Thursday, June 08, 2006

Cloning Oracle Home

Cloning ORACLE_HOME...

At the company I work for now, we used to simply copy oracle homes over another machine and/or path, recreate some links and relink. Works very well for 9i including RAC. With 10g and CRS it stopped working - it was a mess registering CRS resources afterwards. Another disadvantage was that Oracle inventory wasn't maintained so it was not possible to easily identify which one-offs are installed where unless followed some naming guidelines. Of course, Oracle EM agents were not able to discover databases automatically. And in the end this wasn't really a supported way even though Oracle never refused to support our environment with those oracle homes.

With 10g Grid Control there is a feature to clone Oracle homes but it's still far from reliable tool that I personally would consider to be used anywhere near production boxes and I don't remember if I need change management pack for that licensed separately.

So with 10g we were preparing to end up installing oracle homes manually on every box but today my new colleague, Luis Rigaud, has pointed out an interesting way of cloning oracle homes. It's described in Metalink Note 300062.1 showing how to use OUI (oh well, actually perl script) to clone any oracle home starting from 9iR2.

Plus: documented and supported, works with 10g RAC/CRS, keeps inventory in sync.
Minus: it requires a bit more involvement and different procedures to follow for different releases.

I should note that I haven't tried it yet but Luis said it always worked like a charm for him.

I have also come across James Koopmann's post Oracle Cloning, Putting the Pieces in Place. This XClone tool does look interesting and it seems it should be able to clone Oracle homes as well. However, I bet Oracle won't support this cloning method. Thanks for James for replying to me on XClone.

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