3.1 Before You Start Updating

Please read and observe the critical information in this section before you begin any procedure to update your Oracle Private Cloud Appliance.

All the software included in a given release of the Oracle PCA software is tested to work together and should be treated as one package. Consequently, no appliance component should be updated individually, unless Oracle provides specific instructions to do so. All Oracle PCA software releases are downloaded as a single large .iso file, which includes the items listed above. Some releases include major updates for one or more appliance components. These are critical stepping stones in a successful upgrade path so they must not be skipped. This is explained in Section 3.2, “Mandatory Updates”.


The appliance update process must always be initiated from the master management node.


To ensure that your Oracle Private Cloud Appliance configuration remains in a qualified state, take the required firmware upgrades into account when planning the controller software update. For more information, refer to Section 3.6.1, “Firmware Policy”.

3.1.1 Checklist and Pre-Upgrade Validation with Proactive Support

Release 2.3.x is a particularly complex update and therefore requires that you run a pre-upgrade validation procedure that involves an extensive script and a number of manual checks. Make sure that your environment passes all checks before you proceed with the controller software update and subsequent upgrades. Hyperlinks in the relevant sections below guide you through the specific process to update your environment with Oracle PCA Controller Software Release 2.3.x.

My Oracle Support provides a pre-upgrade checklist with additional information and guidance from our product support specialists. For updates to Releases 2.3.1, 2.3.2 and 2.3.3, the checklist is provided in the dedicated support article with Doc ID 2242177.1. Oracle strongly recommends that you seek assistance in advance, by logging a service request. This allows you to run the pre-upgrade validation script and follow the guidelines in the support article, and then submit logs. A support team reviews the logs and can guide you through the appliance update process. For updates to Release 2.3.4 and later, using the Oracle PCA Upgrader, refer to the support article with Doc ID 2442664.1.

The support articles are always updated with the latest pre-upgrade information. More detailed information about certain aspects of the update process is also included in the documentation. Refer to these sections:

3.1.2 Warnings and Cautions

Read and understand these warnings and cautions before you start the appliance update procedure. They help you avoid operational issues including data loss and significant downtime.

No Critical Operations

When updating the Oracle PCA software, make sure that no provisioning operations occur and that any externally scheduled backups are suspended. Such operations could cause a software update or component firmware upgrade to fail and lead to system downtime.

During the controller software update to a release prior to 2.3.4, always execute the update commands get_image and install_image in one sequence. Make sure that no compute node upgrade or provisioning occurs between both commands.

No Backup

During controller software updates, backup operations must be prevented. As of Release 2.3.4, the Oracle PCA Upgrader disables crond and blocks backups. However, when installing an earlier release, the administrator must ensure that backups cannot interfere with the update process.

YUM Disabled

On Oracle PCA management nodes the YUM repositories have been intentionally disabled and should not be enabled by the customer. Updates and upgrades of the management node operating system and software components must only be applied through the update mechanism described in the documentation.

Proxy Settings

If direct public access is not available within your data center and you make use of proxy servers to facilitate HTTP, HTTPS and FTP traffic, it may be necessary to edit the Oracle PCA system properties, using the CLI on each management node, to ensure that the correct proxy settings are specified for a download to succeed from the Internet. This depends on the network location from where the download is served. See Section 8.1, “Adding Proxy Settings for Oracle Private Cloud Appliance Updates” for more information.

Custom LUNs on Internal Storage

If the internal ZFS Storage Appliance contains customer-created LUNs, make sure they are not mapped to the default initiator group. See Customer Created LUNs Are Mapped to the Wrong Initiator Group in the Oracle Private Cloud Appliance Release Notes.

Update Commands

Current update commands are part of the Oracle PCA CLI. If your appliance is running Controller Software Release 2.0.5 or earlier, you must use the pca-updater or ovca-updater commands available from the management node command prompt. Add --help to display usage options.

For detailed update instructions when running Release 2.0.5 or earlier, refer to the Oracle Private Cloud Appliance Administrator's Guide Release 2.1.1. All documentation for Release 2.1 can be found at http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E60765_01/.

Update Path to Release 2.3.x

You must NEVER attempt to run the UPDATE TO RELEASE 2.3.x if the currently installed controller software is Release 2.0.5 or earlier.

These earlier releases do not have the necessary mechanisms to verify that the update path is valid. Consequently, the update process will start, and make both management nodes inaccessible. There may be significant downtime and data loss or corruption.

Oracle VM Availability During Update to Release 2.3.x

When updating the Oracle PCA Controller Software to Release 2.3.x, Oracle VM Manager is unavailable for the entire duration of the update. The virtualized environment remains functional, but configuration changes and other management operations are not possible.

For Releases 2.3.1-2.3.3, where the update is executed from the CLI, it can take up to several hours for the Status: Success message to appear, depending on the size of the Oracle VM installation and the number of installed compute nodes. In addition, prerequisite checks must be performed, and the Oracle VM database must be exported in preparation of the upgrade.

Compute Node Upgrade in Release 2.3.x ONLY Through Oracle PCA CLI

When you update the Oracle PCA Controller Software to Release 2.3.x, Compute nodes cannot be upgraded to Oracle VM Server Release 3.4.x with the Oracle VM Manager web UI. You must upgrade them using the update compute-node command within the Oracle PCA CLI.

To perform this CLI-based upgrade procedure, follow the specific instructions in Section 3.5.1, “Oracle PCA 2.3 – Upgrading Oracle VM to Release 3.4”.

Do Not Override Oracle VM Global Update Settings

As stated in Section 5.1, “Guidelines and Limitations”, at the start of Chapter 5, Managing the Oracle VM Virtual Infrastructure, the settings of the default server pool and custom tenant groups must not be modified through Oracle VM Manager. For compute node upgrade specifically, it is critical that the server pool option "Override Global Server Update Group" remains deselected. The compute node update process must use the repository defined globally, and overriding this will cause the update to fail.

Post-Update Synchronization

Once you have confirmed that the update process has completed, it is advised that you wait a further 30 minutes before starting another compute node or management node software update. This allows the necessary synchronization tasks to complete.

If you ignore the recommended delay between these update procedures there could be issues with further updating as a result of interference between existing and new tasks.

3.1.3 Backup Prevents Data Loss

An update of the Oracle PCA software stack may involve a complete re-imaging of the management nodes. Any customer-installed agents or customizations are overwritten in the process. Before applying new appliance software, back up all local customizations and prepare to re-apply them after the update has completed successfully.

Oracle Enterprise Manager Plug-in Users

If you use Oracle Enterprise Manager and the Oracle Enterprise Manager Plug-in to monitor your Oracle PCA environment, always back up the oraInventory Agent data to /nfs/shared_storage before updating the controller software. You can restore the data after the Oracle PCA software update is complete.

For detailed instructions, refer to the Agent Recovery section in the Oracle Enterprise Manager Plug-in documentation.