Using NFS with ASM…


Combining NFS with ASM has come up in several conversations I’ve had recently, both online and real world. Since I no longer believe in coincidence I figured it was a message that I should take a look at it.

Anyone who has ever faked ASM disks using “dd” will recognize the approach. It works OK, and solves one of my issue with VirtualBox not supporting shared disks.

Please, please, please don’t think I’m recommending this. I’m not. NFS works just fine on it’s own. It’s just useful for me as a some time Mac user because VirtualBox and VMware Fusion don’t do shared disks, so RAC with ASM is a pain on them.

Author: Tim...

DBA, Developer, Author, Trainer.

12 thoughts on “Using NFS with ASM…”

  1. Hi Tim,

    Nice write up for ASM and NFS. I guess my question would be how to setup either VMWare and/or Oracle Sun VirtualBox to configure 11gR2 RAC and ASM between the guest VMs (ie: Linux) and host machine (eg: Windows 7 or Mac OS X) on a laptop. If you wrote a how-to guide on this that would be awesome!


  2. Hi.

    If you have an NFS server on your host, then do the exports as explained. If not you can always create a new virtual machine to run as an NFS server.

    Apart from the NFS issue, the rest is like a standard RAC on VMware installation.



  3. Hi Tim,

    Thanks, makes sense. Would be useful to setup a third VM as an NFS server to keep it clean. So we could have the 2 RAC nodes as VMs using the third VM as the NFS server to share files and disk. Since I use Oracle R12 EBS quite a bit, the third VM could also be used as a patch server repository since patches for EBS are huge.


  4. Hi.

    The install should be pretty straight forward. Just do a regualr RHEL install (or CentOS or OEL). During the install, pick the “Network Servers” package group. This includes NFS.

    Once that is installed, start the NFS service and make sure it is set to start on reboot:

    chkconfig –level 345 nfs on
    service nfs start

    That should be it. Setting up the shares is as described in the article.



  5. Hi Tim,

    Thanks. What are you thoughts on using NFS versus iSCSI for the shared storage for the Oracle VMs with 11gR2 RAC?


  6. Hi.

    If this were a real installation I would expect iSCSI to perform better, but since all the layers are in VMs on the same machine, it’s pretty hard to know what will perform best. So much competition for resources etc. If you prefer to install OpenFiler and use iSCSI, that would work fine. 🙂



  7. Hi Tim,

    That would make sense in terms of performance between iSCSI and NFS for virtualization. I will run a test and setup both scenarios. Personally, I have never been much of a fan with NFS especially when dealing with E-Business Suite since Apache and application tier services tend to misbehave on NFS shares.

    Will you be at OpenWorld this year. Hope to see you there.


  8. I plan to install Rac 11g R1 on Linux 5.5 machines configured on Vmware – all on my laptop with dual core CPU and 4GB usable RAM. But when I run on the second node, it not only kills first node, RAC1, but also hangs itself and finally dies. I have tried many times but all in vain. I am using ASM file system configuration.

    Please suggest best method to get a success in this.



  9. Hi.

    I don’t see that you are going to get this to work. Why? Each VM needs at least 2G ram. Considering your laptop has 4G total, that means you have nothing left over for the host OS to use. It’s just not going to happen.

    I run this configuration on a quad core with 8G or RAM. and it’s not super fast.



  10. Tim

    I have managed to get 11GR2 RAC on to a 4GB latop running Windows 7 64bit and VMware workstation. I have 3 VMs one using 300MB is a bare bones EL 5.6 install NAS and DNS server for the SCAN. The other 2 RAC servers run in 1.2 GB each. It runs OK if you don’t run up too many GUI’s. I used the fake disk approach to service ASM. I’m saving up for a better model though


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