Patching Oracle Exalogic – updating Linux on the compute nodes part I by Jos Nijhoff

Patching Exalogic part 4a
Before we dive further into the brave new world of virtualization on the Exalogic, I thought I’d finish up my series of posts on patching. My previous posts on this subject detailed upgrading firstly the network compontents (Infiniband Gateway Switches, indicated in green) and secondly the storage component (ZFS 7320 appliance, in blue).

This post will deal with patching the operating system on the modified Sun Fire X4170 M2 servers (in red), dubbed compute nodes in Exalogic terminology. In our case the OS is Oracle Linux.

As before with the storage and network patching I will demonstrate that patching of the compute nodes can be done in a rolling fashion, maintaining application availability during the upgrade, provided that your application is deployed in redundant (HA) fashion, for example in a Weblogic cluster spread over more that one physical node.

As an example, I will take the installation of the Exalogic 2.0.0.0.1 patchset (patch 13569004). This is the quarterly upgrade from april 2012. After unpacking the patch and thoroughly examining the README and the corresponding upgrade advisor document on MOS we can get to work. First we have to apply the network- and storage patches for the infrastructure as I have described before, but that is not the subject of our current post. After having done so, we can start on the compute nodes, which is our current focus.

You can patch one compute node at a time, or multiple nodes in parallel. The patch script facilitates the latter as well, through the use of the Exalogic’s Distributed Command Line interface (DCLI). It’s always prudent to patch one compute node (with some less critical deployments if possible) first as a test case and carefully evaluate the results before moving on. If you are patching in a rolling fashion you would probably not patch more than a few nodes at a time anyway. Read the full article here.

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