Changes in This Release for Oracle Grid Infrastructure

This new release of Oracle Grid Infrastructure provides improvements to the installation process, performance, and automation.

Changes in Oracle Grid Infrastructure 18c

The following are changes in Oracle Grid Infrastructure Installation Guide for Oracle Grid Infrastructure 18c:

New Features

New features for Oracle Grid Infrastructure 18c.

Following are the new features for Oracle Clusterware 18c and Oracle Automatic Storage Management 18c:

New Features for Oracle Grid Infrastructure 18c

  • gridSetup-based Management

    Gold Image-Based installation, using, provides a centralized mechanism of installing and managing Oracle Grid Infrastructure. gridSetup-based Management enables management tasks such as cloning, addNode operations, deleteNode operations, and downgrade to be performed by this simple command.

  • Shared Single Client Access Name (SCAN)

    A shared SCAN enables the sharing of one set of SCAN virtual IPs (VIPs) and listeners (referred to as the SCAN setup) on a dedicated cluster in a data center with other clusters to avoid the deployment of one SCAN setup per cluster. This feature not only reduces the number of SCAN-related DNS entries, but also the number of VIPs that must be deployed for a cluster configuration. 

    A shared SCAN simplifies the deployment and management of groups of clusters in the data center by providing a shared SCAN setup that can be used by multiple systems at the same time.

    For more information, see Oracle Clusterware Administration and Deployment Guide

  • Single Network Support for Oracle Member Cluster for Applications

    Single Network Support for Oracle Member Cluster for Applications allows the installation and operation of Oracle Member Cluster for Applications on systems with a single network connection, eliminating the need for maintaining different network connections for the private cluster interconnect as well as the public network.

  • NodeVIP-Less Cluster

    NodeVIP-Less Cluster simplifies cluster deployments and management by eliminating the need for additional IPs per node in the cluster.

    NodeVIP-Less Cluster deployments are intended for use in volatile non-production environments, where ease of deployment is more important than simplifying the failover management.

    For more information, see Oracle Clusterware Administration and Deployment Guide

  • Rapid Home Provisioning of Oracle Software

    Rapid Home Provisioning enables you to create clusters, and provision, patch, and upgrade Oracle Grid Infrastructure, Oracle Restart, and Oracle Database homes.

    Rapid Home Provisioning leverages a new file system capability for separation of gold image software from the site-specific configuration changes. This separation ensures that the home path remains unchanged throughout updates. This feature combines the benefits of in-place and out-of-place patching. This capability is available with Oracle Grid Infrastructure 12c Release 2 (12.2) and later releases.

    For more information, see About Deploying Oracle Grid Infrastructure Using Rapid Home Provisioning and Maintenance

  • Local Switch Home Command for Patching Oracle Grid Infrastructure

    Starting with Oracle Grid Infrastructure 18c, the Oracle Grid Infrastructure home includes a built-in tool, rhpctl, that enables you to switch from the current Oracle Grid Infrastructure home to a patched Oracle Grid Infrastructure home. Thus, you can provision the new home as a gold image, rather than cloning the existing home.

    This single rhpctl command also enables you to switch from the new home to the previous home if you decide to rollback the operation. rhpctl performs all of the steps for switching the home and the command also provides options for rolling or non-rolling of individual nodes or set of nodes in a cluster using session management.

    For more information, see Oracle Clusterware Administration and Deployment Guide

New Features for Oracle Automatic Storage Management 18c

  • Storage Conversion for Member Clusters

    You can use ASMCMD commands to administer the configuration of member clusters. For example, you can change the storage method from direct Oracle ASM to indirect Oracle ASM, or change from indirect Oracle ASM to direct Oracle ASM.

    For more information, see About Oracle Member Clusters and Automatic Storage Management Administrator's Guide

  • Enhancements for Oracle ACFS Replication

    Oracle ACFS replication provides replication role reversal functionality and the designation of an Oracle ACFS snapshot as a storage location participating in replication. Oracle ACFS replication provides replication role reversal functionality, which enables the original primary and standby locations to reverse roles. Using the acfsutil repl reverse command, you can change the original primary to the new standby, and the original standby to the new primary.

    The role reversal functionality enhances replication to provide additional disaster recovery capabilities. With the designation of an Oracle ACFS snapshot as a replication primary or standby location, you can choose to replicate either a mounted file system or a snapshot of a mounted file system.

    Oracle recommends Oracle Data Guard and Oracle Golden Gate for database disaster recovery. In Oracle ASM 18c and Oracle ASM 12c Release 2 (12.2), Oracle ACFS replication can be used with Oracle Standard Edition for disaster recovery and for periodic refreshes of test and development environments.

  • Reducing the Size of an Oracle ACFS File System

    You can use the acfsutil size command to reduce the size of a file system whether or not the command must internally move user data or metadata to complete the action.

  • Extended Support for Oracle ACFS in the Cluster Domain

    In addition to support for Oracle member clusters with attached local storage, Oracle ACFS provides Oracle ACFS remote service for native Oracle ACFS functionality on member clusters with no attached local storage (indirect storage member clusters). Utilizing an Oracle ACFS deployment on the Oracle Domain Services Cluster (DSC), Oracle ACFS remote service can be used for both Oracle Application Clusters and database member clusters to enable a flexible and file system-based deployment of applications and databases. Unlike NFS-based exports, Oracle ACFS remote service fully supports advanced Oracle ACFS features; such as replication, snapshots, and tagging; on the destination member cluster.

    For more information, see About Oracle Member Clusters

  • Additional Information Displays for Oracle ACFS Storage Usage

    You can use the acfsutil info storage command to display a platform independent view that shows how the space in an Oracle ASM disk group is consumed by components of Oracle ASM, Oracle ACFS, and Oracle ADVM.

  • Enhancements to Oracle ACFS Snapshot Commands

    Oracle ACFS acfsutil commands have been updated to provide better management of Oracle ACFS snapshots:

    • You can create or delete snapshot links with the acfsutil snap link command. A snapshot link provides access to the contents of a snapshot using an alternate path which does not include the .ACFS/snaps directory, the default location where snapshots are created.

    • The acfsutil snap dup apply command provides the —B option to specify the name of a generated backup snapshot.

  • Temporarily Freezing Modification in an Oracle ACFS File System

    You can use the acfsutil freeze and acfsutil thaw commands to temporarily halt and resume modification activity in an Oracle ACFS file system. Using the acfsutil freeze command, you can create point-in-time images across different snapshots without stopping your applications. Cross-node communication ensures that all nodes perform a freeze operation. During the freeze, each node stops all modification operations on the specified file system, flushes user data and metadata, commits the data to disk, and then acknowledges when the operations are completed.

  • Enhancements to Oracle ACFS Diagnostic Commands

    Oracle ACFS diagnostic commands, such as acfsutil meta and acfsutil tune, have been updated to provide improved diagnostic management of Oracle ACFS system metadata collection and the tuning of Oracle ACFS parameters.

  • Converting Normal or High Redundancy Disk Groups to Flex Disk Groups without Restricted Mount

    You can convert a conventional disk group (disk group created before Oracle ASM release 18c) to an Oracle ASM flex disk group without using the restrictive mount (MOUNTED RESTRICTED) option.

For more information, see Oracle Automatic Storage Management Administrator's Guide

Deprecated Features

Deprecated features for Oracle Grid Infrastructure 18c.

The following feature is deprecated in this release, and may be desupported in another release. See Oracle Database Upgrade Guide for a complete list of deprecated features in this release.

  • Flex Cluster (Hub/Leaf) Architecture

    Starting with Oracle Database 18c, Leaf nodes are deprecated as part of Oracle Flex Cluster architecture.

    With continuous improvements in the Oracle Clusterware stack towards providing shorter reconfiguration times in case of a failure, Leaf nodes are no longer necessary for implementing clusters that meet customer needs, either for on-premises, or in the Cloud.