Slow Exadata Compute Node Upgrades to Oracle Linux 7

| May 19, 2020

One of the cool things that Oracle has done with Exadata is give users the ability to upgrade from Oracle Linux 6 to Oracle Linux 7 with an in-place upgrade process.  This comes automatically when you upgrade the Exadata compute image from 18c to 19c.  Upgrading the compute nodes to 19c give you the ability to upgrade your grid infrastructure to 19c, followed by installing a 19c database home and beginning the database (more...)

OEDA Virtualized Cluster Discovery With SSH Keys

| May 7, 2020

As part of the Oracle Exadata Deployment Assistant (“OEDA”), Oracle includes a command line utility to read and modify the XML files used for deployment of an Exadata cluster.  Typical use cases are to install additional Oracle database versions, or to create multiple databases before deployment.  There are several additional features included for virtualized clusters, particularly the ability to simplify upgrading Grid Infrastructure.

In many cases, the original XML used for the deployment (more...)

OEM SSL Cipher Hardening Reset After Securing OMS

| Sep 12, 2019

I have recently been installing Oracle Enterprise Manager at several sites, and one of the key requirements has been to ensure that the installation isn’t using insecure HTTPS protocols. Securing the OMS and agents typically consists of two components – ensuring that only secure SSL ciphers are being used, and shutting down protocols that have known vulnerabilities. Thankfully, Oracle has documented the procedures in two separate MOS notes:

Doc ID 2138391.1 – 13c: How (more...)

Recovering ODA VMs From Lost ACFS Snapshots

| Aug 15, 2019

This is a continuation of my previous post regarding dropped ACFS snapshots.  In this scenario, a user logged in to a virtualized ODA system and deleted the underlying ACFS snapshots for multiple virtual machines on the host.  Oracle advises how to back up and restore guest VMs on an ODA in MOS note #1633166.1.

The basic process to get a clean backup of the VM is to shut it down, take a (more...)

Where’d My VMs Go? Adventures in Simple Linux Forensics

| Aug 9, 2019

**While the story is true, any identifying details have been changed to protect both the guilty and the innocent**

I woke up to a message the other day from a colleague on a project where I occasionally provide assistance.  He was a bit panicked – they use an Oracle Database Appliance as a utility server for their environment.  The ODA is virtualized, and provides the database backend for their RMAN catalog, OEM repository, (more...)

Exadata and WebLogic CVE-2019-2725

| May 14, 2019

I can still remember the surprise when Frits Hoogland pointed out that Oracle had replaced the old OC4J instance on Exadata storage servers with a WebLogic service. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of this, but it’s become apparent as things move cloudward that it would enable an entire set of REST operations for Exadata on both storage and compute tiers. This becomes interesting due to the recent 0-day vulnerability for WebLogic, CVE-2019-2725. According (more...)

Checking Flash Cache Mode in Exadata Cloud

| Feb 28, 2019

While looking at an exachk report for an Exadata rack running in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, I saw an interesting finding:

Since this is an Oracle cloud environment, we don’t have any access to view the storage servers – they are managed and maintained by Oracle.  For several reasons, I believed this to be a false alert, but wanted to see if I could determine what the flashcachemode setting is.

On some flavors of Exadata (more...)

Changing IP Addresses on InfiniBand Network with 12.2 GI on Exadata

| Feb 26, 2019

I was tasked a while back with modifying the IP addresses assigned to the InfiniBand network on an X6-2 rack.  We were configuring a ZFS appliance to share between 2 Exadata clusters, and we wanted to keep them on separate network ranges.  In this case, we were moving the interfaces from 192.168.10.x/22 (the Exadata default network range) to 192.168.14.x/22. The process is documented very well by Oracle (more...)

Exadata Storage Server Patching in 18.1.1 and Above

| Oct 31, 2017

One of the cool new features that was introduced with was a subtle change in the Exadata storage server patching process.  While not required, this new functionality removes the need to use patchmgr to drive Exadata storage server patches.  In Juan Loaiza’s Open World session on new Exadata features, this slide jumped out to me:

While this slide may look like marketing fluff, this new feature turns out (more...)

Thoughts About the Exadata X7-2 Launch

| Oct 13, 2017

Last week’s Oracle Open World conference included many different announcements – one that impacts my work was the release of a new generation of Exadata machines – this time, the X7-2. If you’ve followed Exadata development over the years, there has been a typical set of features that come in with each release:

  • Increase in CPU core count
  • Increase in disk storage (typically 2x)
  • Increase in flash storage (typically 2x)
  • New software features

The screenshot (more...)