[OpenAFS] OpenAFS and Oracle (Support/Certification)?

Finke, Jon E finkej@rpi.edu
Wed, 7 Nov 2007 09:16:46 -0500

We have run Oracle on AFS clients for the past 15 years or so without
incident (Oracle data files and binaries were all on local disk or SAN
volumes, NOT in AFS space).  The Oracle instances did not interact
directly with AFS files, although many oracle applications did (were
stored in AFS space, and/or read and wrote files in AFS space.) =20

We recently upgraded Oracle, and moved it to a non AFS machine - mostly
for perceived reduction in dependencies, but mostly that the system
build for the new server is NOT afs based (prior machines were
maintained using AFS/Package, so AFS was a requirement for system
management - organizational evolution moved this Oracle service into a
less AFS centric department.)  The Oracle database continues to be used
to manage all of our computing accounts, including provisioning the AFS
accounts automatically.

The vast majority of the management system source code (SQL scripts,
PL/SQL programs, etc) still lives and is maintained out of AFS space.
This has proven to be an interesting exercise for me when I moved to a
windows desktop and got to stress test the windows OpenAFS client (it
certainly has given me a lot of stress at times...)

Jon Finke - Senior Systems Programmer - CMT - RPI
518 276 8185 (voice) - 518 276 2809 (fax) - http://www.rpi.edu/~finkej

-----Original Message-----
From: openafs-info-admin@openafs.org
[mailto:openafs-info-admin@openafs.org] On Behalf Of Robert Sturrock
Sent: Tuesday, November 06, 2007 8:33 PM
To: openafs-info@openafs.org
Subject: [OpenAFS] OpenAFS and Oracle (Support/Certification)?

Hi All.

This question is perhaps slightly off-topic for this list, but I'm very
interested to hear experiences from others about this.

We have spent quite a bit of time here setting up some new
infrastructure to provide a single-sign-on (Kerberos/LDAP/PAM) and
single home directory (OpenAFS) framework.  We had found our old
method of managing *NIX accounts individually (on our now 200+ Linux
and Solaris machines) was not scaling at all well, so the improvement
for us in moving to this framework was substantial.

OpenAFS was chosen primarily because it seemed very feature rich,
mature and had excellent platform support for both servers and

However, a problem has arisen around the use of Oracle.  In addition
to our stock of general purpose systems (Web, mail etc), we have many
machines that run Oracle databases and applications, ranging from
systems with a single Oracle DB instance to full Oracle App/DB (RAC)
suites.  Now apparently Oracle will only "certify" kernel modules that
provided by the O/S vendors directly (for us, this is RedHat and Sun),
plus a handful of special modules for (I'm told) certains SANs and the

Since the use of AFS relies on loading a kernel module, we are
concerned that there will be support problems with Oracle.  They
regard a kernel with an unsupported kernel module as "tainted".=20
Whilst we will endeavour to work through this with Oracle, I was
wondering if other sites are running OpenAFS on systems that also run
Oracle?  If so, have there been any support issues with Oracle, or
indeed any issues with stability on Oracle hosts that could be
pinned-down specifically to AFS?  Has anyone been able to obtain
certification from Oracle to run AFS?

(Note that we're only planning on using OpenAFS to provide home
directories and some non-critical shared areas, not in any way to
interact directly with Oracle).

We run Redhat Linux 4+5 (32/64 bit), and Solaris x86 and SPARC.

One possible workaround would be to the use the AFS/NFS translator, so
that the Oracle hosts only need NFS, but I would really only want to
do that as a last resort.

I'd be interested in hearing any experiences or ideas that people may
have on this subject.


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