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Exadata Product Development Blog

Exadata Software Status - December 2020

If you remember back to July, we discussed the Exadata System Software Releases, and talked through the multiple software trains we have running at the moment. We also gave an overview of what the future of each release looked like. If you missed the blog post, or need a refresher, have a read here.

In the post we mentioned that our goal was to provide a smooth transition through the releases for all supported Exadata machine generations, maintaining compatibility for all supported Oracle Database versions, and that some roadmaps may be adjusted.

This leads us to today's update. MOS Note 888828.1 has been updated with some further details on our 18 and 19 release schedules. Below is an overview.

Exadata System Software 18

Starting in July 2020, we reduced 18.1 software releases to once a quarter for the remainder of 2020, and mentioned that support for this release would be removed in 2021.

July 2021 will be the final release for 18.1.x.

This gives three more quarterly releases:

  • January 2021
  • April 2021
  • July 2021

Exadata System Software 19

We mentioned in the last blog that through the end of 2020, both 19.2 and 19.3 would remain on a monthly release cadence, with both finishing up on or after January 2021.

January 2021 will be the final release for 19.2.x.

This gives two more monthly releases:

  • December 2020
  • January 2021

Exadata Software 19.3.x will continue on monthly release cadence until April 2021, then quarterly with a finish line of July 2021:

  • December 2020
  • January 2021
  • February 2021
  • March 2021
  • April 2021
  • July 2021

Exadata System Software 20

Continuing through 2021, Exadata Software 20.1.x will remain on monthly releases. Monitor My Oracle Support Note 888828.1 for future schedule updates.

Recommendation

You may have seen in our regular software posts that the recommendation changed shortly after the release of 20.1, for all customers to move to Exadata Software 20.1. As you can see from the wrapping up of updates to the 18 and 19 releases, this is a strong recommendation for all currently supported Exadata hardware platforms to transition to the latest software release. As we mention in the main Exadata Software MOS Note 888828.1:

All software should be updated regularly. Maintaining software at current or recent releases provides the following benefits:

  • better software security
  • more stable sustaining releases
  • continued compatibility with newer related software
  • better support and faster resolution of issues
  • ability to receive fixes for newly discovered issues

All extremely good reasons to move.

While I'm here, just a quick word on versioning, we know that over the years there's been some hesitance to move to "dot-one" versions of an Oracle product. I get it. However I don't believe this is something to really be concerned about since the move to the yearly version numbering. (Exadata 19.3 could have been called 20.1 had it come out a few months later...) What I think might be a better way of identifying Exadata releases is using the OS/Kernel combination. If you go back to the Updates Explained blog post you'll see I mention the combinations:

  • Release 18.1 : Oracle Linux 6 UEK4
  • Release 19.1 : Oracle Linux 7 UEK4
  • Release 19.2 : Oracle Linux 7 UEK4
  • Release 19.3 : Oracle Linux 7 UEK5
  • Release 20.1 : Oracle Linux 7 UEK5

So you could think of Exadata Release 20.1 as the second version ("dot-two" if you will) of the OL7/UEK5 software release. (19.3 and 20.1 even have the same Grid Infrastructure and Database release and patch level requirements!) Something to think about. Maybe more on this in the new year.

Finishing Up

The visual has been updated as at December 2020, to help see the see what we've just walked through.

Head to My Oracle Support Note 888828.1 for all the latest guidance on updates for Exadata, and keep an eye on blogs.oracle.com/exadata for future announcements. We are always interested in your feedback, you are welcome to engage with us via comments here or me directly twitter @GavinAtHQ.

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