Monday, November 02, 2009

Oracle VM Template for PeopleSoft... in VMWare Server

Note : I posted a very similar article two weeks ago, but version of VMWare was different, and I got several unexpected network errors and unstable and non-workable images, so I decided to remove that article. Right now, after many tests with many different versions, I got a working environment. I'd like to apologies to Jim Marion who posted a comment in my previous article, and to other people who ask for this article when it has been removed (especially to Duncan Davies). Don't hesitate if you have questions, I'll be happy to help. Anyway, I'll keep posting on that subject to describe all the steps.

***DISCLAIMER : this not supported, not certified configuration, probably not very stable environment depending of your hardware configuration, this is ONLY for training and learning purpose, if something goes wrong, don't complain***

Oracle VM template for Peoplesoft is very nice, very useful for all customers who want to have a DEMO database and/or a SAND database to play around.

A DEMO database is always interesting to host on client side to be able to reproduce the bugs encountered in production regarding standard components.
A DEMO database is also the best way to learn Peoplesoft (as a developer, or administrator).
So, I think everyone needs it, test and play around those templates.

There are three Oracle VM templates, all based on OEL5.2 64-bit, HCM9.1, Peopletools8.50.02: one for the database server, one for the application and batch server, the last one for the webserver (PIA - Weblogic 11gR3).
Well, Oracle VM is a good tool, but you'll need to dedicate one of your server to host Oracle VM Server and your virtual machines.
If like me, you don't have any spare server, or you don't want to sacrify one, or just want to see, there is a solution... a little bit weird, I agree, but there is.
I have a Dell server PE2900III (with a quite large amount of RAM and HD space) based on CentOS5.4, which already manages a lot of virtual machines within VMWare Server v2.0.2. I don't have other available server and don't want to remove everything.
VMWare Server is nice, pretty easy to use (without any strong knowledge of VM), free and a stable virtualization software.
There are some limitations (hey, it's free) : the RAM per virtual machine cannot be higher than 3600Mb (added on the 03-JAN-2010 : this is not true anymore on VMWare 2.x - unfortunately, I discovered it too late for this config, I could avoid one VMWare image by embedding all the Oracle VM Server into the same VMWare image), the number of CPU cannot be higher than 2.
Those limitations are problematic in our case, the requirements for the three templates we want are indeed bigger : for the database server 2Gb RAM and 2CPU, for the application and batch server 1gb RAM and 2 CPU and finally the webserver requires 1Gb RAM and 1CPU. In total, 4Gb and 5CPU...

So I decided to cut it in two pieces (two VMWare images), prepare an spreadsheet, there are a lot of machines and IP addresses to be configure (not less than 6 in total : 3 for VMWare images, 3 for Oracle VM images) :
=> one for the database server (2560Gb RAM and 2CPU defined) - VMWare image 2 in schema below
=> one other for application and batch server and webserver all together (2560Gb RAM, 2CPU defined) - VMWare image 3 in schema below
To complete the picture, and it is optional if you are good enough to manage the Oracle VMs within command lines, but I'll add an other VMware image for the Oracle VM Manager (installed on OEL5.4) - VMWare image 1 in schema below
And finally, I'd like to get something like the following (I hope the picture will be self-explanatory) :

In orange : VMWare Server product or images
In red : named Oracle product installed in VMWare images
In blue : Peoplesoft VMs in Oracle VM images

We can get a working environment without breaking anything in the existing environment, just the VMWare images containing Oracle VMs are started when needed, and depending of your server don't wait for performance.
An other keypoint I did not mentioned so far, is the required disk space, (60Gb for the database, 15Gb for application and batch server, 8Gb for webserver), it is reasonnable sizes nowadays, but you could always use some external hard drive and mount file system as NFS point (need to be defined on the server pool side).

There are some tricky parts I'll describe later, including to get a working VMWare 2.0.2 on CentOS5.4 (it was crashing, hanging after being few minutes up and running), some memory configuration on the Oracle VM images to be done, some specific configuration on database and App/Batch servers, but finally everything is working fine as described in the schema above.

Please, read the following :



Jim Marion said...

Nicolas, it says you are using VMWare 1.x. Have you tried VMWare 2.x? I've seen significant performance improvements from running 1.x guests on a 2.x host.

Nicolas Gasparotto said...

Yes Jim, you certainly right and I should have a try on VMWare 2.x as well.
But I had bad experience within VMWare version 2 and datastorage defined on my NAS server (see
Well, my tries were on Windows with VMWare 2 beta version, I'm now on CentOS and VMWare 2 final version is out for a while (hopefully much more stable than beta version), I should try it again with final version within my new config anyway.

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Anonymous said...

Moving my companies server to Virtual Iron rather than VMWare was the WORST move I have ever made in my career. I went with Virtual Iron due to their personal service which was extraordinary, now I have to deal with the worst support in the industry!!! Oracle could care less if they lose a customer due to poor support. The expect us all to just take what they try to shove down our throat. I originally was told I would get perpetual support on Virtual Iron until we moved to Oracle VM at which time I would have to purchase support for Oracle VM. Now I have received a bill for Virtual Iron support which took over two weeks to respond to a system critical error! They are the worst, its well worth your time to move to VMWare rather than to upgrade to OracleVM. Stay FAR FAR AWAY!!!!

Jordy Castillo said...

Hello Nicolas, this is very interesting, but is there any change to virtualize all of the components in a Win 7 based laptop, using Vmware, OSCent, and the templates ? does the templates include the functionality to test the development tools? App designer, xml publisher, Bi publisher, Integration broker, etc. Thanks in advance. Jordy

Anonymous said...

Nice post

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