Recently I made two posts about the process for patch/upgrading your 21 Grid Infrastructure (GI) while the databases continue to be running. The first post shows how to do this using the GUI interface, and the second one show more details about the process for AFD/ACFS Kernel Driver Update. But here in this post, I will show how to do the Zero-Downtime Patch (zeroDowntimeGIPatching – ZDGIP) in silent mode.
This way to do the patch is important because allows you to automatize it. You can create your own script and call it (using Ansible, Puppet, Chief, etc.) to upgrade your servers (or farms) remotely.
The current environment is the same of the first post:
OEL 8.4 Kernel 5.4.17-2102.201.3.el8uek.x86_64.
Oracle GI 21c, version 21.3 with no one-off or patches installed.
Oracle Database 21c, RU 21.5 (with OCW 21.5).
TFA version is 21.4 (last available in March 2022).
And I will apply the same RU 21.5 (126.96.36.199.220118) for GI which is patch 33531909.
The patch process is almost the same as the first post, the main change is the response file and the way to call the gridSetup.sh. So, for this reason, I recommend for you read the first (and second) post. Below you will see a quick review of previous steps and a focus on the new
Recently I made one post about how to use the new feature -zeroDowntimeGIPatching when patching the Grid Infrastructure for 21c. It is a new feature/option that allows your database continues to be running while the grid is patched. You can see my post here. But during that post I talked about the usage of -updateosfiles when calling the rootcrs.sh and want to clarify some details and provide better examples.
Before you think about upgrading the ACFS/AFD drivers you need to check if they are compatible with the version or kernel that you are running. The only place to check this is the MOS note ACFS Support On OS Platforms (Certification Matrix). (Doc ID 1369107.1). On that note, you will see tables for each major version (18c, 19c, 21c), and you can see the versions of Linux Version and Kernel versions that are compatible. Below is marked for OEL 8:
And you can see that my version of Linux Kernel is compatible. If your version is not compatible, not update the ACFS/AFD kernel drivers.
Oracle 21c delivered a lot of new features and for Grid infrastructure one of the most interesting is the zero-downtime patch (zeroDowntimeGIPatching). This basically allows your database continues to be running while you patch/upgrade your GI. The official doc can be seen here. Let’s say that is an evolution of the Out of Place (OOP) patch for GI.
In this post I will show how to do that, but some details before starting:
This post shows how to do the zero-downtime patch using GUI mode.
I will do another post showing how to do in silent mode the same procedure. So, it can be automatized.
In a third post, I will detail how the zero-downtime works behind the scenes and will discuss some logs.
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 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 188.8.131.52.200714 (Patch 31305339):
And if you look at the readme for DB RU 184.108.40.206.200714 (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: