Thursday, July 18, 2013

Eeeegads... the patch is out and I'm behind - Exadata Patching Part II (edited - display issues fixed)

The Exadata July patch set is out! I feel like I'm behind on my Blog posts!

In my last post I talked about Exacheck, and how you needed to run and review Exacheck.  If you find items you need to correct, then now is the time to do it! Often, you can click on the view link of the report and it will take you to a more detailed view of the issue, and sometimes it will even include information on how to correct the problem.

One piece of advice, after you whittle down the items on the Exacheck that you feel like need to be addressed before you patch. If this is your first few times doing this, go ahead and open an SR with Oracle and send that Exacheck to support.  When opening the SR, list the items you think need immediate attention for patching and those that you think can wait and get them to double check your thinking, and provide resolution information on the critical items.

So, having reviewed your Exacheck, it's time to start looking at the actual patch.

If you check Metalink Note 888828.1 (that is a lot of 8's) you will find that the new QFSDP for Exadata has been released. QFSDP stands for (drum roll) Quarterly Full Stack Download Patch. Within this note you will find a section called the "Latest Releases and Patching News" - here is the current copy of this section:

As you can see, each QFSDP  has a patch number associated with it. That patch number has a link to the actual patch, that you can download. Additional information is also on the page where the link exists, such as which bugs are fixed in the patch set.

So, what should you review in preparing to apply a patch? There are a TON of notes that you should review before you try to do your first Exadata patch:

1461240.1 - Exadata Database Machine Software and Hardware Maintenance Planning Guide
This  note provides basic information on Engineered Systems patching. Strongly recommended first time read.

1270094.1 - Exadata Critical Issues - You should read this document prior to any patching exercise, and really, I'd read it regularly to keep up with critical issues on Exadata.

1473002.1 - Exadata YUM Repository Population and Linux Database Server Updating

You will want to review that last note really carefully, because YUM will come into play when installing your quarterly patch on the Compute nodes. Should you be downloading the update online or applying the update locally, you will need to get YUM setup in one way or another. So you might want to be working on that now.

So, what is in a QFSDP? Well, we will talk about that in my next Blog post.

For now, read the documentation, start to think about patching and we will talk more about patching in part three....

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