About Patching Exadata Cloud at Customer

Routine Patching Facilities in Exadata Cloud at Customer

Oracle Database Exadata Cloud at Customer provides facilities to manage routine patching of the Oracle Database and Oracle Grid Infrastructure software, and the compute node user domain (DomU) operating system environment. These facilities are provided by the Oracle Database Cloud Service console and also by means of using the exadbcpatchmulti utility. You are responsible for managing patches and updates to the Oracle Database and Oracle Grid Infrastructure software on the compute nodes, and the compute node user domain (DomU) operating system environment.

This document focuses on using the facilities provided by Exadata Cloud at Customer to perform the following patching operations:

Manually Patching Oracle Database and Oracle Grid Infrastructure Software

In general, Oracle recommends that you use the facilities provided by Exadata Cloud at Customer to perform routine patching of Oracle Database and Oracle Grid Infrastructure software. However, you may need to manually patch the Oracle Database or Oracle Grid Infrastructure software in the following circumstances:

  • OJVM Patching — Patches for the Oracle Java Virtual Machine (OJVM) component of Oracle Database cannot generally be applied in a rolling fashion, and therefore are not included in the routine patch sets provided through Exadata Cloud at Customer. If you need to apply patches to the OJVM component of Oracle Database you must do so manually. See Oracle JavaVM Component Database PSU and RU" (OJVM PSU and OJVM RU) Patches.

  • DST Patching — Patches for the Daylight Savings Time (DST) definitions in Oracle Database cannot generally be applied in a rolling fashion, and therefore are not included in the routine patch sets provided through Exadata Cloud at Customer. If you need to apply patches to the DST definitions in Oracle Database you must do so manually. See Updated DST Transitions and New Time Zones in Oracle RDBMS and OJVM Time Zone File Patches.

  • Non-routine Patching — If you encounter a problem that requires a patch which is not included in any routine patch set, work with Oracle Support Services to identify and apply the appropriate patch.

For general information about patching Oracle Database, see "Patch Set Updates and Requirements for Upgrading Oracle Database" in the Oracle Database Upgrade Guide for Release 18, 12.2, 12.1, or 11.2.

Manually Patching the Compute Node Operating System

Oracle recommends that you use the facilities provided by Exadata Cloud at Customer to perform routine patching of the compute node user domain (DomU) operating system environment.

However, if you want to apply a patch or perform an Exadata software update that is not displayed in the list of available patches (see Listing Available Patches), then you can manually update operating system components on the compute nodes by using standard Exadata tools and techniques outlined at Updating Exadata Database Servers in the Oracle Exadata Database Machine Maintenance Guide.

By using standard Exadata tools and techniques, you are able to apply Exadata software release updates to the compute nodes at your convenience. For feature release updates only, Oracle recommends that you lodge a service request with Oracle Support Services to ensure that Oracle is aware of your plans. A feature release update is an update that changes any of the first four digits in the Exadata software release identifier. For example, upgrading from Exadata software release 12.1.2.2.0 to release 12.1.2.3.0 would be a feature release update. However, upgrading from Exadata software release 12.1.2.3.0 to release 12.1.2.3.4 would not be considered a feature release update. You can determine the current Exadata software release by executing the imageinfo command on any compute node.

Patching Performed by Oracle

Patches and updates to all other system components are managed and performed by Oracle. This includes the physical compute nodes (Dom0), network switches, power distribution units (PDUs), integrated lights-out management (ILOM) interfaces, and the Exadata Storage Servers.

In all but rare exceptional circumstances, you will receive advance communication about these updates through the Cloud Notification Portal to help you plan for them. If there are corresponding recommended updates for your compute node virtual machine environment, then Oracle will provide notification about these. There is no option to opt out of any updates.

Wherever possible, scheduled updates are performed in a manner that preserves service availability throughout the update process. However, there may be some noticeable impact on performance and throughput as individual system components are unavailable for a period of time during the update process.

For example, the compute nodes may need to be rebooted when a service is updated. In such cases, wherever possible, the compute nodes would be rebooted in a rolling manner, one at a time, to ensure that the service, and the Oracle databases contained therein, remain available throughout the process. However, while each compute node is being rebooted it is not available for a short period of time. Consequently, the service may not be able to cater for the same workload while each individual server is unavailable.

For further information about the standard update policies and practices that apply to Exadata Cloud at Customer see Oracle Database Cloud Exadata Service Supported Software Versions and Planning for Updates.