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Don Burleson Blog 







Oracle Linux Introduces Zero Downtime Operating System Upgrades

Oracle News by Donald BurlesonSeptember 27, 2015

Oracle Linux has recently added the Ksplice utility to Oracle Linux, a tool that allows zero-downtime OS upgrades without rebooting the server.  

Using Ksplice, the Linux distro can be patched or upgraded while Linux is running.  Ksplice works by allowing the systems administrator to install and deploy a Oracle Linux upgrade without effecting the existing Linux kernel.   

To apply a zero-downtime Linux upgrade using Ksplice, the following steps occur:  

  1. Ksplice temporarily suspends all running tasks, taking sole possession of the Linux kernel.  

  2. Ksplice then inspects all in-flight processes and checks to ensure that the suspended processes will not be effected by the upgrade or patch.  

  3. Ksplice then installs and links the new OS functions  

  4. Ksplice modifies tall suspended processes to point then to the newly installed system functions, orphaning the existing system function.  

  5. With the function pointers changed, Ksplice then changes all RAM heaps and data structures (DESECTS).  

  6. Ksplice finishes by resuming all suspended tasks to their respective processors and removes the old kernel functions.  

As we can see, Ksplice does not require a system re-boot, but there will be a brief ?burp? is response time because of the frozen processes.  

Hence, we know that Ksplice will run faster on an idle system than a busy system, and large SMP server with 32 and 64 CPU's will take longer than uni-processor servers.  

This feature, in conjunction rolling upgrades, low-downtime transportable tablespace upgrades and with zero-downtime upgrades using Oracle RAC, is part of Oracle's commitment to a zero-downtime environment with no loss of service.  

See these details on the new Oracle Linux Ksplice utility.  

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