How to Patch an Exadata (Part 3) – Grid and Database OH Patching

Posted in: Oracle, Technical Track

Quick links to Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4 / Part 5 / Part 6



3.4/ Patching the Grid Infrastructure

3.4.0 – Information

3.4.1 – Check lsinventory

It is a good idea to check and save a status of the current GI homes before applying the patch. Check the checksum of each home at the and of the opatch lsinventory report (it should be the same).

[oracle@myclusterdb01]$ . oraenv <<< +ASM1[oracle@myclusterdb01]$ $ORACLE_HOME/OPatch/lsinventory -all_nodes


3.4.2 – Patch GI on a Node


[root@myclusterdb01 ~]# cd /patches/OCT2016_bundle_patch/24436624/Database/
[root@myclusterdb01 24448103]# /u01/app/ apply -oh /u01/app/

Opatch will most likely finish with some warnings:

[Jun 5, 2016 5:50:47 PM] --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
[Jun 5, 2016 5:50:47 PM] The following warnings have occurred during OPatch execution:
[Jun 5, 2016 5:50:47 PM] 1) OUI-67303:
 Patches [ 20831113 20299018 19872484 ] will be rolled back.[Jun 5, 2016 5:50:47 PM] --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
[Jun 5, 2016 5:50:47 PM] OUI-67008:OPatch Session completed with warnings.

Checking the logfiles, you will find that this is probably due to superset patches:

Patch : 23006522 Bug Superset of 20831113

If you check the patch number, you will find that this is an old patch : Patch 20831113: OCW PATCH SET UPDATE

Then this is safely ignorable as opatch rollback old patches after having applied the new ones.

3.4.3 – Check lsinventory

Let’s verify that the patch has been correctly installed on each node (check the checksum of each home at the and of the opatch lsinventory report):

[oracle@myclusterdb01]$ . oraenv <<< +ASM1[oracle@myclusterdb01]$ $ORACLE_HOME/OPatch/lsinventory -all_nodes


3.4.4 – How to Mitigate the Downtime

When you patch the Grid Infrastructure, all the databases running on the node you will patch the Grid on will be stopped for 30 – 45 minutes which is quite a big outage.
A way to greatly mitigate this outage (knowing that they’re most likely RAC databases running on Exadata), is to use the power of the Oracle services.

  • With load-balances services :
  • Let’s say you have a database running 4 instances on 4 nodes of the Exadata with a load-balanced APP service across the 4 nodes and you’re about to patch the node1. Just stop the APP service on the node you will patch (no new connection will come on this node), wait for the current connections to finish and you are done. You can patch node 1 with no outage for the applications / users!

  • With non load-balances services :
  • You have non load balanced service? Not a problem. Just move this service away from the node you want to patch, wait for the current connections to finish and you can achieve the same goal.

  • You don’t use services?
  • This is then the opportunity you were waiting for to deploy the Oracle services! If you can’t (or don’t want to), you can always find a workaround in modifying the tnsnames.ora file of the application server. This will remove the node you want to patch so no new connection can go to this node any more. You can then wait for the current connections to finish and you can patch a node with no downtime.


3.5 Patching the Databases Oracle Homes

3.5.0 – Information

  • As we have upgraded opatch for the GI and the database OH in the pre-requisites section, we do not need to create and specify an ocm.rsp file
  • Double check that all the prechecks described in the database and OJVM prechecks section are done and returned no error
  • This patch has to be launched for every database OH you want to patch
  • There is no –rolling option for the database OH patch, you have to do it manually (for example, if you want to patch OH1 on the node1, move the services of the databases that are running on the node 1 to another node, patch the node 1 and continue with the others following the same procedure)
  • The OJVM patch requires a total downtime;everything you want to patch that runs on the OH has to be stopped (hopefully, this one is quick)
  • In the patch,verify README the numbers of the patches to apply, these are the October 2016’s
  • You can use screen instead of nohup if it is installed on your system
  • I will not describe the steps to apply the patch to a 11g database, they are well documented everywhere, they are basically almost the same as the 12c one except that datapatch is not used but catbundle.sql exa apply, please refer to the README for the exact 11g procedure


3.5.1 opatch lsinventory

Before starting to apply the patch, it is very important to have a clear understanding of the current status to then perform and store the output of the below command:

$ORACLE_HOME/OPatch/opatch lsinventory -all_nodes

Have a look at the checksum report at the end of the report, it should be the same on each node:

Binary & Checksum Information
 Binary Location : /u01/app/oracle/product/
 Node                   Size                    Checksum
 ----                   ----                    --------
 myclusterdb01         327642940               BD0547018B032A7D2FCB8209CC4F1E6C8B63E0FBFD8963AE18D50CDA7455602D myclusterdb02         327642940               BD0547018B032A7D2FCB8209CC4F1E6C8B63E0FBFD8963AE18D50CDA7455602D myclusterdb03         327642940               BD0547018B032A7D2FCB8209CC4F1E6C8B63E0FBFD8963AE18D50CDA7455602D myclusterdb04         327642940               BD0547018B032A7D2FCB8209CC4F1E6C8B63E0FBFD8963AE18D50CDA7455602D--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
OPatch succeeded.


3.5.2 – Apply the Patch

The Bundle contains two different patches for the databases ORACLE_HOMES  : one to patch the database OH and one specific to the OJVM – Apply the Database OH Patch

  • This patch has to be applied as root
  • You have to manually launch this patch on each node
  • Do NOT stop anything here, opatchauto will take care of it
  • This patch takes around 20 – 30 minutes to complete on each node
[root@myclusterdb01]# cd /u01/app/oracle/product/
[root@myclusterdb01]# nohup ./opatchauto apply /patches/OCT2016_bundle_patch/24436624/Database/ -oh /u01/app/oracle/product/ &[root@myclusterdb01]# nohup ./opatchauto apply /patches/OCT2016_bundle_patch/24436624/Database/ -oh /u01/app/oracle/product/ & – Apply the OJVM Patch

  • The OJVM has to be applied as the oracle user
  • This patch will be automatically applied to all the nodes where the ORACLE_HOME is installed
  • This patch takes only few minutes to apply

– Stop everything that is running on the OH you want to patch on every node (it would be better to do a FOR loop to stop everything but it is more convenient like this to copy and paste)

[oracle@myclusterdb01]$ . oraenv <<< A_DATABASE_WITH_THE_CORRECT_ORACLE_HOME[oracle@myclusterdb01]$ srvctl stop home -o /u01/app/oracle/product/ -s /tmp/12c.statefile_n1 -n myclusterdb01[oracle@myclusterdb01]$ srvctl stop home -o /u01/app/oracle/product/ -s /tmp/12c.statefile_n2 -n myclusterdb02[oracle@myclusterdb01]$ srvctl stop home -o /u01/app/oracle/product/ -s /tmp/12c.statefile_n3 -n myclusterdb03[oracle@myclusterdb01]$ srvctl stop home -o /u01/app/oracle/product/ -s /tmp/12c.statefile_n4 -n myclusterdb04

– Apply the patch from myclusterdb01 (any node can be used though)

[oracle@myclusterdb01]$ cd /patches/OCT2016_bundle_patch/24436624/Database/
[oracle@myclusterdb01]$ $ORACLE_HOME/OPatch/opatch apply


3.5.3 – opatch lsinventory

To be sure that the patch has successfully been applied on all the nodes, perform and store the output of the below command:

$ORACLE_HOME/OPatch/opatch lsinventory -all_nodes

Have a look at the checksum report at the end of the report, it should be the same on each node (an example of this output is shown in paragraph 3.5.1)


3.5.4 – Post-Install

Some post-install steps have to be performed for both OJVM and database OH patch, this has to be done for each database (on one node only).

    . oraenv <<< A_DATABASE    sqlplus / as sysdba    startup nomount           -- All DB should be down here, only start on one node, don't use srvctl here    alter system set cluster_database=false scope=spfile;    shut immediate    startup upgrade    cd /u01/app/oracle/product/    ./datapatch -verbose 
    -- It happened that datapatch had issues with some patches then we have to :
    ./datapatch -apply 22674709 -force -bundle_series PSU  -verbose    ./datapatch -apply 22806133 -force -bundle_series PSU  -verbose

Note: the datapatch -force is recommended by Oracle support when ./datapatch -verbose fails (…). you can ignore the errors of the -force datapatch

    sqlplus / as sysdba    alter system set cluster_database=true scope=spfile;    shut immediate    srvctl start database -d XXX 
    - Verify that the patches are correctly installed
    set lines 200    set pages 999    SELECT patch_id, patch_uid, version, flags, action, action_time, description, status, bundle_id, bundle_series, logfile FROM dba_registry_sqlpatch ;


3.5.5 – Post Post-Install

Use the start home statement in case of something is missing using the statefiles we created in the paragraph

srvctl start home -o /u01/app/oracle/product/ -s /tmp/12c.statefile_n1 -n myclusterdb01srvctl start home -o /u01/app/oracle/product/ -s /tmp/12c.statefile_n2 -n myclusterdb02srvctl start home -o /u01/app/oracle/product/ -s /tmp/12c.statefile_n3 -n myclusterdb03srvctl start home -o /u01/app/oracle/product/ -s /tmp/12c.statefile_n4 -n myclusterdb04


3.5.6 – A Quicker Way

There’s a quicker way to patch the database ORACLE_HOMEs than the one described above. This quicker way is also more flexible to manage and reduces the outage needed to apply the post-install steps.
With the above procedure, once the ORACLE_HOME is patched, you have no other choice than to apply the post-install steps right after as you have no another way to restart the database. When you have many database sharing the same ORACLE_HOME, this can be quite long and/or painful. Note that if you have 30 databases sharing the same ORACLE_HOME, you won’t be able to apply 30 post-install steps at the same time.The thirtieth database will then suffer a bigger outage than the first one you restart on the patched ORACLE_HOME. This is totally mitigated by the way of doing I describe below.
This quicker way is to clone the current OH (let’s say /u01/app/oracle/product/ to another one (let’s say /u01/app/oracle/product/, apply the patch against the future OH (dbhome_2) and then move database per database (when you want) from the old OH (dbhome_1) to the new patched OH (dbhome_2). Here is plan:

  • Copy dbhome_1 to dbhome_2 on each node
cp -r /u01/app/oracle/product/ /u01/app/oracle/product/
  • Clone it on each node

– On node 1

[oracle@myclusterdb01]$ cd /u01/app/oracle/product/[oracle@myclusterdb01 bin]$ ./runInstaller -clone -waitForCompletion ORACLE_HOME="/u01/app/oracle/product/" ORACLE_HOME_NAME="OraDB12Home2" "ORACLE_BASE=/u01/app/oracle" "CLUSTER_NODES={myclusterdb01,myclusterdb03,myclusterdb04}" "LOCAL_NODE=myclusterdb01" -silent -noConfig -nowait


– On node 2

[oracle@myclusterdb01]$ cd /u01/app/oracle/product/[oracle@myclusterdb02 bin]$ ./runInstaller -clone -waitForCompletion ORACLE_HOME="/u01/app/oracle/product/" ORACLE_HOME_NAME="OraDB12Home2" "ORACLE_BASE=/u01/app/oracle" "CLUSTER_NODES={myclusterdb01,myclusterdb03,myclusterdb04}" "LOCAL_NODE=myclusterdb02" -silent -noConfig -nowait


etc.. on all the other nodes

Note here that what changes in the command line to clone the OH are the CLUSTER_NODES and LOCAL_NODE parameters.


  • Stop the database you want, restart it with the new OH and apply the post-install steps following paragraph 3.5.4
  •     -- On each node, copy the init, the passwordfile to the new home, any configuration file you would also use
        [oracle@myclusterdb01]$ cp /u01/app/oracle/product/${ORACLE_SID}.ora /u01/app/oracle/product/    [oracle@myclusterdb01]$ cp /u01/app/oracle/product/${ORACLE_SID}.ora /u01/app/oracle/product/ 
        -- On each node, check and update your LDAP configuration if you have one
        -- On each node, update /etc/oratab and/or the script you use to switch between the database environments
        #MYDB:u01/app/oracle/product/    MYDB:u01/app/oracle/product/ 
        -- One one node, modify the ORACLE_HOME in the cluster configuration    [oracle@myclusterdb01]$ srvctl modify database –d <DB_UNIQUE_NAME> -o /u01/app/oracle/product/                          -- 11g    [oracle@myclusterdb01]$ srvctl modify database –db <DB_UNIQUE_NAME> -oraclehome /u01/app/oracle/product/                -- 12c
         -- One one node, modify the spfile configuration in the cluster configuration (if your spfile is not stored under ASM)    [oracle@myclusterdb01]$ srvctl modify database –d <DB_UNIQUE_NAME> -p /path_to_your_shared_spfile/spfile${ORACLE_SID}.ora                -- 11g    [oracle@myclusterdb01]$ srvctl modify database –db <DB_UNIQUE_NAME> -spfile /path_to_your_shared_spfile/spfile${ORACLE_SID}.ora          -- 12c
         -- Bounce the database    [oracle@myclusterdb01]$ srvctl stop database -d <DB_UNIQUE_NAME> -o 'immediate'                                                          -- 11g    [oracle@myclusterdb01]$ srvctl start database -d <DB_UNIQUE_NAME>
         [oracle@myclusterdb01]$ srvctl stop database -db <DB_UNIQUE_NAME> -stopoption 'immediate'                                                -- 12c    [oracle@myclusterdb01]$ srvctl start database -db <DB_UNIQUE_NAME>
        -- If you use OEM, you will have to manually update the new OH in the target configuration

    Note that here only the last step requires a downtime of 15 – 20 minutes (the time to bounce the database and run the post install steps), all the previous steps can be done earlier during a regular weekday. Another point to add is that you can chose which database to patch when you want (which makes this way of working very flexible).

    If you reached that point, it means that you are done with your Exadata patching!

    Quick links to Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4 / Part 5 / Part 6



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