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Oracle Upgrades - VDB Upgrades (KBA1168)


Below outlines the process for upgrading an Oracle virtual database (VDB) as well as quick troubleshooting of issues. 


Delphix VDB upgrade process is no different than upgrading an Oracle Physical database. One can either leverage Oracle DBUA GUI (preferred) or command line approach for upgrading their VDB. The steps outlined by Oracle Upgrade Guide needs to be exactly followed for the upgrade process.


  • There is at least one minimum snapshot of current VDB.
  • If planning to use DBUA, ensure that VDB entry is updated in "oratab" file.
  • Execute Oracle supplied pre-upgrade script and fix the recommendations.

High-Level Steps

  • Install newer version Oracle binaries on Target server for upgrading VDB (e.g. Oracle 12c).
  • Shutdown VDB and then bring it up "startup upgrade" mode using newer version Oracle binaries.
  • Perform VDB Upgrade either using DBUA GUI or command-line method.

Post VDB Upgrade Steps

Update Delphix Repository
  • After successful VDB upgrade, Delphix repository needs to be updated with newer VDB version, otherwise Delphix would not reflect correct status of VDB in GUI.
  • Open the VDB card and click on  (bottom right corner) and select appropriate Oracle home and click "Yes".

Delphix database user privileges:
  • Execute Delphix supplied script for granting necessary privileges to Delphix database user (particularly for Oracle 12c version), otherwise Delphix would not be able to take VDB snapshots.
VDB Refresh
  • Until Source database from which VDB was provisioned/refreshed earlier is not upgraded to same version as VDB, upgraded VDB cannot be "directly" refreshed from Source database snapshot.
  • First step is to either provision VDB using older version Oracle binaries from existing Source database, and then follow Database upgrade process as outlined earlier to upgrade VDB to latest version.