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ORACLE DBA Interview Questions with Answers

> What is a virtual IP address or VIP ?
A virtual IP address or VIP is an alternate IP address that the client connections use instead of the standard public IP address. To configure VIP address, we need to reserve a spare IP address for each node, and the IP addresses must use the same subnet as the public network.

> What is the use of VIP ?
If a node fails, then the node's VIP address fails over to another node on which the VIP address can accept TCP connections but it cannot accept Oracle connections.
Give situations under which VIP address failover happens:-
VIP addresses failover happens when the node on which the VIP address runs fails, all interfaces for the VIP address fails, all interfaces for the VIP address are disconnected from the network. Using virtual IP we can save our TCP/IP timeout problem because Oracle notification service maintains communication between each nodes and listeners.

> What is the significance of VIP address failover ?
When a VIP address failover happens, Clients that attempt to connect to the VIP address receive a rapid connection refused error .They don't have to wait for TCP connection timeout messages.

> What is voting disk ?
Voting Disk is a file that sits in the shared storage area and must be accessible by all nodes in the cluster. All nodes in the cluster registers their heart-beat information in the voting disk, so as to confirm that they are all operational. If heart-beat information of any node in the voting disk is not available that node will be evicted from the cluster. The CSS (Cluster Synchronization Service) daemon in the clusterware maintains the heart beat of all nodes to the voting disk. When any node is not able to send heartbeat to voting disk, then it will reboot itself, thus help avoiding the split-brain syndrome.

For high availability, Oracle recommends that you have a minimum of three or odd number (3 or greater) of votingdisks.

Voting Disk – is file that resides on shared storage and Manages cluster members. Voting disk reassigns cluster ownership between the nodes in case of failure.

The Voting Disk Files are used by Oracle Clusterware to determine which nodes are currently members of the cluster. The voting disk files are also used in concert with other Cluster components such as CRS to maintain the clusters integrity.

Oracle Database 11g Release 2 provides the ability to store the voting disks in ASM along with the OCR. Oracle Clusterware can access the OCR and the voting disks present in ASM even if the ASM instance is down. As a result CSS can continue to maintain the Oracle cluster even if the ASM instance has failed.

> How many voting disks are you maintaining ?
By default Oracle will create 3 voting disk files in ASM.

Oracle expects that you will configure at least 3 voting disks for redundancy purposes. You should always configure an odd number of voting disks >= 3. This is because loss of more than half your voting disks will cause the entire cluster to fail.

You should plan on allocating 280MB for each voting disk file. For example, if you are using ASM and external redundancy then you will need to allocate 280MB of disk for the voting disk. If you are using ASM and normal redundancy you will need 560MB.

> Why we need to keep odd number of voting disks ?
Oracle expects that you will configure at least 3 voting disks for redundancy purposes. You should always configure an odd number of voting disks >= 3. This is because loss of more than half your voting disks will cause the entire cluster to fail.

> What are Oracle RAC software components ?
Oracle RAC is composed of two or more database instances. They are composed of Memory structures and background processes same as the single instance database.Oracle RAC instances use two processes GES(Global Enqueue Service), GCS(Global Cache Service) that enable cache fusion.Oracle RAC instances are composed of following background processes:
ACMS—Atomic Controlfile to Memory Service (ACMS)
GTX0-j—Global Transaction Process
LMON—Global Enqueue Service Monitor
LMD—Global Enqueue Service Daemon
LMS—Global Cache Service Process
LCK0—Instance Enqueue Process
RMSn—Oracle RAC Management Processes (RMSn)
RSMN—Remote Slave Monitor

> What are Oracle Clusterware processes for 10g ?
Cluster Synchronization Services (ocssd) — Manages cluster node membership and runs as the oracle user; failure of this process results in cluster restart.
Cluster Ready Services (crsd) — The crs process manages cluster resources (which could be a database, an instance, a service, a Listener, a virtual IP (VIP) address, an application process, and so on) based on the resource's configuration information that is stored in the OCR. This includes start, stop, monitor and failover operations. This process runs as the root user Event manager daemon (evmd) —A background process that publishes events that crs creates.
Process Monitor Daemon (OPROCD) —This process monitor the cluster and provide I/O fencing. OPROCD performs its check, stops running, and if the wake up is beyond the expected time, then OPROCD resets the processor and reboots the node. An OPROCD failure results in Oracle Clusterware restarting the node. OPROCD uses the hangcheck timer on Linux platforms.
RACG (racgmain, racgimon) —Extends clusterware to support Oracle-specific requirements and complex resources. Runs server callout scripts when FAN events occur.

> What are Oracle database background processes specific to RAC ?
LMS—Global Cache Service Process
LMD—Global Enqueue Service Daemon
LMON—Global Enqueue Service Monitor
LCK0—Instance Enqueue Process
Oracle RAC instances use two processes, the Global Cache Service (GCS) and the Global Enqueue Service (GES). The GCS and GES maintain records of the statuses of each data file and each cached block using a Global Resource Directory (GRD). The GRD contents are distributed across all of the active instances.

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