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The Database Automation team is pleased to announce the availability of BDA 2019 Release 1

This release includes product enhancements, security improvements, and expanded platform support. It also includes a change in the version numbering we use for our products.  This blog post will give you all the information you need to understand what’s new in this release.  

Further down in this blog post, you’ll find a full list of all the updates included in 2019 Release 1. But, before I share that with you, I’d like to spend a moment focusing on one of the most exciting updates in this release…. Parallel Patching for Oracle.

 

Parallel Patching for Oracle dramatically improves the experience of patching your databases.  It makes the process faster, easier, and more reliable. 

To explain how Parallel Patching does this, I’ll provide a description of how a patching job is executed moving forward.   Here’s the process that’s followed once a patching job is executed.

  • All databases on a node within the job will be stopped
  • All databases on that node will be patched simultaneously
  • If patching fails on any node (for example due to a missing pre-requisite), patching will continue on all other nodes until the full job is complete.  This ensures that any node capable of being patched, will be patched, as part of the first run of the job.    (Note: In earlier versions of BDA, the patching job would end immediately upon any error or failure leaving the remaining nodes unpatched. Parallel Processing eliminates this issue)
  • Regardless of whether patching fails or succeeds on a node, all services that were shut down as part of the job will be restarted immediately after patching has completed (or failed) for that node.   This ensures the databases are returned to a functional state regardless of whether the patching succeeded for failed, and without having to wait for the entire job to complete.
  • For any job where patching of a node has failed, the job status will be set to “Failed”. This informs the administrator that one or more of the nodes in a job was not successfully patched.  The administrator will then determine the cause of the failure(s), address the issue, and re-run the job to ensure all systems are fully patched.

 

So the takeaway here is that you’ll spend less time managing Oracle patch jobs and your users will experience smaller maintenance windows thanks to this new feature.

 

In our next release, we plan to extend this functionality to work with Microsoft SQL Server.  We’ll also updated the process to dramatically reduce the size of the maintenance window needed for re-running jobs where one or more nodes couldn’t be patched. In the current release, when you re-run a job, BDA will go through the full process of stopping services, attempting to patch, and restarting the services for every node.   In the upcoming release, we are planning to add a pre-check so that BDA will take actions only on those nodes that have failed.  This will dramatically reduce the size of the maintenance window needed for the re-run. 

 

So that’s Parallel Patching for Oracle … but that’s not all we’ve delivered in 2019 Release 1.   Here are the other updates delivered in this version: 

  • Support for Microsoft Windows Server 2019
  • Support for DB2 11.1 (Enterprise Server Edition, Advanced Enterprise Server Edition and Advanced Workgroup Server Edition)
  • Support Windows Server Failover Clusters using PowerShell rather than cluster.exe
  • Multiple security enhancements including updates to gridapp.conf file
  • Support for Java OpenJDK 11

 

Lastly, you’ve probably noticed that we’ve changed method we use for version numbering.   The “old school” method of version numbering that we used previously was devised to communicate the scope of change in a particular release.  A “9.0” release had more change than a “9.1” release.  And that had more change than a “9.1.3” release.   With BDA now releasing updates on a much more frequent and consistent cadence, the “old school” method no longer provides meaningful value since each release contains approximately the same amount of change.    With this in mind, we will now provide our release number in terms of the year of the release, and the release order.  For example, BDA 2019 Release 1 is our first release of the product for 2019.    Our second release will be 2019 Release 2, and so on until 2020 when our first release will be BDA 2020 Release 1.

 

Our entire team is very excited to provide you with these updates to BDA and we are confident they will help you more effectively secure, provision, patch and manage your database environments.   We’re also looking forward to your feedback on this release.  So please share any thoughts or questions you may have here in the Bladelogic Database Automation community.   

 

Thank you for providing us with the opportunity to continually earn your business!   I look forward to hearing from you.

 

 

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You all know that we have already released certified patch wrappers for 12.1.0.2 PSU, 12.1.0.2 OJVM and 12.2.0.1 RU on April 30th 2019. Today I am back with few more certified patch wrappers. I am pleased to share that all the standalone patch wrappers (i.e. non-cluster/grid) for Oracle versions 12.1.0.2, 12.2.0.1 and 18.0.0.0 are done with their certification. Kindly get in touch with our support team to consume them in your environments.

 

Below is the detailed tabular representation of current status of all the patch wrappers.

 

 

Patch NameDB VersionPlatformsETA
RU18.0.0.0Linux-x86-64Available
OJVM18.0.0.0Linux-x86-64Available
RU-OJVM18.0.0.0Linux-x86-64Available
RU12.2.0.1AIX, HPUX-IA64, Linux-x86-64, Solaris64Available
OJVM12.2.0.1AIX, HPUX-IA64, Linux-x86-64, Solaris64Available
RU-OJVM12.2.0.1AIX, HPUX-IA64, Linux-x86-64, Solaris64Available
PSU12.1.0.2AIX, HPUX-IA64, Linux-x86-64, Solaris64Available
OJVM12.1.0.2AIX, HPUX-IA64, Linux-x86-64, Solaris64Available
PSU-OJVM12.1.0.2AIX, HPUX-IA64, Linux-x86-64, Solaris64Available
GIRU18.0.0.0Linux-x86-64 Coming Soon
GIRU12.2.0.1AIX, HPUX-IA64, Linux-x86-64, Solaris64 Coming Soon
GIPSU12.1.0.2AIX, HPUX-IA64, Linux-x86-64, Solaris64 Coming Soon
CPU11.2.0.4AIX, HP64, HPUX-IA64,  Linux-x86-64,  Solaris64Coming Soon
PSU11.2.0.4AIX, HP64, HPUX-IA64,  Linux-x86-64,  Solaris64Coming Soon
OJVM11.2.0.4AIX, HP64, HPUX-IA64,  Linux-x86-64,  Solaris64Coming Soon
PSU-OJVM11.2.0.4AIX, HP64, HPUX-IA64,  Linux-x86-64,  Solaris64Coming Soon
GIPSU11.2.0.4AIX, HP64, HPUX-IA64,  Linux-x86-64,  Solaris64Coming Soon
RU18.0.0.0Win64Coming Soon
OJVM18.0.0.0Win64Coming Soon
RU12.2.0.1Win64Coming Soon
OJVM12.2.0.1Win64Coming Soon
PSU12.1.0.2Win64Coming Soon
OJVM12.1.0.2Win64Coming Soon
PSU11.2.0.4Win64Coming Soon
OJVM11.2.0.4Win64Coming Soon

 

If you cannot wait for currently unavailable patch wrappers, then do check our newly introduced Faster Access To Patch Wrappers

 

Do not forget to share your feedback here. Also leave comments below. We are always in learning mode!!!

 

Happy Patching!!!

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I am happy to announce that Batch 1 of Certified BDA Quarterly Patch Wrappers are available with support team. This batch contains patch wrappers for 12.1.0.2 PSU, 12.1.0.2 OJVM and 12.2.0.1 RU. Kindly get in touch with support team to consume these wrappers.

 

Patch Name

DB Version

Platforms

ETA

PSU

12.1.0.2

AIX, HPUX-IA64, Linux-x86-64, Solaris64

Available

OJVM

12.1.0.2

AIX, HP64-IA64, Linux-x86-64, Solaris64

Available

RU

12.2.0.1

AIX, HPUX-IA64, Linux-x86-64, Solaris64

Available

 

Kindly watch this space for availability on remaining patch wrappers.

 

Also share your feedback on these wrappers.

 

Happy Patching!!!

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One of the key requests we get from customers is for us to deliver the Wrappers for Oracle Patches more quickly.    I’m pleased to announce that starting this month, we’ll be able to do just that.

 

Background:

Prior to today, we would target the wrapper releases to be within 15 days after Oracle releases their patches.   The reason we needed the 15 days between when Oracle releases the patches and when we release the wrappers is that we run the wrappers through a set of very extensive tests to ensure they work as planned. 

What we’ve seen in practice is that due minimal changes in how the Oracle patches work and due to the wrappers being nothing more than simple scripts, it is very rare for the wrappers to have an issue.   And more importantly, when we do see issues, they are issues that do not put database operations at risk.  They simply stop the application of the patch.

 

What we’ll be doing going forward

Beginning with Oracle’s patch releases in April we will implement the following changes:

Uncertified Wrappers (new process): Within 4 business days after Oracle releases their patches, we will make any necessary updates to the patch wrappers, run them through our high-level quality tests, have them available to you for download and notify you with a post to the blog in the BDA online community. For customers who need to quickly roll out Oracle patches, we would encourage you to use these patches moving forward.  As always, we recommend that you test them in your own test environment prior to rolling them out to production, but this is no change.   We have a high level of confidence that these wrappers will work well for you in test and production and with minimal risk to operations.

Certified Wrappers (Current Process):  Within 15 days after Oracle has released their patches, we will have completed our certification testing process.  Assuming there are no changes needed to the wrappers, we will simply post an update to the BDA blog to let you know they are ready for download.

Wrap-up

While the Uncertified Wrapper process is new to most customers, we’ve been using it already with a number of customers including some very large financial institutions.  Because of this we feel confident it will be a benefit to those customers who need to roll out Oracle patches more quickly, but still with high confidence of success.

 

Please feel free to share your thoughts, comments or questions below.  If you want to begin making use of the new process, please just reach out to Support and they can walk you through the process

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As per Oracle Quarterly Patch schedule, Oracle Quarterly Patches will be available from 16th April. These patches will be available on Oracles' website.

 

BDA engineering team will download these patches on this date and start creating the respective patch wrappers which are later consumed by BDA customers for patching purposes. This blog provides information about the availability of these patch wrappers for customers using BDA.

 

After Oracle releases quarterly patches on 16th April, as usual certified patch wrappers would be made available within 15 working days (after Oracle delivers them).

 

Kindly watch this space for more details on delivery date of individual patch wrapper and all kind of updates with respect to April 2019 Patch wrappers.

 

To know more about BDA Patch Wrappers visit this page: BDA Patch Wrappers for Oracle

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Hello,

 

I'm please announce that the BDA team has just released updated CIS compliance content for Oracle 12c and Microsoft SQL Server 2016.   This are available for you immediately download from the BMC download site.

 

If you have any questions or need help, feel free to reach out to support or to post a question here in the community. 

 

Thank you!

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Happy Friday, everyone.  

 

I’m pleased to share that we’ve recently released BDA 8.9.03 Patch 3.

 

This release provides the following updates:

 

Support for Single Instance

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2017
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2019 (preview media)

 

Support for SQL Server Always On

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2017
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2019 (preview media)

Note: BMC Database Automation currently supports Microsoft SQL Server 2019 preview media. This is because Microsoft has not yet released the GA version of SQL Server 2019. BMC plans to include full support to SQL Server 2019 after 2 weeks of its GA.

 

Support for Oracle 18c Single Instance for

  • Windows 2012
  • Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Windows Server 2016

 

Support for Oracle 18c Restart

 

Support to use mediaprep to prepare Microsoft SQL Server 2017 and 2019 (preview media)

 

MSSQL DISA Compliance Database support introduced

 

DISA-MSSQL-2016-Database-V1-R3-807171

 

You can find more details in the documentation here.

 

Please feel free to download and begin use of this new update.   If you have any questions, the support team and I are here to help you.

 

Thanks,

               Eric

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Hi Everyone,

 

I’m pleased to inform you that we have released BDA 8.9.03 patch 2. 

 

Here are some of the key updates included in this release: 

  • Oracle 18c support introduced
    • Oracle 18c Single Instance Provisioning and Patching on Linux target node
    • Oracle 18c Grid Infrastructure Provisioning and Patching on Linux target node
  • Oracle 18c Patch wrappers
    • GIRU-Oct2018-18.0.0.0-Linux-x86-64
    • RU-Oct2018-18.0.0.0-Linux-x86-64
    • OJVM-Oct2018-18.0.0.0-Linux-x86-64
  • MSSQL DISA Compliance Database support introduced
    • DISA-MSSQL-2012-Database-V1-R17-805439
    • DISA-MSSQL-2014-Database-V1-R6-805438
    • DISA-MSSQL-2016-Instance-V1-R3-805576
    • DISA-MSSQL 2016 Database V1 R3- 807171
  • PHP version update to 7.2.10 (OS requirements updated)
  • Guide to BDA MySQL Support updated

 

You can find more information here, on BDA documentation site.   https://docs.bmc.com/docs/bda89/8-9-03-002-patch-2-for-version-8-9-03-842991246.html

 

If you need any assistance accessing, applying, or using this update, please remember to reach out to our Support team for assistance.

 

We are here to help!

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As per Oracle Quarterly Patch schedule, Oracle Quarterly Patches are available from 15th January. These patches will be available on Oracles' website.

 

BDA engineering team will download these patches on this date and start creating the respective patch wrappers which are later consumed by BDA customers for patching purposes. This blog provides information about the availability of these patch wrappers for customers using BDA.

 

After Oracle releases quarterly patches on 15th January, as usual certified patch wrappers would be made available within 15 working days (after Oracle delivers them).

 

Kindly watch this space for more details on delivery date of individual patch wrapper and all kind of updates with respect to January 2019 Patch wrappers.

 

To know more about BDA Patch Wrappers visit this page: BDA Patch Wrappers for Oracle

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As per Oracle Quarterly Patch schedule, Oracle Quarterly Patches are available from 16th October. These patches will be available on Oracles' website.

 

BDA engineering team will download these patches on this date and start creating the respective patch wrappers which are later consumed by BDA customers for patching purposes. This blog provides information about the availability of these patch wrappers for customers using BDA.

 

After Oracle releases quarterly patches on 16th October, as usual certified patch wrappers would be made available within 15 working days (after Oracle delivers them).

 

Kindly watch this space for more details on delivery date of individual patch wrapper and all kind of updates with respect to October 2018 Patch wrappers.

 

To know more about BDA Patch Wrappers visit this page: BDA Patch Wrappers for Oracle

Eric Liszt

Updated Compliance Content

Posted by Eric Liszt Employee Sep 25, 2018
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I'm very pleased to announce that we've released updated compliance content.   As part of this release we are extending compliance content to include not only checks at the instance level but also down to the database level.   Below are the STIGs covered by the updated compliance content.  You can download these now from the BMC website.

Please know this is just the beginning  We are already working on additional products and versions that we will be releasing in the future.

 

  • Oracle 12c Database STIG
  • Oracle 11.2g Database STIG
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2013 Database STIG
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2014 Database STIG
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BDA 8.9.03 is now available !

 

I am pleased to announce the general availability of BladeLogic Database Automation 8.9.03. A lot of key capabilities and user requests have been addressed and hope you upgrade your environments as soon as possible and take advantage of the all the R&D effort that has gone into this release.

 

Some key highlights of the release are as follows.

 

Enhancements:

  • Apply inline patches before or after CRS configuration

o  See this link for more details.

  • Define custom fields for scheduling options

See this link for more details.

  • Ability to override Action templates

o  See this link for more details.

  • REST API Commands for patching functions

o  See this link for more details.

  • Support for SAP Sybase Server 16.0
  • Support for sha256 algorithm


For a complete list of enhancements and supportability improvements, see
8.9.03 Enhancements.

 

Database Automation is now more secure: We have enhanced the product to make it more secure by addressing lot of security issues like:

 

  • Clickjacking
  • Multiple Reflected XSS
  • Updated vulnerable libraries
  • SQL Error Disclosure
  • Cross Site Request Forgery
  • Denial of Service
  • Adopting to SHA 256 SSL certificates

 

Platform support Update:

 

We have added new database platforms as follows:

 

  • Sybase Server 16
  • Microsoft SQL Server Enterprise Core Support

 

and have also added supported for windows server 2016.

 

Platforms to deprecated: The platforms below will be deprecated from the next release:

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5
  • Windows Server 2008

 

I would also like to bring to your notice that the Database Automation windows CmdUtils will also be deprecated from the next release onwards.

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What Are Oracle Patches?

Oracle delivers patches for various versions of its products on quarterly basis. Oracle calls these patches as "A Critical Patch Update" and is a collection of patches for multiple security vulnerabilities. Along with other products from Oracle it also includes Databases. As far as database products are concerned Oracle provides patches for these database versions: 11.2.0.4, 12.1.0.2, 12.2.0.1, 18.1 and 18.2

 

When Does Oracle Deliver These Patches?

Oracle delivers these patches on third Tuesday of January, April, July and October (i.e. quarterly basis). Sometimes some of the patches are delayed by Oracle and their respective ETAs are available on Oracle website.

 

Why Patches Are Needed?

Oracle highly recommends to apply these patches to respective version of database in order to keep the applications secure from all the vulnerabilities.

 

How BMC Database Automation (BDA) helps simplify Patching?

BMC Database Automation is a comprehensive software solution that improves the efficiency of administering the complete database life cycle, including the automation of recurring operational tasks such as provisioning, patching, and configuration management.

BDA currently provides support to database versions: 11.2.0.4, 12.1.0.2, 12.2.0.1

 

Does BDA Provide Patching Functionality?

Under the feature Patch Management, BDA identifies systems that require patching, analyses patching dependencies, and monitors them to ensure that patches, CPUs, and hotfixes are correctly installed and tracked. BDA makes use of Oracle Patch Wrappers for the same.

 

What Are Patch Wrappers?

While using BDA for database-patching, BDA engine makes use of wrappers which are created on top of Oracle delivered patches. BDA calls these wrappers as "Patch Wrappers". BDA releases Patch wrappers at a certain release schedules immediately after Oracle makes them available on its website. Each Patch wrappers is verified for all the possible database types such as single instance database, RAC databases that too on different environments like Linux, Solaris, HP-UX, AIX etc. THis verification takes place on all the supported versions of BDA.

 

Most Frequently Used BDA Patch Wrappers:

I have mentioned some of the patches that Oracle delivers and are demanded frequently by our customers:

 

For Oracle Database 11.2.0.4: SPU, PSU, OJVM, GIPSU, PSU+OJVM

For Oracle Database 12.1.0.2: PSU, OJVM, GIPSU, PBP, PSU+OJVM

For Oracle Database 12.2.0.1: RU, OJVM, GIRU

 

When are the Patch Wrappers available?

To create and test these wide range of patch wrappers on various platforms and various types of database-environments, BMC database automation releases these Patch Wrappers in about 15 working days after they are made available by Oracle.  The complexity of Oracle patches varies depending on changed functionality of OPatch utility to changed process of patch application altogether. Based upon the complexity of patches by Oracle; sometime BDA team may take additional time of up to 5 working days to deliver these wrappers.

 

For July 2018 Patch Wrapper Schedule kindly refer to:  Delivery schedule for Jul 2018 Patch wrappers

 

For October 2018 Patch Wrapper Schedule kindly refer to:  October 2018 BDA Patch Wrappers for Oracle

 

To know more about how to get and apply Patch Package wrappers refer to

Managing patch packages for Oracle quarterly packages

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We are excited to introduce you to our new YouTube channel “BladeLogic Automation” for "How-to" videos, intended to help with a specific task or feature of products in the BladeLogic Automation suite (BSA, BDSSA, BDA and BNA).

 

 

Highlights:

 

Focused contents:  The contents of this channel will only focus on providing technical videos for the Server Automation, Decision Support for Server Automation,Database Automation and Network Automation products.   This content is developed by the BMC Support technical teams.

 

Featured Playlists: The channel will focus on technical contents, such as how-to, troubleshooting guides and functional demonstrations. Similar features/functions and categories will have their own Playlists to reduce the time to search the contents.

 

Snippet of our Playlists:

Click  to receive notifications when the new technical content is posted on the channel and to get the most out of the products – BSA, BDSSA, BNA and BDA.

Refer to our "Playlists" to play all the videos organized by topic or a product.

Here are the current Playlists:

 

We welcome feedback from the community.

Suma Bhat

BDA 8.9.02 now available !

Posted by Suma Bhat Oct 30, 2017
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BDA 8.9.02 is now available !

 

I am pleased to announce the general availability of BladeLogic Database Automation 8.9.02.

A lot of key capabilities and user requests have been addressed and hope you upgrade your environments as soon as possible and take advantage of the all the R&D effort that has gone into this release. Some key highlights of the release are as follows.

 

Enhancements for Oracle

  • With 8.9.02. the system will automatically delete the home dir when its last associated Oracle database is removed. You can disable the Oracle Home removal upon removal of the (last) database.
  • You can create a separate disk group for the Grid Infrastructure Management Repository (GIMR) data to segregate it from the Cluster Ready Services (CRS) data. This applies to Oracle 12.2.0.1 only.
  • Starting with this release, you can define custom fields for the database options present on the Database Options page while adding a database on Windows and Linux.
    The value of that database option is derived from the value of corresponding custom field specified on the Custom Fields page.

 

  • Starting with version 8.9.02, cmdutils enables you to run an action having scope as Oracle Pluggable Database (PDB)

 

Customer Experience

 

  • BDA GUI can now be configured for access through non-default port
  • You won’t be able to access the BDA GUI by using logical name as the host name, by default. You can however configure the application to allow this via  property in d2500_config.
    See release notes for details; link provided at the end of this post.
  • You now have the option to see jobs with only verification in job list. Use the Verified option in the Status filter to view such jobs.
  • While importing an action or a template, you can overwrite it forcefully by using the force option if an action or a template with the same name exists in the BMC Database Automation Manager.
  • Starting from this release you can divide the patch application process into pre-stage and apply stages. This will allow you to pre-stage a patch outside the patch window, thus not be constrained by bandwidth and time constraints.

 

Compliance Content

 

We now have GDPR compliance rules for Oracle and SQL server. This comprises of existing CIS/DISA content that are relevant to GDPR requirements.

We will be continuing the work for cover other databases and expanding the content to cover other requirements of GDPR in the coming releases.

 

Platform Support

 

Platform support in 8.9.02 has been enhanced to cover the following:

  • Oracle and DB2 operations on AIX 7.2(Single Instance)
  • Oracle 12.2 on RHEL 6, RHEL 7, SUSE 12, Oracle Enterprise Linux 6 and 7
  • Oracle 12.2- Single Instance on Solaris 10 and Solaris 11

 

Other updates

In version 8.9.02, the Perl library has been upgraded to version 5.24.1. As a result, version 8.9.02 of the Manager is not compatible with earlier version of the agent. The Manager version 8.9.02 is compatible with the agent version 8.9.02 only.

 

See details of everything in the release here:

https://docs.bmc.com/docs/display/public/bda89/8.9.02%3A+Service+Pack+2+for+version+8.9.00

 

BDS-DA 8.9.02 is now available as well ! Starting from this release, to access BMC Decision Support – Database Automation reports, you do not need to install the product. You just need to run the Content Deployment utility on the computer where BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) platform is installed.

See details for the release here: https://docs.bmc.com/docs/decisionsupportdatabaseautomation/89/8-9-02-service-pack-2-726787260.html

8.9.02: Service Pack 2 - BMC Decision Support - Database Automation 8.9

 

Thanks !

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