managed database creation process.


This is also true if you use the srvctl add instance command, which returns a similar error message indicating that the databases would be shut down. If you also use the force option (-f) with the srvctl add instance command, then this is the same as choosing Yes on the DBCA dialog. Doing this shuts down any policy-managed databases that are running on the node before moving the node into the Generic server pool.