Gotcha: Upgrading vCenter 4.1 to 5.0 With Oracle 11gR2 May Need Client Patch

This is going to be the shortest article ever but needs to be written.  If you are running the Oracle 11gR2 client on your vCenter 4.1 Server with Windows 2008 R2, you may need a patch in order to upgrade the vCenter database during a 4.1 to 5.0 upgrade.  The Oracle download site only lists 11gR2 (11.2.0.1) for the latest client.  However there is a REQUIRED patch that you need for the installer to upgrade the database for vCenter Server 5.0.  There is also a requirement for the database version as well listed in This VMware Knowledge base. I suggest you read it VERY closely as the Oracle versions are very specific as I learned this week they are listed in the bottom of the article.

You will know if you need this patch especially if you get errors like this in the In the VCDatabaseUpgrade.log:

Info: Beginning upgrade process....
Info: vCenter_DB has been detected as an Oracle server.
Error in InitVersion(): Got exception: Arithmetic operation resulted in an overflow.
Error in GetDataseSpace(): Got exception: Arithmetic operation resulted in an overflow.
Initialize failed, exiting...

Simply put, the patch version required on the Client is Oracle 11g R2 11.2.0.1 64-bit with patch 5 (9966926).  Again this will NOT show up on the public download site.  A user with Oracle support is the only one that can obtain this.  There is also an Oracle 11g R2 11.2.0.1 32-bit with patch 5 (9966925) for you’re vCenter Update Manager connection.  These patches are applied manually to the Windows 2008 R2 machines running the client (11.2.0.1) for vCenter and/or Update Manager to connect to the Database by using the following instructions.  These are what I captured to the best of my knowledge from the team onsite driving while I was watching the WebEx.

Steps to patch Oracle 11gR2 Client

  1. Download the Patch from Oracle Support
  2. The best option is to apply the patch in safe mode. (during windows boot press F8 and select boot with command prompt.)
  3. Set the ORACLE_HOME environment variable (>set ORACLE_HOME=<Oracle Home Path>
  4. Change directory where you downloaded the patch (cd 9966926)
  5. While in the patch directory run the command “c:<Oracle Client Install Directory>OPatch.bat apply”
  6. Make sure you see successful message in the command prompt
  7. Reboot the machine ( To make sure all the service restarts)

Once the Oracle Client is patched (Assuming a DBA has patched the server), you should be able to complete the installation.  I hope this helps others running vCenter with Oracle from getting a headache.  Other detailed instructions for patching the clients are located in the patch itself, but this was the key to a couple long days.  Also be sure to following the installation/upgrade guides and check the Oracle GRANT permissions before starting that they have everything needed or you will run into issues mid database upgrade.

About Chris Colotti

Chris is currently a Principal Technical Marketing Architect with the vCloud Air business unit at VMware. Chris is amongst the first VMware Certified Design Experts (VCDX#37), and author of multiple white papers. He spends much of his time working on customer facing collateral to help drive adoption and usage of VMware vCloud Air. Most recently Chris has become heavily involved with fitness as a Diamond Team Beachbody Coach using P90X and other Beachbody Programs. Although Technology is his day job, Chris is passionate about fitness after losing 60 pounds himself in the last few years. Now he spreads both the word of technology and fitness along with the Team Beachbody Business through both his blogs.

  • http://blogdovicente.com Vicente Sloboda

    Man, you saved me! I was stucked and this information I needed. I am trying to update and I am with out VMware support.

    Thanks a lot.

    • http://www.chriscolotti.us Chris Colotti

      Glad it helped at least one person out :)

  • http://www.comdivision.com Yves Sandfort

    Thanks this helps on one site, as I now understand why I can’t upgrade the customers system (seperate Oracle DB for VMware). But also states I can postpone the upgrade by at least one week as the DBA which has MetaLink Access is on holiday…

    Why does Oracle provide everything for download except patches… Anyway, maybe we get hold of there DBA, but that is a different story :-)

    • http://www.chriscolotti.us Chris Colotti

      Not sure why they make it so hard to get patches. Trust me I fell your pain we spent almost a full day trying to get someone with a login to download them.

  • Sam

    Got the same issue while upgrading from 4.1u2 to 5.1.0b.
    Update 11.2.0.1 Oracle client to 11.2.0.3 did the trick !

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