Update: well it’s out, actually. See the comments below. However the certification matrix hasn’t been updated so it’s anyone’s guess if Oracle/Red Hat 6 are certified at this point in time.
Tanel Poder has already announced it a few days ago, but 18.104.22.168 must be ready for release very soon. It has even been spotted in the “lastet patchset” page on OTN, only to be removed quickly. After another tweet came out from Laurent Schneider, it was time to investigate what’s new. The easiest way is to point your browser to tahiti.oracle.com and type “22.214.171.124” into the search box. You are going to find a wealth of new information!
As a RAC person by heart I am naturally interested in RAC features first. The new features I spotted in the Grid Infrastructure installation guide for Linux are listed here:
Additional information for this article was taken from the “New Features” guide:
So the question is-what’s in for us?
ASM Cluster File System
As I expected, there was support for ACFS and ADVM for Oracle’s own kernel. This has been overdue for a while. I remember how surprised I was when I installed RAC on Oracle Linux 5.5 with the UEK kernel only to see that infamous “…not supported” output when the installer probed the kernel version. Supported kernels are Linux kernels UEK5-2.6.32-100.34.1 and subsequent updates to 2.6.32-100 kernels for Oracle Linux kernels OL5 and OL6.
A big surprise is support for ACFS for SLES-I though that was pretty much dead in the water after all that messing around from Novell. ACFS has always worked on SLES 10 up to SP3, but it did never for SLES 11. The requirement is SLES 11 SP1, and it has to be 64bit.
There are quite a few additional changes to ACFS. For example, it’s now possible to use ACFS replication and tagging on Windows.
If one of the nodes in the cluster being upgraded with the rootupgrade.sh script fails during the execution of said script, the operation can be completed with the new “force” flag.
I found the following note on MOS regarding the time zone file: Actions For DST Updates When Upgrading To Or Applying The 126.96.36.199 Patchset [ID 1358166.1] I suggest you have a look at that note, as it mentions a new pre-upgrade script you need to download and corrective actions for 188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206. I’m sure it’s going to be mentioned in the 220.127.116.11 patch readme as well.
There are also changes expected with the dreaded mutex problem in busy systems, MOS note WAITEVENT: “library cache: mutex X” [ID 727400.1] lists 18.104.22.168 as the release where many of the problems related to this are fixed. Time will tell if they are…
Further enhancements are focused on Warehouse Builder, and XML. SQL apply and the log miner have also been enhanced which is good news for users of Streams and logical standby databases
It is much to early to say anything else about the patchset. Quite a few important documents don’t have a “new features” section yet. That includes the Real Application Clusters Administration and Deployment guide as well which I’ll cover as soon as it’s out. From a quick glance at the still unreleased patchset it seems it’s less of a radical change than 22.214.171.124 was which is a good thing. Unfortunately the certification matrix hasn’t been updated yet, I am very keen to see support for Oracle/Red Hat Linux 6.x.