Oracle Fleet Patching and Provisioning (FPP): My new role as PM and a brand new series of blog posts

It’s been 6 years since I’ve tried FPP for the first time (formerly Rapid Home Provisioning, or RHP).

Rapid Home Provisioning

FPP was still young and lacking many features at that time, but it already changed the way I’ve worked during the next years. I embraced the out of place patching, developed some basic scripts to install Oracle Homes, and sought automation and standardization at all costs:

Oracle Home Management – part 7: Putting all together

When 18c came with the FPP local-mode automaton, I have implemented it for the Grid Infrastructure patching strategy at CERN:

Oracle Grid Infrastructure 18c patching part 3: Executing out-of-place patching with the local-mode automaton

And discovered that meanwhile, FPP did giant steps, with many new features and fixes for quite a few usability and performance problems.

Last year, when joining the Oracle Database High Availability (HA), Scalability, and Maximum Availability Architecture (MAA) Product Management Team at Oracle, I took (among others) the Product Manager role for FPP.

Becoming an Oracle employee after 20 years of working with Oracle technology is a big leap. It allows me to understand how big the company is, and how collaborative and friendly the Oracle employees are (Yes, I was used to marketing nonsense, insisting salesmen, and unfriendly license auditors. This is slowly changing with Oracle embracing the Cloud, but it is still a fresh wound for many customers. Expect this to change even more! Regarding me… I’ll be the same I’ve always been 🙂 ).

Now I have daily meetings with big customers (bigger than the ones I have ever had in the past), development teams, other product managers, Oracle consultants, and community experts. My primary goal is to make the product better, increasing its adoption, and helping customers having the best experience with it. This includes testing the product myself, writing specs, presentations, videos, collecting feedback from the customers, tracking bugs, and manage escalations.

I am a Product Manager for other products as well, but I have to admit that FPP is the product that takes most of my Product Manager time. Why?

I will give a few reasons in my next blog post(s).


Oracle Grid Infrastructure 19c does not configure FPP in local-mode by default. How to add it?

I have been installing Grid Infrastructure 18c for a while, then switched to 19c when it became GA.

At the beginning I have been overly enthusiast by the shorter installation time:

The GIMR is now optional, that means that deciding to install it is a choice of the customer, and a customer might like to keep it or not, depending on its practices.

Not having the GIMR by default means not having the local-mode automaton. This is also not a problem at all. The default configuration is good for most customers and works really well.

This new simplified configuration reduces some maintenance effort at the beginning, but personally I use a lot the local-mode automaton for out-of-place patching of Grid Infrastructure (read my blog posts to know why I really love the local-mode automaton), so it is something that I definitely need in my clusters.

A choice that makes sense for Oracle and most customers

Oracle vision regarding Grid Infrastructure consists of a central management of clusters, using the Oracle Domain Services Cluster. In this kind of deployment, the Management Repository, TFA, and many other services, are centralized. All the clusters use those services remotely instead of having them configured locally. The local-mode automaton is no exception: the full, enterprise-grade version of Fleet Patching and Provisioning (FPP, formerly Rapid home provisioning or RHP) allows much more than just out-of-place patching of Grid Infrastructure, so it makes perfectly sense to avoid those configurations everywhere, if you use a Domain Cluster architecture. Read more here.

Again, as I said many times in the past, doing out-of-place patching is the best approach in my opinion, but if you keep doing in-place patching, not having the local-mode automaton is not a problem at all and the default behavior in 19c is a good thing for you.

I need local-mode automaton on 19c, what I need to do at install time?

If you have many clusters, you are not installing them by hand with the graphic interface (hopefully!). In the responseFile for 19c Grid Infrastructure installation, this is all you need to change comparing to a 18c:

as you can see, also Flex ASM is not part of the game by default in 19c.

Once you specify in the responseFile that you want GIMR, then the local-mode automaton is installed  as well by default.

I installed GI 19c without GIMR and local-mode automaton. How can I add them to my new cluster?

First, recreate the empty MGMTDB CDB by hand:

Then, configure the PDB for the cluster. Pay attention to the -local switch that is not documented (or at least it does not appear in the inline help):

After that, you might check that you have the PDB for your cluster inside the MGMTDB, I’ll skip this step.

Before creating the rhpserver (local-mode automaton resource), we need the volume and filesystem to make it work (read here for more information).

The volume:

The filesystem:

Finally, create the local-mode automaton resource:

Again, note that there is a -local switch that is not documented. Specifying it will create the resource as a local-mode automaton and not as a full FPP Server (or RHP Server, damn, this change of name gets me mad when I write blog posts about it 🙂 ).