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Minimizing downtime for Oracle release upgrades

Oracle Database Tips by Donald Burleson


Non-Grid database with continuous availability requirements struggle with doing database upgrades without taking the database down.  In Oracle 10g RAC and Grid, Oracle offers a "rolling upgrade", whereby each node van be upgraded, one at a time, without any downtime.  However, non-RAC database require a small amount of downtime during release upgrades.

Here are two approaches for minimizing downtime during an Oracle release upgrade:

Here are the details from these authors.

Transportable tablespace minimum downtime upgrade

Here is a great approach to minimize downtime during an Oracle upgrade.

If you are staying on the same server, you can upgrade from 9i to 10g with about 5 minutes of downtime.  To do this, you will be using transportable tablespaces. The only requirement is that all your tablespaces are locally managed. The idea is simple.

1) Install Oracle 10g to a separate Oracle Home on the same server

2) Create a 10g database with only the base tablespaces: SYSTEM, SYSAUX, UNDO, and TEMP

3) On the 9i database, put all your tablespaces into read only mode (write downtime begins)

4) Perform a transportable tablespace export of all non-system tablespaces (as a sysdba user)

5) Shut down the 9i database (true downtime begins)

6) Start up the 10g database

7) Perform a transportable tablespace import into the 10g database (end true downtime)

8) Make all your tablespaces read/write (end write downtime)

Duplicate Disk minimum downtime upgrade approach

Herod T offered this excellent advice in the Oracle DBA forum:

I have done this for one of our 24*7 systems, and this was my approach - others will have a different approach. Possibly better. we went 8 to 10g

1.) We rented similar hardware to what the production DB was working on. We bought a duplicate set of drives.

2.) We got a copy of the production DB running on the rental, made sure it was all good (days of work).
We made sure that the mount points etc were all the same as on prod - an exact as possible duplicate.

3.) Had downtime, unmounted the drives (external bays) from the prod machine, put those drives in place on the rental. Brought everything back up. Total downtime was 19 minutes and worked like a charm. put the new drives on the prod box

4.) We upgraded the prod database on the prod machine, tested did our work, took weeks while everything ran on the rental. We built refresh scripts that converted data that needed converted, we also kept the 10g DB as refreshed as possible from the prod DB, only about 1 hour behind using manual scripts.

5.) we scheduled downtime on the rental, refreshed the data, and remounted the drives. Took under an hour. Brought the prod machine back up and decommissioned the rental as soon as we got user sign off a day or two later.

We took the time to add 2 CPU's and some RAM to the production machine as well in the time the rental was running. It was just barely over an hour total downtime spread weeks apart. management was happy and since we scheduled the work for 3am our time, nobody really cared from the users. And those that did - we apologized for the scheduled maintenance.

Costly as we had to pay for the rental and an entire duplicate set of disks. But we used the extra disks on other servers once we were done with them.  This was on HPUX

 

If you like Oracle tuning, you may enjoy my new book "Oracle Tuning: The Definitive Reference", over 900 pages of BC's favorite tuning tips & scripts. 

You can buy it direct from the publisher for 30%-off and get instant access to the code depot of Oracle tuning scripts.


 

 

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Note: This Oracle documentation was created as a support and Oracle training reference for use by our DBA performance tuning consulting professionals.  Feel free to ask questions on our Oracle forum.

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