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Donald K. Burleson

Oracle RAC Tips

The Concept of a Virtual Server

The concept of a virtual server is a significant feature of a failover cluster because it allows smooth and seamless connectivity to clustered computing resources or services by client applications.

From the viewpoint of the user, connecting to a database running as a clustered virtual server appears the same as connecting to a single, physical server. In fact, any node in the cluster can host the connection to a virtual server, but it is usually the primary or surviving node. The user or client application will not know which node is actually hosting the virtual server. As shown in Fig 3.9, the virtual server is an addressing mechanism for the client connections.

Fig 3.9 Cluster Access through a Virtual Server

Server clusters manage the virtual server as a resource that is mapped to the IP address or network name. Client connections to a virtual server are made by a client session that knows only the IP address that the cluster service publishes as the address of the virtual server. The client view is simply a view of individual network names and IP addresses.

For example, in a typical database cluster having two physical nodes, each with distinct IP addresses, the cluster server configures an additional IP address, usually termed a virtual server or host. This virtual host always maps to the active node in the cluster where the database service is provided.

For more information, see the book Oracle 11g Grid and Real Application Clusters 30% off if you buy it directly from Rampant TechPress . 

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