Wednesday Apr 23, 2014

"Mr. Upgrade" on DOAG.TV

Mike may be too humble to post this himself, so I will point out that the Oracle user group in Germany (DOAG) has published a video of an interview with Mike about upgrade to Oracle Database 12c. The interview is in German, so if you speak the language, please enjoy:

DOAG.TV screenshot

Those who  are inclined to view the video may also want to pay attention to the announcement about upgrade workshops in Germany. See Mike's blog entry about our upcoming events for more information!

Thursday Apr 17, 2014

Avoid Poor Performance and Wrong Results in 11.2.0.4

One of the best notes in MOS got refreshed last night for Oracle Database 11.2.0.4. It has not only information about performance bugs but also about the worst and meanest category of issues, wrong query result bugs. Those are the ones I call the "sleeping beauties" as you as a DBA usually won't recognize them. It is recognized at the application level when the result of a report is incorrect or instead of 4 rows just 3 rows get delivered in the output. Therefore you should be highly aware of those and add this note to your bookmarks.

MOS Note 1645862.1Things to Consider Before Upgrading to 11.2.0.4 to Avoid Poor Performance or Wrong Results

And in case you don't want to move to Oracle 11.2.0.4 but searching for information and known issues in Oracle 11.2.0.3 or Oracle 11.2.0.2 then please find the corresponding documents:

  • MOS Note: 1320966.1 Things to Consider Before Upgrading to 11.2.0.2.x to Avoid Poor Performance or Wrong Results
  • MOS Note: 1392633.1 Things to Consider Before Upgrading to 11.2.0.3 to Avoid Poor Performance or Wrong Results
-Mike

Monday Apr 14, 2014

Upcoming UPGRADE Workshops in Europe - Register Now

There will be a lot of travel within the next few weeks. So please keep your fingers crossed that Lufthansa pilots don't go on strike for their ridicolous goals again. And I hope to see you in one of our upcoming workshops within the next weeks somewhere in the below cities.

Click on the date/location to the RIGHT to register, see location and agenda etc. 

CU soon :-)

- Mike and Roy 

Friday Apr 11, 2014

Why cows can fly! Believe it or not ...

A colleague of mine, Murilo from Oracle Brasil talked about our roles at Oracle (but this applies to any other software company in the market I'd guess).

Do you believe in flying cows?

  • Sales
    In Sales you'll sell a customer that cows can fly
  • Presales
    The presales consultant will have to do a presentation showing the ROI, TCO and KPIs of flying cows. She or he may have also a screenshot demo in Powerpoint showing flying cows. 
  • Consulting
    The consultant is the person to install the flying-cow piece of software at the customer site and embedd it into the customer's environment. Unfortunately the poor consultant finds out that in this environment cows actually don't fly well. In fact, cows don't fly at all. So the consultant may raise an SR before going home.
  • Support
    The SR gets into the queue of a Support engineer somewhere in the world. The Support engineer wonders about this SR as she or he has never heard of flying cows before. So she/he takes a look into the doc. And there's nothing mentioned about flying cows. But the doc doesn't say anything about "cows can't fly" so a testcase will be required from the customer or the consultant to show the non-flying cows. Poor Support engineer: she/he can't even file a bug for it as the doc doesn't say anything about the flying-cow-feature. 

Guess how that story will end?
Does it sound familiar to you? To me it does ... a bit ;-)
And I'm glad that I'm working in Development :-)

So you may watch this tiny little video in your spare time ...

-Mike

PS: Thanks to Murilo - and I phrased it in my own words as I still burst out laughing and crying at the same time when thinking about our conversation :-) But credits go to him - obgrigado!!!

PPS: No offense to anybody in any role in a software company ... 

Tuesday Apr 08, 2014

COLLABORATE 2014: Upgrade Slides for Download

Roy today presented about Upgrade Best Practices to Oracle Database 12c including moving into the world of Multitenant and Pluggable Databases at COLLABORATE 2014 in Las Vegas.. And the slides can be downloaded via this link:

COLLABORATE 2014 - Database Upgrade to Oracle 12c

-Mike 

Monday Apr 07, 2014

OUGN - Great Conference!!! Download the Slides

The cruise is over :-) And what an excellent event. Congratualations to Alice, Frank, Øyvind and all the other great people from the OUGN. I had plenty of fun, met great people - and here are the slides for the two presentations I gave:

  • Hitchhiker's Guide to Oracle Database Upgrades
    This slide deck will give an overview about how to approach a database upgrade project, the risk and costs of not upgrading and the news in the Upgrade space for Oracle Database 12c upgrades

  • What's New in Data Pump in Oracle 12c
    This overview about general Data Pump best practices highlights also all new Oracle Database 12c features with Oracle Data Pump such as the new COMPRESSION_ALGORITHM and its benefits, new TRANSFORM clause and the "killer feature" Full Transportable Export.

Hope to see you all next year again - and hopefully we'll have a again a quiet sea :-)

-Mike 

Tuesday Apr 01, 2014

Going to Norway for the OUGN Conference

I'm back in business after being out for almost two weeks. And tonight I will fly out to Oslo in Norway to participate in the OUGN Spring Conference 2014. It's my first user group conference in Norway and it will be very special as it will happen on a ship. No escape :-)

And Lufthansa's pilots did a great job in making my travel another nice Lufthansa surprise package. Due to the upcoming 3 day strike my flight to Oslo got canceled last night at 18:25h - as if Lufthansa wouldn't know about the strike days before (it got announced last week). But I could rearrange my travel and now I'll fly out a day earlier. I still feel very sorry for all the families and travelers getting stuck somewhere close to the Easter holidays. All LH Hotlines ("cold"line or "dead"line would fit better) where broken yesterday. Even the Senator "hot"line was out of order. As if my favorite airline wouldn't have known upfront that people WILL HAVE TO CALL when they cancel 3800 flights.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to this great event in Norway. Preparing myself right now with some great tunes of two of my all time favorite Jazz musicians from Norway, Jan Garbarek (saw him playing live several times) and  Ketil Bjørnstad.

My presentation will be:

CU soon :-)

-Mike 

Thursday Mar 20, 2014

I won't be able to come to India in March :-(

I assumed that it will become a tough trip to India this time in March with 3 workshops on 3 days in 3 different cities. But it became even tougher before. Unfortunately due to sick leave I won't be able to fly to India next week. I deeply appologize as I was really looking forward to my 2nd visit to India. 

Our next option: Roy will do it. But this is not possible as it takes at least 5 working days to acquire a Business Visa for India. Therefore our team's disaster recovery solution won't work either. 

The local teams will deliver the content on their own. I'm pretty sure that will work out very well.
Hope to see you next time ...

-Mike 

Thursday Mar 13, 2014

Do you know?
Premier Support for Oracle 11.2 will end soon!!!

Do you know that Oracle Database 11.2 will run out of PREMIER SUPPORT in less than 11 months?

Well. you may mention now the waived first year of free EXTENDED SUPPORT but this will apply to Oracle Database 11.2.0.4 (and to Oracle Database 11.2.0.3 until Aug 27, 2015) only!!! Now if you think of upgrading to Oracle 11.2.0.4 within the next months start thinking more into the direction of Oracle Database 12c instead. There won't be much difference in efforts and the amount of time you'll spend, regardless if you'd like to Oracle Database 11.2.0.4 or Oracle Database 12c.

Don't waste your time, resources and money - start evaluation Oracle Database 12c today!!! 

Now a bit of clarification as somebody has raised this question:
MOS Note:209768.1 Error Correction Policy describes clearly what you can expect after the Premier Support for Oracle Database 11.2 has ended.

  • Error correction is only available for the: 
  • Current patch set, and 
  • Previous patch set, for the duration of the Grace Period
  •  What does the Grace Period mean?

    Grace Period: up to 1 year for first patch set (minimum 3 months), and up to 2 years for second and subsequent patch sets. 

    • First Patch Set: Customers on all platforms have up to one year from the release of the first patch set on the first platform of a major release to install it.

    • Second and Subsequent Patch Sets: For the second and any subsequent patch set release, customers on all platforms have up to two years from the release of a new patch set to install it. 

    As an example, for release X.Y (base release version X.Y.0.1): 

    • First patch set for (X.Y.0.2) comes out on Linux x86-64 in September 2010. Customers on all platforms have until September 2011 to install it. 

    • Second patch set (X.Y.0.3) comes out in September 2011. Customers would have two years – until September 2013 – to install X.Y.0.3. 

    • Third patch set (X.Y.0.4) comes out in July 2013, customers have until July 2015 to install it.

    During the grace period we will create new bug fixes for the previous patch set and the current patch set.

    Patching end dates for current and most recent patch sets can be found on My Oracle Support in Release Schedule of Current Database Releases (Doc ID 742060.1)

    --------
    CORRECTION:

    I appologize but I got used to Support policies for 18 years now and therefore got to learn about something which got removed with Oracle Database 10.2.0.5. The direct combination of "Terminal Patch Set" and "Extended Support" has been removed a while back (and I didn't know it). That means (and the above posting has been corrected already):

    In order to get Extended Support for Oracle Database 11.2 you will have to be on Oracle Database 11.2.0.4 (the terminal patch set) or on Oracle Database 11.2.0.3. In the latter case patching will end by August 27, 2015 - which is described clearly in MOS Note: 742060.1


    Release Patching Ends

    Exceptions*

    11.2.0.4 31-Jan-2018
    HP-UX Itanium: Patching ends Dec 2020. Beginning Feb 1, 2018, Sev 1 fixes only (no PSU or CPU will be produced).
    11.2.0.3 27-Aug-2015
    11.2.0.2 31-Oct-2013
    End date extended beyond normal.

    Thursday Mar 06, 2014

    Free Webcast available now On Demand --- Upgrade and Migrate to Oracle Database 12c and Consolidate with Oracle Multitenant

    Almost 90 minutes about Upgrade, Migrate and Consolidate to Oracle Database 12c with or without Multitenant Option.
    Available now on demand. Just register yourself and watch it whenever it is convenient for you:

    Register to receive the On Demand Link and Watch It!

    -Mike 

    Wednesday Mar 05, 2014

    PSU1 and PSU2: Datapatch Issues coverd in MOS Note

    You may have read a posting disrecommending PSU1 and PSU2 for Oracle Multitenant especially in RAC/GI environments earlier this week. Actually following a lot of internal discsussions I will post some advice and clarification later this week.

    Now I have an useful update:
    Datapatch Issues are covered within a separate MOS Note making it easier to keep track and find workarounds for known issues.
    Please see MOS Note:1609718.1 Datapatch Known Issues

    -Mike

    Tuesday Mar 04, 2014

    Upgrade to Grid Infrastructure - but OCR and VOTING on RAW?

    Just received this question from a colleague these days:

    "The current customer environment is 10.2.0.5 on Linux with a 2 node RAC cluster having OCR and Voting Disks on RAW devices. Customer is concerned about the possibility of upgrading to 11gR2 Grid infrastructure first before they could upgrade to 12c Grid infrastructure."

    Now the answer is written down in MOS Note 1572925.1:
    How to Upgrade to 12c Grid Infrastructure if OCR or Voting File is on Raw/Block Devices

    Basically the MOS Note says:
    You will have to relocate your OCR/Voting to a supported device BEFORE you can upgrade to Oracle Grid Infrastructure 12c. No way out. A bit more clarification (thanks to Markus Michalewicz):

    The assumption of the note (which you might want to state) is that the customer has pre-12c GI with OCR / Voting Disk on RAW.

    In this case, Option A is always an option.

    For Option B, however, you need to distinguish. So the note should say: 

    • Option B: Customer is on 11g Rel. 2 still using RAW Devices 
      • Then move the OCR and Voting Disks to ASM
    • Option C: Customer is on pre-11g Rel. 2 and does not want to introduce a CFS (bad idea anyways) or use NFS
      • Then upgrade to 11g Rel. 2 and move the Clusterware files into ASM as mentioned under Option B.

    Unfortunately another example to add to my collection of "What happens if you stay too long on older releases?". In this case it simply increases complexity and drives costs as well. And please no complaints: Oracle Database 10.2 went out of PREMIER SUPPORT in July 2010 - 3.5 years ago!!!

    -Mike

    Monday Mar 03, 2014

    Upgrade Workshops in India in March 2014
    REGISTER NOW!

    *** Due to sick leave I won't be able to come to India  ***
    *** I deeply appologize - hope to see you soon again *** 

     

    It will be a tough trip as I will travel on my own with long distances in between the workshops but I'm really looking forward to my second trip to India to run 3 Upgrade, Migrate and Consolidate to Oracle Database 12c workshops in March 2014 in India.

    Register as soon as possible as we have limited seat capacity:

    Hope to see you soon :-)

    -Mike

    Thursday Feb 27, 2014

    CSX Corporation Upgrades Databases 2x Faster With Oracle Real Application Testing

    Wow - one of our reference projects went into the Yahoo Finance webpages. Carol Tagliaferri (my direct manager) worked with CSX, one of the largest US based railway companies, over a longer period together with the RAT team, and helped CSX to successfully upgrade and migrate their database landscape to Oracle Database 11.2.
    Plus: We did present about CSX at Oracle Open World 2012 as this project is a perfect showcase for:

    (a) an Upgrade project with many databases
    (b) over a longer period of time
    (c) using Real Application Testing decreasing the testing effort by factors!

    Read the published article on Yahoo Finance!

    And that is what Maritza Gonzalez, Technical Director at CSX said:

    “The Real Application Testing tool provided a comprehensive and flexible solution for assessing the impact of the Oracle 11g database upgrade  into CSX systems.  At CSX we were able to capture real production workloads,  replay it in the 11g environment,  identify poor performing  queries and, fine tune these queries in a test environment  before the production implementation.“

     More details on the actual project are included in our OOW 2012 talk (slides 35-42).

    -Mike
    Graphics are courtesy linked directly from the CSX public webpage

    Tuesday Feb 25, 2014

    Simplify your Migration from AIX to Solaris

    Oracle Solaris 11There is a brand new white paper available that will be of interest to anybody contemplating a database and/or application migration from AIX to Solaris. Simplify the Migration of Oracle Database and Oracle Applications from AIX to Oracle Solaris gives a good description of the steps involved in planning and executing a migration project, along with the benefits you can expect to achieve and a solid example of migration using Oracle Data Pump, complete with scripted steps.

    Of course, if your migration will include moving up to Oracle Database 12c, don't forget to sign up for Mike's webcast on February 26!

    Monday Feb 24, 2014

    Upgrade Webcast - Wednesday, Feb 26 - 10am CET


     If you'd like to get an overview about  Upgrade/Migrate/Consolidate to Oracle Database 12c then please register and attend our free webcast this Wednesday, February 26 at 10am CET:

    Date: Wednesday, February 26, 2014
    Time: 10:00 AM CET

    Web: http://event.on24.com/r.htm?e=750382&s=1&k=4F42244E75402FC0D8DEBBD12F134906

    Register yourself here!

    -Mike

    Wednesday Feb 19, 2014

    Thank You for flying with "Hello Kitty" ;-)

    Yesterday Roy and I flew directly after the workshop in Seoul to Taipeh in Taiwan. It's our first time in Taiwan - and the flight to Taipeh with EVA Airlines was quite surprising ;-) I didn't took a picture in the bathroom ... 

    "Thank You for flying with Hello Kitty!".

    -Mike 

    Tuesday Feb 18, 2014

    Some impressions from Austalia

    Being again in Australia was - again - a great experience. If only traveling to Down Under wouldn't take this long ... :-) But thanks to everybody who showed up - and sorry to those which got a "Sorry, it's sold out already!" message. It was pure fun to talk to you and we'll hope to get a lot of people to move onwards to Oracle 12c as soon as possible. Don't forget: 11.2 will go out of Premier Support in less than 12 months from now on. Of course we'll return one day - and certainly our colleagues from Oracle Australia will be able to assist you as well regarding your upgrade and migration efforts.

    Please feel free to grab the slides via this link:
    Upgrade, Migrate & Consolidate to Oracle Database 12c
    [30MB PDF]

    And here are some impressions from a RAINY weekend in Sydney ;-)


    -Mike

    Thursday Feb 13, 2014

    Collaborate '14 Early Bird Registration ends Today!

    Mike and I are in Sydney, Australia delivering an upgrade workshop today, but I am also looking forward to the Collaborate '14 conference in April. I will have a talk about upgrading to Oracle Database 12c, and of course there will be plenty of information about Oracle Multitenant, applications, and other aspects of your Oracle environment. 

    Collaborate 14 banner

    Early bird registration ends today, so if you want to save some money and attend a conference that is always chock full of good technical presentations, register today!

    Tuesday Feb 11, 2014

    New 11.2.0.4 Parameter: ENABLE_GOLDENGATE_REPLICATION

    Just learned something new I couldn't find actually in the doc at the first glance:

    There's a new init.ora parameter introduced in Oracle Database 11.2.0.4 named:
    ENABLE_GOLDENGATE_REPLICATION

    By default it is set to FALSE and the parameter got introduced because not only the external use of Oracle GoldenGate requires a valid license but also the use of the internal APIs. For example, XStream provides high performance APIs that enable client applications to receive and send real-time data changes from an Oracle database. Other APIs were added for encryption support, trigger suppression, etc. None of these APIs are licensed with the Oracle database itself - the license is included with an Oracle GoldenGate license, and most of the APIs are not public.

    So please make sure if you turn ENABLE_GOLDENGATE_REPLICATION=TRUE that you'll need to have a valid Oracle GoldenGate license in place.

    That will apply to 3rd party products such as Dell Shareplex as well in case they'll switch it to true.

    -Mike

    ---
    Addition: As a customer talked to me about that during the Sydney workshop last week I'd like to point out that this paramater does not effect the use of Oracle GoldenGate as a stand-alone tool but only the internal interfaces inside the database.

    Friday Feb 07, 2014

    Airfare Pricing vs. Oracle Multitenant for DBaaS?

    I'm currently evalutating flight options to and from India for the 3 workshops in March in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore.

    As everything at Oracle is fully self-serviced I've got stuck in our booking tool for over an hour now just wondering ... wondering ... wondering ...

    For instance I wonder why an Economy class ticket with Lufthansa and Swiss to Mumbai and return from Bangalore will cost over EUR 5000 (no joke!!!) even though Swiss is a 100% subsidiary of Lufthansa.

    whereas I can fly a slightly different route with Delta Airlines only from Germany to the US and back to Amsterdam and then further to Mumbai for less than half of the price - even though this includes different airlines as well (KLM and Delta) and will take more than twice as long and almsost triple the distance:

    Roy (kudos!) and I had this great idea if YOU as a customer would match airline pricing strategy to your internal Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS) strategy?

    • First of all you make the price dependent on the time frame one odered a fresh PDB
      • The earlier the cheaper - except for the last week before a fixed date as now you'll have to max out allocated resources
    • Second you will have to make it completely intransparent so nobody will be able to proof against your pricing strategy being insane
    • Third you should make the price also depend on the process somebody used to order a PDB
    • Furthermore you should introduce some extra components such as "serviced by a lead DBA" will make it more expensive
      • Same for "served by another companies expert" - even though you own that company as well
    • And don't forget to include some components which will give yourself perfect flexibility such as "The enegery prices climbed up this week so unfortunately we'll have to make the provisioning and operation of a PDB more expensive" - and never take back this price growth (or if you do so then just by a portion of it)
      • Or tell people they'll get a special price with the only downside that the department working with this PDB will have to get up to work now at 3:40am in the morning and the PDB won't be accessible after 9am anymore

    Wouldn't this be a wonderful pricing model?

    Of course you read my irony and sarcasm. You know the answer: You'll be in real trouble if you'd offer such a service and pricng internally to anybody. But I'll never understand airline pricing models ...

    -Mike

    Wednesday Jan 29, 2014

    Hurry up!
    The next round of workshops is almost fully booked!

    We've had a short email exchange today with the organizers of the following round of workshops in Australia and Asia - and you should really hurry up in case you plan to attend as some locations are already overbooked.


    Tuesday Jan 28, 2014

    MS Windows Bundle Patches - a VERY different story

    I like Upgrade Workshops for a very different reason:
    Hopefully people feed back with questions and information I wasn't aware off before. So for myself these workshops are also a learning experience. And thanks to a customer in Singapore (Thanks a lot, Hanh!!) I learned something about Oracle's Bundle Patches for MS Windows.

    Customer asked about a specific issue when using RMAN Duplicate command in 12c failing with a nice ORA-600 [KSRPCSEXEC_1]. This got logged a while ago as bug16883554 - and it will be fixed in database patch set 12.1.0.2. But this customer asked for an earlier delivery.

    So after a quick check of the SR and the bug it was clear that this patch will be also included for the MS Windows platform into the Bundle Patch 12.1.0.1.4 on Win.
    Well, my first thought: Ouch! That will be the July 2014 PSU.

    But in fact it isn't meant here. So I learned that on Windows patching runs on a different schedule and notation. 

    MOS Note:161549.1 will tell you all the details about:
    Oracle Database, Networking and Grid Agent Patches for Microsoft Platforms

    64-Bit x64 Patches :

    Patch

    Patch Location Bug Fix List Notes
    12.1.0.1.4 Target date End January 2014
    12.1.0.1.3 Bug:17977915 Patch:17977915 Requires 12.1.0.1.0

    -Mike 

    Monday Jan 27, 2014

    Thank you for coming to our workshops :-)
    And here's the Upgrade to 12c Viewlet

    Wow!!! That was a thrilling week. With great people in Singapore, Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur!!! Thanks for coming by and thanks for listening. Now it will be your task to upgrade/migrate to Oracle Database 12c as soon as possible ;-)

    We've had:

    • 105 people in Singapore on Tueday, January 21
    • 82 people in Jakarta on Wednesday, January 22
    • 108 people in KL on Thursday, January 23

    and many good discussions within the breaks or after the workshop. And thanks to those who send an email already.

    For us heading out directly after the workshops to rush to the airport becomes a bit strenous during the week. But overall having the chance to talk to you and get you some good insight view about upgrades, migrations and consolidation pays out and is worth it :-)

    As promissed we did upload the Upgrade to Oracle Database 12c Viewlet now to Youtube. No audio yet - will come in a later stage as I will have to re-record it with another software. And more to come - so please stay tuned. I will announce it as soon as they'll be available. Furthermore I will add a new tag on the right column (this layout unfortunately does not allow to add something on the left column) so after some time you'll see a selection of videos there.

    -Mike

    Thursday Jan 16, 2014

    New Version of Slide Deck available:
    Upgrade/Migrate/Consolidate to Oracle Database 12c

    Finally ... we refreshed our entire Upgrade, Migrate & Consolidate to Oracle Database 12c slide deck. And hey, it has not even 460 slides right now ;-) We changed a lot - not only the format to 16x9 but also a lot of the content. It's not entirely 12c - so everybody interested still in Oracle Database 11.2 will find a lot of useful information in it.


    Click on the slide to download the entire presentation as PDF

    Download it from this location:
    Upgrade, Migrate & Consolidate to Oracle Database 12c
    [30MB PDF]

    -Mike

    PS: Roy and I are both "shocked" in a very positive way. As of Jan 16 we've had over 12,000 downloads in 6 months of our 12c slide deck. Just for comparison: in exactly the past 12 months we've had less than 8000 downloads of our 11.2 presentation ... wow!!!

    About

    Mike Dietrich - Oracle Mike Dietrich
    Senior Principal Technologist - Database Upgrade Development Group - Oracle Corporation

    Based near Munich/Germany and spending plenty of time in airplanes to run either upgrade workshops or work onsite with reference customers. Acting as interlink between customers and the Upgrade Development.

    Contact me either via XING or LinkedIn

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