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Oracle Database quick setup and overview

In this article we are going to visit the steps to create an Oracle Database. In particular, we’ll use the Oracle Database Configuration Assistant utility (DBCA) to walk through the steps and opt for the desired options for the main Oracle Database components and features.

The Oracle DBCA offers a convenient way of provisioning Database instances and also to manage the existing ones. During the Oracle Server deployment by default an Oracle Database is already created unless the “Software Only” option is selected in the Oracle Universal Installer (OUI). The purpose of this article is to review and get more familiar with the options for creating an Oracle Database.

The idea is also to create a custom Database instance we can use for testing with Veeam Backup & Replication jobs and target this one for Oracle Backup and Restore Jobs. An article series which will show the integrations with the native Oracle Command Interface (OCI) and Oracle Recovery Manager (RMAN).

The Oracle DBCA is a graphical tool which offers a easy way to create and manage the Oracle Database instances. It’s wizard based and includes the option to edit and save configurations into a response file which can be later used for silent or unattended deployments.

Without much ado let’s take a look at the DBCA utility and create our first Oracle Database.

Configuration wizard

From the Oracle Programs Folder we can launch the Database Configuration Assistant utility or in alternative we can simply run a “dbca” from the command prompt to  start the application. I would recommend to “Run as Administrator” in either case.

The wizard now presents the main options with Database operations. Let’s choose the first one and continue.

domalab.com create oracle database operation

For this Database instance we’ll use the Advanced configuration option in order to review and select more settings.

domalab.com create oracle database ctreation mode

With the deployment type we can choose betweeen single instance database or part of an Oracle Cluster. In this case we’ll go for a single instance. Next is to select the template type. There are 3 Oracle Database types that ship with the Server installation:

  • Data Warehouse
  • General Purpose or Transaction Processing
  • Custom Database

Each one comes with different settings and resources associated. All can be reviewed from View Details column. For this example we’ll use the General Purpose type.

domalab.com create oracle database type

At this point we can define the Global Database Name and the Oracle SID identifier. The SID defaults to the database name and uniquely identifies the instance that runs the database. For now let’s remove the option to create a Container database.

domalab.com create oracle database identification

As the screenshot is showing let’s use the template file. Selecting this option instructs the DBCA to use the directory information as specified in the template. Later, we can make modifications to database filenames and locations. As an alternative we can also specify either a File system location or use the Automatic Storage Management (ASM) if this is configured.

domalab.com create oracle database storage option

When creating a new database, it is important to configure the Oracle Database so we can recover data in the event of a system failure. This is possible in two separate options:

  • Fast Recovery Area
  • Archiving

The first one is an area where Oracle dataase creates it’s redo log files for fast recovery whereas the latter is a location where Oracle creates Archive of the database redo log files which can be used to recover a database.

domalab.com create oracle database Fast Recovery option

In the network configuration for the Oracle Database we can specify the Network Port which will be used by middle-tier and client-server applications to connect to the database.

domalab.com create oracle database network configuration

Oracle Database Vault helps addressing security problems like protection against insider threats, meeting regulatory compliance requirements, and enforcing separation of duty. It provides a number of flexible features that can be used to apply fine-grained access control to sensitive data. For the time being we can leave the options for the Data Vault unselected and move to the next screen.

domalab.com create oracle database Data Vault option

In the configuration options we can operate on a big numbe rof options including:

  • Memory
  • Sizing
  • Characther Set
  • Connection Mode
  • Sample Schema

Unless there are particular requirements we can leave the default settings as detected from the DBCA utility. Of course based on our environment we can adjust as required. With regard to Character Set the AL32UTF8 is the standard and compatible with multiple languages. Changing this afterwards to a different one is not an easy task so the advice is to use the standard one.

The Connection mode determines the amount resources which should be allocated to clients connecting to the Oracle Database. ther are 2 modes: Dedicated and Shared. The latter should be used only when a large number of clients is expected to connect to the Oracle Database. In this case we can use the Dedicated mode for our homelab.

domalab.com create oracle database configuration options

Last but not least the configuration option section includes the option to import sample schema from the chosen template (General Purpose).

domalab.com create oracle database configuration options schema

In the Management Options we have the ability to enable and configure the Network Port on the Oracle Server to access this Oracle Database instance. For the time being let’s enable just the one on-Premises in our homelab!

domalab.com create oracle database management options

In this step we can now specify the credentials to access the Oracle Database. In particular the option to specify the password for all administrative accounts (SYS and SYSTEM) and the OracleUser. In this case I’m using the same password for both Admin accounts.

domalab.com create oracle database user credentials

We are now ready to create the database and should we need to run further customisations we can point the DBCA wizard to a custom SQL script to amend changes after it’s creation. In addition, the options to save this configuration as a template and save into a script.

domalab.com create oracle database creation option

Other two important sections include the Initialization Parameters and the Storage Locations. The screenshot show the current values before Oracle Database creation. We still have the option to apply changes before execution.

domalab.com create oracle database initialization parameters

The same applies for storage locations we want to use Control Files, Data Files and Redo Logs Files.

The Oracle DBCA finally shows a summary with the chosen option and and edit pertinent sections. Very interestingly the DBCA configuration for this job can also be save into a response file for silent or unattended deployments.

At this point the Oracle DBCA is taking care of the creation process for the Oracle Database. This operation can take quite a while depending on resources.

Upon completion and before closing the DBCA utility let’s review the main settings and we can still use this one to unlock the user/password for the Sample Schema we have imported in the previous step. So let’s click on Password Management.

In our case this would be for the HR user and password. Let’s unlock and choose a new password.

We can now use the chosen user “HR” in this case or use a “SYS” user with a Full view on all objects and configurations for the Oracle database. All we have to do is to point to the Oracle Server with a web browser with the configured port earlier on.

Accessing the Oracle Enterprise Manager with a SYS account of course gives a full view to the Oracle Database instance. For example I can already see there is a lot of “WAIT” in orange which means that definitely I need to provide more RAM Memory to this VM ans use the Oracle DBCS to adjust this parameter!

And this concludes a walk through on how to install Oracle Database. Next steps will focus on how to use Veeam to protect Oracle Servers and its Databases.

About the author

Michele Domanico

Passionate about Virtualization, Storage, Data Availability and Software Defined Data Center technologies. The aim of Domalab.com is sharing with the Community the knowledge and experience gained with customers, industry leaders and like minded peers. Always open to constructive feedback and new challenges.

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