Category Archives: Oracle

Patching OCW for OH

If you search around about how to patch Oracle Database you will find a lot of blog posts teaching how to patch your Oracle Home (OH) (I will not put the list here because it will be enormous – but just follow Mike Dietrich). But most of them write nothing about OCW, how to patch it, or if it is needed to patch OCW.  And unfortunately, even Oracle is not clear about that.

Just to complement, recently Liron Amitzi got one issue related to OCW. And if you search more, you will find that Frits Hoogland wrote something about it too. But in the end, need I to concern about OCW? And, what is OCW?

OCW

OCW means Oracle Clusterware, and basically is the core for the Grid Infrastructure, it is everything there. But for OH is important too because if the database needs to communicate with GI Clusterware it uses the OCW binaries/libraries that are at OH (like srvctl, crstctl) to do that. So, if have some kind of bug at this portion of OCW, it needs to be patched.

The point is that the only place that you can find the OCW patch is under the GI RU patch. Look at the readme for last GI RU 19.8.0.0.200714 (Patch 31305339):

And if you look at the readme for DB RU 19.8.0.0.200714 (Patch 31281355) there is no reference to the OCW patch. So, if apply just the DB RU the OCW will not be updated.

And just to remember you that patch 31305087 does not exist alone to be downloaded:

Click here to read more…

ZDLRA + MAA, Protection for Platinum Architecture

The Platinum architecture is the last defined at MAA references and is the highest level of protection that you can achieve for MAA. It goes beyond the Gold protection (that I explained in my previous post) and you can have application continuity even version upgrade for your database.

The image above was taken from https://www.oracle.com/a/tech/docs/maa-overview-onpremise-2019.pdf

Click here to read more…

FGA, AUDIT_CONDITION, and SYS_CONTEXT

Recently Flora tweeted to her blog post about a conditional audit for Fine Grant Audit (FGA) and questioned “Who on earth is doing that ?!”, and I remembered that I made something similar at my previous job. So, here a little glimpse of how to use the FGA, AUDIT_CONDITION, and SYS_CONTEXT to conditionally decide if you audit or no.

So, at my previous job, years ago (while still using 11g), I received these requests: “We need to audit everything that does not come from the application”, and more, “the audit needs to have the small overhead possible”.

And to explain the context why these are important, the system was used to control the judicial processes (court of justice) and the database handles more the 1 million of IOPS (the reason for the small needed overhead). And since is a sensible area, the system itself if heavily audited (application have own audit system), so we don’t need to audit the app – but everything else.

Click here to read more…

Patch ODA from 18.3 to 19.8. Part 4 – 19.7 to 19.8

The process of patch ODA is not complicated but requires attention over some steps. The 19.6 version was the first that was possible to patch from 18.8 version, and the version that allows upgrades to newer. If you want to go directly to 19.5 you need to reimage of the appliance. In this post, I will cover the process that I made recently to patch from 18.3 to 19.8 version.

The fourth part covers the upgrade from 19.7 to 19.8. I separate so you can use this as a direct guide from 19.6 to 19.7 if you need to do just this update. Parts of this post are similar to the upgrade from 19.6 to 19.7 that I described in the previous post.

Patch Matrix

The matrix of what can be done can be found at this post from ODA blog, and you can check below:

Another important detail is to check the MOS note ODA: Quick Reference Matrix for Linux Release and Kernel by ODA Hardware Type and Version (Doc ID 2680219.1) and verify if your hardware is still compatible.

Remember that in this process, the ODA will reboot several times, so, you need to inform your teams that databases will be unavailable during the process.

Click here to read more…

ZDLRA + MAA, Protection for Gold Architecture

The Gold architecture for MAA is used to emphasis the application continuity. All the possible outages (planned or no) are protected by Oracle features. Here we are one step further and start to design using multi-site architecture. Data Guard, RAC, Oracle Clusterware, everything is there. But even with these, ZDLRA is still needed to allow complete protection.

The image above taken from https://www.oracle.com/a/tech/docs/maa-overview-onpremise-2019.pdf.

With the MAA references, we have the blueprints and highlights how to protect them since the standalone/single instance until the multiple site database. But for Gold we are beyond RPO and RTO, they are important but application continuity and data continuity join to complete the whole picture.

Click here to read more…

ZDLRA + MAA, Protection for Silver Architecture

The MAA defined Silver architecture for database environments that use (or need) high availability to survive for outages. The idea is having more than one single instance running, and to do that, it relies on Oracle Clusterware and Engineered Systems to mitigate the single point of failure. But is not just a database that gains with this, the Silver architecture is the first step to have application continuity. And again, ZDLRA is there since the beginning.

As you can see above, the Silver by MAA blueprints improves compared with Bronze architecture that I spoke at the last post. But the basic points are there: RPO and RTO. They continue to base rule here. And the goals are the same: Data Availability, Data Protection, Performance (no impact), Cost (lower cost), and Risk (reduce). More technical details here at the MAA Overview doc.

Click here to read more…

Patch ODA from 18.3 to 19.8. Part 3 – 19.6 to 19.7

This is the third part of the ODA patch series, from 18.3 to 19.8. I separate in multiple parts and you can use this part as a direct guide to patch ODA from 19.6 to 19.7. Each part can be used alone since they cover all the needed steps. Some steps of this post are similar to the upgrade from 18.8 to 19.6 that I described in the previous post.

The process of patch ODA is not complicated but requires attention over some steps. The 19.6 version was the first that was possible to patch from 18.8 version, and the version that allows upgrades to newer. If you want to go directly to 19.5 you need to reimage of the appliance. In this post, I will cover the process that I made recently to patch from 18.3 to 19.8 version. 

Click here to read more…

ZDLRA + MAA, Protection for Bronze Architecture

Oracle Maximum Availability Architecture (MAA) means more than just Data Guard or Golden Gate to survive outages, is related to data protection, data availability, and application continuity. MAA defines four reference architectures that can be used to guide during the deploy/design of your environment, and ZDLRA is there for all architectures.

Image above taken from https://www.oracle.com/a/tech/docs/maa-overview-onpremise-2019.pdf.

With the MAA references, we have the blueprints and highlights how to protect them since the standalone/single instance until the multiple site database. The MAA goal is to survive an outage but also sustain: Data Availability, Data Protection, Performance (no impact), Cost (lower cost), and Risk (reduce).

Click here to read more…

Patch ODA from 18.3 to 19.8. Part 2 – 18.8 to 19.6

This is the second part of the ODA patch series, from 18.3 to 19.8. I separate in multiple parts and you can use this second as a direct guide to patch ODA from 18.8 to 19.6. Each part can be used alone since they cover all the needed steps. Parts of this post are similar to the upgrade from 18.3 to 18,8 that I described in my previous post.

The process of patch ODA is not complicated but requires attention over some steps. The 19.6 version was the first that was possible to patch from 18.8 version, and the version that allows upgrades to newer. If you want to go directly to 19.5 you need to reimage of the appliance. In this post, I will cover the process that I made recently to patch from 18.3 to 19.8 version.

Click here to read more…

Patch ODA from 18.3 to 19.8. Part 1 – 18.3 to 18.8

The process of patch ODA is not complicated but requires attention over some steps. The 19.6 version was the first that was possible to patch from 18.8 version, and the version that allows upgrades to newer. If you want to go directly to 19.5 you need to reimage of the appliance. In this post, I will cover the process that I made recently to patch from 18.3 to 19.8 version.

The first part covers the upgrade from 18.3 to 18.8.

Patch Matrix

The matrix of what can be done can be found at this post from ODA blog, and you can check below:

Another important detail is to check the MOS note ODA: Quick Reference Matrix for Linux Release and Kernel by ODA Hardware Type and Version (Doc ID 2680219.1) and verify if your hardware is still compatible.

Remember that in this process, the ODA will reboot several times, so, you need to inform your teams that databases will be unavailable during the process.

Click here to read more…