RDBMS and Clusterware/Grid Infrastructure Compatibility

A recent “tweet” from Coskan regarding a problem he was having running DBUA with Oracle Database 11.2.0.2 on servers that were running Grid Intrastructure (Clusterware and Automatic Storage Management) version 11.2.0.1 stood out as I was scanning down Twitter… I thought you had to run Clusterware (and ASM) at a higher version than the database. I responded to Coskan and he came back to me stating that he’d run 10.2.0.3 Database Server on 10.2.0.1 Clusterware.

This just didn’t fit with what I’d understood about the requirements, so I wanted to find out what had given me the impression that this wasn’t possible/certified.

Readme for 6810189 10.2.0.4 Patchset

7.1.4 Upgrading Oracle Clusterware

The Oracle Clusterware software must be at the same or newer level as the Oracle software in the Oracle RAC Oracle home. Therefore, you should always upgrade Oracle Clusterware before you upgrade Oracle RAC. This patch does not allow you to upgrade Oracle RAC before you upgrade Oracle Clusterware.

Readme for 6890831 11.1.0.7 Patchset

7.1.2 Upgrading Oracle Clusterware

The Oracle Clusterware software must be at the same or newer level as the Oracle software in the Oracle RAC Oracle home or ASM Home. Therefore, you should always upgrade Oracle Clusterware before you upgrade Oracle RAC or Oracle ASM. This patch does not allow you to upgrade Oracle RAC or Oracle ASM before you upgrade Oracle Clusterware.

Readme for 8202632 10.2.0.5 Patchset

8.1.5 Upgrading Oracle Clusterware

The Oracle Clusterware software must be at the same or newer level as the Oracle software in the Oracle RAC Oracle home. Therefore, you should always upgrade Oracle Clusterware before you upgrade Oracle RAC. This patch does not allow you to upgrade Oracle RAC before you upgrade Oracle Clusterware.

… OK, so that explains where my “knowledge” had come from, but time to dig a little deeper and clarify the situation.

A bit of reading took me to Identifying Your Oracle Database Software Release

Component-Specific Release Number

The fourth digit identifies a release level specific to a component. Different components can have different numbers in this position depending upon, for example, component patch sets or interim releases.

“Different components can have different numbers in this position…” Well, that seems pretty conclusive. I then checked out the Certification information on MOS and found that Oracle Server – Enterprise Edition 11gR2 RAC is certified for Oracle Clusterware 11g. Does this suggest that it is acceptable to use Clusterware 11.1 with an 11.2 database? Moving on to look at Oracle Server – Enterprise Edition 10gR2 RAC, it is certified for Oracle Clusterware 10g. I was expecting to see version 10g or greater for 10gR2, but maybe that is implied?

Anyone tried 10.2 RDBMS on 10.1 Clusterware or 11.2 RDBMS on 11.1 Clusterware?

A quick survey of other Oracle DBAs revealed that I’m not alone in thinking that “The Oracle Clusterware software must be at the same or newer level as the Oracle software in the Oracle RAC Oracle home.” means that if you want to run Oracle Database 10.2.0.4 then the Clusterware needs to be at least 10.2.0.4.

The fact that Coskan has done it certainly shows that it’s possible, but I’d be interested to hear from others about their interpretation of the documentation and their real world experience.

Thanks in advance for any comments.