Zero Downtime Updates with Oracle Ksplice and How It Can Help You

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Oracle KspliceWith Ksplice you no longer have to wait to roll out your updates.

Downtimes are an inevitable part of maintaining your IT systems. There are just a lot of things that could go wrong when you use outdated or incompatible software. With Linux, you have kernel security updates that are released monthly. These updates often have patches for reliability and security. Thankfully for Linux users, you have Ksplice to help you update your systems without having to do a reboot.

Ksplice allows you to patch your software with minimal downtime and costs. It also offers better security. With a Ksplice access key, you can run and install Ksplice without rebooting your system. Ksplice would then open any running kernel and apply the updates.

How updates worked without Ksplice

In the old days and with systems not running Ksplice, a patch means a lot of disruption! When a security update is released, systems administrators have to talk to management in order to schedule the best time to take the systems offline so that the updates can be rolled out. This usually takes a week or more for the schedule to be finalized. When the schedule is okay, users would have to be notified.

When the scheduled update happens, the system administrator would have to shut down the database and the application server before applying the update. After that, the database and the application server would need to be restarted and then checked. You would then need to test the updates to see if there are problems.

How does Ksplice work?

Every time a critical vulnerability or bug is discovered within the Linux kernel, Oracle creates a new release that would use a rebootless update. The rebootless update is distributed and then applied to your systems using Ksplice without needing to take your system offline. After a few seconds, your system is still up and running – only that it is now secure and up to date.

How does Ksplice help you?

  1. It lowers your operational costs. A reboot needs to be supervised and planned in advance. And there are a lot of things that could go wrong, such as services not starting the right way or your rebooting affected other systems. Ksplice will allow you to avoid all of these. What’s more, you can save more time by not needing to coordinate with users about your reboots.
  1. Better availability. Using Ksplice, your updates are done only in seconds without interrupting any running applications. Before you run your updates, you can also check on the status of your systems, while critical updates are made live even when you do not reboot. The same thing is true if you want to rollback an update, you would not need to reboot or take your system offline.
  1. More secure. In the past, you have to plan for your upgrade rollout to ensure that users would not have too much problem, so you wait and wait for the right time to update to avoid inconveniencing the users. With Ksplice you no longer have to wait to roll out your updates. So you are safer because you can plug security holes immediately, rather than give hackers the time to penetrate your systems.

If you want to know more about Ksplice and how it can take your business to the next level, contact Four Cornerstone now. We offer Oracle and Oracle MySQL consulting services.

Photo courtesy of Oracle Ksplice.

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