Upgrading our Exalogic to Navstar

Upgrading our Exalogic to Navstar

Gepubliceerd: Categorie: Oracle

This is actually a post I had been meaning to write a few weeks back, but I was too busy with several important and promising pre-sales engagements regarding Exalogic. Navstar (Exalogic stack version is the first major update to the Exalogic virtual datacenter.

Schematic impression of the Exalogic virtual datacenter (aka Exalogic Control).

Just before Christmas Oracle released the Exalogic upgrade kit for Navstar for those customers already running their Exalogic in virtualized mode (i.e. running EECS version aka “Gemini”). A week before that the full v2.0.4.0 installer had already been made available as reported in my previous post, for those that want to convert from a “physical” to “virtual” or can afford to start afresh. We already had our virtual datacenter up and running, so we waited for the upgrade kit, which is patch number 14701322.

What features / fixes / improvements does the Navstar upgrade bring us ?

Here is my selection, it’s not the complete or official list of features / fixes / improvements :

  1. High Density Deployment (choice of CPU over-subscription)
  2. Improved Resource Management (e.g. when reallocating resources between accounts)
  3. Automatic vServer restart (on crash/failure)
  4. Better user experience : more responsive Exalogic Control interface
  5. Enterprise Manager 12c PS1 (“Cloud Control”) monitoring and management of Exalogic
  6. Exalogic Diagnostics : support for new ExaLogs tool for better troubleshooting
  7. General stability improvements and bugfixes in the various firmwares

So, how did we fare with the upgrade from Gemini to Navstar?

Fresh from the holidays, we started on the upgrade to EECS version in the first week of januari. We had some minor issues with the upgrade, but all-in-all it went very well and we found the upgrade manual to be quite elaborate and accurate.

The upgrade of the “hard” infrastructure (switches, storage appliance and compute nodes firmwares) is very reliable and no different from upgrading a non-virtualized stack. The “soft” infrastructure (i.e. Exalogic Control) was a first to upgrade but also went well, though there are some important things to keep in mind and precautions to take (as always).

The upgrade of Exalogic Control (the “virtual datacenter console” ) consists of the following :

  • an upgrade of the vServer system images  (infiniband drivers mostly)
  • an update of the internal datamodel
  • a small upgrade in the Oracle VM Manager version
  • an update of the OpsCenter stack

Here are some screenshots of the new versions to illustrate:


NOTE: An important point to note is that the Exalogic “Gemini” vServer images are compatible with Navstar, i.e. upgrading your vServers is optional, not manditory and can be done at leisure, when and if opportunity arises. Very useful!


After working with the new version I can personally attest to the validity of the above listed improvements except for items 5 and 6 (cloud control integration and diagnostics), which need some more looking into and deserve a more in-depth evaluation. A more detailed piece about Exalogic Control, the “Exalogic virtual datacenter” concept and Cloud Control support will also be provided in a later post(s).

In the meantime, check out the excellent “Exalogic Tea Break Snippets” series on Exalogic Control here. Check out this entry on creating “cloud users” first.

Publicatiedatum: 30 januari 2013

Jos Nijhoff
Over auteur Jos Nijhoff

Jos Nijhoff is an experienced Application Infrastructure consultant at Qualogy. Currently he plays a key role as technical presales and hands-on implementation lead for Qualogy's exclusive Exalogic partnership with Oracle for the Benelux area. Thus he keeps in close contact with Oracle presales and partner services on new developments, but maintains an independent view. He gives technical guidance and designs, reviews, manages and updates the application infrastructure before, during and after the rollout of new and existing Oracle (Fusion) Applications & Fusion Middleware implementations. Jos is also familiar with subjects like high availability, disaster recovery scenarios, virtualization, performance analysis, data security, and identity management integration with respect to Oracle applications.

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