Oracle recently announced Private Cloud Appliance Software Release 2.3.2, which adds support for X7-2 compute nodes, upgrades Oracle VM to release 3.4.4, and adds several other features. This article gives tips for upgrading to this new release. Don't worry - it's all documented. I just like to add my own .02 and enjoy over-explaining.
Important: PCA is designed for zero downtime upgrades. It uses redundant management, network, storage, and compute resources to avoid single points of failure for both normal operation and during upgrades. Rolling upgrades let us take components offline to upgrade them, while redundant partner components carry on providing service. Much of the effort is automated to reduce errors and administrative effort. While I'm a cynical old-school datacenter guy who says "block off a maintenance window for the most trivial thing", a PCA upgrade can be done without service interruption, permitting 24/7 operation even during upgrade.
Once the preparation is done, proceed by upgrading the PCA controller software on the management nodes.
Remember that the management nodes run as an active/passive server pair for resiliency. It's an optional but good idea to first reboot the passive node and then the active node, so we know they're in clean state and cluster status and to verify that failover worked correctly. Determine which node is the master by logging into each management node and typing the command pca-check-master, which will display True or False as needed.
The update is started on the currently active management node, which copies install image iso contents into target directories, and then reimages the passive management node using those contents (the active management node acts as a kickstart server for the passive node). I like to watch the process running by logging into the management nodes ILOMs and watching the consoles, as described in section 3.3.3. of the Administration Guide.
The pca-admin command is used to perform the upgrade. Issue pca-admin, and then enter update appliance get_image FILEURL where FILEURL can be an http URL: or a file URL on the PCA. A complete command (assuming you place the image in a directory on /nfs/shared_storage) could be pca-admin update appliance get_image file:///nfs/shared_storage/2.3.2/ovca-2.3.2-b286.iso.zip If you previously unzipped the iso.zip file, that's fine too - the command handles it whether you previously zipped or not. Administration Guide section 3.3.4 shows how to monitor the progress of this task. When it finishes, issue pca-admin update appliance install_image which starts the reimaging and reboots of each management .mode.
When the passive node finishes upgrading to the new release, it takes over the active role, and then reboots and acts as a kickstart server for the previously active management node. Compute nodes and virtual machines continue operating without disruption to business or applications.
When the process completes, the PCA controller software is upgraded to PCA 2.3.2, and the previously inactive one is the active one. If you like, you can switch their roles again by rebooting (init 6) the active one. You can flip flop them all day long if you're easily entertained :) It's instructive to see how quickly the passive management node becomes that active one during a failover. Again: VMs continue to operate without being affected by any of this.
The virtualization platform (on the compute nodes running Oracle VM Server) is upgraded after the controller software. You can operate the PCA with upgraded controller software while the compute nodes continue to operate at the prior software level but we recommend upgrading them shortly after in a timely fashion.
Virtualization platform upgrade is done on a one at a time compute node basis. If there are multiple tenant groups, upgrade each tenant group completely before moving to the next one.
MOS note 2242177.1 has several administrative steps and health checks to perform after the upgrade completes. Perform them, and you're all done.
This article provides tips and links for upgrading the Oracle Private Cloud Appliance to the latest version. It should be emphasized that virtual machines - where the applications run - continue to operate without any interruption of service, providing continuous application availability for applications.