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 :

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-” xmlns:gpnp=”” xmlns:orcl=”” xmlns:xsi=”” xsi:schemaLocation=” 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″/>“><ds:CanonicalizationMethod Algorithm=”“/><ds:SignatureMethod Algorithm=”“/><ds:Reference URI=””><ds:Transforms><ds:Transform Algorithm=”“/><ds:Transform Algorithm=”“> <InclusiveNamespaces xmlns=”” PrefixList=”gpnp orcl xsi”/>“/>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 .

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