In-Place Upgrade 11gR2 RAC : To

397 views 5:13 pm 12 Comments 8 September, 2011

Sharing a post from my friend “Carthik” on 11gR2 RAC in-place upgrade.

Starting oracle 11gR2 the Oracle database and Clusterware upgrades are done via the “Out of place upgrade”. And is the easier way to perform your upgrade.  However, the intent of this blog is to explain how an “In-Place upgrade” of a RAC database is done in 11gR2, the advantages, disadvantages, pre-requisites and pain points involved in this method which is the traditional method of upgrading an oracle database. And I have chosen to upgrade a 2 Node RAC Database to RAC Database.

Clearly, the advantage is that you save space, Instead of installing a new Oracle Home.

The greatest disadvantage is that you need to back up the oracle home and run detach oracle home commands. This could potentially damage your oracle binaries. However, when done carefully it should not cause a problem.

The pain points Include:
1. Backing up the Oracle home
2. Restoring the Oracle Home from backup in-case of installation failure.
3. Attach the restored home, and then bring up the instance.
Clearly, there is a lot of manual intervention, which is a major pain point.

The idea behind using an in-place upgrade is to save space. And this method of upgrade requires a significant amount time. The only time one should use this method is when you lack space on your server. However, you can use this method for your test and development environments to save space. Since this method was the traditional method of doing things, I thought it’s worth checking how it works in 11gR2.

NOTE: If you have an existing Oracle Clusterware installation, then you upgrade your existing cluster by performing an out-of-place upgrade. You cannot perform an in-place upgrade to the oracle Clusterware. However, you can perform an in-place upgrade for the database. This will be elaborated in this blog.
Prerequisites for Oracle 11gR2 installation is to install patch 9655006 to the GI home before upgrading to from See Bug 9413827 on MOS. For additional details you can refer to the Metalink article Pre-requisite for to ASM Rolling Upgrade Metalink Note : 1274629.1. Additionally ,Refer to “How to Manually Apply A Grid Infrastructure PSU Without Opatch Auto” Metalink Note 1210964.1.

Performing an In-place upgrade of a RAC DB from to

In-order to upgrade a RAC Database from to you need to upgrade

1. The grid infrastructure first.
2. Then, the Oracle Database.

Environment Setup Details used in this post:
— 2 Node RAC Red Hat Linux 5.5 with RACK Servers (R710).
— Applies to any storage.

Latest OPatch
It is recommended to we use the Latest Version of OPatch. Unzip the zip file and copy OPatch folder to $ORACLE_HOME And $GI_HOME by renaming
the earlier OPatch directory. You can refer to how to download and Install OPatch Metalink ID 274526.1.

Pre- Requisite Patch:

First, let’s discuss about the mandatory patches required before upgrading to Patch 9655006 is required in order for the upgrade
to succeed, if not will fail.
Patch 9655006 is downloadable from For information on Bug 9655006, refer to Metalink article ID 9655006.8
Download the patch and unzip it to a stage directory (it can be any directory), once you unzip the downloaded patch, 2 folders will be created. In this example I have unzipped the patch to /patches directory.

Now, let’s see how to patch the $GI_HOME with Patch 9655006.

Before the patch is installed, we need to perform a pre-req check. Let’s see how to do this.
1. [root@rac1 patches]# su – oracle

2. [oracle@rac1 ~]$ cd /opt/app/oracle/product/11.2.0/dbhome_1/OPatch/

3. [oracle@rac1 OPatch]$ ./opatch prereq CheckConflictAgainstOHWithDetail -phBaseDir /patches

Invoking OPatch
Oracle Interim Patch Installer version
Copyright (c) 2011, Oracle Corporation.  All rights reserved.
PREREQ session
Oracle Home       : /opt/app/oracle/product/11.2.0/dbhome_1
Central Inventory : /opt/app/oraInventory
 from           : /etc/oraInst.loc
OPatch version    :
OUI version       :
Log file location : /opt/app/oracle/product/11.2.0/dbhome_1/cfgtoollogs/opatch/opatch2011-08-16_19-36-09PM.log
Invoking prereq "checkconflictagainstohwithdetail"
Prereq "checkConflictAgainstOHWithDetail" passed.
OPatch succeeded.

Patching the $GI_HOME
1. Stop the Instance running on Node1
srvctl stop instance -d upgrade -i upgrade1

2. As root User run the opatch auto from the $GI_HOME
./opatch auto /patches

Note: The Opatch auto takes care of the patching of both the Grid infrastructure Home and the Oracle Home with the mandatory patch .
Once the patching is done on Node1, start the instance on Node1

3. Starting the Instance on Node1
srvctl start instance -d upgrade -i upgrade1

Repeat the process of pre-req and patching on Node2

Once the mandatory patch is applied, we can proceed with the upgrade of the grid infrastructure home.

Patches required:

The software/Patch can be downloaded from My Oracle support: patch 10098816. Select
for grid infrastructure download. Once downloaded, unzip them.

Upgrading Grid Infrastructure:

Unzip the patches downloaded and invoke runInstaller from the unzipped grid folder. You will be taken to the welcome screen.

Choose Skip Software updates

Choose Upgrade Gird Infrastructure or Oracle ASM

Choose the Language

The Nodes present are selected by default, Click Next.

Leave the OS groups to Defaults

Choose the New Location where the Grid Infrastructure should be installed

The Pre-Requisite checks are performed, click next

The summary screen appears click next

Click on Install

Run on both the nodes as specified in the screenshot

Upgrading the Database via In-place upgrade:

Patches Required:
The software/Patch can be downloaded from My Oracle support: patch 10098816.
Select and for database patch/software download.
Once downloaded, unzip them.

In-Place upgrades (Things to do before performing and In-place upgrade)

When performing an in-place upgrade, which uses the same Oracle home location, an error messages appears stating that the installer
detects Oracle Database software in the location that you specified.

Message: The installer has detected that the software location you have specified contains Oracle Database software release
Oracle recommends that when upgrading to, you perform an out-of-place installation of the software into a new Oracle home and
then upgrade the database using the new software binaries.

Cause: The installer has detected that the software location you have specified contains Oracle Database software release
Action: Either perform an in-place upgrade (Steps provided in this section), or perform an out-of-place upgrade

Performing an In-Place Upgrade for an Oracle RAC Database

To perform an in-place upgrade for Oracle RAC Database instances:
1. Back up the configuration data by backing up the following directories on all cluster nodes:
o ORACLE_HOME/network/admin
o ORACLE_HOME/hostname_dbname
o ORACLE_HOME/oc4j/j2ee/OC4J_DBConsole_hostname_dbname

2. Run the following command on each of the nodes to detach the Oracle RAC ORACLE_HOME:
$ORACLE_HOME/oui/bin/runInstaller -detachHome ORACLE_HOME= software location

3. Rename the Oracle RAC ORACLE_HOME directory on all the nodes to a temporary name.

4. Install release Software Only on all nodes:

From the unzipped folder, invoke the run Installer from the database folder

The welcome screen appears, uncheck the security updates and click next

Choose Skip Software Updates

Select Install Database Software Only and click next

Choose Oracle Real Application Clusters DB Installation and Select the Nodes and click next

Choose the Language and click next

Select Enterprise Edition and click next

Specify the location of the old home, and click next

Provide the Operating System groups and click next

Once the Pre-requisite checks are performed, click next

The summary screen appears, verify the settings and click next

The installation proceeds

Once the installation is done, run on both the nodes as instructed and click ok.

Now, on all nodes, restore into the ORACLE_HOME software location the backed up configuration data files
(from the backups you made of /dbs and network/admin), and also restore the following two directories:
/hostname_dbname and /oc4j/j2ee/OC4J_DBConsole_hostname_dbname. Specify the actual name for hostname_dbname.

Database Upgrade using DBUA:

Run DBUA from the ORACLE_HOME/bin directory on the local node and select the Oracle RAC database instance to
upgrade it to release

The welcome screen appears once you invoke the DBUA, click next to proceed

DBUA Lists the databases that can be upgraded, select the one that you would like to upgrade

You can choose the Degree of parallelism and upgrading the time zone version and click next

Skip this screen by clicking next

The summary screen appears, click on finish for the upgrade to proceed.

The upgrade proceeds

NOTE: The only time one should use this method (in-place upgrade) is when you lack space on your server.
However, you can use this method for your test and development environments to save space.

Since this method was the traditional method of doing things,
Since this method is available, I thought it’s worth checking how it works in 11gR2.
During the entire upgrade process, I never ran into any issues, apart from the slightly higher downtime in
comparison to the out-of place upgrade. However, oracle doesn’t recommend this method. You can refer to the following metalink note 1291682.1.

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12 thoughts on “In-Place Upgrade 11gR2 RAC : To”

  • Carthik nice article and very descriptive ….We had used something similar method for few of your production system and this is really useful when there is a space crunch.
    But of course anyday out of place upgrade is the best option.

    Regarding the detach/attach..step.You can have a safe backup of your inventory before you start your upgrade.
    That ll some how make your life easier in case of rollback 🙂

    Good going ! Keep it up !Would love to see some more articles from your side !

  • Thanks everyone for your comments. Special thanks to Saurabh Sood, and Amit Bansal for having my post on your web-site. Hope this Article helps many many oracle users.

    Looking forwrad to contribute more for your blog.


  • Hi Friend,

    nice article…will surely guide us…

    one question, is it even possible to follow same steps to upgrade to ???

    Manish Nashikkar

  • Is it possible to install oracle RAC(clusterware/rdbms) software on a server while RAC setup already exists and running. If so, will it affect my existing( clusterware software

    • hi Nagaraj,

      You will have to upgrade your cluster software to database. Both can’t co-exist.
      But you can use database with clusterware


  • Awesome. Thanks for your explanation Amith..Please clarify me on below question
    currently in version OCR and voting disk are in raw devise and we do not have enought luns to create new diskgroup for moving OCR/Voting disk to ASM, So i like to know if upgrade will be successful while ocr/voting disk in raw devise? I assume ocr/voting disk will get removed while upgrade in progress..If that is the case please provide me the steps to retain my ocr and voting disk in same
    raw devise after upgrade.

  • yeah your right Amit. Thanks for your response, Meanwhile i found a Metalink Note:428681.1 that explaning on now to move ocr/vd to ASM/raw devise. Thank YOu

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