Zero Downtime Oracle Grid Infrastructure Patching

Patching is an important activity that needs to be done for security and functionality reasons. If you have Oracle Grid Infrastructure 19.16 with 19c databases, then you’ll want to know more about the new Zero Downtime Oracle Grid Infrastructure Patching feature.

Introduced in the 19.16 RU, it requires a minimum Grid Infrastructure (GI) source version of at least 19.16 and database running on the cluster of 19c, it allows you to keep your oracle RAC database instances and client connections running during patching. 

To patch and switch Oracle grid infrastructure homes, there are multiple steps involved.  

Step 1

Use the switchGridHome command to switch from the current Oracle Grid Infrastructure home to the patched Oracle Grid Infrastructure home. You can only use the switchGridHome command to switch between different RUs of the same release. 

Step 2

Download the Oracle Database Release Update (RU) that you want to apply from My Oracle Support. 

Step 3

As the grid user, download the Oracle Grid Infrastructure image files and extract the files into a new Oracle Grid Infrastructure home directory. 

$ mkdir -p /u01/app/oracle/product/19.11.0/grid 

$ chown grid:oinstall /u01/app/oracle/product/19.11.0/grid 

$ cd /u01/app/oracle/product/19.11.0/grid 

$ unzip -q download_location/ 

Step 4 

Start the Oracle Grid Infrastructure installer with the -switchGridHome flag to switch to the patched Oracle Grid Infrastructure home after the installation and the optional -applyRU flag to apply Release Updates (RUs) during the installation. 

$ /u01/app/oracle/product/19.11.0/grid/ -switchGridHome [-applyRU patch_directory_location]  

       [-applyOneOffs comma_seperated_list_of_patch_directory_locations] 

Step 5

Follow the steps in the configuration wizard to complete the Oracle Grid Infrastructure installation. 

When prompted, run “ -transparent -nodriverupdate” instead of /u01/app/oracle/product/19.11.0/ -transparent -nodriverupdate 

All Oracle Grid Infrastructure services start running from the new Grid home after the installation is complete. 

If the patching fails, then perform the following steps to roll back the patch: 

1. As the root user, run the prepatch script. 

/u01/app/oracle/product/19.11.0/grid/crs/install/ -prepatch -dstcrshome Old_GI_Home -rollback

2. As the root user, run the postpatch script. 

/u01/app/oracle/product/19.11.0/grid/crs/install/ -postpatch -dstcrshome Old_GI_Home -rollback 

The move to Oracle’s new 19c version boasts 5 new and shiny features. These include Automatic indexing, Oracle data guard improvements, ease of use enhancements, formally paid features are now free of charge, and as discussed in this article, zero downtime patching.  

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