Why "We'll wait for the 2nd release!" is a misconception ...

Oh, how often have I heard this phrase:

"We'll wait for the second release!"

And sometimes it makes me really anxious and angry at the same time when I hear that.

Anxious because it means that somebody has no strategy for the database upgrades/migrations and is just postponing necessary tasks to sometime in the future. Easy deal but not very clever

Angry because this is a way of thinking from the 90s/00s when Oracle had this "10.1", then later "10.2" strategy in database releases. But we are in 2014 now. And things have changed. Changed a lot in fact.

I'm probably not the only person who would love to see if we'd remove this "first" and "second" release tags. This has become obsolete with Oracle 11.1. We were telling customers officially that this is the brand new fantastic Oracle Database 11g release. But in fact it was - from the coding perspective - more or less a very stable 10g. In my workshops I did call it Oracle 10.3 with a marketing sticker on it. And as far as I can see the customer's I've had helped with going live on Oracle Database 11.1.0.7 were quite happy. Some really large shops still work with this release today with hundreds of databases in production.

But honestly most of the changes got introduced with Oracle Database 11.2. And not for a small number of customers this meant waiting for the first patch set (which since then has become a full release). Plenty of people went live with Oracle Database 11.2.0.2. But a lot of the remarkable changes got introduced not in Oracle 11.1 but in Oracle 11.2. Just remember things such as the move from Clusterware to Grid Infrastructure. But also minor things such as DEFERRED_SEGMENT_CREATION and plenty of optimizer news.

Now with Oracle Database 12c and the first patch set (full release) 12.1.0.2 I have heard this again - and I see it on the mailing list as well once a week:

"When will Oracle 12.2 be available?"

Well, that's the misconception. It's true, Oracle Database 12.1.0.2 has new features and extensions. But it has also many fixes over the already very stable Oracle 12.1.0.1. Why should anybody wait for Oracle 12.2 now? Because it's supposed to be THE SECOND release? Forget this - this is thinking from the old days.
We are in year 2014 now.

And then spend a minute to look closer to the Support Policy.

  • Oracle Database 11.2 will go out of Premier Support in 6 months. Yes!!! 6 months
  • And correct, we'll give everybody on Oracle 11.2.0.4 one full year of Extended Support for free
  • For Oracle 11.2.0.3 Extended Support will end 28-AUG-2015

That means if you plan to stay on Oracle 11.2.0.3/4 for a longer period you'll either have to calculate 20% extra of your support fee for the 2nd year of Extended Support. Or you prefer to "hope".

I can't tell you when Oracle 12.2 will be available - and I don't care. Usually people wait for the first patch set anyways which gets releases based on experience from the past 3 databases releases roughly a year and a bit after the initial release. Just do the math and you'll see where you end up with this strategy.

My recommendations are:

  • Stop thinking about THE SECOND release
  • Evaluate Oracle Database 12.1.0.2 now - not tomorrow
  • Look at the Support Policy - you need to start your upgrades as soon as possible
-Mike 

 

 

Comments:

Always a pleasure to read your posts. But this time, Mike, you're just a PR person. Didn't 12.1.0.1 have a bug where if one of the PDB system tablespaces failed you had to bring down the whole CDB for restore?

These are not misconceptions but huge bugs in R1 that doom the first release uptake. Other than that new release doesn't differ at all from a patchset, same new code, same new risk.

Posted by guest on July 25, 2014 at 09:19 AM CEST #

Hi there,

thanks for your comment and reply :-)

In fact I don't want to do PR - I do just the math and I see what happens with the customers I had helped so far to go live on Oracle Database 12c.

I'd more or less agree with you about Multitenant - and when you look closely into the number of fixes in 12.1.0.2 for Multitenant (>1800 i.e. roughly 10%) I think we are both on the same page.

But how many people really consider Multitenant in Oracle Database 12.1.0.1? All customers I am working with or worked with in the past months consider 12c as regular, non-Multitenant deployment.

And there were bugs. Right. But that's why you'll need PSUs - or now the patch set.

Again, I'm not doing PR at all (at least I try not to do so) as I don't have a reason to do such a thing. I see customers out there telling me over and over again the same stories about potential bugs, issues, risk etc. But when I look closely I see people with tons of 10g or 11.2.0.2/3 (and even older databases). And those people sit down with us and tell me they'll wait for 12.2. Well, I insist as this is completely the wrong strategy. And the worst part: This strategy will cost a lot of money as it does when you let your OS run out of support and such (Windows XP in the public sector is a wonderful example for this apart from databases).

Thanks :-)
Mike

Posted by Mike on July 25, 2014 at 03:41 PM CEST #

I'm on 11.2.0.3 now and was considering 11.2.0.4 but when you get down to it, a patch set is pretty much the same outage and basic steps as an upgrade. So for my next outage in January I'll go from 11.2.0.3 to whatever is current on 12c.

And I won't have to worry about extended support fees.

I like this post. It backs up my thinking.

Posted by zsysdba on July 28, 2014 at 06:35 AM CEST #

But wasn't it Oracle who used it's customers as beta testers for their first releases? Since ages you just can't use a new release of database in production due to enormous number of bugs. AFAIR same was with the initial 11g release, not the 11.1.0.7. I would say that many customers don't wait for the second release but for the second or even better third patch set. I personally have a rule of thumb - never use Oracle database in production before third patch set is released (I mean 12.1.0.3 for 12c, e.g.).

Posted by guest on July 28, 2014 at 11:08 AM CEST #

Thanks, zsysdba :-)

-Mike

Posted by Mike on July 29, 2014 at 10:17 PM CEST #

"Guest",

in all my workshops for many years I explain before the first break how proper patching works. I wouldn't recommend you to go live on ANY fully unpatched release, no matter if it's called 11.2.0.4 or 12.1.0.2.

Therefore I hope my message should be clear:
Everybody should start testing with 12.1.0.2 now. Usually testing cycles run between months and (in some cases) some years. Before you'll go live you should check for recent patches (PSU, one-offs) and apply them as well. Then you go live. And I'd bet with you - IF YOU DID PROPER TESTING - you won't feel misused as a beta tester. If you don't agree drop me an email - I'll send you our non-binding reference agreement and I'll assist you in the next months with your go-live on 12.1.0.2 :-) At no extra costs ...

Cheers, Mike

Posted by Mike on July 29, 2014 at 10:27 PM CEST #

Hi.

I was expecting us to wait for 12.2, but it looks like we will be going 12.1.0.2 relatively soon for some DBs.

I'm not against first releases. It really comes down to what I expect to get out of them. In some cases, the new features are worth the upgrade. For other projects, that still use Oracle like it's Oracle 7, then an upgrade to the terminal release of each major version seems sensible...

As always, the answer is "it depends"... :)

If 12.2 takes as long to come out as 12.1 did, then either Oracle will have to extend the free extended support further, or people will be forced to go 12.1...

Cheers

Tim...

Posted by guest on August 01, 2014 at 06:01 PM CEST #

Hi Tim,

with you doing the upgrades I'd guess all will rn perfectly well. And in case of emergency you'll have my phone number ;-)

Hope to see you soon again!

Cheers, Mike

Posted by Mike on August 05, 2014 at 07:45 PM CEST #

Hi,

I'am a Java Developer at an ISV. I have heard this "wait for the second release" pragma very often from our customers. But when I tried to test if our application runs on a 12.1.0.1 Database I had a lot of new bugs in the 12.1 release. More than in any other release change before since Oracle 9. So I understand why everyone is asking for a second release. If you are responsible for a production database stability is what counts. Not fancy new features!

Regards,

Alex

Posted by guest on August 08, 2014 at 03:29 PM CEST #

OK, returned from PoC on M6-32. oracle pushed PoC to be done on 12.1.0.1 very hard (there was an clmpetitor where 12.1.0.2 is not available), "it is a stable release". they were not able even to create database on their own flagship, moved over to 12.1.0.2 and hit at least 4 bugs... RMAN unable to duplicate database with huge bigfǐe tablespace (over 2 TB), concurrent union combined with parallel query and remote database is using parallel in inaproppiate way, ... very new osm not used due bug... no, enough of 12.1.0.2.
let agile development (and some other cascaders) to move to 12c, but stable applications have to wait for 12.2.0.2 or 12.2.0.3 again. fortunately, our company is big (and angry about upgrades) enough, so we will be given extended support for 11.2.0.4 to the end of 2016 free of charge

Posted by guest on October 30, 2014 at 05:14 AM CET #

"guest",

I fully disagree with your opinion - and actually the basis of a successful project is proper checking for PSUs, BPs and one-off patches. If you'll ever visit one of my workshops that is what I explain before the first break - otherwise you fail, no matter if it is the first, the second or whatever release. Send me the bug numbers of the issues you have hit and I'll verify if any of the issues was new.

Cheers - Mike

Posted by Mike on October 31, 2014 at 07:19 PM CET #

HI,
A co-worker just learned (today, Nov. 18, 2014) about the following official Oracle NOTE:

Temporary Suspension of 12c Database as EM 12cR4 Repository (Doc ID 1920632.1)

Thoughts?

Thanks, Scott.

Posted by Scott on November 18, 2014 at 08:55 PM CET #

Ouch ... yes, I see that as well. And the NOTE has a status from August 27, 2014. Let me investigate this - and as soon as I have news (as I had another customer asking or complaining about it just a few days ago) I'll post it on the blog.

Cheers
Mike

Posted by Mike on November 19, 2014 at 12:11 PM CET #

"When will Oracle 12.2 be available?"

please see Note:742060.1 for details.
1HCY2016 then Date falls within the 1st half (six months) of 2016.

Posted by guest on April 03, 2015 at 09:22 AM CEST #

I was told my someone inside Oracle that they are working to second half of 2016 now. I mentioned this MOS note and the date it contained and their comment was "that date is wrong". Considering the beta period hasn't even started yet, not even the call for beta participants, it would be surprising if they hit the first half of 2016.

I guess we will see what the real answer is when it is released. :)

Cheers

Tim...

Posted by Tim Hall on April 03, 2015 at 10:29 AM CEST #

Tim,

I won't comment in public - but the official date is still set. Let's talk when we meet again :-)

Happy Easter!
Mike

Posted by Mike on April 03, 2015 at 12:35 PM CEST #

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About

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.

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