What’s in a Name (renaming ASM Diskgroup in 11.2)


Once again  it showed that the old  quote .. what’s  in a name .. is still valid even in an Oracle Oracle restart environment  so credits to William S. for that. Well  you might wonder where is he heading with the article with title like this again. Frankly i had set up an Oracle restart environment where during the Installation  you are asked about one ( or more )  Asm Disks to be added to a Diskgroup that will hold the Spfile of the ASM instance.  During that install i made a typo in the name of the Diskgroup and only noticed of course after finishing install.

I searched the Web and came across a real cool scenario which i have explored and guess what  it works !  Below you find the steps i have performed.   Environment was: Enterprise Edition on Red  Hat Linux.


On the web  I found bloggers sharing the idea that you can indeed rename a diskgroup in 11gr2. The tool for that is on the OS level and is part of you GridInfrastructure software. So it could very well look pretty much like this:

 which renamedg

Anyhow i had a bit of a struggle with the syntax  but in the end this is the command that does the magic. Note first few attempts failed since  I did not add the asm_diskstring in the command line . Be wise and please use it in a modified if necessary way from the beginning:


Step 1 Preparations

As root i stopped the Oracle restart environment :

 ./crsctl stop has

Step 2 Renaming the Diskgroup


renamedg phase=both dgname=DUMM_YDATA newdgname=DUMMY_DATA verbose=true asm_diskstring=’/dev/mapper/asm*p1′

As you can see i am renaming my diskgroup DUMM_YDATA to DUMMY_DATA  this way.


Output coming from that was :
NOTE: No asm libraries found in the system
Parsing parameters..
Parameters in effect:
Old DG name       : DUMM_YDATA
New DG name          : DUMMY_DATA
Phases               :
Phase 1
Phase 2
Discovery str        : /dev/mapper/asm*p1
Clean              : TRUE
Raw only           : TRUE
renamedg operation: phase=both dgname=DUMM_YDATA newdgname=DUMMY_DATA verbose=true asm_diskstring=/dev/mapper/asm*p1
Executing phase 1
Discovering the group
Performing discovery with string:/dev/mapper/asm*p1
Identified disk UFS:/dev/mapper/asm-spfile01p1 with disk number:0 and timestamp (33001295 453578752)
Checking for hearbeat...
Re-discovering the group
Performing discovery with string:/dev/mapper/asm*p1
Identified disk UFS:/dev/mapper/asm-spfile01p1 with disk number:0 and timestamp (33001295 453578752)
Checking if the diskgroup is mounted or used by CSS
Checking disk number:0
Generating configuration file..
Completed phase 1
Executing phase 2
Looking for /dev/mapper/asm-spfile01p1
Modifying the header
Completed phase 2

Step 3 Where to find the Spfile for ASM in Grid Infra


With this first success it was time to move on to step 2. I modified the information in the cluster layer with this once i had looked up the exact name of the spfile with ASMCMD:

srvctl modify asm  -p +DUMMY_DATA/asm/asmparameterfile/registry.253.843232019


Step 4 Restarted the Has deamon:

As Root:

 ./crsctl start has


Step 5 Final activities: Check and cleanup:


SQL> show parameter spfile

NAME               TYPE VALUE
------------ ----------- ------------------------------
spfile       string      +DUMMY_DATA/asm/asmparameterfile/registry.253.843232019


Checked also the information in the Cluster:

oracle@mysrvr10hr:/opt/oracle [+ASM]# crsctl status resource -t
NAME           TARGET  STATE        SERVER                   STATE_DETAILS
Local Resources
               ONLINE  ONLINE       mysrvr10hr
               ONLINE  OFFLINE      mysrvr10hr
               ONLINE  ONLINE       mysrvr10hr
               ONLINE  ONLINE       mysrvr10hr                 Started
               OFFLINE OFFLINE      mysrvr10hr
Cluster Resources
      1        ONLINE  ONLINE       mysrvr10hr
      1        OFFLINE OFFLINE
      1        ONLINE  ONLINE       mysrvr10hr

## checked in asmcmd

[Option  -p will be used ]
ASMCMD [+] > spget

Ok last step, clean up since the cluster still knows about the Diskgroup with the wrong name:

srvctl remove diskgroup -g DUMM_YDATA


Mission completed and again a smiling dba here. Please Test before do !


Happy reading,



Moving from the Asmlib to multi-pathing / creating a shared spfile in ASM – Grid Infra


No this is not a note in defense or offense for the ASMLIB. It is merely a registration of the fact that in the past Real application clusters  have been setup with ASMLIB  and these Clusters have turned into trouble(d) environments recently due to wrong allocation of ASMLIB Disks. Since the company standards have changed over the year in favor of the Multi-pathing  it has been decided that the troubled cluster would  have to start using the Multi-pathing . For a general overview of ASMLIB and Multi-pathing :  http://oracle.su/docs/11g/server.112/e10500/asmprepare.htm.

Also it has been decided to alter the standards a that ruled couple of years  ago ( implementing Rac clusters with Asm with ASMLIB) to now a days company standards which embraced the Multi-pathing. So far no one ever did this kind of convert on live systems so it would need a proper scenario a dress-rehearsal test before we would implement this on production environment .

In general terms it was explained to me that ASMLIB is like a layer on TOP of the Multi-Pathing  presenting Disks in ASM with a specific labeling. The asm_diskstring  in an ASMLIB environment would point to those disks with  ‘ORCL:1’ . Where the asm_diskstring would be like  the key which disks should be discovered by the ASM instance to work with. The scenario turned out to be remarkable simple to the Oracle Dbas. Bottom line was that even when the disks have been labeled for ASMLIB  if we would alter the asm_diskstring to point to the disks via ‘/dev/mapper/asm*p1’ that would already do the job since the ASMLIB labels would simply be ignored by multi-path. But as always do not  try this at home unless  you alter it in a controlled way as described below.


As a preparation i ran this scenario on a preproduction box  and with  that being a good dress-rehearsal implemented this on the production as well.  More details will be described below:

Plan of Approach
1 alter system set asm_diskstring = ‘/dev/mapper/asm*p1’ scope = spfile; Oracle
1 Stopping Crs on all 4 Nodes Oracle
1 Started Crs on mysrvr33r Oracle
1 Started Crs on mysrvr34r Oracle
1 Started Crs on mysrvr35r Oracle
1 Started Crs on mysrvr36r Oracle
2 Stopping Crs on all 4 Nodes Oracle
2 Removing ASMLIB RPMS 33r 34r 35r 36r Linux
2 Server reboot of mysrvr33r Linux
2 Check Cluster on mysrvr33r , all up Oracle
2 Restart of mysrvr34r 35r 36r Linux
2 Check  33r 34r 35r 36r Oracle
3 Stopping Crs on 34r 35r 36r Nodes Oracle
3 Create spfile in asm diskgroup on 33r Oracle
3 Restart of  CRS  on 33r Oracle
3 Check gpnp profile / spfile on 33r Oracle
3 Restart of crs on mysrvr34r 35r 36r Oracle
3 Check gpnp profile / spfile on 33r – 36r Oracle
  1. I have used three waves of activities . In the first wave As as preparation i altered the asm_diskgstring in the spfile of the asm instances already ( of course not yet active till after the next restart ) .  After that i stopped the full cluster on all 4 nodes and started with my first node to see the effects ( and to see the asm instance and database instances to be started ) all nodes had been restarted. And it showed all was running well.
  2. In this action i worked together with the Linux admins. The boxes in scope running on RedHat  they wanted to get rid of the ASMLIB in the kernel as well so in the second wave i shutdown the full cluster one more time, they removed the rpms from the Linux and rebooted  the first box and all was well after that. So after my checks the other three boxes were started in parallel and the end result was a happy  and running cluster again !
  3. In wave three i had to fix some old hurt that these 4 boxes were still working with local spfiles instead of a shared spfile in the asm instance. When this Cluster was build by me some three years ago it was born as a 11.1 cluster environment and it had been set up with local copies of  the spfile:

Setting up a (lost) Spfile in ASM in a Grid infrastructure environment:

##  First step  i thought would be to stop the cluster since i did that on another scenario. Much to my surprise i was recommended to do this in the running environment so i  did  this after i prepared a valid init.ora:

 SQL> create spfile ='+CLUSTERDATA'  from pfile = '/opt/oracle/+ASM1/admin/pfile/init+ASM1.NEW' ;
create spfile ='+CLUSTERDATA'  from pfile = '/opt/oracle/+ASM1/admin/pfile/init+ASM1.NEW'
ERROR at line 1:
ORA-29780: unable to connect to GPnP daemon [CLSGPNP_ERR]

## As you can see that did not work.  Investigation brought  following note (Environment Variable ORA_CRS_HOME MUST be UNSET in 11gR2/12c GI (Doc ID 1502996.1) . I checked and indeed that environment Variable was present in my  .profile:

#### bad practice to have ORA_CRS_HOME  set in your .profile if you are using GI so we unset it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

oracle@mysrvr33r:/opt/oracle/+ASM1/admin/pfile [+ASM1]# unset  ORA_CRS_HOME
oracle@mysrvr33r:/opt/oracle/+ASM1/admin/pfile [+ASM1]# echo $ORA_CRS_HOME
## after that  the create of the spfile worked.
SQL> create spfile ='+CLUSTERDATA'  from pfile = '/opt/oracle/+ASM1/admin/pfile/init+ASM1.NEW' ;
File created.

##  Lets do some checks  ( in asmcmd)  it showed:

ASMCMD [+] > spget

## Second check using the gpnptool:

gpnptool get

Warning: some command line parameters were defaulted. Resulting command line:          /opt/crs/product/112_ee_64/crs/bin/gpnptool.bin get -o- http://www.grid-pnp.org/2005/11/gpnp-profile” xmlns:gpnp=”http://www.grid-pnp.org/2005/11/gpnp-profile” xmlns:orcl=”http://www.oracle.com/gpnp/2005/11/gpnp-profile” xmlns:xsi=”http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance” xsi:schemaLocation=”http://www.grid-pnp.org/2005/11/gpnp-profile gpnp-profile.xsd” ProfileSequence=”58″ ClusterUId=”2b7266b0d5797f65ff0fcf4c8e7931d6″ ClusterName=”mysrvr3_cluster” PALocation=””><gpnp:Network-Profile>SPFile=”+CLUSTERDATA/mysrvr3_cluster/asmparameterfile/registry.253.841967299″/><orcl:OCR-Profile id=”ocr” OCRId=”372102285″/>http://www.w3.org/2000/09/xmldsig#“><ds:CanonicalizationMethod Algorithm=”http://www.w3.org/2001/10/xml-exc-c14n#“/><ds:SignatureMethod Algorithm=”http://www.w3.org/2000/09/xmldsig#rsa-sha1“/><ds:Reference URI=””><ds:Transforms><ds:Transform Algorithm=”http://www.w3.org/2000/09/xmldsig#enveloped-signature“/><ds:Transform Algorithm=”http://www.w3.org/2001/10/xml-exc-c14n#“> <InclusiveNamespaces xmlns=”http://www.w3.org/2001/10/xml-exc-c14n#” PrefixList=”gpnp orcl xsi”/>http://www.w3.org/2000/09/xmldsig#sha1“/>3Tjuts50Gi92r42OMa4Pb17PiYc=B941IphE6D1FqVhc1u/+NwhAM3QXbBRiMT0plxhXyptUnj4mu1T1UFP/5yG+yBIzblquOy4aqxNBthMy7aQW0lyS4QfMZbjWYhYH2nvbrnnyqY/ZoYXOY0QaAYciboALXxJxCzup6ZGxCnsgtT8G/b08z679j8NlMvykdE2pmWY=

## in asmcmd:

ls -l +CLUSTERDATA/mysrvr3_cluster/asmparameterfile/registry.253.841967299

[Option  -p will be used ]

Type              Redund  Striped  Time             Sys  Name

ASMPARAMETERFILE  UNPROT  COARSE   MAR 11 23:00:00  Y    registry.253.841967299

## alert log shows:

Tue Mar 11 23:48:18 2014

NOTE: updated gpnp profile ASM diskstring: /dev/mapper/asm*p1

NOTE: updated gpnp profile ASM diskstring: /dev/mapper/asm*p1

## looks good  on other servers as well ( checked them all and  they showed similar like below:

gpnptool get

## As a next step i moved the existing spfile in the $ORACLE_HOME/dbs

mv spfile+ASM1.ora spfile+ASM1.ora.20140311.old

## then edited a  the init.ora to make it point to the ASM-Diskgroup as well.

vi init+ASM1.ora

## i restarted the cluster and after that i checked in the asm Instance.

SQL> show parameter spfile
NAME                                                      TYPE VALUE
------------------------------------ ----------- ------------------------------
spfile                                                       string               +CLUSTERDATA/mysrvr3_cluster/as

## checks are asmcmd spget  and gpnptool get

##  copied  the init.ora to otherboxes

oracle@mysrvr33r:/opt/crs/product/112_ee_64/crs/dbs [+ASM1]# cat init+ASM1.ora
1062      scp init+ASM1.ora oracle@mysrvr34r:/opt/crs/product/112_ee_64/crs/dbs/init+ASM2.ora
1063      scp init+ASM1.ora oracle@mysrvr35r:/opt/crs/product/112_ee_64/crs/dbs/init+ASM3.ora
1064      scp init+ASM1.ora oracle@mysrvr36r:/opt/crs/product/112_ee_64/crs/dbs/init+ASM4.ora

Mission completed. As always  happy reading And DO test before you  implement!

Mathijs .

ORA-01031: insufficient privileges with logon as sydba


I guess we all sometimes have that famous face palm moment where we do not have a direct success story to offer when a customer asks something . In my case I was asked to offer the sys password to a third-party. I did grumble about it but hey that is the way it is sometimes.  And yes during the time where they have sys-password  not responsible for that database AND I will  have to audit the system after  I take control of it again but that is another story.


In this case I had altered the password of sys , I tested it locally on the machine and I had given it to the customer and well he came back to me telling me it did not work …

The error they got and the one I researched for:

sqlplus "sys/password@MYB.prod.nl as sysdba"

ORA-01031: insufficient privileges

Well That one made me frown because : 
sqlplus system@MYDB.prod.nl

Connected to:

And then do this locally without connect string:

SQL> connect sys as sysdba 
Enter password: 

So with the Web on my side  I was looking for clues-on this one. And again love the on-line community of Oracle because soon I found out  that I should check if password files existed and if the password on that file was set according to the sys password.

I checked and frowned because there was no password file present at all in the $ORACLE_HOME/dbs ! So I created a password file. Tested it and  it worked !

Surely that was a face-palm moment to me like hey I have been there – done that 🙂  but still nice got it working asap after all .

Syntax  IN $ORACLE_HOME/dbs: 
orapwd FILE=orapwMYDB1 password=
After that I copied it to the second node with scp and of course renamed  orapwMYDB1 to  orapwMYDB2.

See. Sometimes it is not that complex a matter to keep customer and Dba happy 🙂

Happy reading,