8 Questions for the Oracle RAC Interview (With Sample Answers)
Database administrators use a wide range of third-party databases, software, and cloud storage options every day. One of the parts that database administrators use the most is Oracle RAC. If you’re looking for a job as a database administrator, you might want to look over some of the most common questions that come up in interviews about this database product. In this article, we explain what Oracle RAC is, list eight common interview questions about it, and show you how to answer them in a professional way.
What does Oracle RAC mean?
Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC) is a piece of software that lets database administrators install a database on more than one server. The Oracle Real Application Cluster is another name for this part. It works with the Oracle 9i database and connects multiple servers using the Oracle Clusterware software. So, they can work as one system. Oracle RAC is used by a lot of database administrators because it makes it easier to add or remove servers as needed by clustering databases on shared disks.
8 examples of how to answer questions about Oracle RAC in an interview
Here are eight questions about Oracle RAC that you might be asked at a job interview for a database administrator position, along with some examples of how to answer them.
1. Can you tell me what parts of an Oracle RAC database are needed to manage it?
Hiring managers might ask you this question to find out how much experience you have managing databases. In your answer, highlight the important parts and say why they are important.
Example: “Database administrators do their jobs with three main parts. The first is the Oracle Universal Installer, which handles the database for the cluster. It can also be set up in different ways for large businesses. Part two is a helper for setting up the database. I use this feature to keep the database’s services and functions working well. The last part is the database upgrade assistant, which is used by database administrators to make sure the database is always up to date and works well with the server.”
What makes Oracle RAC different from other database products like SQL Server and DB2?
Hiring managers may ask you this question to see if you have experience with other database products on the market. Show us some of the most important differences and tell us which database product you like to use.
Example: “When it comes to database clustering, Oracle RAC is different from SQL Server and DB2 because it has a shared disk architecture. Most other database products on the market use a design called “share nothing,” which separates data into different sections. In contrast to Oracle RAC’s shared disk architecture, which lets each server access the whole database, a “share nothing” architecture only lets each server access its own disk subsystem. This is just one reason why I like Oracle RAC’s system better. With shared disks, the system is more reliable and can be used in more ways.”
What is the VIP in Oracle RAC for?
VIP stands for Virtual IP Address. Each node in a cluster has its own virtual IP address. Give an example of when assigning a VIP might be helpful to show why it’s important.
Example: “If a node fails, the VIP is a very important piece of information. When this happens, the VIP of the failed node moves to a node that is still working. This lets the application know that the failed node has moved. Without this system, we wouldn’t know a node has failed until the application registers that the session is no longer active.”
4. What does “split-brain syndrome” mean to you?
Split-brain syndrome is a common condition in which two or more parts of the brain, called “nodes,” stop communicating with each other. This could make the system not work right. Hiring managers may ask you this question to see if you can spot and fix problems with Oracle RAC when they happen.
Example: “This happens when instances in an Oracle RAC can’t connect to each other through the private network. When this happens, they don’t talk to each other. Instead, they keep processing the data block on their own. This means that each instance needs its own resources, which could mess up the state of the system. Clusterware has helped me in the past to solve this problem. This method decides which instances or nodes to keep and which ones to get rid of by using a voting disk.”
5. How do you make sure that all the nodes in a cluster have the same time?
There are several ways to answer this question. Focus on highlighting one or two of the methods you are familiar with to show the hiring manager how you would usually approach this task.
Example: “I’ve done this in more than one way. The Network Time Protocol must be set up first (NTP). But if I’m using Oracle 11gR2, I’d use the Cluster Time Synchronization Service (CTSS) to make sure that all the nodes in a cluster stay in sync.”
6.What are some of the main reasons why you should use Oracle RAC?
Hiring managers may ask you this question to see how well you know Oracle RAC. Focus on pointing out the two or three best reasons to use this database product.
Example: “The scalability that comes from clustering databases on a shared disk is the most important benefit of using Oracle RAC. This makes it easy for a business to add or remove servers based on its needs, which cuts down on overhead costs. Oracle RAC also makes it easy to move work from one server to another in case one server fails or has technical problems. This is an excellent plan B.”
7.Can you explain what grid control is?
Database administrators can get to Grid Control, which is a tool, by using the Oracle Enterprise Manager. Talk about the good things about grid control to give a good answer.
Example: “Oracle Enterprise Manager includes the grid control tool. Administrators of the centralized management system can use it to run the system. Grid control also makes it easier to set up and manage, which can save money and make things run more smoothly.”
8.Why should you pay attention to the load balancing advisory?
Database administrators use the load balancing advisory to keep track of applications and resources that are spread across multiple servers. This is a question that hiring managers might ask to see if you can keep up with high standards. Talk about what the main purposes of the load balancing advisory are and how you can benefit from using it.
Example: “Load balancing advisory is important because it keeps track of what all the instances and clusters on a server are doing and how busy they are. This makes it easy to see how much of the whole job is being done at the moment. The load balancing advisory also makes the service better by spreading the load evenly across all the servers.”
Tips for an interview
Here are some more tips to help you prepare for your next database administrator job interview:
- Give some examples. Include examples of how you’ve used Oracle RAC and other database products at work, as well as your technical knowledge of these programs. This can help you show hiring managers how experienced you are and give them a good impression.
- Be specific. When you answer questions, be sure to talk about specific features, products, and methods to show the hiring manager how well you know about the topic. Use clear, concise language to convey your responses.
- Prepare questions. At the end of the interview, the hiring manager may ask if you have any questions for them. You can show the hiring manager that you are interested in the job by having a short list of questions ready.