Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Exadata -- How to Connect Oracle Exadata to 10G Networks Using SFP Modules

In this post, I will share you the way of activating SFP modules (SFP modules on Ethernet cards) in an Exadata X3-2 Quarter Rack env.

As you may know, by default in Exadata X3-2 , we configure our public network using the bondeth0 bond interface. This bondeth0 is actually a virtual bonded device built on top of 2 physical interfaces. (eth1 and eth2) . The bonding mode of this bondeth0 is by default active-backup and as for the speed; it relies on the speed of the underlying eth1 and eth2.

In Exadata X3-2, eth1 and eth2 devices are actually Os interfaces for the underlying 1Gbit cards.
So, this means, by default we are limited to 1Gbit interfaces.

Luckly, Exadata X3-2 also supports 10Gbit SFP interfaces. (Fiber) . So if the Exadata that we are working with, has the necessary SFP modules, then we can configure our public/client network to run on these 10Gbit SFP modules, as well.

In order to activate these SFP modules, what we need to is;

1) The first step is to purchase the proper SFP+ and fiber cables to make the uplink connection.

2) Then we plan a time to reconfigure bondeth0 to use eth4 / eth5 and reboot.

So , it seems simple but it requires attention, since it requires OS admin skills.
Well. Here are the detailed steps;

First, we need to check the SFP modules and see the red light coming from them. (red light means fibre type link is up). Then , we connect the fibre cables to our SFP cards.

After that, we shutdown our databases running on this Exadata and we shutdown the Cluster services as well. We do all these operations using the admin network.. (we connect to Exa nodes using admin network interfaces, using relevant hostnames)

After shutting down the Oracle Stack, we shut down the bondeth0, eth1 and eth2 interfaces.

Then we delete ifcfg-eth1 and ifcfg-eth2 files (after taking backup ofcourse)

After deleting the eth1 and eth2 conf files, we configure the eth4 and eth5 devices.  We make them to be slaves of bondeth0.. (eth4 and eth5 are the OS interfaces for  these 10gbit Sfp cards in Exa X3-2 1/4) Note that: our public/client network ip configuration is stored in bondeth0, so we just modify its slaves, do not touch bondeth0 and the ip setting.

After the modifications, we start eth4, eth5 and bondeth0 (using ifup) and check their link status and their speeds using ethtool.

Once we confirm all the links are up, bonding is okay (cat /proc/net/bonding/bondeth0), we reboot the Exadata nodes and wait our cluster services be automatically up and running again ..

 So that's it :) 

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