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ORA-12638 and ORA-01031 on Windows cluster

We have a two-node Microsoft cluster running Windows 2000 Advanced Server SP4. Our cluster storage is SAN attached using dual HBAs. EMC PowerPath manages the dual paths to the SAN. The most critical resource on this cluster is our Oracle database. From time to time, we get the following event in the System Event log:
 Event ID: 1069
 Source: ClusSvc
 Message: Cluster resource '' failed.
When this error occurs, we see these errors in the Oracle FailSafe logs at about the same time:
 Oracle Database <>: IsAlive Poll of resource failed on attempt number # with the following
 error: ORA-12638: Credential retrieval failed

 Oracle Database <>: IsAlive Poll of resource failed on attempt number # with the following
 error: ORA-01031: insufficient privileges
The Oracle 12638 error occurs more often than the 01031 error, but they both tend to show up when the Event ID 1069 appears in the Windows System Event log. Both nodes of this cluster are members of the same domain. The account that runs the Oracle database, Oracle FailSafe, and Microsoft Cluster services has Domain Administrator privileges, so I can't imagine it being a privilege issue unless the one or more of the cluster nodes is failing to authenticate against the domain. Any ideas?

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In my experience, the ORA-12638: Credential retrieval failed message is frequently related to the SQLNET.ORA setting SQLNET.AUTHENTICATION_SERVICES. If it's set to NTS, check to see if you need Windows native authentication; if you don't, you might try commenting out or changing the parameter.

This was first published in May 2005

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