2.5 Changes and Improvements in Release 2.2.1

This section describes functional changes, improvements and bug fixes compared to the previous release.

Support for Next-Generation Server Hardware

Oracle PCA Release 2.2.1 software adds provisioning and orchestration support for Oracle Server X6-2 expansion compute nodes. These offer practically the same functionality and performance as their predecessors, but with more up-to-date internal components.


Release 2.2.1 adds support for Oracle Server X6-2 expansion compute nodes only. The use of this generation of servers as management nodes is not supported with this software release.

Oracle Server X6-2 expansion nodes can be installed in base racks of a previous release, provided the software stack is updated to Release 2.2.1 or a future release. Oracle Server X6-2, Oracle Server X5-2, Sun Server X4-2 and Sun Server X3-2 compute nodes can be used within the same rack in the same Oracle VM server pool. The only functional implication is that virtual machines cannot be live-migrated between the different server types because they belong to separate CPU compatibility groups. In that situation, a virtual machine would need to be shut down on one server and restarted on the other server.

Tenant Groups

A tenant group is a logical subset of a single Oracle PCA environment. Tenant groups provide an optional mechanism for an Oracle PCA administrator to subdivide the environment in arbitrary ways for manageability and isolation. The tenant group offers a means to isolate compute, network and storage resources per customer. As of release 2.2.1, or during a controller software update to release 2.2.1, the traditional Rack1_ServerPool becomes the default tenant group. Oracle PCA supports a maximum of 8 tenant groups, including the default one, which cannot be deleted.

The tenant group functionality can be accessed through the CLI. With a specific set of commands you manage the tenant groups, their member compute nodes, and the associated custom networks. The CLI initiates a number of Oracle VM operations to set up the server pool, and a synchronization service maintains settings across the members of the tenant group.

The tenant group is practically synonymous with its associated Oracle VM server pool. The additional appliance-level functionality lies in the automatic configuration of networking across the members of the tenant group or server pool. This is why tenant groups must be managed through the Oracle PCA CLI, not through Oracle VM Manager.

Performance Enhancements

This release of the Oracle PCA software contains a significant number of improvements aimed at better overall performance. Areas where significant progress was made, include: compute node provisioning, upgrade procedures, network and storage management, virtual machine network throughput and migration time, and general Oracle VM operation.

The enhancements translate not only to faster configuration and deployment, but also – more importantly – to a more reliable product and better scalability of the Oracle PCA environment.

Host Networks

Custom networking functionality has been expanded with a new option: the host network. A host network is a particular type of custom external network: its configuration contains a definition of a subnet, in which the participating compute nodes have an IP address. This allows compute nodes to connect to an external network device. Optionally, additional parameters are added for specific routing. The host network is particularly useful for direct access to storage devices.

Expansion Racks

The Oracle PCA Release 2.2.1 controller software supports expansion racks. However, the installation of additional racks cannot be automated and requires several manual reconfigurations of rack infrastructure components by a qualified Oracle specialist. Consequently a multi-rack Oracle PCA installation is considered a consulting project. Contact your Oracle representative for more information.

Bugs Fixed in Release 2.2.1

The following table lists bugs that have been fixed in Oracle PCA Release 2.2.1.

Table 2.6 List of Fixed Bugs

Bug ID



Controller Software Update Fails on Multipath Check

This failure was caused by an attempt to mount a YUM directory that was already mounted. The multipath check script that failed, resides in that directory.

The code now verifies the mount point first to eliminate the error. In addition, the pexpect timeout has been increased to ensure that the script can finish its tasks in larger environments.


Multipath Configuration Changes in Software Update Cause Failures

With Release 2.0.5 the installation of new packages removed the ZFS-specific stanza from the multipath.conf file. This caused multipath failures on compute nodes and made VM file systems read-only.

The upgraded packages that caused this problem have been fixed so that an update of the Oracle PCA Controller Software now maintains the ZFS-specific multipath configuration entries.


PCA Restricted to One Server Pool

Customer defined Tenant Groups have been implemented in Release 2.2.1. These provide the functionality of custom Oracle VM server pools, with additional appliance-level configuration options.


Controller Software Update Fails Due to Unexpected ZFS Head Cluster State

The software update code now contains more accurate checks for the ZFS storage appliance cluster. If it is not in the required state, the update stops immediately and the administrator is instructed to manually reboot the backup storage head. This brings the cluster back to the expected state.


Compute Node and Management Node ILOMs Require Security Patch

A security patch for ILOM was released to address the OpenSSL vulnerability CVE-2016-0800. New firmwares for all supported server platforms are now included in the Oracle PCA ISO image.


Unable to Change Passwords Due to Sync Task Errors

Failures occurred when trying to set a new password for Oracle VM Manager, WebLogic and MySQL. To fix this issue, the management node virtual IP address was added as a destination in the synchronization service.


HCA Firmware Update Required for ZFS Storage Appliance

A firmware update is available for the type CX-2 InfiniBand HCA installed in the Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance ZS3-ES. This firmware update (2.11.2010) addresses the known port flapping issue, and is now included in the Oracle PCA ISO image.


Configuration Restore Incomplete after Oracle Switch ES1-24 Firmware Upgrade

The Oracle PCA ISO image now includes firmware version, which resolves the earlier issue with missing tacacs+ alternate servers and port numbers. With the new firmware, the switch configuration can be completely restored in a single operation.