Database Preparation Tasks to Complete Before Starting Oracle Database Upgrades

Ensure that you have completed these database preparation tasks before starting an Oracle Database upgrade.

Release Updates and Requirements for Upgrading Oracle Database

Before starting upgrades, update your new release Oracle home to the latest Release Update (Update).

The software for new Oracle Database releases contains a full release that includes all the latest updates for Oracle Database at the time of the release.

Before you start an upgrade, Oracle strongly recommends that you update your new release Oracle home to the latest quarterly Release Update (Update).

My Oracle Support provides detailed notes about how you can obtain the updates, as well as tools for lifecycle management.. For example:
  • My Oracle Support note 2118136.2 contains a download assistant to help you select the updates that you need for your environment. Oracle highly recommends that you start here.
  • My Oracle Support note 1227443.1 contains a list of Oracle Database PSU/BP/Update/Revision known issues. This note provides information about all known issues notes for Oracle Database, Oracle Grid Infrastructure, and the Oracle JavaVM Component (OJVM).

Upgrades and Transparent Data Encryption

To upgrade databases using TDE, provide AutoUpgrade with TDE passwords either by using the –load_password command line option, or by specifying an external password store.

Starting with AutoUpgrade version 22.1, you can choose either to provide Transparent Data Encryption (TDE) passwords at the command line during the upgrade to access the source keystores, and have AutoUpgrade create new external keystore on the target system in a location that you choose, or you can specify that AutoUpgrade should access an existing secure external password store (SEPS) that contains the TDE passwords.

Provide TDE Passwords At the Command Line Using Password Initialization and Storage

If you have the TDE passwords for the databases that you want to upgrade, then you can provide those passwords to AutoUpgrade at the command line. AutoUpgrade creates an external key manager generated and maintained by AutoUpgrade. With this configuration, AutoUpgrade supports unmanned or automated operations of TDE-enabled databases. As the upgrade runs, AutoUpgrade can open each source database keystore without prompting for the keystore password, and enroll the target database into the TDE external keystore for key management, so that the target database can start automatically.

  1. Before running AutoUpgrade, you add the global parameter global.keystore to the configuration file that you use with a database that uses TDE, and specify a secure path to the location of the keystore that you want created for the upgraded database. This path should be different from any other file path you specify in AutoUpgrade, so that the keystore is not in any log file location.
  2. When you run AutoUpgrade in Deploy mode, you must run it using the -config command line parameter, and with the -load_password parameter.
  3. Before AutoUpgrade starts the database upgrades, AutoUpgrade prompts you to provide the TDE passwords for each database specified in the configuration file that uses TDE. These passwords are used only to access the source release TDE keystores, and to write the TDE passwords to the new target external keystore. No passwords are written to SQL*Plus execution plans during the upgrade. After AutoUpgrade no longer requires the TDE passwords, these passwords are purged from memory. No log records are kept of the passwords.
Note the following security features of the password initialization and storage option:
  • You specify the TDE passwords as AutoUpgrade starts to deploy; they are not included in the configuration file.
  • AutoUpgrade prompts you to provide the TDE password for each source database specified in your configuration file that contains a TDE keystore.
  • AutoUpgrade performs no password logging in any files written by AutoUpgrade during the upgrade. Instead, AutoUpgrade records that the load_password command line option was used during the Deploy.
  • As AutoUpgrade runs, it places TDE passwords entered at the command line into secure Java KeyStore objects.
  • After the TDE password for an Oracle Database keystore is used for access, and the target database is enrolled into the TDE external keystore for key management, AutoUpgrade clears the Java KeyStore objects containing the password, so that these passwords are no longer in memory.
  • AutoUpgrade does not include the keystore file in the zip file that AutoUpgrade generates during the upgrade.
  • If the upgrade is a non-CDB or an Unplug-Plug PDB upgrade, then the XML manifest file created by AutoUpgrade for databases undergoing a Non-CDB to PDB or Unplug/Plug upgrade contains TDE encryption keys. This file is also excluded in the zip file generated by AutoUpgrade.

Provide TDE Passwords Using an AUTO LOGIN keystore

If you choose to use an existing external keystore to provide AutoUpgrade with passwords for TDE, then you must perform a one-time setup of an AUTO LOGIN keystore, so that the database can be shut down and restarted without requiring DBA intervention.

To review your existing have an Oracle Wallet value specified, enter the following command:

SQL> show parameter WALLET_ROOT;

With AutoUpgrade 22.1 and later, copying the sqlnet.ora file to the new Oracle release is no longer required. If you choose to use a secure external password keystore, then Oracle recommends that you use the WALLET_ROOT static initialization parameter and TDE_CONFIGURATION dynamic initialization parameter.

You can specify in your AutoUpgrade configuration file to have the keystore location changed during the upgrade. Alternatively, you can complete this task manually after the upgrade. In either case, ensure that a recent backup has been made of the keystore before you start the upgrade.

If you complete this task manually, then after the upgrade, before you can configure keystores and begin to encrypt data, you must perform a one-time configuration using the WALLET_ROOT and TDE_CONFIGURATION parameters to designate the location and type of keystores that you plan to create.

The WALLET_ROOT parameter specifies the keystore directory location. Before you set WALLET_ROOT, ensure that you have an existing directory that you can use to store keystores. (Typically, this directory is called wallet.)

The TDE_CONFIGURATION parameter specifies the type of keystore (software keystore, hardware keystore, or Oracle Key Vault keystore). If you omit the TDE_CONFIGURATION parameter, then Oracle Database uses the sqlnet.ora file settings. After you set the type of keystore using TDE_CONFIGURATION, when you create the keystore, Oracle Database creates a directory within the WALLET_ROOT location for the keystore type. For example, if you set TDE_CONFIGURATION to FILE, for Transparent Data Encryption keystores, then Oracle Database creates a directory named tde (lower case) within the wallet directory. If you want to migrate from one keystore type to another, then you must first set TDE_CONFIGURATION parameter to the keystore type that you want to use, and then use the ADMINISTER KEY MANAGEMENT statement to perform the migration. For example, you can migrate from a hardware security module (HSM) keystore to a TDE keystore.

The KEYSTORE_MODE column of the V$ENCRYPTION_WALLET dynamic view shows whether united mode or isolated mode has been configured.

Note:

In previous releases, the SQLNET.ENCRYPTION_WALLET_LOCATION parameter was used to define the keystore directory location. This parameter has been deprecated. Oracle recommends that you use the WALLET_ROOT static initialization parameter and TDE_CONFIGURATION dynamic initialization parameter instead. You can use the AutoUpgrade utility to perform this update for you during the upgrade.

Recommendations for Oracle Net Services When Upgrading Oracle Database

You must ensure that the listener is running in your new release Oracle home.

If the Oracle Database that you are upgrading does not have a listener configured, then before you start the upgrade, you must run Oracle Net Configuration Assistant (NETCA) to configure the listening protocol address and service information for the new release of Oracle Database, including a listener.ora file. The current listener is backward-compatible with earlier Oracle Database releases.

When You Must Disable Oracle Database Vault

You may need to disable Oracle Database Vault to perform upgrade tasks or correct erroneous configurations.

You can reenable Oracle Database Vault after you complete the corrective tasks.

The following situations require you to disable Oracle Database Vault:

  • You must install any of the Oracle Database optional products or features, such as Oracle Spatial, by using Database Configuration Assistant (DBCA).

  • If you did not configure backup DV_OWNER and DV_ACCTMGR accounts when you registered Oracle Database Vault, and these accounts are inadvertently locked or their passwords forgotten. Note that if your site only has one DV_OWNER user and this user has lost their password, you will be unable to disable Oracle Database Vault. However, if your site's only DV_ACCTMGR user has lost the password, you can disable Database Vault. As a best practice, you should grant the DV_OWNER and DV_ACCTMGR roles to new or existing user accounts, and use the Database Vault Owner and Account Manager accounts that you created when you registered Database Vault as back-up accounts.

  • If you want to register Oracle Internet Directory (OID) using Oracle Database Configuration Assistant (DBCA).

  • If Oracle Database Vault is enabled and you are upgrading an entire CDB, then use one of the following methods:

    • CDB upgrade method 1: Temporarily grant the DV_PATCH_ADMIN to user SYS commonly by logging into the root container as a common user with the DV_OWNER role, and then issuing the GRANT DV_PATCH_ADMIN TO SYS CONTAINER=ALL statement. Oracle Database Vault controls will be in the same state as it was before the upgrade. When the upgrade is complete, log into the root container as the DV_OWNER user and revoke the DV_PATCH_ADMIN role from SYS by issuing the REVOKE DV_PATCH_ADMIN FROM SYS CONTAINER=ALL statement.
    • CDB upgrade method 2: Log into each container as a user who has the DV_OWNER role and then execute the DBMS_MACADM.DISABLE_DV procedure. You must first disable the PDBs (in any order) and then after that, disable the root container last. If you are upgrading only one PDB, then you can disable Oracle Database Vault in that PDB only. After you have completed the upgrade, you can enable Oracle Database Vault by logging into each container as the DV_OWNER user and then executing the DVSYS.DBMS_MACADM.ENABLE_DV procedure. The order of enabling Oracle Database Vault must be the root container first and PDBs afterward. You can enable the PDBs in any order, but the root container must be enabled first.

Note:

Be aware that if you disable Oracle Database Vault, the privileges that were revoked from existing users and roles during the Oracle Database Vault configuration remain in effect.

Create or Migrate Your Password File with ORAPWD

Review if you have REMOTE_LOGIN_PASSWORDFILE set.

If the REMOTE_LOGIN_PASSWORDFILE initialization parameter is set to EXCLUSIVE, then create or migrate the password file with ORAPWD. Oracle Database 12c and later releases provide a new option to ORAPWD for migrating the password file from your existing database.

With Oracle Database 12c release 2 (12.2) and later releases, if REMOTE_LOGIN_PASSWORDFILE is set to SHARED, then you receive a pre-upgrade check validation warning. You can choose one of the following options to correct this issue:

  • Disable the password file-based authentication entirely by setting REMOTE_LOGIN_PASSWORDFILE = NONE

  • Limit the password file-based authentication by setting REMOTE_LOGIN_PASSWORDFILE = EXCLUSIVE

Understanding Password Case Sensitivity and Upgrades

By default, Oracle Database 12c Release 2 (12.2) and later releases use Exclusive Mode authentication protocols. Exclusive Modes do not support case-insensitive password-based authentication.

Accounts that have only the 10G password version become inaccessible when the server runs in an Exclusive Mode.

Note:

Starting with Oracle Database 21c, the SEC_CASE_SENSITIVE_LOGON parameter is desupported. You must use a case-sensitive password version. If a user with only a 10G password version is upgraded to Oracle Database 21c, then that user account is locked, until an administrator resets the password.

In previous Oracle Database releases, you could configure the authentication protocol so that it allows case-insensitive password-based authentication by setting SEC_CASE_SENSITIVE_LOGON=FALSE. Starting with Oracle Database 12c release 2 (12.2), the default password-based authentication protocol configuration excluded the use of the case-insensitive 10G password version. By default, the SQLNET.ORA parameter SQLNET.ALLOWED_LOGON_VERSION_SERVER is set to 12, which is an Exclusive Mode. When the database is configured in Exclusive Mode, the password-based authentication protocol requires that one of the case-sensitive password versions (11G or 12C) is present for the account being authenticated. This mode excludes the use of the 10G password version used in earlier releases. After upgrading to Oracle Database 12c release 2 and later releases, accounts that have only the case-insensitive 10G password version become inaccessible. This change occurs because the server runs in an Exclusive Mode by default. When Oracle Database is configured in Exclusive Mode, it cannot use the old 10G password version to authenticate the client. The server is left with no password version with which to authenticate the client.

Before upgrading, Oracle recommends that you determine if this change to the default password-based authentication protocol configuration affects you. Perform the following checks:

  • Identify if you have accounts that use only 10G case-insensitive password authentication versions.

  • Identify if you have Oracle Database 11g release 2 (11.2.0.3) database or earlier clients that have not applied critical patch update CPUOct2012, or a later patch update, and have any account that does not have the case-insensitive 10G password version.

Update Accounts Using Case-Insensitive Versions

If you have user accounts that have only the case-insensitive 10G password version, then before upgrade, update the password versions for each account that has only the 10G password version. You can update the password versions by expiring user passwords using the 10G password version, and requesting that these users log in to their account. When they attempt to log in, the server automatically updates the list of password versions, which includes the case-sensitive password versions.

Checking for Accounts Using Case-Insensitive Password Version

Use these procedures to identify if the Oracle Database that you want to upgrade has accounts or configuration parameters that are using a case-insensitive password version.

Note:

Starting with Oracle Database 21c, the SEC_CASE_SENSITIVE_LOGON parameter is desupported. You must use a case-sensitive password version.

If you do not want user accounts authenticated with case-insensitive password versions to be locked out of the database after an upgrade, then before the upgrade, you must identify affected accounts, and ensure that they are using case-sensitive password versions.

Example 2-1 Finding User Accounts That Use Case-Insensitive (10G) Version

Log in to SQL*Plus as an administrative user, and enter the following SQL query:

SELECT USERNAME,PASSWORD_VERSIONS FROM DBA_USERS;

The following result shows password versions for the accounts:

USERNAME                       PASSWORD_VERSIONS
------------------------------ -----------------
JONES                          10G 11G 12C
ADAMS                          10G 11G
CLARK                          10G 11G
PRESTON                        11G
BLAKE                          10G

In this example, the backgrounds for each user account password verification version in use are different:

  • JONES was created in Oracle Database 10G, and the password for JONES was reset in Oracle Database 12C when the setting for the SQLNET.ALLOWED_LOGON_VERSION_SERVER parameter was set to 8. As a result, this password reset created all three versions. 11G and 12C use case-sensitive passwords.

  • ADAMS and CLARK were originally created with the 10G version, and then 11G, after they were imported from an earlier release. These account passwords were then reset in 11G, with the deprecated parameter SEC_CASE_SENSITIVE_LOGON set to TRUE.

  • The password for BLAKE was created with the 10G version, and the password has not been reset. As a result, user BLAKE continues to use the 10G password version, which uses a case-insensitive password.

The user BLAKE has only the 10G password version before upgrade:

SQL> SELECT USERNAME,PASSWORD_VERSIONS FROM DBA_USERS;

USERNAME PASSWORD_VERSIONS
------------------------------ -----------------
BLAKE 10G

If you upgrade to a new Oracle Database release without taking any further action, then this account becomes inaccessible. Ensure that the system is not configured in Exclusive Mode (by setting the SQLNET.ORA parameter SQLNET.ALLOWED_LOGON_VERSION_SERVER to a more permissive authentication mode) before the upgrade.

Example 2-2 Fixing Accounts with Case-Insensitive Passwords

Complete the following procedure:

  1. Use the following SQL query to find the accounts that only have the 10G password version:

          select USERNAME
             from DBA_USERS
            where ( PASSWORD_VERSIONS = '10G '
                   or PASSWORD_VERSIONS = '10G HTTP ')
              and USERNAME <> 'ANONYMOUS';
    
  2. Configure the system so that it is not running in Exclusive Mode by editing the setting of the SQLNET.ORA parameter SQLNET.ALLOWED_LOGON_VERSION_SERVER to a level appropriate for affected accounts. For example:

    SQLNET.ALLOWED_LOGON_VERSION_SERVER=11

    After you make this change, proceed with the upgrade.

  3. After the upgrade completes, use the following command syntax to expire the accounts you found in step 1, where username is the name of a user returned from the query in step 1:

    ALTER USER username PASSWORD EXPIRE;

  4. Ask the users for whom you have expired the passwords to log in.

  5. When these users log in, they are prompted to reset their passwords. The system internally generates the missing 11G and 12C password versions for their account, in addition to the 10G password version. The 10G password version is still present, because the system is running in the permissive mode.

  6. Ensure that the client software with which users are connecting has the O5L_NP capability flag.

    Note:

    All Oracle Database release 11.2.0.4 and later clients, and all Oracle Database release 12.1 and later clients have the O5L_NP capability. Other clients require the CPUOct2012 patch to acquire the O5L_NP capability.

    The O5L_NP capability flag is documented in Oracle Database Net Services Reference, in the section on the parameter SQLNET.ALLOWED_LOGON_VERSION_SERVER.

  7. After all clients have the O5L_NP capability, raise the server security back to Exclusive Mode by using the following procedure:

    1. Remove the SEC_CASE_SENSITIVE_LOGON setting from the instance initialization file, or set the SEC_CASE_SENSITIVE_LOGON instance initialization parameter to TRUE. For example:

      SEC_CASE_SENSITIVE_LOGON = TRUE

    2. Remove the SQLNET.ALLOWED_LOGON_VERSION_SERVER parameter from the server SQLNET.ORA file, or set it back to Exclusive Mode by changing the value of SQLNET.ALLOWED_LOGON_VERSION_SERVER in the server SQLNET.ORA file back to 12. For example:

      SQLNET.ALLOWED_LOGON_VERSION_SERVER = 12

  8. Use the following SQL query to find the accounts that still have the 10G password version:

           select USERNAME
             from DBA_USERS
            where PASSWORD_VERSIONS like '%10G%'
              and USERNAME <> 'ANONYMOUS';
  9. Use the list of accounts returned from the query in step 8 to expire all the accounts that still have the 10G password version. Expire the accounts using the following syntax, where username is a name on the list returned by the query:

    ALTER USER username PASSWORD EXPIRE;

  10. Request the users whose accounts you expired to log in to their accounts.

    When the users log in, they are prompted to reset their password. The system internally generates only the 11G and 12C password versions for their account. Because the system is running in Exclusive Mode, the 10G password version is no longer generated.

  11. Check that the system is running in a secure mode by rerunning the query from step 1. Ensure that no users are found. When the query finds no users, this result means that no 10G password version remains present in the system.

Example 2-3 Checking for the Presence of SEC_CASE_SENSITIVE_LOGON Set to FALSE

Oracle Database does not prevent the use of the FALSE setting for SEC_CASE_SENSITIVE_LOGON when the SQLNET.ALLOWED_LOGON_VERSION_SERVER parameter is set to 12 or 12a. This setting can result in all accounts in the upgraded database becoming inaccessible.

SQL> SHOW PARAMETER SEC_CASE_SENSITIVE_LOGON

NAME                                 TYPE        VALUE
------------------------------------ ----------- ------------------------------
sec_case_sensitive_logon             boolean     FALSE
You can change this parameter by using the following command:
SQL> ALTER SYSTEM SET SEC_CASE_SENSITIVE_LOGON = TRUE;

System altered.

Note:

Unless the value for the parameter SQLNET.ALLOWED_LOGON_VERSION_SERVER is changed to a version that is more permissive than 12, such as 11, do not set the SEC_CASE_SENSITIVE_LOGON parameter to FALSE.

Resource and Password Parameter Updates for STIG and CIS Profiles

Starting with Oracle Database 21c, the upgrade configures Oracle Recommended Profiles, which includes updating an already existing STIG profile, and installing a CIS profile as part of the upgrade.

A profile is a collection of attributes that apply to a user. It enables a single point of reference for any of multiple users that share those exact attributes.

During Oracle Database upgrades, the Oracle Supplied Profile ORA_STIG_PROFILE user profile is updated in accordance with the most recent system configuration baselines specified by the US Department of Defense Systems Agency (DISA) Security Technical Implementation Guides (STIG) baselines. This update overwrites any password and resource limits that you may have set previously in the ORA_STIG_PROFILE user profile. In addition, a new profile is added, ORA_CIS_PROFILE, which complies with the most recent Center of Internet Security (CIS) baseline updates available to Oracle at the time of the software release. These two profiles are designated Oracle Recommended Profiles. These profiles differ from a standard DEFAULT profile, because they are based on the STIG and CIS baselines.

The profiles ORA_STIG_PROFILE and ORA_CIS_PROFILE are created as LOCAL profiles, and the clause CONTAINER=CURRENT clause is used. However, to enhance the security of the profiles that Oracle provides, only the SYS user has permissions to modify these files.

If there are users associated to ORA_STIG_PROFILE, then the following parameters for these users are made stricter after the upgrade:

  • PASSWORD_LIFE_TIME, which is changed to 35.
  • PASSWORD_REUSE_TIME, which is changed to 175.
  • PASSWORD_GRACE_TIME, which is changed to 0.

For more information about using Oracle Recommended Profiles, refer to Oracle Database Security Guide.

Check for Profile Scripts (glogin.sql and login.sql)

For all upgrade methods, Oracle recommends that you run upgrades without the use of profile scripts.

Depending on the content of profile scripts (glogin.sql and login.sql), there is a risk that these scripts can interfere with the upgrade of Oracle Database, and that you can encounter an UPG-1400 UPGRADE FAILED error, or Unexpected error encountered in catcon, or ORA-04023: Object SYS.STANDARD could not be validated or authorized. Oracle recommends that you remove the site profile script (glogin.sql) from the target Oracle home (located in the Oracle home under /sqlplus/admin ) before starting the upgrade. Also ensure that no user profile script is defined, either in the current directory, or specified using the environment variable SQLPATH.

Running Upgrades with Read-Only Tablespaces

To take user schema-based tablespaces offline during upgrade, use AutoUpgrade with the catctl_options parameter -T option.

For all Oracle Database releases that AutoUpgrade can upgrade, Autoupgrade can read file headers created in earlier releases. You are not required to do anything to them during the upgrade. The file headers of READ ONLY tablespaces are updated when they are changed to READ WRITE.

Note:

If you are performing a non-CDB to PDB conversion, then using read-only tablespaces is not a valid fallback option. During a non-CDB to PDB conversion, tablespaces must be online during conversion, because each data file header requires changes during the upgrade.

If the upgrade suffers a catastrophic error, so that the upgrade is unable to bring the tablespaces back online, then review the upgrade log files. The log files contain the actual SQL statements required to make the tablespaces available. To bring the tablespaces back online, you must run the SQL statements in the log files for the database, or run the log files for each PDB.

Viewing Tablespace Commands in Upgrade Log Files

If a catastrophic upgrade failure occurs, then you can navigate to the dbupgrade log directory, and run commands in the log files manually to bring up tablespaces. You can view tablespace commands in the following log files:

  • Non-CDB Upgrade format: catupgrdYYYYMMDDHHMMSC0.log, where:

    YYYY is the year, MM is the month, DD is the day, HH is the hour, MM is the minute in the hour, and SC is the seconds.

  • PDB databases format: catupgrdYYYYMMDDHHSCpdbname0.log, where:

    YYYY is the year, MM is the month, DD is the day, HH is the hour, MM is the minute in the hour, SC is the seconds, and pdbname is the name of the PDB that you are upgrading.

At the beginning of each log file, you find SQL statements such as the following, which sets tables to READ ONLY:

SQL> ALTER TABLESPACE ARGROTBLSPA6 READ ONLY;

Tablespace altered.

SQL> ALTER TABLESPACE ARGROTBLSPB6 READ ONLY;

Tablespace altered.

Near the end of each log file, you find SQL statements to reset tables to READ WRITE:

SQL> ALTER TABLESPACE ARGROTBLSPA6 READ WRITE;

Tablespace altered.

SQL> ALTER TABLESPACE ARGROTBLSPB6 READ WRITE;

Tablespace altered.

See Also:

Oracle Database Administrator’s Guide for information about transporting tablespaces between databases

High Availability Options for Oracle Database

Review the high availability options available to you for Oracle Database using Standard Edition High Availability, Oracle Restart, Oracle Real Application Clusters (Oracle RAC), and Oracle RAC One Node.

The following is an overview of the high availability options available to you for Oracle Database.

Standard Edition High Availability

  • Cluster-based active/passive Oracle Database failover solution
  • Designed for single instance Standard Edition Oracle Databases
  • Available with Oracle Database 19c release update (RU) 19.7 and later
  • Requires Oracle Grid Infrastructure 19c RU 19.7 and later, installed as a Standalone Cluster

Oracle Restart

  • Oracle Database instance restart only feature and basis for Oracle Automatic Storage Management (Oracle ASM) for standalone server deployments
  • For single instance Oracle Databases
  • Requires Oracle Grid Infrastructure for a standalone server (no cluster)

Oracle Real Application Clusters (Oracle RAC) One Node

  • Provides a cluster-based active/passive Oracle Database failover and online database relocation solution
  • Available for Oracle RAC-enabled Oracle Databases
  • Only one instance of an Oracle RAC-enabled Oracle Database is running under normal operations
  • Enables relocation of the active instance to another server in the cluster in an online fashion. To relocate the active instance, you can temporarily start a second instance on the destination server, and relocate the workload
  • Supports Rolling Upgrades - patch set, database, and operating system
  • Supports Application Continuity
  • Requires Oracle Grid Infrastructure to be installed as a Standalone Cluster

Oracle Real Application Clusters (Oracle RAC)

  • Provides active / active Oracle Database high availability and scalability solution
  • Enables multiple servers to perform concurrent transactions on the same Oracle Database
  • Provides high availability: a failure of a database instance or server does not interrupt the database service as a whole, because other instances and their servers remain operational
  • Supports Rolling Upgrades - patch set, database, and operating system
  • Supports Application Continuity
  • Requires Oracle Grid Infrastructure to be installed as a Standalone Cluster

Options for High Availability with Oracle Database Standard Edition

To enable high availability for Oracle Database Standard Edition in releases after Oracle Database 19c, learn how you can use Standard Edition High Availability.

Preparing to Upgrade Standard Edition Oracle RAC or Oracle RAC One Node

To maintain high availability after migrating from Standard Edition Oracle Real Application Clusters (Oracle RAC), you can use Standard Edition High Availability.

Starting with the Oracle Database 19c release, Oracle Database Standard Edition 2 does not support Oracle RAC. To continue to meet high availability needs for Oracle Database Standard Edition, Oracle is introducing Standard Edition High Availability.

Requirements for Using Standard Edition High Availability With Oracle Databases

To use Standard Edition High Availability, deploy Oracle Database Standard Edition 2 in accordance with these configuration requirements.

  • The database is created in a cluster running Oracle Grid Infrastructure for a Standalone Cluster, with its database files placed in Oracle Automatic Storage Management (Oracle ASM) or Oracle Advanced Cluster File System (Oracle ACFS).
  • When using the Database Configuration Assistant, do not create a listener when creating an Oracle Database Standard Edition 2 database that you want to configure for Standard Edition High Availability.
  • Register the database with Single Client Access Name (SCAN) listeners as remote listeners, and node listeners as the local listener.
  • Create a database service. Use this service, instead of the default database service, when you connect applications or database clients to the database.
  • Ensure that the server parameter file (spfile) and password file are on Oracle ASM or Oracle ACFS. If the spfile and password file were placed on a local file system when the database was created or configured, then move these files to Oracle ASM or Oracle ACFS.

Refer to the database installation documentation for additional requirements that must be met.

Moving Operating System Audit Records into the Unified Audit Trail

Audit records that have been written to the spillover audit files can be moved to the unified audit trail database table.

When the database is not writable (such as during database mounts), if the database is closed, or if it is read-only, then Oracle Database writes the audit records to these external files. The default location for these external files is the $ORACLE_BASE/audit/$ORACLE_SID directory.

You can load the files into the database by running the DBMS_AUDIT_MGMT.LOAD_UNIFIED_AUDIT_FILES procedure. Be aware that if you are moving a large number of operating system audit records in the external files, performance may be affected.

To move the audit records in these files to the AUDSYS schema audit table when the database is writable:

  1. Log into the database as a user who has been granted the AUDIT_ADMIN role.
    Before you can upgrade to the current release or Oracle Database, you must run the DBMS_AUDIT_MGMT.LOAD_UNIFIED_AUDIT_FILES procedure from the CDB root to avoid losing operating system spillover files during the upgrade process.
  2. Ensure that the database is open and writable.

    To find if the database is open and writable, query the V$DATABASE view.

    SELECT NAME, OPEN_MODE FROM V$DATABASE;
    
    NAME            OPEN_MODE  
    --------------- ---------- 
    HRPDB           READ WRITE 

    You can run the show pdbs command to find information about PDBs associated with the current instance.

  3. Run the DBMS_AUDIT_MGMT.LOAD_UNIFIED_AUDIT_FILES procedure.
    For example:
    EXEC DBMS_AUDIT_MGMT.LOAD_UNIFIED_AUDIT_FILES;

    If you want to load a specific batch size of spillover operating system audit files, include the load_batch_size parameter. For example, to load 10 spillover files for the current container:

    BEGIN
     DBMS_AUDIT_MGMT.LOAD_UNIFIED_AUDIT_FILES(
      container        => 1, 
      load_batch_size  => 10); 
    END;
    /

    If you omit the load_batch_size parameter, then the default value of load_batch_size is 3. In that case, EXEC DBMS_AUDIT_MGMT.LOAD_UNIFIED_AUDIT_FILES; only loads 3 files at a time.

  4. If you want to load individual PDB audit records, then log in to each PDB and run the DBMS_AUDIT_MGMT.LOAD_UNIFIED_AUDIT_FILES procedure again.

The audit records are loaded into the AUDSYS schema audit table immediately, and then deleted from the $ORACLE_BASE/audit/$ORACLE_SID directory.

Non-CDB Upgrades and Oracle GoldenGate

If you are upgrading a Non-CDB Oracle Database where Oracle GoldenGate is deployed, then you must shut down Oracle GoldenGate, and reconfigure it after conversion and upgrade for the multitenant architecture.

If you are using Oracle GoldenGate with the non-CDB Oracle Database that you want to upgrade, then before you convert and upgrade the source non-CDB Oracle Database to the multitenant architecture, you must shut down and remove the Oracle GoldenGate processes, and then reconfigure them after conversion and upgrade for the multitenant architecture. The following is a high level overview of the processes required:

  1. Drop Oracle GoldenGate users on the source Oracle Database.
  2. Wait until the Oracle GoldenGate processes finish processing all current DML and DDL data in the Oracle GoldenGate trails, and processes are at End of File (EOF).
  3. Stop all Oracle GoldenGate processes on the source database.
  4. Complete the conversion and upgrade of the source non-CDB Oracle Database to the target Oracle Database on the target release CDB.
  5. Restart the database.
  6. If you are also upgrading the database from an earlier release to a later major release family (for example, from Oracle Database 12.1 to Oracle Database 19c, which is the terminal patch set of the Oracle Database 12.2 family), then you must install a new version of Oracle GoldenGate that is supported for Oracle Database 19c. If you are upgrading both Oracle Database and Oracle GoldenGate simultaneously, then you must upgrade the database first.

After the database conversion and upgrade is complete, you can create new credentials for the Oracle GoldenGate extract user. With the new credentials you can then create a new Extract process and Extract pump and distribution service for the upgraded Oracle Database PDB on the target CDB, and start up the newly created processes. For more information about completing those procedures after the upgrade, refer to the Oracle GoldenGate documentation.

Back Up Very Large Databases Before Using AutoUpgrade

If you use partial offline backups with very large databases, then to minimize downtime in the event you need to downgrade your database, check your tablespaces and ensure that all tablespaces required for recovery are backed up.

If you are using the AutoUpgrade utility for upgrading databases where you have selected partial offline backups as your backup option, then check that all tablespaces that are required for upgrade are in READ WRITE mode, and only after you are sure you have identified all required tablespaces for backup, change the status of all required tables before you take an OFFLINE backup of the tablespaces you require for recovery before you run AutoUpgrade.

The reasons for this guideline are as follows:

During an AutoUpgrade operation, other tablespaces besides SYSTEM, SYSAUX and UNDO may need to be maintained in READ WRITE status for the upgrade. Some of the reasons for this requirement during an upgrade can include:
  • Tablespaces that contain dictionary objects
  • Tablespaces that are the default tablespace for Oracle-maintained users
  • Tablespaces that are the default tablespace for the database

AutoUpgrade detects if all tablespaces needed for the upgrade are in READ WRITE status.

When there are tablespaces that must be changed to READ WRITE mode for the upgrade, then:

  • During the PRECHECKS processing mode, AutoUpgrade detects tables in READ ONLY status as an issue.
  • During the FIXUP processing mode, AutoUpgrade performs an automatic fixup to update to READ WRITE mode any tablespaces that it detects in READ ONLY mode that must be in READ WRITE mode.

If there are any tablespaces required for upgrade that AutoUpgrade changes from READ ONLY mode to READ WRITE mode, and these tablespaces were not included in your backup before starting AutoUpgrade, then your recovery strategy is at risk. To ensure that your backup is valid for recovery, you must take your OFFLINE backup only after you are sure which tablespaces must be backed up.

To ensure that your partial offline backup contains backups for all tablespaces modified during the upgrade, complete this procedure:

  1. Put all tablespaces in READ ONLY mode, except for SYSTEM, SYSUX and UNDO and those tablespaces that you know must be in READ WRITE.
  2. Run the this query for pivot users:
    (SELECT username
    FROM dba_users
    WHERE user_id in (
      SELECT schema# FROM sys.registry$
        WHERE namespace = 'SERVER'
        UNION
        SELECT schema# FROM sys.registry$schemas
        WHERE namespace = 'SERVER'
        UNION
        SELECT user# FROM sys.user$
        WHERE type#=1 AND bitand(spare1,256)=256))
      SELECT tablespace_name
      FROM dba_tablespaces
      WHERE status <>'ONLINE' and tablespace_name IN
      (
      SELECT property_value
      FROM database_properties
        WHERE property_name = 'DEFAULT_PERMANENT_TABLESPACE'
        UNION
        SELECT default_tablespace
        FROM dba_users
        WHERE username IN (SELECT username FROM pivot_users)
        UNION
        SELECT tablespace_name
        FROM dba_segments
        WHERE owner IN (SELECT username FROM pivot_users)
        UNION
        SELECT t.name
        FROM modeltab$ m,  ts$ t, sys_objects s
        WHERE m.obj#=s.object_id and s.ts_number=t.ts#
        )'

    The next step you take depends on the result of the query:

    • If the query returns no rows, then it means that backing up SYSTEM, SYSAUX and UNDO, as well as those tables you specifically know must be in READ WRITE, is sufficient to complete a partial offline backup.
    • If the query return rows in tablespaces, then to complete a partial offline backup, you must place these additional tablespaces in READ WRITE mode.
  3. When you have completed identifying and placing all required tablespaces in READ WRITE mode, take your partial offline backup of those tablespaces. Also back up SYSTEM, SYSAUX and UNDO.redo logs, control files and any other files that you consider relevant for the restore/recovery procedure in case they are needed.
  4. Run AutoUpgrade in ANALYZE mode. Review the output, and ensure that AutoUpgrade identifies no additional tablespaces reported as READ ONLY that must be put in READ WRITE.
(Optional) Enter the result of the procedure here.