Monday, July 26, 2021

OVM series part 1: Getting started with OVMCLI


I have been introduced to Oracle OVM rather accidentally. I was more familiar with the traditional vmware or hyper-V but when I was asked to help a client to implement their ovm backups, I got more curious about it. This post is the first of a series of 3.

I will try to show some basic examples on how to create resources like a vm using OVMCLI, since the web Console equivalent is overrated :). OVM Manager CLI supports the same functions as those on the browser interface but can be scripted & fully automated to enable flexibility to help deploy and manage your OVM environment. CLI changes are reflected in real time in the OVM Manager Console.


OVM Server is based upon Xen hypervisor technology, and includes Oracle VM Agent. Its Linux kernel is run as Dom0 to manage one or more DomU virtual machines, each of which could be Linux/ Solaris, or Microsoft Windows.

OVM Manager is a server side component that allows you to configure and manage your Oracle VM environment. It includes both a CLI and a web-based user interface. Users can create server pools and virtual machines, as well as manage networking and storage.

All right, let’s see how these commands work.

CLI examples

First let’s get acquainted with the CLI environment. How to connect to it and how its commands look like.

Create user
Admin user is created by default during the installation of ovm manager but additional users can be created.

[root@ovm-manager01 bin]# cd  /u01/app/oracle/ovm-manager-3/bin/
[root@ovm-manager01 bin]# ./ovm_admin --createuser    

Connection to OVMMCLI
It can be done through  ovm manger's hostname or IP

[ovm-mgr01]# ssh -l admin localhost -p 10000
           # export ovmmhost=`hostname -s`
[ovm-mgr01]# ssh -l admin $ovmmhost -p 10000
           # export ovmip=
[ovm-mgr01]# ssh -l admin $ovmip -p 10000

     Known connection issue:

         ErrorOVMM CLI connection is not available on port 10000 host ovm-mgr01


  • Check /start ovmcli service if stopped

    [ovm-mgr01]#  service ovmcli status|start  
  • If Both "diffie-hellman-group1-sha1" key exchange and "ssh-dss" host keys used by OVMMCLI ssh-server are disabled. Try them explicitly during the connection (openssh-client 7+) :

    # ssh -oKexAlgorithms=+diffie-hellman-group1-sha1 -oHostKeyAlgorithms=+ssh-dss -l admin  localhost -p 10000
  • Likely Solution:
    Upgrade OVMM to 3.4.5 release or higher (i.e 3.4.6 ) if the version is older.

OVMMCLI commands

  • Like any CLI linked to an API CRUD like commands are available
create <objectType> [(attribute1)="value1"] ... [on <objectType> <instance>]
delete <objectType> <instance>
edit   <objectType> <instance>  (attribute1)="value1" ...
list   <objectType>
show   <objectType> <instance>
-- For Most Object Types with Children:
add    <objectType> <instance> to <objectType> <instance>
remove <objectType> <instance> from <objectType> <instance>

- Object types: ServerPool/vm/Vnic/Repository/Fileserver/network/Vdisk/physicaldisk …etc.
- Instance: { id=value | name=value }
  • Client Session Commands
set alphabetizeAttributes=[Yes|No]  ---> display output in alphabetical order.
set commandMode=[Asynchronous|Synchronous] --->  default CLI run mode is Synchronous.
set commandTimeout=[1-43200]               ---> in seconds.
set endLineChars=[CRLF,CR,LF]       ---> end of line character to use for your SSH client.
set outputMode=[Verbose,XML,Sparse] --->  output mode for command results.
showclisession                      ---> list CLI session options and their settings
  • Other Commands:
showallcustomcmds             ---> list all commands and the objects that they relate to.
showcustomcmds <objectType>   ---> list all commands for an objectType (i.e vm)
showobjtypes ---> list all object types. showversion ---> Shows the version of OVMM and its CLI.

Our environment

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1. Create a VM

  • Syntax

create Vm [ memory=value ] [ memoryLimit=value ] [ cpuCount=value ]
[ cpuCountLimit=value ] [ cpuPriority=value ] [ cpuUtilizationCap=value ]
[ highAvailability= { Yes | No } ] [ hugePagesEnabled= { Yes | No } ] [ osType=value ]
[ keymapName= { en-us |..| fr } ] [ bootOrder= { PXE | DISK | CDROM } ]
[ networkInstallPath=value ] repository=value [ server=value ]
[ viridian= { Yes | No } ] name=value [ description=value ] on ServerPool instance

  • Example

OVM> create Vm name=My_server memory=8192 memoryLimit=8192 cpuCount=3 cpuCountLimit=4 \
     osType="Microsoft Windows Server 2012" repository=OVM_repo1 domainType=XEN_HVM \
    server=ovs-01 startPolicy=BEST_SERVER on ServerPool name=OVM-Lab ;

Time: 2021-03-28 02:47:35,332 EDT
Data:id:0004fb0000060000549e161d2ea0400b  name:My_server

  • Note: You can always edit the vm’s attributes after creation (i.e below domain Type has windows drivers)

OVM> edit Vm name=My_server domainType=XEN_HVM_PV_DRIVERS

2. Create a virtual disk to use as the boot disk

  • Syntax

Create VirtualDisk size=value shareable= { Yes | No } sparse= { Yes | No } name=value
[ description=value ] on Repository instance

  • Example

OVM> create VirtualDisk name=My_disk size=60 sparse=Yes  shareable=No on Repository \

Time: 2021-03-28 02:48:17,120 EDT
Data: id:0004fb0000120000edae47c4bf5252c8.img  name:My_disk

3. Map the virtual disk to the virtual machine

  • Syntax

OVM> create VmDiskMapping slot=value
{ physicalDisk=value | virtualDisk=value | virtualCd= { value | EMPTY_CDROM } }
name=value [ description=value ] on Vm instance

  • Example

OVM> create VmDiskMapping slot=0 virtualDisk=My_disk name="My server Boot Disk" \
on Vm name=My_server
Time: 2021-03-28 02:49:10,135 EDT
Data:id:0004fb0000130000dce7093f1fb141c4  name:My_server Boot Disk

4. Map an ISO file to the virtual machine

  • Syntax

create VmDiskMapping slot=value  { physicalDisk=value | virtualDisk=value | virtualCd= { value | EMPTY_CDROM } }
name=value [ description=value ] on Vm instance

  • Example (here the Iso is located in the same repository than the vm config file OVM_repo1)

OVM> create VmDiskMapping slot=1 virtualCd=WINDOWS_2012R2.iso  name="DVDROM Drive" \
    on Vm name=My_server

Time: 2021-03-28 02:49:42,553 EDT
Data:id:0004fb00001300004693d433aafceca7  name:DVDROM Drive

       with 100% completion but a warning that wasn’t impactful .

5. Set up the disk boot order

  • Example

OVM> edit Vm name=My_server bootOrder='CDROM,DISK' startPolicy=BEST_SERVER
Status: Success   Time: 2021-03-28 02:50:30,114 EDT            
JobId: 1585378228467

6. Create a VNIC and add it to the virtual machine

  • Syntax

create Vnic network=value name=value [ macAddress=value ] [ description=value ] on Vm instance

  • Example

OVM> create Vnic name=Ethernet1 network=OVM-LAB-NET on Vm name=My_server
Status: Success  Time: 2021-03-28 02:51:46,227 EDT                                        JobId: 1585378294963                                                       Data: id:0004fb0000070000e6d766a1ce769034  name:Ethernet1

7- Start the vm

OVM> start vm name=My_server        
-- Restart a vm OVM> restart { Server | Vm }   name =value
-- Resume OVM> resume  Vm   name=My_server
--> Miscellaneous <--
-- Kill a server or a vm OVM> kill { Server | Vm } name =value
-- Migrate a vm OVM> migrate Vm name=My_server destServer=MyServer

OVM> migrate Vm name=My_server destServerPool=MyServerPool 

List Commands

  • Repositories

OVM> list repository
      Command: list repository  Status: Success
      Time: 2020-03-19 19:47:16,227 EDT
id:0004fb0000030000d6744a0a7e3649db  name:OVM_repo1
id:0004fb0000030000394dd4b78643b4b5  name:OVM_repo2

  • Servers

OVM> list server
     Command: list server     Status: Success
     Time: 2020-02-24 18:08:27,900 EST
    id:ff:20:00:08:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:00:21:28:e7:df:8e  name:ovs-01
    id:08:00:20:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:a0:df:e7:28:21:00  name:ovs-02

  • Fileserver

OVM> list fileserver
     Command: list fileserver     Status: Success
     Time: 2020-02-24 18:10:27,634 EST
       id:0004fb0000090000033d51d61b4a92fa  name:Oracle ZFS

Show Commands

  • VM

OVM> show Vm name=My_Server
Data: Status = Stopped Memory (MB) = 4096 Max. Memory (MB) = 4096 Processors = 2 Max. Processors = 2 VmDiskMapping 1 = 0004fb00001300002b1908da5ee6c251 [Mapping for disk Id
  • Virtual disk

OVM> show virtualdisk name=0004fb0000120000ed4b60a8dea41e5d.img                            
Absolute Path = /dev/mapper/3600144f08e../VirtualDisks/0004fb0000120000ed4b60a8dea41e5d.img Mounted Path = /OVS/Repositories/0004fb../VirtualDisks/0004fb0000120000ed4b60a8dea41e5d.img
VmDiskMapping 1 = 0004fb000.. [Mapping for disk Id (0004fb0000120000ed4b60a8dea41e5d.img)]

Max (GiB) = 300.0
Used (GiB) = 278.45
Shareable = No
Repository Id = 0004fb00000300007292ef76d1746897 [VM Storage]

Add a server to the server pool

  • In case the server is unassigned to a pool

OVM> add Server name=ovs-03 to ServerPool name=OVM-LaB


I didn’t want to put too much in one post but you get the gist of how the CLI interface works in OVM. The list of object types and the related commands is quite long. However, If you want to explore them in detail you can refer to the below document.
Next we will be talking about the logs available for OVM and some diagnostic tools required for SRs .

Thank you for reading

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Interview With Oracle FPP head Ludovico Caldara

I want to thank Ludovico Caldara [FPP & Cloud MAA Product Manager @Oracle] for accepting the publication of this interview which is based on a conversation we had some time ago. It is mainly focused on the Oracle Fleet Patching and Provisioning (FPP) “FUNDAMENTALS”, but I hope this could help the community to glean a better understanding as to which is which and which does what within its Architecture before trying their labs.

: If you want to check the hottest news about FPP, please jump to the 4th section What’s cooking for FPP

Main Topics

 1. Storage options for provisioned Software
2. Client/Server relationship
 3. Upgrade in FPP
 4. What’s cooking for FPP in 2021
      ○  Helpful resources

                                                                -- ⚜  “Latin Greetings”  ⚜ --                                                                    

Ciao Ludovico, come stai! Grazie per aver accettato questa intervista.

Ciao BrokeDBA, tutto bene grazie. Grazie a te per l’invito!


I. Storage Options for Provisioned Software

First, I recently read a section in the FPP technical brief where they stated something like the below

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My Question is what does “FPP managed” storage change really for provisioning?
Does that mean if the storage is FPP managed, it can't store and provision grid images ?

The option to provision software “LOCAL” or “FPP_MANAGED” is related to the possibility of using ACFS on the client to store a copy of the gold image locally to the client and add the working copy as an ACFS snapshot.

So from there, any working copy that you want to provision out of the same gold image (or image series), will be provisioned as ACFS snapshot of the corresponding image (see link)

  • What changes on the client is that if you provision to a “LOCAL” filesystem, you have to care about it (its existence, size, etc.), and every working copy based on the same image will be a full copy occupying space.
  • If you provision to FPP_MANAGED, you just need to provision a diskgroup with enough capacity, and the ACFS filesystems and snapshots are created/managed automatically by the FPP client.

The dependency with ACFS makes it impossible to have working copies of Grid Infrastructure using RHP/FPP_MANAGED.

The image management on the FPP server does not change, you can import and manage GI images or DB images on the FPP server, they’ll always go in the ACFS filesystem.

-- Follow-up

So it’s not a provisioning limitation for simple target servers but only for FPP clients? We could still provision working copies of GI gold images stored in the FPP server,  just not on an FPP_MANAGED storage if the destination is an FPP server or client  correct?   

[Ludovico] Correct.

Does it mean I can only add DB home working copies to an FPP_MANGED storage in the FPP servers’ ACFS system? 

I was referring to images, not working copies. I’ll try to schematize it here:
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(*) when provisioning DB Working Copies on FPP_MANAGED, the base ACFS file system contains a copy of the image, but you cannot "add image" to a client

So all GI working copies need to be LOCAL, cue the mandatory -path option ?

[Ludovico] Correct.

II. Client/Server Relationship

Now back to FPP clients, what kind of relationship is there between an FPP client & the FPP server in terms of role and content?

  • From the documentation I could read the following

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  • A bit further

Is HA the reason behind Client/Server architecture or could you clarify this relationship a bit more?

These two statements are a bit unrelated. The first says that to promote a cluster as FPP client (and not just target), you need at least GI 12.2 if the server is 19c. If you have GI 12.1 on the client, it cannot become a client but will stay an unmanaged target. The difference is that the client is “registered” and further operations on it do not require root password anymore.
The client/server relationship is established once and for all, with credential wallets, when doing “add client/ add rhpclient”). Also, once a cluster becomes FPP client, it can trigger actions on its own (if the local user has the correct roles).

The second statement just suggests that the FPP server should be highly available so that FPP server stays available in case of server failure. As it says, not mandatory but recommended.

Does the client store images like any FPP server, or just uses the FPP server’s repository for creating working copies?

The second, Clients do not store their own images, they always get them from the server.

What does FPP_MANAGED storage option mean in practice for FPP client environment provisioning?

  • Option 1
    Add a DB working copy snapshot after importing the image from the FPP server to a local ACFS , (total size = image + snapshot)?

  • Option 2
    Add a DB working copy as  a snapshot directly from FPP server’s ACFS image without having to import it first, (total size = snapshot)?


  • Option 1:  Exactly, the import of the image and the creation of the snapshot are implicit with the ”add workingcopy” command.

  • Option 2:  No, this was possible in 12.1 (NFS working copy provisioning), but it has been dismissed because NFS availability was a concern more than a solution.

Upgrade in FPP


Let's say we have an existing 12c non CDB (non working Copy) installed and wish to migrate it to 19c CDB.
In a normal world (non FPP) we usually have the below options (see
19c migration white paper)

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Which scenarios are available in an FPP environment (i.e. : FPP Server + FPP Target having 12c NonCDB DB) that allow us to do the same migration in question (Non CDB 12c to 19c CDB)?
Early documentation wasn’t very clear for me on that scenario, is multi tenant conversion supported too?

You can use Fleet Patching and Provisioning to upgrade CDBs but 19c Fleet Patching and Provisioning does not support converting a non-CDB to a CDB during upgrade.

Up to 19c, FPP uses DBUA and DBCA in the backend for database upgrade and creation. If you need to have special templates for DBCA you can create the templates in the Oracle Home and create the gold image from that. From that moment, the working copies provisioned from that image will have the template that you need.

I realized that a local database on a FPP target doesn’t have to be a working copy to be upgraded with FPP but we can have a new copy created on the fly during the upgrade using “-image” option.
Could you tell more about this feature?
Syntax: rhpctl upgrade database  … [-image 19c_image_name [-path where_path]]      

Correct, that’s also in the 19c doc.

“ …. If the destination working copy does not exist, then specify the gold image from which to create it, and optionally, the path to where to provision the working copy.”

IV. What’s Cooking for FPP

I have an idea about what’s hot lately for FPP but could you elaborate more about the exciting news that are in store for FPP in 2021 and beyond?


Fleet Patching and Provisioning 21c comes with support for the Autoupgrade tool. This simplifies the preparation, execution and the troubleshooting of upgrade campaigns. The feature will be hopefully backported to 19c.

As more and more customers migrate their fleet to Exadata Cloud Services and Exadata Cloud at Customer, the next big development will be toward integrating fleet patching capabilities in the OCI service portfolio. Today, patching cloud services with the on-premises version of FPP is not supported.

For the long-term vision, FPP will be the core of all database fleet patching operations within Oracle. It will be critical to make it easier to implement and maintain, so expect improvements in this direction for the future releases. Sorry, I cannot tell more :-)

Helpful resources