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Running Oracle database inside Amazon Cloud (Step 3)

April 21, 2011

Creating an Oracle instance

When looking for images that are officially provided by a specific company, the AWS Solution Providers page is the right starting point. When it comes to Oracle, you can also shortcut directly to this page. Besides the list of provided AMIs this page also has links and documents about Oracle support and licensing for AWS based environments.

Keep in mind that only AMIs with an EBS backed root device can be stopped and restarted, like a standard server. AMIs with their root device in the local instance store are ephemeral in the sense that you can either keep them running or terminate them, i.e. delete them.

After clicking an appropriate AMI, e.g. “Oracle Database 11g Release 2 (11.2.0.1) Standard Edition – 64 Bit”, note its AMI ID. Some images are available for different regions. As regions are completely independent of each other, there are even different AMI IDs then, e.g. ami-3f739c56 for the US East region, ami-8d97bcf9 for the Europe region.

In the “Launch Instance” wizard just filter for the appropriate AMI ID like this:

Creating an instance from an Oracle AMI

Creating an instance from an Oracle AMI

The instance type determines the CPU and memory resources of your instance, e.g. a “Large instance” offers 7.5GB memory and 2 virtual CPU cores, delivering a total CPU capacity of 4 ECUs. This page lists the different instance types and explains that an ECU is approximately the CPU capacity of a 1.0-1.2 GHz 2007 Opteron oder Xeon processor.
 
Ticking the “Termination Protection” checkbox avoids accidentally terminating – and therefore deleting – the instance. “Shutdown Behaviour” determines what happens when you shutdown the OS inside the instance, e.g. with an “init 0” in Linux. I would always recommend choosing “Stop” here over “Terminate”.
 
After picking a key-pair and assigning a security group the instance can be started.
 
IMPORTANT: In the “Choose a key pair” step of the wizard there is also the option to “Proceed without a key-pair”. This is reasonable only after copied over your own, well known public key to an instance (or change the Windows password to a password known to you) and then snapshotted the instance into your own AMI (which may be non-public). This also allows you to use the same key pair for Amazon based as well as on-premise servers. Another way is to upload your own public key into AWS and then pick this key in the wizard. The EC2 command line tools which I will describe in a later post allow you uploading your public key as follows:
 
C:\> ec2-import-keypair myglobalkey –public-key-file C:\mypublickey.ppk
 
Ir is advisable to add some EBS volumes as well as an EIP now, as described in Step 2. The instance can use these volumes to build up a software RAID0, preferably with Oracle ASM, alternatively with something like mdadm.
 
IMPORTANT: As EBS volumes are automatically mirrorred, there is not much benefit in implementing a RAID1 or RAID10 here.
 
Unfortunately none of the provided 11.2 database AMIs seems to be equipped with the 11.2 Grid Infrastructure Software. As this is needed in 11.2 for using ASM, you would have to either copy/install it into the instance before or use one of the 11.1 or older database images provided.
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