TIP 115# : DataGuard and Patch

Starting 11.2, Oracle introduced Standby-First Patch Apply which provides support between different software releases in the primary and standby. In other words, for certified Oracle patches, it allows the customer to apply/validate the patch first on the standby software while the primary stays in the previous software release. Also it enabled the customer to switch over between primary and standby in the mixed software version.
Patch README should provide the details on whether or not the patch is certified for standby-first patch apply. According to Oracle doc or Oracle Patch Assurance - Data Guard Standby-First Patch Apply (Doc ID 1265700.1), the following patches are certified for standby-first patch apply.
  • Exadata Database Bundle Patch
  • Patch Set Update (PSU)
  • Critical Patch Update (CPU)
  • Interim (“one-off”) patches
Make sure to keep compatible between primary and standby the same during the patching. It is noted that mixed version cannot be run for more than 31 days (possibly support issue if it goes beyond) and it is only viable for the patches which are not more than 1 year apart. So to be enable to utilize this feature, the following conditions should meet :

  • Software is 11.2 on-wards
  • Patch is determined explicitly in readme to be Standby-First Patch apply
  • Mixed version can only be run less than 31 days
  • The qualified patch should not be more than 1 year apart from the current primary/standby run.

TIP 114# : All about RAC

If you are starting with new RAC setup or you have a RAC environment and you are looking for performance tuning, stabilization of the environment or even upgrade, the following document comes very handy :

RAC and Oracle Clusterware Best Practices and Starter Kit (Platform Independent) (Doc ID 810394.1)

TIP 113# : Documents for Oracle licensing

If you negotiate with Oracle on licensing or design/architect a solution for a customer, the following documents may come handy :

TIP 112# : Quick tips on Weblogic

Very often I login to a customer site and I end up to search in document for couple things :
  • How to setup NodeManager so the customer could use Admin console for Weblogic startup
  • How to make username/password encrypted so the command line does not ask for username/password at time of startup
  • Quick and easy guideline for patching
  • How to check Weblogic version
Above items are nothing new but I thought to post details here for my quick access.This post is a quick reminder for myself which is copied from Oracle document.

To enable startup scripts and start Node Manager:

1.   Navigate to the following directory
2. MW_HOME/oracle_common/common/bin
MW_HOME is the directory where Oracle Fusion Middleware is installed.
3.   Run the setNMProps.sh script to set the StartScriptEnabled property to true before starting Node Manager:
4. ./setNMProps.sh
This is a one-time action. After you run this script, you can skip this step before starting Node Manager again.
5.   Start Node Manager with the startNodeManager script.
UNIX script: WL_HOME/server/bin/startNodeManager.sh
Windows script: WL_HOME\server\bin\startNodeManager.cmd

To avoid username/password at startup:

To avoid prompts for a user name and password on startup after you start a Managed Server the first time, you can create a boot.properties file in the domain-home/servers/server-name/security/ directory. This file would include the following lines:
The boot.properties file will be encrypted the first time that the Managed Server is started.

Patching mechanism on Weblogic :

Basically bsu is the tool to apply the patches on Weblogic install. The following shows an example on how patch is applied and how it is verified.

To apply

copy patch to $MW_HOME/utils/bsu/cache_dir
unzip patch
remove patch zip file (rm p1......zip)
./bsu.sh -install -patch_download_dir=$MW_HOME/utils/bsu/cache_dir -patchlist=FCX7 -prod_dir=$WL_HOME
To verify
./bsu.sh -view -status=applied -prod_dir=$WL_HOME

Checking Weblogic version:

[oracle@oracle2qa bin]$ . ./setDomainEnv.sh
[oracle@oracle2qa APEXDomain]$ java weblogic.version

TIP 111# : ODA and CPU license

Last week, I was working on a customer with ODA x4-2 which we found 5 CPU licenses are sold for EE deployment. My first reaction was on how to put 5 CPU license (10 cores) in ODA x4-2. As you may know, the multiplier of 4 cores can be activated in X3-2 and above and multiplier of 2 in ODA v1. In this post, I am trying to explain what is the minimum core requirement for various ODA server with virtualized and non-virtualized deployment.

We all know that "pay as grow" is one of the great feature of Oracle Database Appliance. In other words, you could start with as minimum core as possible and then scale up.
However, due to CPU specification on various ODA version, there is some limitation in regards to minimum number of cores which could be setup as it is shown in below :
Min license

10 day rule
10 day rule
10 day rule
10 day rule

Couple notes :
  • 10 day rule is to have all instances in EE or RAC1 only on one ODA node and without paying license to be allowed to flip over to the second node in case the first node is not available only for 10 days per calendar year.
  • Since ODA platform is x86, the contributing factor is 0.5. This is where you can see all multiplier of 0.5 in the table.
  • On ODA x3-2 and above odd number of CPU can not be setup unless ODA is setup as virtualized platform.
  • Virtualization provides more flexibility in terms of lowering the number of the required CPU specially for EE or RAC1. If you are dealing with small customer, you may end up to go virtualized even ODA is purposed only for database deployment.
Hope this post clarifies some confusion.