What is virtual IP in Oracle RAC?
How new connection establish in Oracle RAC?
For failover configuration we should need to configure our physical ip of host name in listener configuration. Listener process is accepting new connection request and handover user process to server process or dispatcher process in Oracle.
It means using listener new connection is being established by Oracle. Once connection get established there is no need of listener process. If new connection is trying to get session in database and listener is down then what will be happening. User process gets error message and connection fails. Because listener is down in same host or something else problem. But in Oracle RAC database environment database is in sharing mode. Oracle RAC database is shared by all connected nodes. In short, more than 1 listeners are running in various nodes.
In Oracle RAC database if user process is trying to get connection with some listener and found listener is down or node is down then Oracle RAC automatically transfer this request to another listener on another node. Up to Oracle 9i we use physical IP address in listener configuration. Means if requested connection gets failed then it will be diverting to another node using physical IP address of another surviving node. But during this automatically transfer, connection should need to wait up to get error message of node down or listener down using TCP/IP connection timeout. Means session should need to wait up to getting TCP/IP timeout error dictation. Once error message is received oracle RAC automatically divert this new connection request to another surviving node.
Using physical IP address there is biggest gap to get TCP/IP timeout for failover suggestion. Session should need to wait for same timeout. High availability of Oracle RAC depends on this time wasting error message.
Why VIP (Virtual IP) needs in Oracle RAC?
From Oracle 10g, virtual IP considers to configure listener. Using virtual IP we can save our TCP/IP timeout problem because Oracle notification service maintains communication between each nodes and listeners. Once ONS found any listener down or node down, it will notify another nodes and listeners with same situation. While new connection is trying to establish connection to failure node or listener, virtual IP of failure node automatically divert to surviving node and session will be establishing in another surviving node. This process doesn't wait for TCP/IP timeout event. Due to this new connection gets faster session establishment to another surviving nodes/listener.
Characteristic of Virtual IP in Oracle RAC:
Virtual IP (VIP) is for fast connection establishment in failover dictation. Still we can use physical IP address in Oracle 10g in listener if we have no worry for failover timing. We can change default TCP/IP timeout using operating system utilities or commands and kept smaller. But taking advantage of VIP (Virtual IP address) in Oracle 10g RAC database is advisable. There is utility also provided to configure virtual IP (vip) with RAC environment called VIPCA. Default path is $ORA_CRS_HOME/bin. During installation of Oracle RAC, it is executed.
Advantage of Virtual IP deployment in Oracle RAC:
Using VIP configuration, client can be able to get connection fast even fail over of connection request to node. Because vip automatically assign to another surviving node faster and it can't wait for TNS timeout old fashion.
Disadvantage of Virtual IP deployment in Oracle RAC:
Some more configuration is needed in system for assign virtual IP address to nodes like in /etc/hosts and others. Some misunderstanding or confusion may occur due to multiple IP assigns in same node. Only expert remote dba will be able to perform this task during remote dba services.
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