Forum OpenACS Q&A: Re: database and aolserver on different machines - how to configure nsd.tcl
AOLserver will use Oracle Networking to connect to the database in the exact same way as SQL*Plus. If, from the AOLserver machine, you can do a tnsping SID or sqlplus user/pass@SID, then you can be confident that AOLserver will connect to the database. All you need then do is enter the SID for the datasource parameter.
If you can't do a tnsping or SQL*Plus won't connect, then you've got an Oracle networking problem.