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Using RAC/Data Guard with third-party application

We have a third-party application which is not RAC-enabled. My understanding is that we can still use RAC, or Data Guard since this is Oracle 10g, on the database itself and do a manual failover on the application. Is this true? Also, if we have 10g SE, can we just use a standby database to accomplish almost the same high availability that Data Guard offers?

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Yes, if I understand your question correctly, you can still use RAC and direct all of your connections to one instance through the client TNS configuration, then manually reconfigure the application to connect to the surviving node in event of failover.

I've seen some people accomplish this by configuring the two-node cluster and leaving one side down, in effect running with a failed node as normal operations. However, I suspect by not being "RAC-enabled" your application uses some sort of connection pooling at startup that may require a restart of the application anyway when failing over from one node to another.

Also, you are correct that 10g SE does not come with the Data Guard option, but you can manually simulate this by copying your archive logs to the standby destination and issuing a "recover automatic standby database" command to apply them. Besides having to script this and closely monitor the process, you will lose the graceful switchover flexibility and have to rebuild your standby database again after activation.

Good luck.

Bill

This was first published in October 2006

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