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Maximum Availability Architecture – Oracle’s industry-leading set of database high availability capabilities

Fleet Patching and Provisioning with Oracle (Autonomous) Database 19c

Ricardo Gonzalez
Product Manager

Managing the lifecycle of large database deployments has always caused some challenges. Most of these challenges can be addressed by running Oracle Databases in the Oracle Cloud, especially using Oracle Autonomous Database. The opposite, however, holds true, too. Using Oracle Fleet Patching & Provisioning (FPP), which is the standard for the lifecycle management of Oracle’s Autonomous Database, will help you managing your on-premises Oracle software estate easier and more efficiently. In this blog post, you will learn how.


Why Use Fleet Patching & Provisioning On-Premises and in the Cloud?

Oracle Autonomous Database provides simplicity at all administrative levels, basing its offering on automated management, security, self-repairing and self-driving capabilities. The ability to auto-provision and self-patch when required, is largely based on Oracle’s recommended solution for performing lifecycle management operations, Oracle FPP and you can benefit from it, too!

Oracle FPP is a feature of Oracle Grid Infrastructure (GI), which provides a framework to automate the lifecycle management of large estates of Oracle Databases. Oracle FPP leverages GI’s high availability capabilities and streamlines the upgrade and patching process for Oracle's customers.

Oracle FPP leverages the concept of Gold Images, well defined software homes (Oracle Database, Grid Infrastructure and even Oracle Fusion Application homes) that you have tested and validated and would like to repurpose for other deployments. Oracle FPP gathers these validated homes and imports them into a managed repository so that they can be reused for patching and upgrading purposes throughout across entire deployment estate.

Oracle FPP’s Gold Image repository is used as an a-la-carte menu, in which the chosen Gold Image is used by Oracle FPP to automate the out-of-place patching, upgrading or provisioning process on any desired target. Furthermore, Oracle FPP evaluates the target to be patched, upgraded or provisioned and provides the required course of corrections to be performed prior to executing the actual lifecycle operation. 

How can You Benefit from Autonomous Database’s Secret Sauce?  

You can benefit from Oracle’s experience with Oracle FPP in three simple steps:

  1. Download and install the latest version of Oracle Grid Infrastructure and configure and deploy an Oracle FPP server as a post-installation step. 
  2. Create a Gold Image repository and import validated homes from across your estate. 
  3. Start provisioning, patching and upgrading your Oracle software with Oracle FPP. 


What’s the Latest in Oracle Database 19c and Oracle FPP?

While generally not bound to Oracle Database versions, certain Oracle FPP features inherently benefit from enhancements in later versions of the Oracle Database. Below is just a selection of features that is generally available to you. 


Zero-Downtime Oracle Grid Infrastructure Patching

Starting with Oracle Grid Infrastructure 19c, Oracle FPP leverages this Oracle Grid Infrastructure feature to reduce patching-related downtime by allowing GI home patching with no interruption to the Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC) Databases running on the GI cluster node being patched. All Oracle RAC clusters with two or more nodes are supported in this patching mode, in which the database instance on the actively patched node remains running during the rolling patching of the GI home.


Zero-Downtime Database Upgrade (ZDU)

With this Oracle FPP-exclusive feature you can upgrade your Oracle Database with no downtime. ZDU creates an ACFS snapshot or full clone of the Oracle Database and initiates a synchronization process either leveraging GoldenGate or Oracle Data Guard to sync-up the cloned database, to upgrade the database to the desired release and finally to sync back; providing the highest level of availability during Oracle Database upgrades. 


Exadata Support

Oracle FPP fully supports all lifecycle management operations of your database and Grid Infrastructure on Oracle Exadata Database Machine, including Exadata Storage Cells, Database Nodes and Infiniband switch patching. 


Gold Image Drift Report

One of the most useful Oracle FPP features to efficiently manage fleets is “Gold Image Drift Management” which alerts you of the fact that the version of a FPP-managed home has drifted away from the desired version. Based on this assessment and alert, FPP offers a corrective action by either incorporating the patch that has caused the drift into the Gold Image registered in the repository or by rolling back the target that has drifted.


Conclusion

Oracle’s flagship database cloud service, Oracle Autonomous Database, trusts Oracle Fleet Patching & Provisioning for its self-driving capabilities and you, too, can benefit from Oracle FPP’s automation capabilities. For more information about Oracle FPP, visit: www.oracle.com/goto/FPP

 

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