Sunday, May 31, 2015

Building an Oracle Linux Amazon Web Services AMI with Packer

No need to explain why Amazon Web Services is a nice platform to run Oracle. The largest IaaS Cloud Provider is one of the few Oracle Authorized Cloud Environments. You can Bring Your Own "Oracle" Licenses (BYOL) on AWS EC2 or RDS. You can pay for what you've provisioned because it is considered as a hard partitioned Platform.

Obviously, there are some drawbacks including the one pointed by Marc Fielding on Pythian's Blog or the fact you cannot run RAC. But it is, for sure, a nice playground to run Oracle technologies, your applications on Oracle or any Oracle applications including JD Edwards, Peoplesoft, Oracle E-Business Suite and many more... In addition, Amazon RDS for Oracle offers an attractive pay-per-use and "per-hour" model for Oracle Database SE1.

On the other hand, Oracle Linux is probably the best operating system to run Oracle, on AWS EC2 like on any x86_64 Platforms: it requires one-only rpm to be ready for most Oracle software; it is free and you don't need to support all your instances the same way as described in the Service Levels section of "Oracle Linux and Oracle VM Support Policies". Last and not least, it is 100% compatible with Redhat Enterprise Linux and you can even get AMIs from Oracle on the AWS Marketplace.

This blog presents and easy and fast way to create an Oracle Linux AMI from the Open Virtual Format (OVF) with AWS VM Import/Export... It relies on Virtualbox, Packer.io and Kickstart.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Customizing Redhat/Oracle Linux 6 ISOs

Performing a complete Redhat/Oracle Linux installation when booting from an ISO is very neat. This is an easy and consistent method to quickly start virtual machines with Packer for VirtualBox, VMWare or Parallels.

You can find a complete example of how to do it with Redhat/Oracle Linux 7 in "Customizing Redhat/Oracle Linux CDROMs, ISOs and USBs". However, I had to use this method with release 6 of Oracle Linux this week and, as you can expect, some of the parameters have changed. That's why I've documented how to do it also with Release 6. It should not take you more than 15 minutes to customize your own ISO file and 5 minutes to perform a new installation...