RAC, Data Guard and password file

The SYS password can be a pain in RAC plus data guard environments.

If someone changes it, you’ve got a problem. Oracle saves the new password to the password file on the node where the change happened only. Any other node on the primary and all standby nodes will have a different password file.

These are some examples of errors in alert.log, drc.log or dgmgrl (if using broker) you can get:

  • PING[ARC2]: Heartbeat failed to connect to standby ‘mydb_dr’. Error is 16191.
  • Error 1017 received logging on to the standby
  • Error: ORA-16778: redo transport error for one or more databases
  • Operation HEALTH_CHECK canceled during phase 1, error = ORA-16778
  • NSV0: Failed to connect to remote database mydb. Error is ORA-01017
  • NSV0: Failed to send message to site mydb. Error code is ORA-01017.
  • Connection to database mydb returns ORA-01017.

Trying not to shutdown any primary node, I changed the password to the same one in both primary nodes, but it didn’t work to me. I had to stop node 2, which was the node I was having issues with, copy node 1 password file to node 2 and restart it. And to shutdown standby, copy the password file to all standby nodes and restart it.

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