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 :-)


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 ...


Thursday Mar 13, 2014

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


*** Please read this newer blog post as well ***
*** Please read this newer blog post as well ***


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 (and to Oracle Database until Aug 27, 2015) only!!! Now if you think of upgrading to Oracle 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 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)


    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 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 (the terminal patch set) or on Oracle Database In the latter case patching will end by August 27, 2015 - which is described clearly in MOS Note: 742060.1

    Release Patching Ends

    Exceptions* 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). 27-Aug-2015 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!


    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


    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 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!!!


    Monday Mar 03, 2014

    Upgrade Workshops in India in March 2014

    *** 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 :-)


    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).

    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!


    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!".


    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 ;-)


    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


    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 named:

    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.


    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 ...


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


    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.


    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]


    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!!!

    Workshops 2013 - Recap and Map

    2013 wasn't a quiet year. But due to the slip of Oracle Database 12c we've had way less workshops than in the years before. But less workshops doesn't mean less work. It just means different tasks such as more development work, refreshing our entire slide deck (will be uploaded tonight in a fresh new version), learning about new stuff such as Oracle Multitenant, attending at the OTN ACE Tour in Scandinavia, South and Mid America.

    In tradition we'll publish a map with markers in countries Roy and I had been in the past year. You can access it in FULL SIZE (or click on the map below) or just look at the tiny picture below.

    And you may compare it to 2012 and 2011.

    My statistics on flying are still showing penty of "air" time - as you may or may not know more or less almost everything in Coach/Economy/Cattle class :-(

    I like especially this stat here - in my peak year 2011 I had over 450 hours in the air. Last year it were just 217 hours (i.e.almost a forth of the time a crew member spends up in the air - time on the runway and to/from the airport is not included here) but a crew member's job is to work for the airline - and I work in addition to all that travel ;-)

    Finally the last one here - flown around the globe almost 4x.

     CU you somewhere in 2014 - it will just start on Saturday ...


    Thursday Jan 09, 2014

    Oracle Database 12c for AIX, HP-UX IA and zLinux now available

    It took a while ... but finally Oracle Database 12c is available for:

    Oracle Database 12c Release 1
    Standard Edition, Standard Edition One, and Enterprise Edition


    Tuesday Jan 07, 2014

    Upcoming ASIA Upgrade to Oracle 12c workshops


    Happy New Year to all of you and your families!!!


    We have still a few remaining seats for the upcoming workshops in January 2014.

    Oracle Database 12c Upgrade, Migrate and Consolidate Workshops

    • Singapore - Jan 21, 2014
      • Register Here!
        @Singapore Post Centre Theatrette - Level 5 - 10 Eunos Road 8 - Singapore 408600

    • Jakarta/Indonesia - Jan 22, 2014
    • Kuala Lumpur/Malaysia - Jan 23, 2014

    Oracle's Global Server Technology Upgrade Development Group offers you an opportunity to attend this exclusive full day seminar on how to Upgrade, Migrate & Consolidate to Oracle Database 12c.

    Oracle's latest generation of database technology has significant new features. It offers great potential for migrations and consolidation, making more efficient use of hardware and delivering major improvements in management efficiency.

    In this seminar the Oracle Database Upgrade Development team will guide you through several different examples of upgrade, migration and consolidation techniques and strategies - shown with real world customer cases.

    You will learn:
    • How to take full advantage of the new features and options in Database 12c
    • The changes and enhancements to the Oracle Database upgrade process
    • Best practices to upgrade and migrate successfully

    So you may register asap and spread the word :-)
    Looking forward to meet you there!


    Monday Dec 16, 2013

    Why you shouldn't set OPTIMIZER_FEATURES_ENABLE

    Roy today answered an interesting question on one of our internal mailing lists. And this reminds me to pick up that piece of information as we see this quite often on customer sites, especially after upgrades or migrations. People set OPTIMIZER_FEATURES_ENABLE (OFE) to revert the optimizer's behaviour to another pre-current release. That's what a lot of people think this parameter does.

    But in fact this is not true. Even though our documentation states it:

    OPTIMIZER_FEATURES_ENABLE acts as an umbrella parameter for enabling a series of optimizer features based on an Oracle release number.

    For example, if you upgrade your database from release 10.1 to release 11.1, but you want to keep the release 10.1 optimizer behavior, you can do so by setting this parameter to 10.1.0. At a later time, you can try the enhancements introduced in releases up to and including release 11.1 by setting the parameter to

    In my experience the following is true:
    Setting this parameter reverts the optimizer settings in terms of parameters - but we still use the new optimizer code from that release you are on now. And as far as I know nobody ever tests if switching back OFE will turn back to exactly the behaviour as it was known in the release OFE is now switched to. So it's simply guessing and assuming. But as code got changed there's very little chance to get back to the old behaviour. 

    What people sometimes  experience:
    Turning back OFE brings back good performance. This can happen. But if we act really really really precise than the performance should always be better with the optimizer running with the new settings - and not when the wheel is turned back. So in some cases this should be treated as a bug unless new behaviour leads to predictable worse results (such as more buffer gets etc). And I get so angry when Oracle Support people recommend to switch OFE to this or that setting to cure one or the otther misbehaviour. That's like throwing a big rock to kill a fly. 

    But the real danger is described in the following note - and I'm pretty sure a lot of people are not aware of this:
    Reverting the optimizer parametrization with OFE can turn back to misbehaviour which got fixed already in the current release. MOS Note:1581465.1 describes this pretty well.

    And in addition regarding upgrades you may want to read this note here as well:
    MOS Note: 1362332.1
    Use Caution if Changing the OPTIMIZER_FEATURES_ENABLE Parameter After an Upgrade
    (Thanks Roy!)

    Stay away from tweaking anything with OFE. Use Real Application Testing's SQL Performance Analyzer (SPA) to find out which plans get changed and use SQL Plan Management (SPM) to nail down misbehaving plans in 11g or 12c.


    Friday Dec 06, 2013


    The Oracle Database 12c Interactive Quick Reference is a nice little tool which may help you quickly to find a view you are searching for or to get more information about background processes in Oracle Database 12c.

    Click through it:


    Tuesday Dec 03, 2013

    Starting up 252 PDBs automatically?

    In my recent posting I have explained the startup of many PDBs at the same time.

    But once you startup the container database CDB$ROOT the PDBs will stay in MOUNT status. So how do you start them during CDB$ROOT startup (or immediately afterwards) in an automatic fashion?

    A startup trigger will do this job.

    CREATE OR REPLACE TRIGGER startup_all_pdbs





    And of course you can use the EXCEPT command option to exclude one or more PDBs from the automatic startup.

    CREATE OR REPLACE TRIGGER startup_all_pdbs_except_a_few


    How does this work in an Oracle Real Application Clusters environment?
    In an RAC environment you won't need the startup trigger as clusterware takes over this role of ensuring the automatic startup of a PDB on designated nodes within the CDB$ROOT's instances.

    srvctl add service -db rac -service pdbrac_srv -pdb pdbrac -preferred "rac1,rac2"

    A snipet from the crsctl status output will look like this:

       crsctl status resource -t
             1    ONLINE  ONLINE   rac-server01       Open,STABLE
             2    ONLINE  ONLINE   rac-server02       Open,STABLE
             1    ONLINE  ONLINE   rac-server01       STABLE
             2    ONLINE  ONLINE   rac-server02       STABLE



    Mike Dietrich - Oracle Mike Dietrich
    Master Product Manager - Database Upgrade & Migrations - Oracle Corp

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

    Follow me on TWITTER

    Contact me via LinkedIn or XING


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