How to Simulate an Exalogic Machine for Training

How to Simulate an Exalogic Machine for Training

In the new “Cloud Computing” era, Oracle is leading it’s private cloud offering with the new complete hardware and software platform for Enterprise applications, Oracle Exalogic. However, even within Oracle it can be quite difficult to gain access to an Exalogic machine, and getting to know the system just by reading the documentation is a daunting task. So this post will walk you through the steps of setting up a simulated Exalogic machine, in a virtual environment, that you can use for training purposes.

After completing these steps, you will have an environment where you will be able to make the same storage, network, operating system and software configurations as on the actual Exalogic machine. Of course, this will not be suitable for production, nor will any benchmarks have any relevance. It’s just something that you can use to get yourself familiarized with the machine. If you are new to the Exalogic machine, I suggest going over the Oracle Exalogic White Papers before continuing with the steps.

So, in order to build the system, you will need:

1. Oracle Virtual Box. Download it from here and install on your system if not already installed.

2. Sun Storage Simulator. This is a pre-built virtual machine simulating the actual Sun ZFS Storage Appliance that comes with the Exalogic Machine. It can be downloaded from here.

3. The Oracle Enterprise Linux image that is applied on every compute node in the Exalogic machine. You can get it from edelivery.oracle.com by searching for “Exalogic” – “Linux x86_64“, then click on “Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud Software” and download the two archives with “Oracle Exalogic 2.0.6.1.0 Compute Node (Sun Server X4-2) Base Image for Exalogic Linux x86-64” in the title. Also, you can choose to download the Solaris images from the same location.

Exalogic_image_download

4. Specific network Configurator for Exalogic. From the same link as in step 3 download “Oracle Exalogic 2.0.6.1.0 Configuration Utility for Exalogic Solaris x86-64

5. You can also download the Weblogic Server software and Coherence software from the same link on eDelivery.

Once you have downloaded the above tools, you can start building the “machine”, block-by-block:

Step 1: Installing Virtual Box

Run VirtualBox installation program and follow the instructions in the installation wizard.

Step2: Import the Sun Storage VBox

From the Oracle VM VirtualBox Manager click “File -> Import Appliance…” and go through the Import Appliance wizard choosing “Sun ZFS Storage 7000.ovf” file from the downloaded Storage Simulator. After the import, the appliance should show up in your VBox Manager:

Select the newly imported VM and click “Start”. After booting, configure the basics:

Host Name: Any name you want.
DNS Domain: “localdomain”
Default Router: The same as the IP address, but put 1 as the final octet.
DNS Server: The same as the IP address, but put 1 as the final octet.
Password: Whatever you want.

You can now access the appliance interface with a browser, accessing https://:215 , usually https://192.168.56.101:215 and login with” root” and the password provided above. After accepting a few default settings, you will see an overview screen of the appliance, just as you would see on an actual Exalogic machine:

Step 3: Creating a virtual machine for the first Compute Node

Usually a quarter rack Exalogic machine has 8 compute nodes, but for demonstration purposes it is enough to build only 2 computes nodes which will be used to cluster the Middleware components. To build a simulated compute node, we will first create a virtual box and then apply the Base Image for Exalogic Linux x86_64 on it, just like installing any Oracle Enterprise Linux.

To create the Compute Node VBox, go to the Oracle VM VirtualBox Manager and click “New”. Follow the instructions in the wizard by choosing a Linux – Oracle (64 bit) operating system, whatever name you want for the virtual machine (for example CN01) and choosing the memory resources you would like to allocate to this machine. This will hardly match the 96Gb of RAM on a real Exalogic compute node, but it will serve demonstration purposes just fine.

Step 4: Applying the Exalogic Linux x86_64 image on the simulated Compute Node

Make sure that both downloaded archives are in the same folder and then execute the runMe.sh script to merge the archives in a single file. You should obtain a “el_x2-2_baseimage_linux_1.0.0.2.0_64.iso” image file.

If on Windows, you can merge the two files by running:

copy /B el_x2-2_baseimage_linux_2.0.0.0.0_6 4.iso.part0+el_x2-2_baseimage_linux_2.0.0.0.0_64.iso.part1 el_x2-2_baseimage_linux_2.0.0.0.0_64.iso

el_x2-2_baseimage_linux_2.0.0.0.0_64.iso.part0

el_x2-2_baseimage_linux_2.0.0.0.0_64.iso.part1

1 file(s) copied.

Go back to the Oracle VM VirtualBox Manager and select the newly created CN01 VBox, then click on Settings. Go to “Storage” and click on “Add CD/DVD Device”. In the popup, select “Choose Disk” and navigate to the base image iso file above. You should then see the image in the IDE Controller list:

Next, navigate to “System” in the left menu and make sure that the CD/DVD-ROM is selected in the Boot Order list and is the first bootable media in the list.

Next, start up the Virtual Machine and follow the Linux OS installation process. If instead of the below screen you get a “Your CPU does not support long mode. Use a 32bit distribution” message, then you need to enable VT-x support in BIOS, depending on your host machine.

Once you install the operating system on the first compute node, you use the Oracle VirtualBox manager clone facility to create a similar virtual machine (CN02).

Step 5: Use Exalogic_one-command to configure the network interfaces and IP addresses of the storage appliance and compute nodes

After unzipping the “Oracle Exalogic 2.0.0.0.0 Configuration Utility for Exalogic” archive, you will get a series of scripts, a spreadsheet called “el_configurator.ods” and, most importantly a readme.txt file. Follow the instructions in the readme to use the spreadsheet. If not sure how to fill the IP addresses in the spreadsheet, I suggest taking a look at the Exalogic Enterprise Deployment Guide at the default Network settings. Basically, you will have to assign IP addresses to your storage and compute nodes on three interfaces:

NET0 – Management interface /ILOM

BOND0 – simulating the Private Infiniband, for traffic between the compute nodes and the storage heads (ib0 and ib1)

BOND1 – Ethernet over InfiniBand (EoIB), for Ethernet traffic, on eth interfaces.

Once you have a correct filled spreadsheet run the scripts on a master compute node (usually the first, but can be any) to configure the network “within” your Exalogic simulated machine.

All done, all that is left to do now is to consult the Enterprise Deployment Guide on how to configure the storage project and shares, install the Weblogic server and configure a domain etc.Of course, the specific optimizations for Exalogic will not be applied in this training Weblogic domain.

A good idea is to use the Oracle VM VirtualBox Manager to export this setup to a backup by going to File -> Export Appliance.. and choosing the three VBoxes you’ve just created. You will then be able to port the entire Exalogic simulated machine or restore it easily.

33 thoughts on “How to Simulate an Exalogic Machine for Training

  1. Mouhssine

    Hi,

    Thanks for this interesting article, it was very helpful. As I’m actually preparing the Exalogic certification, I followed the instruction to build up my small simulation environment.

    MSA

  2. liam521

    Hi,

    Found your article very informative. I’m a WebLogic administrator and would like to prepare for Exalogic certification. Have a few questions and it would help me if could reply:
    (i) Do you think it will be feasible to pursue Exalogic with my WebLogic background?
    (ii) Is the above simulation possible on a WinXP machine?

  3. radudobrinescu Post author

    Hi,

    Thanks for your comment. To answer your questions:
    (i) I think it depends a lot on the line of work you are currently doing or would like to pursue, but on the overall, I would say yes. Oracle is pushing Exalogic and Exadata quite hard these days so probably these skills will become more valued as Exalogic will grow on the market. Also, I think the Weblogic optimizations for Exalogic are quite interesting from the Weblogic administration point of view.
    (ii) I believe you need a 64bit host OS. Basically, as long as you can get a 64bit OEL guest VM installed in VirtualBox, it should work.

  4. Mark

    Hi,

    For Step 4, is there a document that contains the root and/or oracle passwords once the Compute Node has been installed?

      1. radudobrinescu Post author

        Hi Ramses,

        I think there is a readme file included in the image archive that mentions the password for both root and oracle users.
        Also, my first try would be ‘welcome1’ which was the password at the time this article was written (for 2.0.0.0.0)

        1. Ramses

          Hi radu ,
          Question,When you set the compute nodes and Storege Appliance you added additional network interfaces to simulate bound0, bound1 and management?

  5. Villy

    Hi,

    is there someone who can help me, i’m having trouble on configuring ip addresses, my exalogic_deploy.conf is not being used when executing step 1, my exalogic_deploy.conf is being generated as exalogic_pending.conf under /var/exalogic/one-command/config, and it’s still using the default IP configuration in exalogic_current.conf.

    thanks in advance, i hope someone can answer my question.

    1. Villy

      figured out how one command works, as exalogic is shipped pre-configured with factory default IP addresses, servers can already communicate via local network through the cisco switch. when you run one command on this exalogic test environment it assumes that all nodes’ IP are already pre-configured and it can already communicate to each other, it uses the exalogic_current.conf to check if all nodes can be ping’d or reach via ssh, once the connection has been established that’s when it will distribute the configured IP addresses on your exalogic_deploy.conf. although i didn’t bother to use it, i just manually configured my desired IP addresses on each node.

  6. Mauro

    Hi, sorry my english, but how i do to configure the interfaces BOND0 and BOND1 (ib0, ib1 and EoIB) in the virtual machine ? i dont see any device to emulate infiniband.

    1. radudobrinescu Post author

      Hi Mauro,

      There isn’t a device to emulate infiniband, you would need the actual hardware. You can create additional interfaces in the virtual machine and name them similar with you find in the Exalogic machine.

      Regards,
      Radu

  7. narayana

    Hi ALL,

    Do we have how to build/prepare “Sun Storage VBox
    ” freshly instead directly using this ovf

    If there are steps to prepare Sun Storage VBox
    also fine for me

    Regards,
    Narayana

  8. Ernie

    I’ve tried replicating wha you did here with no success, here are my issues so far.

    HW are Dell 2950 enterprise class servers deal Xeon 5000 class cpu’s with 16GB memory and Raid controllers.

    I’ve tried with both Solaris 11.1 and Oracle Linux 6 for x86_64

    I installed virtual box and imported the appliance, when I start, it pretty mch hangs on the first lines of the boot process, I once made it all the way through but took forever. I tried with selecting Solaris 11 32 bit and 64 bit. Just unusable,

    Then I burned the exalogic based image iso file to a dvd and tired to install it as you instruct in virtual box. It installs and just keeps ending back at the boot screen. I have no idea where it’s installing to, and I can’t find a boot disk.

    Then I tried to just install the exalogic base image directly onto one of my boxes and it seemd to make it, untill the end when I got an out of memory error. I’m assuming it was trying to allocate the full 96GB of memory.

    I would appreciate any updates. I’ve built an actual rack using COT’s hardware, with 4 2u servers. I just installed solaris 11.1 to emulate the ZFS appliance minus the BUI on 1 server and the other 3 will be my compute nodes. I even have an infiniband switch and HCA’s in the machine.

  9. narayana

    Hi,

    Please help me how can i go further?

    I have created 3 virtual machines
    I dont have InfiniBand Gateway switch machines to create vlans

    1) exalogic1.narayana.local – 192.168.1.12 – cn01
    2) exalogic1.narayana.local – 192.168.1.13 – cn02
    3) sunzfs.narayana.local – 192.168.1.14 – sn01

    How can i create 5 ip addresses on compute node [net0-192.168.1.12, ilom-192.168.1.102, bond0-192.168.10.12, bond1(ib0-192.168.1.121, ib1-192.168.1.122)]

    1. narayana

      Please help me how can i go further? i really stuck at this stage, somebody can push me up

      I have created 3 virtual machines
      I dont have InfiniBand Gateway switch machines to create vlans

      1) exalogic1.narayana.local – 192.168.1.12 – cn01
      2) exalogic2.narayana.local – 192.168.1.13 – cn02
      3) sunzfs.narayana.local – 192.168.1.14 – sn01

      How can i create 5 ip addresses on compute node [net0-192.168.1.12, ilom-192.168.1.102, bond0-192.168.10.12, bond1(ib0-192.168.1.121, ib1-192.168.1.122)]

  10. Pingback: WebLogic 中文博客 » Blog Archive » How to Simulate an Exalogic Machine for Training(LINK)

  11. Harsh Raj

    This is so far one of the simplest explanation of Simulating an exalogic that I’ve seen in recent times. The world of storage today is changing with the greater needs of storage size. Soon the word database for storing of data will be alienating. We as XDuce are organizing a workshop for Exadata Database Machine Administration. Connect here for more details and registrations: Exadata Database Machine Training

  12. charles

    I had downloaded the software as mentioned in the step 4, followed the instructions for the single ISO file. Created and it started to install and all was ok but when it reboots it is stuck with the GRUB > prompt.

    What is the next step to have a GUI linux.

    thank you,

    1. Radu Dobrinescu Post author

      Hi Charles,

      Have you removed the iso file from the boot order of the virtual machine? If the Linux install was completed successfully, you should remove it and boot directly from the virtual drive.

      Thanks and regards,
      Radu

  13. Stu

    Hi, could someone please help me out here with some of the steps outlined in this article.
    Its concerning the section where we get to the stage of creating the ‘Applying the Exalogic Linux x86_64 image on the simulated Compute Node’

    First query is, I don’t know if the downloads for me are just newer but my version doesn’t match this articles, my downloads for creating the exalogic image refers to el_x4-2_baseimage_linux_2.0.6.1.0_64.iso.part0 and part 1 NOT el_x2-2_baseimage_linux_2.0.0.0.0_6 4.iso.part0+el_x2-2_baseimage_linux_2.0.0.0.0_64.iso.part1

    Is this a problem ? and if so, why do I have different versions ?

    Secondly, not sure if this is the reason why I get the following problem

    When I created the new image inside VirtualBox and setting to load the from CD the now merged ISO from above downloaded files, I get the following error at boot up:-

    Running anaconda, the Oracle Enterprise Linux system installer – please wait …..
    probing for video card: InnoTek Systemberating GmbH VirtualBox Grphics Adapter

    The following error was found while parsing your kickstart configuration:

    The following problem occurred on line 28 of the kickstart file:

    Specified nonexistent disk sda in clearpart command

    I really don’t know how to proceeed is, its not as if I’m able to edit this kickstart in some way.

    I’m presuming that as part of the settings setup for this computer node it only mentions setting the CD as the top boot order to load the ISO. It doesn’t mention if the specific hard drives need to be created.
    I have created one primary master vdi against this image.

    But really I need to understand why this problem is occurring

    Can anyone help me out here is very specific steps to resolve

    cheers

    1. Radu Dobrinescu Post author

      Hi Stu

      Thanks for your comment and sorry for the late reply.

      First of all, it’s ok that you have an updated version of the software. At the time when the article was first published, the latest version was 2.0.0.0.0. You can now download 2.0.6.1.0 and I’ve updated the article to reflect that.

      As for your second issue, can you tell me what is the OS and OS Type you are choosing when initially creating the VM in VirtualBox? For me it worked with OS Linux and OS Type Linux 2.6 (64 bit).

      Best regards,
      Radu

  14. john doe

    Dear All,

    Is it possible, to use your guide as an development area for exalogic deployment?
    while we are in ordering process of the real-one, we do what we need to do with all of middle-ware as needed (such as LDAP, SSO, OUD, OAG etc), to accelerate the development process,
    and after the real-system coming then we can just move it all into the real exalogic production.

    can we do that?

    thank you

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