Graceful Switchover (GS)

1. Introduction

This section will provide you with details on how to perform a Graceful Switchover (GS).  A GS is done in a controlled manner with zero data loss.  During this process, the primary and standby databases switch roles.

There is a number of checks and steps to be performed as part of this process. If for some reason the process fails, it will attempt an auto-rollback depending on the stage it is at.

The section will first cover the command line interface option followed by using the Central Console.

If you have a Dbvisit Observer configured, make sure monitoring is DISABLED for the DDC you are about to gracefully switchover. Failure to do this will cause the Observer to act once the database changes state, which may cause unpredictable and difficult-to-recover-from circumstances.

Before you execute a Graceful Switchover you must make sure that the Archive Log Gap between the primary and standby is 0 or if using Oracle RAC 0 or 1.

Please stop the Dbvisit Daemon Process from Primary and Standby before executing the Graceful Switchover. Check the below link to stop/start the daemon process depending on the platform.

Dbvisit Standby Scheduling#4.RunningDbvisitStandbyintheBackground

If you are using other scheduling methods please make sure that these schedules are disabled/stopped before proceeding with Graceful Switchover.

Before running the Graceful switchover check if there are any services running the database if so you might have to set the value of the DDC variable SERVICE_USED and SERVICE_USED_DR to Y. Check the usage of the variable in the below documentation link. The variable is introduced from Dbvisit Standby Version 8.0.22.

DDC File Reference#Reference-9.AdvancedSettings

If RMAN is used in no-catalog mode on primary or standby database, execution of Graceful Switchover will render any backup information and setting in primary and standby controlfiles unusable. After Graceful switchover, crosscheck and catalog of existing backups must be performed.

Restore points if created in the primary should be dropped before GS is initiated since GS would fail and will not proceed unless the restore point in dropped. 

  • Graceful switchover may fail with Oracle Instant Library Issues
    • Dbvisit Standby includes Oracle 12.1 Instant Client libraries by default. If your system has a different version of Oracle installed, it is possible under some rare circumstances for a library version conflict to occur. If you experience any errors similar to "PRKN-1008: Unable to load the shared library orasrvmhas12.dll", you can usually resolve them easily by renaming this library in the dbvisit/standby folder to "orasrvmhas12.dll.12.1" or by using replacing the 12.1 Instant Client libraries in dbvisit/standby or dbvisit/standby/lib (depending on your operating system) with the 12.2 equivalent files. Please do not change any of these libraries in your Oracle Database Installation.

If you have Unified auditing enabled in your database, please make sure you upgrade to Dbvisit Standby release 9.0.18. If you are on earlier releases the graceful switchover will fail unless you disable the auditing.

On this page:

2.  Graceful Switchover - Command Line Interface 

The Graceful Switchover command is part of the "dbvctl -o" command options.  For more detail on using this command run:  "./dbvctl -o -h" 


[oracle@dbv1 standby]$ ./dbvctl -h -o

    dbvctl -d <ddc> -o status
    dbvctl -d <ddc> -o start|stop|restart [--database]
    dbvctl -d <ddc> -o open|read [--database]
    dbvctl -d <ddc> -o ro_test
    dbvctl -d <ddc> -o activate [--force] [--noprompt]
    dbvctl -d <ddc> -o dr_test [--backup --backup_type image|backupset --backup_location bck_dir] [--noprompt]
    dbvctl -d <ddc> -o reinstate [--switch] [--noprompt]
    dbvctl -d <ddc> -o switchover [--logswitch]
    dbvctl -d <ddc> -o update_ddc_file|update_dbenv_file
    dbvctl -d <ddc> -o upgrade [--noprompt] [--force]

    start            Startup instance or database
    stop             Shutdown instance or database
    status           Display status of instance or database
    restart          Restart instance or database
    open|read        Open the standby database read only
    ro_test          Open standby read only and restart
    activate         Activate standby database
    dr_test          Activate standby as DR test with optional backup
    reinstate        Reinstate standby from a backup
    switchover       Perform Graceful Switchover
    update_ddc_file  Reverse variables in a ddc file
    upgrade          Upgrade the ddc file to the latest version
    --database       Apply option to the whole database rather than an instance (RAC)
    --nosync         Add SYNCH_DBVISIT_INSTALL = No to ddc file on completion
    --logswitch      A number of logswitches to perform during GS (for test purposes)
    --noprompt       No confirmation prompts in CLI mode
    --switch         Switch standby to image copy when reinstating
    --force          For upgrade: upgrade DDC even if its version is up to date
                     For other options: No interactive prompt

    dbvctl [-d <ddc>] -o setup [--nolic] [--noprompt] [--mode CLI|GUI] [--action new|install|uninstall] [-j json_file]

    --nolic          Do not display license text
    --noprompt       No confirmation prompts
    --mode           CLI default
    --action         Used by GUI only
    --json           Json file in GUI mode

From the above, we can see that the Graceful Switchover command is:  ./dbvctl -d <DDC> -o switchover

You only have to execute this command on one of the servers (primary or standby). It is recommended to use the primary.

In the following example, we perform a Graceful Switchover for the DEV database running on dbv1 (primary) and dbv2 (standby): 

2.1.  Examples

The Graceful Switchover process for a single instance environment compared to an Oracle RAC configuration is the same.  Below are two examples, first using Single Instance configurations and the second between two Oracle RAC configurations.

2.1.1.  Example 1:  Single Instance Graceful Switchover

In this first example, the switchover command is executed on the primary server dbv1 for the single instance database DEV.

Once the above command is complete, the primary database is on dbv2 and the standby on dbv1.

[oracle@dbv1 standby]$ ./dbvctl -d DEV -o switchover
Dbvisit Standby Database Technology (9.0.0_1271_g4b00fb49) (pid 647)
dbvctl started on dbv1: Tue May  7 11:00:23 2019

>>> Starting Switchover between dbv1 and dbv2

Running pre-checks       ... done
Pre processing           ... done
Processing primary       ... done
Processing standby       ... done
Converting standby       ... done
Converting primary       ... done
Completing               ... done
Synchronizing            ... done
Post processing          ... done

>>> Graceful switchover completed.
    Primary Database Server: dbv2
    Standby Database Server: dbv1

>>> Dbvisit Standby can be run as per normal:
    dbvctl -d DEV


dbvctl ended on dbv1: Tue May  7 11:02:12 2019

2.1.2.  Example 2:  Oracle RAC and Graceful Switchover 

The Graceful Switchover command was executed on the primary RAC cluster and in this particular example, Dbvisit Standby was running on node 1 (kiwi81).  Once the Graceful Switchover is complete, the Oracle RAC database on kiwi81 and kiwi82 becomes standby and both instances will be in a mounted state - ready to perform recovery.

As can be seen in the last two commands the Oracle RAC database on node kiwi81 and kiwi82 is now in a mounted state ready for recovery - as the database on this cluster is now a standby database.

oracle@kiwi81[/acfs/dbvisit/standby]: ./dbvctl -d MYDEV -o switchover
Dbvisit Standby Database Technology (9.0.0_1383_g276092d5) (pid 24129)
dbvctl started on kiwi812-vip: Fri May 24 19:59:21 2019

>>> Starting Switchover between kiwi812-vip and kiwi912-vip

Running pre-checks       ... done
Pre processing           ... done
Processing primary       ... done
Processing standby       ... done
Converting standby       ... done
Converting primary       ... done
Completing               ... done
Synchronizing            ... done
Post processing          ... done

>>> Graceful switchover completed.
    Primary Database Server: kiwi912-vip
    Standby Database Server: kiwi812-vip

>>> Dbvisit Standby can be run as per normal:
    dbvctl -d MYDEV


dbvctl ended on kiwi812-vip: Fri May 24 20:48:07 2019

3.  Graceful Switchover - Central Console (GUI)

Graceful Switchover (GS) is a process which allows you to switch the roles of your Source and Destination Hosts, thereby swapping them. This can be a useful thing to do for a number of reasons, for example, if you wish to perform planned maintenance on your Source Host and therefore want the Destination Host to take over as the production host.

Step 1: Initiate the GS process by clicking the Perform Graceful Switchover button on the main page.

Step 2: Select the Configuration/DDC to work with [1]. The source is dbv2 and the target is dbv1

Step 3: Once the desired Configuration/DDC is selected [1], the system will run a Log Gap Report [2]. This is important because a Graceful Switchover can only be performed if the Archive Log Gap between your two Hosts is zero! If the log gap is more than zero, a warning message will be displayed, and you will be unable to proceed. NOTE: On RAC systems, a GS is possible when the Archive Log Gap is either 0 or 1.

If the operation is possible, clicking the Submit button [3] will begin the process. Please note the warning message above this button - GS is an important process, and because it swaps the roles of the Source and Destination Hosts, will completely change how your environment works. It is possible to use GS twice to again reverse your environment back to its original configuration, however, this will take a considerable amount of time. In short, please ensure you use the GS process responsibly.

Step 4: After the GS process is underway, you will be able to track it as a separate Task in the Active Task List [1].

Step 5: Once the GS process is complete, the Source and Destination Hosts for your chosen Configuration/DDC will switch. You can confirm this by going to the Configurations page and taking note of the Source and Destination host entries [1]. The new source is dbv1 and the standby is dbv2

4. Video - How To Perform A Graceful Switchover

Part 1

Part 2