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8 Replies Latest reply: May 18, 2013 7:31 PM by marksmithusa RSS

Can customers rebuild an Exadata machine with the latest stack versions?

marksmithusa Journeyer
Currently Being Moderated
There’s a possibility that we’ll be purchase two new Exadata machines (X3) in the near future. I'd be getting very excited if I wasn't already entirely swamped :)

If it happens, we’ll be asking Oracle to install the latest and greatest of the software stack when they arrive on-site with our new toys. Currently, this means:

<i>OEL: 5.7 (with latest kernel)
ESS: 11.2.3.2.1 (write-back FC, mmmmm!)
RDBMS/GI: 11.2.0.3.17</i>

Our current Production database is on a V2 machine and has the following versions of the stack:

<i>OEL 5.5
ESS 11.2.2.3.2
RDBMS/GI 11.2.0.2 BP7</i>

We are hoping, once the dust settles, that we can re-purpose our existing V2 machine as a Development environment. However, in order for that to be of any use, we need the software stack to match what will be running in Production on the X3s.

As far as I understand, the upgrade path is as follows (as per 888828.1)

<i>Upgrade the O/S to OEL 5.7 and the latest kernel on storage cells and comp nodes
Upgrade the firmware on the IB switch to 1.3.3-2 (which we already have)
Upgrade the Exadata Storage Server on the storage cells and comp nodes to 11.2.3.2.1
Install the 11.2.0.3.17 GI and RDBMS binaries
Upgrade ASM from 11.2.0.2 to 11.2.0.3.17
Install the 11.2.0.3.17 RDBMS binaries
Make/move/restore/copy Development onto the newly-upgraded V2 machine.</i>

I’m wondering whether it’s better for us to upgrade the V2 machine from our current versions of the stack to the latest or whether it’s better to attempt a rebuild?

As a customer, are we able to rebuild the stack ourselves with the new software or do we have to have Oracle come in and go through their installation process (we are putting a different version of the stack on than we presently have)?

Mark
  • 1. Re: Can customers rebuild an Exadata machine with the latest stack versions?
    LaserSoft Journeyer
    Currently Being Moderated
    Hi Friend

    Good Query.

    Exadata is a Engineered System. When we upgrade we have to do it carefully because there are somany important layers are involved in Engineered System. For Example : Compute Nodes, Storage Servers, Infiniband Switches etc. So, all these activities Oracle will provide support and Site Engineer / Remote Engineer will complete these activites but definitely customer.

    Hope it helps..

    Thanks
    LaserSoft
  • 2. Re: Can customers rebuild an Exadata machine with the latest stack versions?
    marksmithusa Journeyer
    Currently Being Moderated
    Hi, there,

    Thanks for your input - I'm not sure it answers my question, though.

    I know that the customer can reinstall the system to its current version(s) and I know that Oracle ACS can build it to whatever version we want, but I'd like to know whether the CUSTOMER can rebuild an entire (V2) system to a newer version than what is currently installed through onecommand or the like.

    Mark
  • 3. Re: Can customers rebuild an Exadata machine with the latest stack versions?
    tychos Expert
    Currently Being Moderated
    Hi Mark,
    You can reinstall your V2 without losing support. (I got this confirmed after raising an SR at MOS.)
    I did this exercise 3 months ago coming from a similar type of situation.
    I had to choose to upgrade from 11.2.2.4.2 to 11.2.3.2.1 and from 11.2.0.2 to 11.2.0.3 and change the RECO to DATA ratio and change some IPs
    or
    do a reinstall.
    Points of concern:
    - You have to have a valid CSI for Exadata software as the password of the Exadata firmware images (db and cell) are password protected. (I think you have this)
    - Next to that you have to reverse engineer the factory settings to be able to use onecommand successfully and run an automated install. (This is not documented)
    - You need to like to puzzle. (I guess you do)
    Regards,
    Tycho

    Edited by: tychos on 16-mei-2013 23:46
  • 4. Re: Can customers rebuild an Exadata machine with the latest stack versions?
    marksmithusa Journeyer
    Currently Being Moderated
    tychos wrote:
    Hi Mark,
    You can reinstall your V2 without losing support. (I got this confirmed after raising an SR at MOS.)
    I did this exercise 3 months ago coming from a similar type of situation.
    I had to choose to upgrade from 11.2.2.4.2 to 11.2.3.2.1 and from 11.2.0.2 to 11.2.0.3 and change the RECO to DATA ratio and change some IPs
    or
    do a reinstall.
    Points of concern:
    - You have to have a valid CSI for Exadata software as the password of the Exadata firmware images (db and cell) are password protected. (I think you have this)
    - Next to that you have to reverse engineer the factory settings to be able to use onecommand successfully and run an automated install. (This is not documented)
    - You need to like to puzzle. (I guess you do)
    Regards,
    Tycho
    This is a great reply. Thanks for taking the time - it's very much appreciated.

    I have the same decision to make as you (except for the IPs and diskgroup ratios). I know if we upgrade, we'll have to upgrade the O/S (5.5 to 5.7), the ESS, the GI and the RDBMS. I thought that a re-install might be cleaner, but it sounds like it isn't.

    Yep, we have the CSI and I do like to puzzle - to a certain point, obviously :). Is the reinstall-by-yourself method 'approved' by Oracle? If I have a problem doing it - which it sounds like is a distinct possibility - would they respond to a SR or would they tell me to contact ACS instead of bothering them?

    Mark
  • 5. Re: Can customers rebuild an Exadata machine with the latest stack versions?
    tychos Expert
    Currently Being Moderated
    Hi Mark,
    we'll have to upgrade the O/S (5.5 to 5.7)
    The OS on Exadata is not a standard iso image used on any other server or VM.
    (It will be more clear if you read the bare metal restore procedure mentioned below)
    Is the reinstall-by-yourself method 'approved' by Oracle?
    According to support it is.
    As an example: If you loose a db-node you can reimage it by the "reinstall-by-yourself" method.
    Check out DocID 1084360.1 Bare Metal Restore Procedure for Compute Nodes on an Exadata Environment.
    This is BTW a good starting point to understand a full rebuild.
    would they respond to a SR or would they tell me to contact ACS instead of bothering them?
    I didn't need them for the reinstall so I can't tell how they would respond in this situation.
    In general they are willing to help out.
    Regards,
    Tycho
  • 6. Re: Can customers rebuild an Exadata machine with the latest stack versions?
    fritshoogland Oracle ACE
    Currently Being Moderated
    I don't understand the answers.

    A V2 Exadata system (and up, X2, X3) is full supported up to the newest Exadata software releases, so you just can upgrade. Of course you need to check with MOS 888828.1 what path to take (not all software might be upgradable to the latest release in one go). Need need to puzzle, just upgrade.

    If you want to change the space ratio between DATA and RECO, the easy path is to delete all the databases, remove the data and reco diskgroups, remove the grid disks on the cells, and create them again, and create the diskgroups on top of it. This also can be done online by dropping the griddisks per cell/storage server in ASM, recreating them with different sizes, and get them in ASM again.
  • 7. Re: Can customers rebuild an Exadata machine with the latest stack versions?
    marksmithusa Journeyer
    Currently Being Moderated
    tychos wrote:
    Hi Mark,
    we'll have to upgrade the O/S (5.5 to 5.7)
    The OS on Exadata is not a standard iso image used on any other server or VM.
    (It will be more clear if you read the bare metal restore procedure mentioned below)
    Is the reinstall-by-yourself method 'approved' by Oracle?
    According to support it is.
    As an example: If you loose a db-node you can reimage it by the "reinstall-by-yourself" method.
    Check out DocID 1084360.1 Bare Metal Restore Procedure for Compute Nodes on an Exadata Environment.
    This is BTW a good starting point to understand a full rebuild.
    would they respond to a SR or would they tell me to contact ACS instead of bothering them?
    I didn't need them for the reinstall so I can't tell how they would respond in this situation.
    In general they are willing to help out.
    Regards,
    Tycho
    Thanks, again, for your input. I have restored a storage cell using the USB drive, but that was to the same version as was running currently.

    This would be for a Development environment, basically, so it would be THE place to 'sandbox' and try stuff out...

    Mark
  • 8. Re: Can customers rebuild an Exadata machine with the latest stack versions?
    marksmithusa Journeyer
    Currently Being Moderated
    frits hoogland wrote:
    I don't understand the answers.

    A V2 Exadata system (and up, X2, X3) is full supported up to the newest Exadata software releases, so you just can upgrade. Of course you need to check with MOS 888828.1 what path to take (not all software might be upgradable to the latest release in one go). Need need to puzzle, just upgrade.
    I'm fairly sure that we would be able to upgrade - in fact, when we weren't entertaining a hardware upgrade earlier in the year, I had planned out a upgrade path from our current versions to what was the current stack before the FlashCache became write-able.

    We didn't have much of a choice at this point because the V2 was planned to be our Production environment for the foreseeable. Our upgrade was possible, but would have been relatively cumbersome as we would have had to upgrade the O/S, the ESS on cells/nodes, the GI and then the RDBMS in chunks to satisfy the various pre-requisites.

    My question was whether it was possible/better/cleaner to simply rebuild the whole box with the latest software stack instead of upgrading now that the V2 environment is likely to be designated for Development if we get the new hardware and there isn't the associated pressure of it being a Production box.

    >
    If you want to change the space ratio between DATA and RECO, the easy path is to delete all the databases, remove the data and reco diskgroups, remove the grid disks on the cells, and create them again, and create the diskgroups on top of it. This also can be done online by dropping the griddisks per cell/storage server in ASM, recreating them with different sizes, and get them in ASM again.
    I believe that Tycho said he had to choose between upgrading the stack AND change the space ratio between his diskgroups OR just rebuild the system from scratch: and he chose to rebuild.

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