If you want to implement Active-Passive Cluster with minimum efforts - You need to Install Operating System Cluster in both the Nodes. Cluster Software will check the heart-beat of the nodes. If one Node is down then Cluster will automatically take all the components to Passive Node. Finally Passive Node will become Active Node.
Entire Switching components (Oracle Instance, Listener etc...) Cluster will take care of automatically from Active Node to Passive Node within MINIMAL TIME.
If you want to implement Active/Passive these are the available options in various Operating systems:
1. Oracle Solaris - - > Cluster Software is 'SUN Cluster 3.x"
2. HP_UX - - > Cluster Software is 'Service Guard'
3. IBM AIX - - > Cluster Software is 'HACMP'
4. Windows - - > Cluster Software is 'MicroSoft Cluster (MSCS)'
5. Redhat - - > Cluster Software is 'Redhat Cluster Suite'
We do not want to go full blown RAC as yet.
configure the 2 servers (VIFs/Interconnects)
Clone over the database (do I do this as a SINGLE NODE RAC?)
Regarding Licences :
Oracle Grid Infrastructure (clusterware) do not need licence. It comes with the Database licence.
Third part Cluster Software (such as Power HA, etc) - You need check with vendor about license.
Regardless of Software Clusterware that you will use ( clusterware,power ha and so on) you will need create resources with custom scripts (to start and stop database and relocate resource).
Using Oracle Clusterware, Oracle will support you about your scripts not about database. (e.g Your scripts is not failover due resource bugs)
My point of view and recomendation .... Go to Oracle Clusterware because you have no additional cost, can use many feature of GI that is fully supported by Oracle Database (like SCAN, ASM, ACFS and so on).
So, Oracle Clusterware provide much more resource to Oracle Database compared with other S/W cluster, and without additional cost.
I have been performing a lot of research in this area and note that Oracle has been putting a lot of effort into Clusterware 11gR2 – Setting up an Active/Passive failover configuration (a part of Oracle 11gR2 Grid Infrastructure)
Are you sure this is not supported?
It seems that eventually I would like to move to full blown RAC, so logically to use Oracle Clusterware (formall Cluster Ready Services) would seem sensible
We have been using Cold Failover Cluster support for SI Database failover since 2001 from OpenVMS, Tru64 (where CRS base code concepts were pulled/purchased from for 10.1, 10.2, 11.1) through the current 11.2 Environments with success. We use SI CFC to "uplift" the service for those SI environment and also run RAC databases as well on our environments. It allows for better use of resources and allows for movement. We use this with other apps, not just Oracle RDBMS. We have our Grid Control 10.2 & 11.1 also using CFC for uplift in availability.
The link provided by Marko Sutic is a good set and looks very similar to what we have been implemented for years.