Azure Database Template Image – Part 1 (VM Creation, Oracle Grid and Database Software only Installation)

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Introduction

In the current era, businesses are focusing on optimizing  IT infrastructure workloads adopting cloud models like Amazon Web Services (AWS),  Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Partner (GCP), and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI). Cloud environments provide many on-demand resources which enable organizations to unleash their full potential to expand their market share.

Also moving to the cloud enables greater flexibility to control IT infrastructure costs. In any organization, major workloads are coming from databases. Cloud platforms have many services to get a clear understanding of cost predictions for heavy workloads. 

When moving to the cloud it’s really important to compare costs and the features each cloud provides. Microsft Azure came to the cloud in an early stage and it is a strong platform to migrate application and database workloads. Moreover, Migrating databases to azure is challenging and the ongoing market is really hot.

Many businesses want to have multiple test environments before moving to prod changes. It’s important to create custom images and build an environment quickly and efficiently. In this article, I will cover how we can create an oracle custom snapshot to create a Virtual Machine (VM).

Let’s start with VM creation.

 

Create a VM in Azure

Log in to the Microsft Azure Portal and select the Virtual Machine

 

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Azure work as an on-demand subscription model. Provide a suitable name for VM and Region (Better to go with the closest region to avoid network latency. Select the respective availability zone and the security type.

Here I’m going to use OEL 8.5 and the server model is standard D2s_v3 for this testing. Database workload it’s recommended to go with E – Series. E- Series servers are memory-optimized servers to cater to database workloads. Also for the database servers, azure has a really good selection of memory-optimized VM templates.

Shared below mention links to get a better understanding of server versions and associate costs for each server.

 

Server Versions 

https://azure.microsoft.com/en-ca/pricing/details/virtual-machines/series/

 

Associate Cost 

https://azure.microsoft.com/en-ca/pricing/details/virtual-machines/linux/#edv4-series

 

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There are two options to set up an administrator password.

  1. Set up a user and a strong password
  2. Use generated the SSH PublicKey 

 

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As this is oracle ASM (Standalone Installation ) I have added 4 disks including 2 disks for DATA (External Redundancy) and one FRA. 

 

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As this is a test I’m using public IP address. Make sure to create Virtual-network then only you can select this Virtual Network.

 

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The last step for VM creation check validation is passed.

 

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Partitioning of Disk and Mount /u01

Execute lsblk to view all the attached disks and use fdisk commands to partition the disk. Once you format the partition disk to the ext4 file system make sure to add this to the disk to the partition table by executing partprob. Do not miss this step, if you missed this VM will not come up and will hand on the boot section.

These are the commands you needs to be execute to add partition to vm.

##### correct commands 
fdisk /dev/sdc1
mkfs.ext4 /dev/sdc1
partprobe /dev/sdc1
blkid
mkdir /u01
mount -a -- after adding this disk blkid to fstab

After creating a partition, you can use lsblk to validate the partition

[azuser@localhost ~]$ lsblk
NAME               MAJ:MIN RM  SIZE RO TYPE MOUNTPOINT
sda                  8:0    0   30G  0 disk
├─sda1               8:1    0  800M  0 part /boot
├─sda2               8:2    0 28.7G  0 part
│ ├─rootvg-rootlv  252:0    0 18.7G  0 lvm  /
│ └─rootvg-crashlv 252:1    0   10G  0 lvm  /var/crash
├─sda14              8:14   0    4M  0 part
└─sda15              8:15   0  495M  0 part /boot/efi
sdb                  8:16   0   75G  0 disk
└─sdb1               8:17   0   75G  0 part /mnt
sdc                  8:32   0  128G  0 disk
└─sdc1               8:33   0  128G  0 part 
sdd                  8:48   0  512G  0 disk
└─sdd1               8:49   0  512G  0 part
sde                  8:64   0  512G  0 disk

 

Sample blkid Output

Execute partprobe command to add a disk to the partition table and use mkfs.ext4 to format the disk.  As the last step execute blkid to get the respective block IDD

[root@oradb-01 ~]# blkid
/dev/mapper/rootvg-crashlv: UUID="cdf585f6-703a-4aef-b8de-404c9883a58e" BLOCK_SIZE="512" TYPE="xfs"
/dev/sde2: UUID="Z1I6oC-RWrU-DQPh-tkiS-VZP3-aGNb-khAaSc" TYPE="LVM2_member" PARTUUID="7239f924-9e5f-406f-b5b7-88862e86ea8d"
/dev/sde1: UUID="c5d1e180-5e1d-43c6-9ed6-c8ac37cb8061" BLOCK_SIZE="512" TYPE="xfs" PARTUUID="83c7509b-9398-4ca4-847a-59f03e4f9577"
/dev/sde14: PARTUUID="1833132d-49f6-4ae0-861a-30eda86be687"
/dev/sde15: SEC_TYPE="msdos" UUID="3503-1054" BLOCK_SIZE="512" TYPE="vfat" PARTLABEL="EFI System Partition" PARTUUID="0c2aee3b-7c66-42e5-91b3-52a8d2d7db16"
/dev/sdf1: UUID="06cd70bc-adec-4ab9-951e-eada6e45941d" BLOCK_SIZE="4096" TYPE="ext4" PARTUUID="619336a7-01"
/dev/sda1: UUID="6f9f562e-afe1-423e-8846-9ab001150f7c" BLOCK_SIZE="4096" TYPE="ext4" PARTUUID="727ac55d-01"
/dev/mapper/rootvg-rootlv: UUID="c866304a-09ef-4c3b-87cf-00f321a52356" BLOCK_SIZE="512" TYPE="xfs"
[root@oradb-01 ~]#

lsblk output mount /u01

[azuser@localhost ~]$ lsblk
NAME               MAJ:MIN RM  SIZE RO TYPE MOUNTPOINT
sda                  8:0    0   30G  0 disk
├─sda1               8:1    0  800M  0 part /boot
├─sda2               8:2    0 28.7G  0 part
│ ├─rootvg-rootlv  252:0    0 18.7G  0 lvm  /
│ └─rootvg-crashlv 252:1    0   10G  0 lvm  /var/crash
├─sda14              8:14   0    4M  0 part
└─sda15              8:15   0  495M  0 part /boot/efi
sdb                  8:16   0   75G  0 disk
└─sdb1               8:17   0   75G  0 part /mnt
sdc                  8:32   0  256G  0 disk
└─sdc1               8:33   0  256G  0 part /u01
sdd                  8:48   0  512G  0 disk
└─sdd1               8:49   0  512G  0 part
sde                  8:64   0  512G  0 disk

Azure documentation is very well organized and crystal clear on ASM installation steps. Please find the below mention links from the Azure knowledge base for ASM installation.

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/virtual-machines/workloads/oracle/configure-oracle-asm

 

Installed required RPMs for Oracle 19c Database

Download and install oracle-preinstall-19c rpm and installed it on the server.

curl -o oracle-database-preinstall-19c-1.0-1.el7.x86_64.rpm https://yum.oracle.com/repo/OracleLinux/OL7/latest/x86_64/getPackage/oracle-database-preinstall-19c-1.0-1.el7.x86_64.rpm
yum -y localinstall oracle-database-preinstall-19c-1.0-1.el7.x86_64.rpm

 

Installed required RPMs for Oracle 19c Grid

First installed oracle-database-preinstalled-19c RPM, Once the preinstalled is complete, Make sure to install required oracleasm RPMs, we need these RPMs for ASM disk configuration.

[root@oradb-01 ~]# rpm -qa |grep oracleasm
kmod-redhat-oracleasm-2.0.8-12.2.0.1.el8.x86_64
oracleasm-support-2.1.12-1.el8.x86_64
oracleasmlib-2.0.17-1.el8.x86_64
[root@oradb-01 ~]#

Add required groups and users for the installation. Creating only oracle user for both grid and Database Installation

groupadd -g 54345 asmadmin 
groupadd -g 54346 asmdba 
groupadd -g 54347 asmoper 
useradd -u 3000 -g oinstall -G dba,asmadmin,asmdba,asmoper oracle 
usermod -g oinstall -G dba,asmdba,asmadmin,asmoper oracle

 

Configure ASM

After installing the ASM, configure the ASM library for server startup.

[root@oradb-01 ~]# oracleasm configure -i
Configuring the Oracle ASM library driver.

This will configure the on-boot properties of the Oracle ASM library
driver.  The following questions will determine whether the driver is
loaded on boot and what permissions it will have.  The current values
will be shown in brackets ('[]').  Hitting ENTER without typing an
answer will keep that current value.  Ctrl-C will abort.

Default user to own the driver interface []: oracle
Default group to own the driver interface []: asmadmin
Start Oracle ASM library driver on boot (y/n) [n]: Y
Scan for Oracle ASM disks on boot (y/n) [y]: Y
Writing Oracle ASM library driver configuration: done
[root@oradb-01 ~]#

Once the configuration is complete validate the ASM status, Make sure the status is correct after restarting the oracleasm service, If there are any errors this going to impact on server startup.

 

Validate Server Status

[root@oradb-01 ~]# oracleasm status
Checking if ASM is loaded: yes
Checking if /dev/oracleasm is mounted: yes
[root@oradb-01 ~]#

 

Validate from systemctl

[root@oradb-01 ~]# systemctl start oracleasm
[root@oradb-01 ~]# systemctl status oracleasm
 oracleasm.service - Load oracleasm Modules
   Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/oracleasm.service; enabled; vendor preset: disabled)
   Active: active (exited) since Thu 2022-06-23 17:23:51 UTC; 5s ago
  Process: 16982 ExecStart=/usr/sbin/oracleasm.init start_sysctl (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
 Main PID: 16982 (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
Jun 23 17:23:50 oradb-01 systemd[1]: Starting Load oracleasm Modules...
Jun 23 17:23:50 oradb-01 oracleasm.init[16982]: Initializing the Oracle ASMLib driver: OK
Jun 23 17:23:51 oradb-01 oracleasm.init[16982]: Scanning the system for Oracle ASMLib disks: OK
Jun 23 17:23:51 oradb-01 systemd[1]: Started Load oracleasm Modules.

 

Create a Directory for Grid and DB Installation

mkdir -p /u01/app/19.0.0.0/grid 
mkdir -p /u01/app/oracle/product/19.0.0/dbhome_1
chown oracle:oinstall /u01/app/19.0.0.0/grid
chown oracle:oinstall /u01/app/oracle/product/19.0.0/dbhome_1

 

19C Grid Installation

Here we will perform a software-only installation because we are going to use these images later to create new environments.

I have posted the screenshots for software-only installation. As per this figure select only the “Set up Software Only”.

 

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As per the below-mentioned figure select the respective ASM group for the installation.

 

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As this is a test installation ignore the physical memory requirement.

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Installation Summary 

 

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Execute root.sh scripts as root to complete the installation.

 

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Expected root.sh Outputs

[root@oradb-01 ~]# /u01/app/oraInventory/orainstRoot.sh
Changing permissions of /u01/app/oraInventory.
Adding read,write permissions for group.
Removing read,write,execute permissions for world.

Changing groupname of /u01/app/oraInventory to oinstall.
The execution of the script is complete.
[root@oradb-01 ~]# /u01/app/19.0.0.0/grid/root.sh
Performing root user operation.

The following environment variables are set as:
    ORACLE_OWNER= oracle
    ORACLE_HOME=  /u01/app/19.0.0.0/grid

Enter the full pathname of the local bin directory: [/usr/local/bin]:
   Copying dbhome to /usr/local/bin ...
   Copying oraenv to /usr/local/bin ...
   Copying coraenv to /usr/local/bin ...


Creating /etc/oratab file...
Entries will be added to the /etc/oratab file as needed by
Database Configuration Assistant when a database is created
Finished running generic part of root script.
Now product-specific root actions will be performed.

To configure Grid Infrastructure for a Cluster or Grid Infrastructure for a Stand-Alone Server execute the following command as oracle user:
/u01/app/19.0.0.0/grid/gridSetup.sh
This command launches the Grid Infrastructure Setup Wizard. The wizard also supports silent operation, and the parameters can be passed through the response file that is available in the installation media.

[root@oradb-01 ~]#

 

DB Installation

As I mentioned earlier, We are going to use these images to create new database servers so we should perform a software-only installation.

 

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Azure does not support oracle-RAC installation, so make sure to select a single instance only.

 

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Select respective edition, Here I will select Enterprise Edition.

 

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Specify the base directory 

 

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Select required roles for installation.

 

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I have not provided the Sudo privileges to run the root.sh script.

 

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Validate the pre-requisites page. I will create another blog to configure the swap mount in azure.

 

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Execute root.sh as root to complete the installation.

 

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Create a Snapshot of the Disk

Once the grid and database software only installations are complete without any issue.

We need to power off the server to get the consistency of disk images.

 

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We need to take two snapshots 

  1. OS disk
  2. Oracle binary installation disk

 

Under mentioned figure shows the create snapshot option after navigating to the disk.

 

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Once the disk snapshots are created, navigate to the snapshot tab to verify the snap disk.

 

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Conclusion

In this article, I have covered VM creation and installation of the grid and DB. Azure does not have template images with Oracle ASM installation. In part 2, I will cover the new VM creation using these snap disks.

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