Oracle Installation Guide - Oracle OFA

by / September, 2011 / Published in Oracle DBA Tips

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Oracle documentation refers to it in detail about Oracle OFA standard. OFA stands for Optimal Flexible Architecture. In fact, the Oracle installers program on certain operating systems does an OFA-compliant installation by default. OFA greatly eases the administration and maintenance of many sites with high availability requirements.

Optimal Flexible Architecture OFA is a set of installation and configuration guidelines from Oracle Corporation. OFA allows you to install, set up, and configure your database and operating system environments without having to reinvent the wheel by cooking up your own new standard. It allows you to reuse the Oracle knowledge bank of "do's and don'ts" derived from real life experience at many client sites. It lets you implement some of the best practices followed by Oracle customer worldwide.

The original OFA consists of 13 basic system requirements and 11 full-fledged recommendations in naming UNIX and LINUX mount points, managing raw-devices, segregating Oracle software and data files, creating a minimum number of tablespaces, and observing data file and tablespace naming conventions for both regular single instance and Real Application Cluster RAC installations. A typical Oracle installation deals with a number of different file types like data files of data, indexes, temporary, large objects and undo segments, redo logs, archive logs, control files, many of which have potential to create disk I/O bottleneck if laid out together.

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With all the advantages OFA brings to the table, there are still many sites that choose not to use OFA. While using Oracle installer to install Oracle software, it is possible to bypass the default installation mode and skip OFA. Such a decision may not necessarily be bad, if some other standard is used in lieu of OFA. However, total lack of standards and haphazard configuration techniques lock you into a specific version of Oracle without an easy way to undo or upgrade without significant downtime. Following a specific standard allows easy maintenance. For instance, OFA recommends that you do not create any data files on the same mount point as Oracle software. Doing so may cause problems potentially leading to downtime when you create another database on the same machine, upgrade the current version, or even apply a simple patch. This following OFA allows you to minimize downtime in ways not easily anticipated during a first time install.

OFA allows you to build on the existing standard with your own. In fact, at some of sites, we use customized version of OFA, modifying it with standards as dictated by our unique requirement or company's requirements.

When you are working on so many databases then it is recommended to use of Oracle OFA installation because it is very easy to remember and manage. If you would not use Oracle OFA in multi-database environment then it is very tough to remember all Oracle homes,database homes, log file destinations etc.

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