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  Oracle RAC 11g Release 2 running on CentOS using iSCSI — (08-November-2010)

Oracle RAC 11g release 2 allows DBA's to configure a clustered database 
solution with superior fault tolerance, load balancing, and scalability. 
However, DBA's who want to become more familiar with the features and benefits 
of database clustering will find the costs of configuring even a small RAC 
cluster costing in the range of US$10,000 to US$20,000. This cost would not 
even include the heart of a production RAC configuration, the shared storage. 
In most cases, this would be a Storage Area Network (SAN), which generally 
start at US$10,000.

Unfortunately, for many shops, the price of the hardware required for a typical 
RAC configuration exceeds most training budgets. For those who want to become 
familiar with Oracle RAC 11g without a major cash outlay, the following guide 
provides a low-cost alternative to configuring an Oracle RAC 11g release 2 
system using commercial off-the-shelf components and downloadable software at 
an estimated cost of US$2,800. 

This guide provides detailed instructions on how to build a two-node Oracle RAC 
system using low cost hardware and freely available software. A network storage 
server will be built using Openfiler 2.3 (Final) and iSCSI technology which 
will be used for all shared storage requirements. Powered by rPath Linux, 
Openfiler is a free browser-based network storage management utility that 
delivers file-based Network Attached Storage (NAS) and block-based Storage Area 
Networking (SAN) in a single framework. Openfiler supports CIFS, NFS, HTTP/DAV, 
FTP, however, I will only be making use of its iSCSI capabilities to implement 
an inexpensive SAN for the shared storage component required by Oracle RAC 11g.

The new article can be found at:

Building an Inexpensive Oracle RAC 11g R2 on Linux - (RHEL 5.5)

Jeffrey M. Hunter, OCP
Sr. Database Administrator