​4 Actions to Perform Before Updating Exadata Software

Oracle Exadata Database machine built on multiple software which required updates periodically. Effective plan to update the software help to execute task effectively.

Exadata software updates apply to three major component on exadata machine. 
  • Exadata Database Server Update
  • Exadata Storage Server Update
  • Exadata RDMA Network Fabric switches​​
Further Exadata Server and Storage server updates contains.
  • Database Server Operating System
  • Exadata System Software
  • Oracle Database
  • Oracle Grid Infrastructure
  • Firmware for various hardware components
Below are the 4 actions you should perform before updating any software on Exadata machines, this can be consider as pre-requisite for update process.

1. First identify the target release to update any EXASTACK components which can be determined from one of the below reference.
  • You can check EXACHK report recommendations in MAA scorecard section refer Oracle Support Document 888828.1

2. Execute Oracle EXACHK utility. Make sure you are using latest version of EXACHK utility. Review the below parameter in the report for further actions.
  • Review MAA scorecard section for recommendation version. Which will help you to evaluate current software version and compatibility for updating the software.
  • Check the report and correct FAIL and WARNING checks derived from the EXACHK report.
  • Review MAA scorecard for any critical issue which should be resolve before moving to updated version.
  • EXACHK utility should be execute before and after update to check any critical issues before and after software update.

3. Execute Pre-Requisites Check.
  • Full backup should be completed before execute any updates wherever applicable.
  • Download all the target software version and latest utilities to perform software updates.
  • Execute pre-requisites  check and correct any existing issues shown in the report.
  • Make sure to execute all pre-requisites check before and after upgrade

4. Review the update related latest documentation.
  • Make sure you review all the updated documents on My Oracle Support Document 1270094.1 which will help to identify if there is any critical issues which is not checked during the pre-requisites check.
  • Review all README document for each software updates and understand process to update the software.
  • In case there is any challenge or issue, raise a SR with Oracle and get help for further steps.
Hope this will help you to plan better to update software on Exadata Machine.

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Exadata Quick Reference 6: Important Oracle Exadata Configuration Files

Oracle Exadata and Storage cell having multiple configuration files which define the Exadata configuration. We have listed down the important configuration files for Compute and Storage node which can be used as quick reference for any kind of troubleshooting during Exadata support.

Exadata Compute Node:

/opt/oracle - contains dbserver software
/opt/oracle.cellos - Contains all cell OS configuration files, image executables, and so forth 
/opt/oracle.exacli - Contains exacli and exadcli executables
/opt/oracle.ExaWatcher - Contains ExaWatcher utilities and output/archive files/directories
/opt/oracle.oswatcher - Contains OSWatcher utilities and output/archive files/directories 
/opt/oracle.SupportTools  - Contains support and configuration files /opt/oracle.SupportTools/onecommand - Contains OneCommand files used for Exadata install/config 
/etc/oracle/cell/network-config  - Contains files that enable compute servers to communicate with storage servers 
/etc/oracle/cell/network-config/cellinit.ora - Contains IB IP subnet for storage cells 
/etc/oracle/cell/network-config/cellip.ora - Contains IB IP addresses for each storage cell 
/u01/app/oracle - Oracle Base 
/u01/app/12.1.0.x/grid - Grid Infrastructure Home /u01/app/oracle/product/12.1.0.x/db - Oracle Database Home

Exadata Storage Cell:

/opt/oracle - Contains cell software
/opt/oracle.cellos - Contains Exadata cell software and utilities
/opt/oracle.cellos/cell.conf - Contains cell configuration file
/opt/oracle.exacli - Contains exacli and exadcli executables
/opt/oracle.ExaWatcher - Contains ExaWatcher utilities and output/archive files/directories /opt/oracle.oswatcher - Contains OSWatcher utilities and output/archive files/directories /opt/oracle.SupportTools - Contains OneCommand files used for Exadata install/config
/var/log/oracle - Contains cell server log files, alerts, and trace files
/var/log/oracle/cellos - Contains log and trace files for Cell Services utilities and cell server startup/shutdown events
/var/log/oracle/diag/asm - Contains log and trace files for cell storage-related events in your cell

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World's Fastest Database Machine....

Recently Oracle announced World's fastest database machine Oracle Exadata Machine X8M.

Mainly two technologies has been adopted by this new machine.

  • Persistent Memory, adding a new shared storage acceleration tier
  • RDMA over Converged Ethernet (RoCE) network fabric, enabling 100 Gb/sec RDMA

OLTP, Analytics and Mixed workload can get significant benefits from Oracle Exadata X8M machine.

For more information on Oracle Exadata X8M, see datasheet of Exadata X8M.

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Exadata Quick Reference 5: Top Exadata Wait Events

Here listed down top and most critical Exadata wait events for the quick reference.

cell list of blocks physical read 
cell manager cancel work request
cell manager closing cell    
cell manager discovering disks   
cell manager opening cell    
cell multiblock physical read   
cell single block physical read  
cell smart file creation   
cell smart flash unkeep    
cell smart incremental backup   
cell smart index scan    
cell smart restore from backup   
cell smart table scan    
cell statistics gather     
cell worker idle     
cell worker online completion   
cell worker retry  

Newly Released: Oracle Exadata X8-2

This post is bit late but important if still you are not updated.

Recently Oracle announced Latest Oracle Exadata X8 which is specially design to expand more capacity in terms of storage by increasing the size of storage disk.

There no huge changes compare to Exadata X7. The major change is the size of disk from 10TB to 14TB which will ultimately help to reduce cost as Oracle Exadata storage includes license cost for storage disk also.

There are not change in number of CPU but clockspeed of CPU has been increased in newer version. There is no change in size of memory.

Third type of storage has been introduced, Storage Server XT. This is a storage node without flash cards and with less memory and only a single CPU. This type of node is intended for long term data storage for archiving purposes. It will cost considerably less than the regular storage nodes.

Check out this data sheet for the full specification overview: