The Data Guard Broker is recommended for various reasons, this one is less obvious: It prevents a Split-Brain problem that may otherwise occur in certain situations. Let me show you:
[oracle@uhesse ~]$ dgmgrl sys/oracle@prima DGMGRL for Linux: Version 22.214.171.124.0 - 64bit Production Copyright (c) 2000, 2013, Oracle. All rights reserved. Welcome to DGMGRL, type "help" for information. Connected as SYSDBA. DGMGRL> show configuration; Configuration - myconf Protection Mode: MaxAvailability Members: prima - Primary database physt - Physical standby database Fast-Start Failover: DISABLED Configuration Status: SUCCESS (status updated 18 seconds ago)
This is my setup with 12c, but the demonstrated behavior is the same with 11g already. I will cause a crash of the primary database now, without damaging any files – like a power outage on the primary site:
[oracle@uhesse ~]$ ps -ef | grep smon oracle 6279 1 0 08:30 ? 00:00:00 ora_smon_prima oracle 6786 1 0 08:32 ? 00:00:00 ora_smon_physt oracle 7168 3489 0 08:43 pts/0 00:00:00 grep --color=auto smon [oracle@uhesse ~]$ kill -9 6279
Don’t do that at home 🙂 Now the primary is gone, but of course I can failover to the standby:
[oracle@uhesse ~]$ dgmgrl sys/oracle@physt DGMGRL for Linux: Version 126.96.36.199.0 - 64bit Production Copyright (c) 2000, 2013, Oracle. All rights reserved. Welcome to DGMGRL, type "help" for information. Connected as SYSDBA. DGMGRL> failover to physt; Performing failover NOW, please wait... Failover succeeded, new primary is "physt"
So far so good, my end users can continue to work now on the new primary. But what happens when the power outage is over and the ex-primary comes back up again?
[oracle@uhesse ~]$ sqlplus sys/oracle@prima as sysdba SQL*Plus: Release 188.8.131.52.0 Production on Wed May 18 08:47:30 2016 Copyright (c) 1982, 2014, Oracle. All rights reserved. Connected to an idle instance. SQL> startup ORACLE instance started. Total System Global Area 1258291200 bytes Fixed Size 2923920 bytes Variable Size 452985456 bytes Database Buffers 788529152 bytes Redo Buffers 13852672 bytes Database mounted. ORA-16649: possible failover to another database prevents this database from being opened
The DMON background process of the new primary communicates with the DMON on the ex-primary, telling it that there cannot be two primary databases within the same Data Guard Broker configuration! Try the same scenario without the broker and you will observe the ex-primary coming up until status OPEN. Just wanted to let you know 🙂