Currently I am involved – sideways – in an Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 implementation at one of our customers.
One of my colleagues is implementing a RAC solution with two nodes and two application servers. The platform is Oracle Enterprise Linux 4.
Before I joined, the team decided to choose OCFS2 as cluster file system for the database. A logical step would be to use OCFS2 for sharing the Application Tier File System as well.
However, we recently found out that this ORACLE product still is not supported/certified for use with the Application Tier of Oracle E-Business Suite. There are issues with OCFS2 in combination with a Shared Application Tier File System (see my article at the AMIS Technology Weblog). Somehow Oracle doesn’t seem to be putting too much efforts into certifying OCFS2 against the EBS Application Server Tier. Initially, the reason was that Oracle had to put too much work into Release 12 and Fusion. However, we are more than 2 years from the initial announcement by Steven Chan, and still no certification, even though customers are requesting it. The only workaround for the issue with OCFS2 in setting up a Shared Application Tier File System is the one proposed in my article, and it is this workaround being referred to by Oracle Support as well. But keep in mind that this doesn't mean it is supported, because it is not!
OCFS2 is a Cluster File System that is certified against and supported with Oracle Server. Why not with Application Server (EBS)? In my opinion there are many customers willing to use OCFS2, because it is stable, from Oracle and not at the least: free of charge.
By the way, the issue I found with OCFS2 also applied (at the time) to GPFS (IBM's Cluster File System). When I tried to reproduce it on AIX on Power, the issue did not reproduce. It might therefore be something related to Linux (whether it be OEL or RHEL) and not at all to OCFS2.
One thing is sure: I would want to use OCFS2 at my customers. I have enough of them who would be willing to use it.
Until that time, my recommendation is to stay away from OCFS2 with the EBS (shared) Application Tier. Use NFS, or any alternative which is supported instead.
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