Friday Feb 20, 2015

Downgrade Oracle Restart 12c - Grid Infrastructure only?

Oracle RestartCan you downgrade your Oracle Restart installation from Oracle 12c back to Oracle 11g?

Actually there's no real direct downgrade supported for Oracle Restart. But of course there's a way to do it.

Basically it is: 

  • Deconfigure Oracle Restart in 12c
  • Configure Oracle Restart in 11g 

But wait a minute. It is very important to know if you have upgraded your database already. If that is the case then first you MUST downgrade your database(s) as you can't manage a higher version Oracle Database with a lower version Clusterware.

So first of all, please downgrade your Oracle database(s) first: 

At the next stage you'll need to "downgrade" the Oracle Clusterware resp Grid Infrastructure for Oracle Restart: 

Before you attempt this you'll need to deconfigure the Restart resources - and please be aware that here's a small difference in commands between Oracle 12.1.0.2 and Oracle 12.1.0.1.

This is from the documentation for Oracle 12.1.0.2

  • Deconfigure Oracle Restart:
    • Log in as root
    • cd /u01/app/12.1.0.2/grid/crs/install
    • roothas.sh -deconfig -force
  • Once this is complete you can now deinstall the Grid Infrastructure with the deinstall tool
  • Then you will need either to reinstall the previous - for instance Oracle 11.2.0.4 - Grid Infrastructure or - if it's still present on the machine - reconfigure it by running root.sh from the previous Clusterware's home
  • And finally reconfigure the database(s) again with Clusterware
    • $ srvctl downgrade database -d db-unique-name -o oraclehome -t to_version

.
In case you'd plan to do this exercise back from Oracle 12.1.0.1 instead then you'll have different steps to follow to deconfigure Oracle Restart 12.1.0.1:

  • Deconfigure Oracle Restart 12.1.0.1
    • # cd /u01/app/12.1.0.1/grid/crs/install
    • # /u01/app/12.1.0.1/grid/perl/bin/perl /u01/app/12.1.0.1/grid/crs/install/roothas.pl -deconfig
      .
--Mike

Thursday Jan 22, 2015

Non-CDB architecture of Oracle databases is DEPRECATED since Oracle Database 12.1.0.2

Beginning with Oracle Database 12.1.0.2 a non-CDB architecture is deprecated.

non-CDB deprecated in Oracle 12.1.0.2

--

What does this mean?

Deprecation first of all does not mean "desupported". It means in this case that you of course can have still stand-alone Oracle databases as you know the architecture from previous releases. But you can also have a single-tenant deployment (a CDB with one PDB - no Multitenant license required) or multitenant databases (a CDB with up to 252 PDBs - Multitenant Option license required).

But in a future Oracle release single-tenant and multitenant databases only may be allowed. Right now there's no information available when this might happen. --

Which features are not supported at the moment?

  • Database Change Notification
  • Continuous Query Notification (CQN)
  • Client Side Cache
  • Heat Map
  • Automatic Data Optimization
  • Oracle Streams
  • Oracle Fail Safe
  • Flashback Pluggable Database (Flashback Database works but will flashback CDB$ROOT including all PDBs)
  • DBVERIFY
  • Data Recovery Advisor (DRA)
  • Flashback Transaction Backout 

-Mike 

---

From the Upgrade Guide:
By deprecate, we mean that the feature is no longer being enhanced but is still supported for the full life of the 12.1 release. By desupported, we mean that Oracle will no longer fix bugs related to that feature and may remove the code altogether. Where indicated, a deprecated feature may be desupported in a future major release

Friday Jan 09, 2015

Oracle 12.1.0.2 is now certified with Oracle EBS 12.2

Just copying this information from Steven Chang's blog: 

Please note that Oracle Database 12.1.0.2 is already certified with EBS 12.1. 

-Mike 

Tuesday Sep 02, 2014

Unified Auditing - is it ON or OFF in Oracle 12c?

Don't trust our slides - only believe what you've verified by yourself ;-)

Actually one of our slides gives a parameter recommendation to set AUDIT_TRAIL since Oracle 11g explicitly to the value you want as otherwise it may switch to "DB" and you may not be aware of it. In conjunction with this setting we explain the new Oracle Database 12c feature Unified Auditing - which is not linked into the kernel and therefore should be off.

Should be ... well ... thanks to Marco Patzwahl who asked me why he still has over 100 audit records in V$UNIFIED_AUDIT_TRAIL? Good question - and I've had no answer. But Carol, my manager, knew the right person to ask. And Naveen replied within minutes (thanks!!!).

Here are the facts: 

  • Unified Auditing is not linked into the Oracle 12c kernel by default to offer people the choice to use it and to avoid conflicts in case somebody has auditing ON already - so neither during an upgrade nor with a fresh 12c database you'll see it included into the kernel. It will have to be linked in manually (see our slides)
    • Check if Unified Auditing is present in your environment:
      SQL> select VALUE from V$OPTION where PARAMETER='Unified Auditing';
    • In case you'll link it into the kernel
      cd $ORACLE_HOME/rdbms/lib
      make -f ins_rdbms.mk
      uniaud_on ioracle ORACLE_HOME=$ORACLE_HOME

      make sure you set AUDIT_TRAIL=NONE afterwards as otherwise both auditing mechanisms will run concurrently
  • But even though it is not linked into the kernel a bit of Unified Auditing is ON by default in MIXED MODE when you create a fresh Oracle 12c database.
    • MIXED MODE auditing?
      • See the documentation for further information
      • Just two policies are enabled by default: ORA_SECURECONFIG and ORA_LOGON_FAILURES
  • Turn Unfiied Auditing OFF?
    • If is has been linked in into the kernel, unlink it:
      cd $ORACLE_HOME/rdbms/lib
      make -f ins_rdbms.mk 
      uniaud_off ioracle ORACLE_HOME=$ORACLE_HOME
    • Disable the two default policies - this will turn off any Unified Auditing features:
      SQL> noaudit policy ORA_SECURECONFIG;
      Noaudit succeeded.
      SQL> noaudit policy ORA_LOGON_FAILURES;
      Noaudit succeeded.


-Mike

Friday Aug 22, 2014

Automatic Maintenance Jobs in every PDB?
New SPM Evolve Advisor Task in Oracle 12.1.0.2

A customer checking out our slides from the OTN Tour in August 2014 asked me a finicky question the other day:

"According to the documentation the Automatic SQL Tuning Advisor maintenance task gets executed only within the CDB$ROOT, but not within each PDB - but the slides are not clear here. So what is the truth?"

Ok, that's good question. In my understanding all tasks will get executed within each PDB - that's why we recommend (based on experience) to break up the default maintenance windows when using Oracle Multitenant. Otherwise all PDBs will have the same maintenance windows, and guess what will happen when 25 PDBs start gathering object statistics at the same time ...

The documentation indeed says:

Automatic SQL Tuning Advisor data is stored in the root. It might have results about SQL statements executed in a PDB that were analyzed by the advisor, but these results are not included if the PDB is unplugged. A common user whose current container is the root can run SQL Tuning Advisor manually for SQL statements from any PDB. When a statement is tuned, it is tuned in any container that runs the statement.

This sounds reasonable. But when we have a look into our PDBs or into the CDB_AUTOTASK_CLIENT view the result is different from what the doc says. In my environment I did create just two fresh empty PDBs (CON_ID 3 and 4):

SQL> select client_name, status, con_id from cdb_autotask_client;

CLIENT_NAME                           STATUS         CON_ID
------------------------------------- ---------- ----------
auto optimizer stats collection       ENABLED             1
sql tuning advisor                    ENABLED             1
auto space advisor                    ENABLED             1
auto optimizer stats collection       ENABLED             4
sql tuning advisor                    ENABLED             4
auto space advisor                    ENABLED             4
auto optimizer stats collection       ENABLED             3
sql tuning advisor                    ENABLED             3
auto space advisor                    ENABLED             3

9 rows selected.

I haven't verified the reason why this is different from the docs but it may have been related to one change in Oracle Database 12.1.0.2: The new SPM Evolve Advisor Task ( SYS_AUTO_SPM_EVOLVE_TASK) for automatic plan evolution for SQL Plan Management. This new task doesn't appear as a stand-alone job (client) in the maintenance window but runs as a sub-entity of the Automatic SQL Tuning Advisor task. And (I'm just guessing) this may be one of the reasons why every PDB will have to have its own Automatic SQL Tuning Advisor task 

Here you'll find more information about how to enable, disable and configure the new Oracle 12.1.0.2 SPM Evolve Advisor Task:

-Mike

Grid Infrastructure Management Repository (GIMR)
database now mandatory in Oracle GI 12.1.0.2

During the installation of Oracle Grid Infrastructure 12.1.0.1 you've had the following option to choose YES/NO to install the Grid Infrastructure Management Repository (GIMR) database MGMTDB:

With Oracle Grid Infrastructure 12.1.0.2 this choice has become obsolete and the above screen does not appear anymore. The GIMR database has become mandatory

What gets stored in the GIMR?

See the changes in Oracle Clusterware 12.1.0.2 here:

  • Automatic Installation of Grid Infrastructure Management Repository

    The Grid Infrastructure Management Repository is automatically installed with Oracle Grid Infrastructure 12crelease 1 (12.1.0.2). The Grid Infrastructure Management Repository enables such features as Cluster Health Monitor, Oracle Database QoS Management, and Rapid Home Provisioning, and provides a historical metric repository that simplifies viewing of past performance and diagnosis of issues. This capability is fully integrated into Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control for seamless management.

Furthermore what the doc doesn't say explicitly:

  • The -MGMTDB has now become a single-tenant deployment having a CDB with one PDB
    • This will allow the use of a Utility Cluster that can hold the CDB for a collection of GIMR PDBs
  • When you've had already an Oracle 12.1.0.1 GIMR this database will be destroyed and recreated
    • Preserving the CHM/OS data can be acchieved with OCULMON to dump it out into node view
  • The data files associated with it will be created within the same disk group as OCR or VOTING
    •  The OUI will get the disk groups for OCR and Voting and chooses the first one - which usually is the first OCR. This may lead to serious space issues. It is tracked internally as Bug:19661882  In a future release there may be an option offered to put in into a separate disk group.
      Workaround would be to move the affected OCR to another disk group (use ocrconfig command for it) - see MOS Note:1589394.1
  • Some important MOS Notes:
    • MOS Note 1568402.1
      FAQ: 12c Grid Infrastructure Management Repository, states there's no supported procedure to enable Management Database once the GI stack is configured
    • MOS Note 1589394.1
      How to Move GI Management Repository to Different Shared Storage
      (shows how to delete and recreate the MGMTDB)
    • MOS Note 1631336.1
      Cannot delete Management Database (MGMTDB) in 12.1
  • Average growth size per day per node is roughly 650-750 MB. E.g. a 4 node cluster would lead at the default retention of 3 days to an approximate size of  5.9-6.8 GB
  • Change the retention:
    $CRS_HOME/bin/oclumon manage -repos checkretentiontime 260000

-Mike

PS: Kudos to Sebastian Solbach who updated me on the things to add (retention, average growth, OUI choosing the first disk group displayed for the MGMTDB) - cheers!

Thursday Aug 14, 2014

RMAN Catalog requires Enterprise Edition (EE)
since Oracle Database 12.1.0.2

Credits go to Cameron Hodge, Malcom and Martin Mäs who all highlighted issues to me following my previous entry about RMAN - and sorry for any disappointment but I wasn't aware of all these nice little things. 

Ok, you'd upgrade your RMAN Catalog to be ready to backup/recover Oracle Database 12.1.0.2 databases and you see this error:

RMAN> upgrade catalog;

error creating create_deleted_object_seq
RMAN-00571: ===========================================================
RMAN-00569: =============== ERROR MESSAGE STACK FOLLOWS ===============
RMAN-00571: ===========================================================

RMAN-06004: ORACLE error from recovery catalog database: ORA-00439: feature not enabled: Partitioning

Now you start to wonder as your Catalog Database had been an Oracle Standard Edition (SE) database for quite a while - and of course an SE database does not have Partitioning on. And on the side the Oracle Partitioning Option is licensable option.

First of all this new behavior gets introduced with Oracle Database 12.1.0.2. And as far as I know it is not documented in relation to the "upgrade catalog". 

The valid workaround leads to a new feature called Infrastructure Repository Database - which is always an EE database without the need for extra licensening as all feature will be used only by Oracle internal mechanisms. 

Licensing doc:
http://docs.oracle.com/database/121/DBLIC/editions.htm#DBLIC119

Infrastructure Repository Databases

A separate single instance Oracle Database can be installed and used as an infrastructure repository for RMAN, Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control, Automatic Workload Repository (AWR) Warehouse, Global Data Services Catalog, and Grid Infrastructure Management Repository without additional license requirements, provided that all the targets are correctly licensed. It may not be used or deployed for other uses.

The infrastructure repositories for RMAN, Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control, AWR Warehouse, and Global Data Services Catalog can be shared in one database, or deployed in separate databases. Enterprise Edition must be used for the infrastructure repository database(s).

Furthermore the Recovery Manager documentation mentions this:

Creating and Managing Virtual Private Catalogs with Oracle Database 12c Release 1 (12.1.0.2)

Note:

Starting with Oracle Database 12c Release 1 (12.1.0.2), virtual private catalogs can be used only with the Enterprise Edition of the Oracle Database. This functionality is not supported for the Standard Edition.

Now this is a bit misleading as most of you won't use the Virtual Private Catalogs - but even though you may not use it still some of the functionality is in your catalog already. And therefore every RMAN catalog beginning with Oracle Database 12.1.0.2 must be hosted in an Enterprise Edition database which does not require an EE license.

The next question is:
How do I migrate my catalog into an EE database?

There are two options whereas I'd prefer the one mentioned in the RMAN documentation:

And there are more things to mention:

  • DBMS_LOB package must be present
  • UTL_HTTP must be present

.

To summarize to successfully upgrade your RMAN catalog:

  • You need to execute this script before upgrading the catalog:
    SQL> @$ORACLE_HOME/rdbms/admin/dbmsrmansys.sql
  • Your database hosting the RMAN Catalog beginning with Oracle 12.1.0.2:
    • Must be an Enterprise Edition database - no EE license required
    • Oracle Partitioning Option must be installed - no Partitioning lincese required
    • DBMS_LOB and UTL_HTTP packages must be present

-Mike                  

PS:  Credits for this addition go to Malcom!!! In addition to RMAN Catalog Database now requiring to be in an EE database this database will require the Partitioning Option linked in as well. See MOS Note:1927265.1

Monday Aug 11, 2014

RMAN Catalog Upgrade to Oracle 12.1.0.2

It sounds so simple - but in this specific case a bit of doc reading is required as upgrading the RMAN catalog to handle Oracle 12.1.0.2 databases is not as trivial as in the past. 

Thanks to a German customer and a friendly colleague from Sales Consulting in Stuttgart I have learned my RMAN lesson for Oracle Database 12.1.0.2 this week. A simple "upgrade catalog" is not the correct step once you'd like to handle backups of Oracle 12.1.0.2 databases in your current catalog schema. 

Even though you may not have ever heard before about Virtual Private Catalogs you need to follow this guideline:

http://docs.oracle.com/database/121/BRADV/rcmcatdb.htm#BRADV848

The doc tells you to run this step first:

SQL> @$ORACLE_HOME/rdbms/admin/dbmsrmansys.sql

  • Please ignore the "-all" option printed in the doc - this is a known docu bug
  • If you miss this step the upgrade of the catalog will fail with a warning that your user lacks privileges 

$ rman CATALOG my_catalog_owner@catdb
recovery catalog database Password: 
RMAN> UPGRADE CATALOG; 
RMAN> EXIT; 

It should work now :-)

-Mike 

Tuesday Aug 05, 2014

Upgrade PDBs - One at a Time (unplug/plug)

Basically there are two techniques to upgrade an Oracle Multitenant environment:

In this post I will refer to the "One at a Time" approach and describe the steps. During some presentations, discussions etc people were left with the impression that it will be a very simple approach to unplug one or many PDBs from a CDB in lets say Oracle 12.1.0.1 and plug it into an Oracle 12.1.0.2 Container Database. Bingo, upgraded!

Well, unfortunately this is not true. In fact it is completely wrong.


If you want to upgrade via unplug/plug the following steps will have to be followed:

  • In CDB1 environment - e.g. Oracle 12.1.0.1 with an PDB1
    • In SQL*Plus: 
      • alter session set container=PDB1;
      • @$ORACLE_HOME_12102/rdbms/admin/preupgrd.sql
        (The output of the preupgrade.log will show you the location of the fixups)
      • @/u01/app/oracle/cfgtoollogs/CDB1/preupgrade/preupgrade_fixups.sql
        (If ORACLE_BASE is not set the files will be created under $ORACLE_HOME/cfgtoollogs instead of $ORACLE_BASE/cfgtoollogs)
      • exec dbms_stats.gather_dictionary_stats;
        (plus include all additional treatments recommended by the preupgrade.log)
      • alter sesstion set container=CDB$ROOT; 
      • alter pluggable database PDB1 close;
      • alter pluggable database PDB1 unplug into '/stage/pdb1.xml';
      • exit
        .
  • In CDB2 environment - e.g. Oracle 12.1.0.2
    • In SQL*Plus:
      • alter session set container=CDB$ROOT;
      • At this point we "could" do a Plug In Check but as the COMPATIBLE of the new CDB2 created as per recommendation with DBCA defaults to "12.1.0.2" the Plug In Check will result in "NO" - but obviously the plugin operation will work. Just for the records here's the procedure to check plugin compatibility
        • SET SERVEROUTPUT ON
          DECLARE
            compatible CONSTANT VARCHAR2(3) := CASE DBMS_PDB.CHECK_PLUG_COMPATIBILITY(
            pdb_descr_file => '/stage/pdb1.xml',
            pdb_name => 'PDB1')
            WHEN TRUE THEN 'YES' ELSE 'NO'
          END;
          BEGIN
          DBMS_OUTPUT.PUT_LINE(compatible);
          END;
          /

          .
          select message, status from pdb_plug_in_violations where type like '%ERR%';
          .
      • create pluggable database pdb1 using '/stage/pdb1.xml' file_name_convert=('/oradata/CDB1/pdb1', '/oradata/CDB2/pdb1');
      • alter pluggable database PDB1 open upgrade;
      • exit
    • On the command prompt:
      • cd $ORACLE_HOME/rdbms/admin 
      • $ORACLE_HOME/perl/bin/perl catctl.pl -c "PDB1" -l /home/oracle/upgrade catupgrd.sql
    • Back into SQL*Plus:
      • alter session set container=pdb1;
      • startup
      • @?/rdbms/admin/utlrp.sql
      • @/u01/app/oracle/cfgtoollogs/CDB1/preupgrade/postupgrade_fixups.sql
        (If ORACLE_BASE is not set the files will be created under $ORACLE_HOME/cfgtoollogs instead of $ORACLE_BASE/cfgtoollogs)
Of course this technique will work also with more than one PDB at a given time. You'll have to repeat the steps, and your upgrade call on the command line will look like this:

      • $ORACLE_HOME/perl/bin/perl catctl.pl -c "PDB1, PDB2" -l /home/oracle/upgrade catupgrd.sql

Well, not really unplug+plug=upgraded ;-)

-Mike 

PS: I did add a few pieces of information based on the excellent feedback given to me by Frank Kobylanski from the MAA Team - cheers, Frank!!! 

Friday Aug 01, 2014

New (some undocumented) Parameters in Oracle 12.1.0.2

Every release offers some surprises - even to myself ;-)

Right now Roy and I are in the final steps to refresh our big slide deck to the new layout, but more important, to have Oracle 12.1.0.2 information included as well (were necessary). So I did my usual "compare parameters" query between releases - getting unusual surprises this time.

This is the list of new parameters introduced with the patch set Oracle Database 12.1.0.2. Where applicable I have added the link to the doc.

But as you may recognize not all of them are explained in the doc ;-)

  • DBFIPS_140
    • Default: FALSE
    • DBFIPS_140 enables Transparent Data Encryption (TDE) and DBMS_CRYPTO PL/SQL package program units to run in a mode compliant to the Federal Information Processing Standard (subsequently known as "FIPS mode";)
  • COMMON_USER_PREFIX
    • Default: c##
    • Specifies a prefix that the names of common users, roles, and profiles in a multitenant container database (CDB) must start with. If COMMON_USER_PREFIX is set to an empty string, Oracle will not enforce any restrictions on the names of common or local users, roles, and profiles.
  • DB_PERFORMANCE_PROFILE <<updated Dec 16>>
    • Undocumented
    • See bug17861171, bug18406144 and bug19817284 - IORM feature on Exadata only
  • ENABLE_GOLDENGATE_REPLICATION
    • Default: FALSE
    • Controls services provided by the RDBMS for Oracle GoldenGate (both capture and apply services). Set this to true to enable RDBMS services used by Oracle GoldenGate
    • Introduced with Oracle 11.2.0.4 and Oracle 12.1.0.2
  • EXCLUDE_SEED_CDB_VIEW
    • Undocumented
    • Per feedback by the Multitenant team:
      • Default: TRUE
      • Setting this parameter to FALSE would return results for the seed database when querying against the CDB views
  • INMEMORY_CLAUSE_DEFAULT
    • Default: an empty string
    • Enables you to specify a default In-Memory Column Store (IM column store) clause for new tables and materialized views. If the INMEMORY_CLAUSE_DEFAULT parameter is unset or set to an empty string (the default), only tables and materialized views explicitly specified asINMEMORY will be populated into the IM column store. Setting the value of the INMEMORY_CLAUSE_DEFAULT parameter to NO INMEMORY has the same effect as setting it to the default value.
  • INMEMORY_FORCE
    • Default: DEFAULT
    • Allows you to specify whether tables and materialized view that are specified as INMEMORY are populated into the In-Memory Column Store (IM column store) or not. The default value is DEFAULT. When this value is in effect, the IM column store is populated only with tables and materialized views specified as INMEMORY. If OFF is specified, then even if the IM column store is configured on this instance, no tables or materialized are populated in memory.
  • INMEMORY_MAX_POPULATE_SERVERS
    • DefaultHalf the effective CPU thread count or the PGA_AGGREGATE_TARGET value divided by 512M, whichever is less.
    • Specifies the maximum number of background populate servers to use for In-Memory Column Store (IM column store) population, so that these servers do not overload the rest of the system
  • INMEMORY_QUERY
    • Default: ENABLE
    • Used to enable or disable in-memory queries for the entire database at the session or system level. This parameter is helpful when you want to test workloads with and without the use of the In-Memory Column Store (IM column store)
  • INMEMORY_SIZE
    • Default: 0
    • Sets the size of the In-Memory Column Store (IM column store) on a database instance. If a database does not have automatic memory management enabled, this parameter must be set to a nonzero value that reserves the amount of memory to use for the database's IM column store. The default value is 0, which means that the IM column store is not used. The database must be restarted after setting this parameter to enable the IM column store. The minimum size to which this parameter can be set is 100 MB.
  • INMEMORY_TRICKLE_REPOPULATE_SERVERS_PERCENT
    • Default: 1
    • Limits the maximum number of background populate servers used for In-Memory Column Store (IM column store) repopulation, as trickle repopulation is designed to use only a small percentage of the populate servers. The value for this parameter is a percentage of the INMEMORY_MAX_POPULATE_SERVERS initialization parameter value
  • OPTIMIZER_INMEMORY_AWARE
    • Default: TRUE
    • Enables or disables all of the optimizer cost model enhancements for in-memory. Setting the parameter to false causes the optimizer to ignore the in-memory property of tables during the optimization of SQL statements. This behavior can also be achieved by setting theOPTIMIZER_FEATURES_ENABLE initialization parameter to values lower than 12.1.0.2
  • PDB_LOCKDOWN
    • Undocumented
    • Per feedback by the Multitenant team:
      • Not functional in Oracle 12.1.0.2
  • PDB_OS_CREDENTIAL
    • Undocumented
    • Per feedback by the Multitenant team:
      • Not functional in Oracle 12.1.0.2
      • May be functional with a future PSU allwoing then OS user verfication/validation for PDBs

-Mike

PS: Forgot to mention this one as a parameter which had been disappeared in Oracle 12.1.0.2:

  • PARALLEL_FAULT_TOLERANCE_ENABLED
    • Undocumented in Oracle 12.1.0.2
    • Disappeared in Oracle 12.1.0.2 but did exist in Oracle 12.1.0.1 

Thursday Jul 24, 2014

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 

 

 

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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