Does Oracle support using Red Hat Global File System (GFS) with Oracle RAC (Real Application Clusters) software?

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Yes! Oracle now officially supports customers who want to deploy Oracle RAC with Red Hat GFS on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Currently, the supported configuration is: Oracle 9iRAC, Red Hat GFS v6.0, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3. Visit Oracle's RAC Technologies Matrix for Linux Clusters for confirmation of this supported configuration:

Supported Configuration Details for Oracle 9iRAC and Red Hat GFS 6.0 (with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3)

Red Hat Global File System (GFS) can be configured in several ways to support different levels of redundancy. GFS uses a centralized lock server daemon that can be configured as a single primary and multiple secondary server daemons on separate nodes (two or four secondary lock nodes). If the primary lock server fails, one of the secondary lock servers that has been keeping an updated copy of the lock state becomes the primary lock server. In this manner single node lock server failures can be tolerated.

For mission-critical Oracle RAC environments, Oracle supports an external lock server configuration with dedicated lock server nodes. The external lock server configuration allows you to reboot, remove, or add Oracle RAC server nodes without affecting lock manager availability and hence the operation of other nodes in the Oracle RAC cluster. Optionally, for higher levels of redundancy, networking redundancy can also be introduced to allow networking failures (both partial and complete) to happen without halting Oracle grid operations completely. Networking redundancy can take the form of Ethernet channel bonding (tolerates Ethernet HBA, cable and network failures) or virtual IP addressing which will tolerate failures at the router level.

Note: Red Hat does not charge for Red Hat GFS nodes that are used only for the external lock server configuration (both primary and secondary nodes) and therefore do not read/write to the Red Hat GFS filesystem.

Red Hat GFS also supports an embedded lock server configuration, which allows the lock server daemons (both primary and secondary) to be run directly on nodes that mount and access (read/write) the GFS file system. Embedded lock server configurations are NOT currently supported by Oracle for use with Oracle RAC.

More information about Red Hat GFS and lock server configurations can be found at: