Overview of Virtual IP Addresses

Oracle Clusterware hosts node virtual IP (VIP) addresses on the public network. Node VIPs are VIP addresses that clients use to connect to an Oracle RAC database. A typical connect attempt from a database client to an Oracle RAC database instance can be summarized, as follows:

  1. The database client connects to SCAN (which includes a SCAN VIP on a public network), providing the SCAN listener with a valid service name.

  2. The SCAN listener then determines which database instance hosts this service and routes the client to the local or node listener on the respective node.

  3. The node listener, listening on a node VIP and a given port, retrieves the connection request and connects the client to the an instance on the local node.

If multiple public networks are used on the cluster to support client connectivity through multiple subnets, then the preceding operation is performed within a given subnet.

If a node fails, then the VIP address fails over to another node on which the VIP address can accept TCP connections, but it does not accept connections to the Oracle database. Clients that attempt to connect to a VIP address not residing on its home node receive a rapid connection refused error instead of waiting for TCP connect timeout messages. When the network on which the VIP is configured comes back online, Oracle Clusterware fails back the VIP to its home node, where connections are accepted. Generally, VIP addresses fail over when:

  • The node on which a VIP address runs fails

  • All interfaces for the VIP address fail

  • All interfaces for the VIP address are disconnected from the network

Oracle RAC 12c supports multiple public networks to enable access to the cluster through different subnets. Each network resource represents its own subnet and each database service uses a particular network to access the Oracle RAC database. Each network resource is a resource managed by Oracle Clusterware, which enables the VIP behavior previously described.

SCAN is a single network name defined either in your organization's Domain Name Server (DNS) or in the Grid Naming Service (GNS) that round robins to three IP addresses. Oracle recommends that all connections to the Oracle RAC database use the SCAN in their client connection string. Incoming connections are load balanced across the active instances providing the requested service through the three SCAN listeners. With SCAN, you do not have to change the client connection even if the configuration of the cluster changes (nodes added or removed). Unlike in previous releases, SCAN in Oracle RAC 12c fully supports multiple subnets, which means you can create one SCAN for each subnet in which you want the cluster to operate.