Wednesday Jan 13, 2016

Have an Excellent Start into 2016!!!

Roy and I and the entire Database Upgrade Team would like to wish you a very good start into 2016!!!

And thanks for your confidence in our work in the past year(s). The Upgrade Your Database - NOW! Blog had over 440,000 hits in 2015 which is quite a surprise as neither Roy nor I do update the blog full time. But the many mails and comments we consistently get demonstrate your interest. 

Upgrade Your Database - NOW! Statistics 2015

We will continue to report about things related to upgrades and migrations and performance and testing and the cloud and ... and ... and regarding Oracle Database 12c in 2016 - I promise :-)

Thanks for your support and all the helpful emails and comments.
We learn a lot from you folks out there!!!

Have a great start into 2016! 

--Mike 

Friday Dec 25, 2015

Best Albums in 2015

Yes, from time to time I write something fully off-topic.

If you look for tech stuff please scroll down just a bit ;-)

I love listen to music. Every day. Especially when I travel my two friends (Pono Player and B&O H6 Headphones) are always with me. And at home I have a decent stereo system in my man's cave. But this blog post is not meant about gear, it's meant about music released in 2015.

When I look at "Best Record of the Year" in terms of popularity or sells I always get a bit scared. So please take the following list as purely based on my own views and likes. And let me say that I bought all these records or CDs as real media
.

2015 - A Vinyl Year 

For me 2015 was a true vinyl year. I purchased more than 75 LPs, some new, some from Used Record stores. I never sold my record collection as some of my friends did, I just kept it in good shape - and since this year I owe also a record washing machine which allows me to refresh especially used examples quite easily. I have a fairly good British turntable with a almost 10 year old Dutch cartridge mounted to it. One thing you'll recognize immediately when listening to music on vinyl: you don't skip songs. No playlists. And you'll discover hidden gems on records you haven't listened to for many many years. 

But be aware when rushing down the road to your next record store. A lot of the oh-so-popular reissues settle on digital transfer copies, sometimes not even from the original master tapes but from a second sourced copy. Positive examples are the recent editions of Simon and Garfunkel and the huge Queen box. But others such as the Roxy Music collection or - the worst of the worst, shame on you, Klaus Meine and Rudolf Schenker - the 50th Anniversary Scorpions box and re-editions. Terrible sound. No dynamic at all. Luckily I have my copies of "Love at the First Sting", "Virgin Killer", "Blackout" and "World Wide Live" in good shape from the past. 

Vinyl has another great aspect as well besides sounding often a bit better and warmer than CD:
I can read the lyrics without looking for a magnifying glass ;-)

If you miss Adele, well, she has a great voice, no doubt. But I can't really listen to deadly compressed music anymore. It makes me feel sick as all dynamics, all transparency gets completely lost. And music lives on things such as dynamics ... if you don't believe me look up Adele's "25" CD edition in the Loudness War DR Database. Then you'll see what I mean - the CD version will sound only well in your car or on an iPhone - but on a real stereo system it sounds like a dead fish ... If you still don't believe it come by and bring your "21" CD and we'll compare it to my "21" vinyl edition (which is not a good pressing in terms of quality either).

Enough said. 
.

Here's my top 5 list of records in 2015

5. David Crosby - Croz (Vinyl)

Good ol' David Crosby has still a marvelous voice. No idea how he could keep it when you read what he has to say about his crazy years in the 60s and 70s. It's a miracle that he survived it. And his 2015 record titled CROZ is a very good collection of laid back folk and rock songs in the tradition of CSNY. The vinyl edition has an extra goody on side 4: a audiophile pressing at 45rpm of "What's Broken" (with Mark Knopfler on guitar) and "The Clearing". Plus it contains the digital download codes for WAV files. I'd wish other record companies would follow this outstanding example and deliver WAV or FLAC/ALAC files and not MP3 with their records.

4. Kamasi Washington - The Epic (CD)

So many things have been written about this jazz record. Most likely because it's hip and cool and very unusual. People who are usually not into jazz can enjoy this 3 hour mammoth piece on 3 CDs. I'd say the critics overrated it a bit as if it was the only good jazz record in 2015 (which is not true). But actually all the jazz records I bought in 2015 where from the years before with Marcin Wasilewski Trio's "Spark of Life" from 2014 or Stefano Bollani's "Stone in the Water" from 2008.

Nevertheless, Kamasi Washington's "Epic" is worth to listen. It's fun. It's fresh and old fashioned and funky and full of soul. It's available on vinyl as well but when I purchased it the vinyl was not yet available. People rumor that the pressing should be quite good. You may read on here in my favorite US Audio magazine Stereophile.

3. Anathema - A Sort of Homecoming (Vinyl) 

My favorite Rock band - from Liverpool, England. They started their career 25 years ago as a Death/Doom Metal band - and when you listen today you won't realize this. A Sort Of Homecoming got recorded in 2015 during their anniversary show in Liverpool Cathedral. A have seen Anathema live some years ago in Munich. And I would say it was one of the 3 best concerts I've ever been to. And I have been to many concerts so far. I have almost all of their CDs. For me Anathema is one of the best Rock bands on the planet. If you ever have the chance to visit one of their shows spend the €30-40,- and you'll be amazed.  

I bought the concert on vinyl on 3 records. But for those who prefer visual impressions and have a decent surround system the 5.1 mix of the BluRay is supposed to be excellent. They play the entire show acoustic with many of their die-hard fans in the audience. I wish I would have had a chance to be there as well.

2. Bruce Springsteen - Album Collection (Vinyl) 

Bob Ludwig remastered all the first 7 Springsteen albums. And I had to get it as many of Springsteen's LPs never got a decent remastering treatment. "Nebraska" did not sound any good - given the circumstances under which The Boss recorded it this was expected. But the remastering let it sound way better than any version I've had heard before.

Before I write too many things you may read what Michael Fremer from analogplanet.com wrote about this awesome edition:

Bruce Springsteen: The Album Collection Vol. 1 1973-1984 Reviewed 

Springsteen Complete Album Collection

The only real caveats are:

  • The download code allows you to download only 320k MP3s - who needs that? 
  • A bit more space in the box would have been better.
  • Two of my copies were warped.
  • The included "book" is more or less unreadable as pictures are generally overlapping the text.

But the overall sound quality is very good compared to the original editions.

.

1. Steven Wilson - Hand. Cannot. Erase. (CD, DVD-A)

This is THE album of 2015.

Not only for myself. But also for many magazines.

You may have never heard of Steven Wilson as he's not present usually on your regular radio station. But for almost everybody interested in prog rock he's called the "God of Prog" for reasons. He is/was the mastermind of Porcupine Tree, he runs many side projects such as No-Man and Blackfield - and he recently did awesome remasters of some of Jethro Tull's, Yes' and Gentle Giant's classic records. No idea when he finds time to sleep because he seems to be on tour almost half of the year.

I've seen him live several times, with Porcupine Tree as well as with his recent line-ups supported by guitar hero Guthrie Govan and drum legend Marco Minneman. And I'll see him again in January 13, 2016 in Munich. He's fantastic. Concerts are more a celebration of rock played at perfection levels but with a lot of energy and full of heart and passion.

Just as an update:
The show happened last night in Munich at the Philharmonie Classic Concert Hall - a quite unusual and suboptimal setting for a prog rock show. But it was truly awesome. Fantastic band (with Dave Kilminster from Roger Waters' Wall tour band replacing Guthrie Govan and Craig Blundell replacing Mario Minneman). Wonderful 2.5 hours of fantastic prog music ...  

Hand.Cannot.Erase. is inspired by a real story. In 2001 young London based Joyce Vincent died - but got found only more than 2 years later. Nobody noticed her disappearance. And this concept album is not only about this woman but also about isolation and our society not taking notice on anybody else. My favorite songs are Happy Returns and Perfect Life. But the entire album is full of great songs. It's an awesome piece of music.

It's actually the album I have listened the most often when being on the road.

If you'd like to read more:

Happy New Year :-)

 --Mike
.

Wednesday Dec 09, 2015

UKOUG Tech 2015 - Summary & Slides

My first UKOUG Conference is over.

Actually it was over yesterday already for me as I had to head back to Germany. I would have loved to stay a bit longer and pick more of the many excellent presentations. I visited a few - and all of them were great. It was a tough choice as there were too many interesting things going on at the same time. Only finding the right room was sometimes a bit of a challenge ;-)

And I would like to have met more and talked to more people. But time was very limited. I didn't see anything from Birmingham except the foot path from the hotel to the venue and return. Plus an excellent Indian restaurant (thanks again to the folks of Pythian for inviting me - that was a wonderful dinner).

And of course thanks to everybody who attended my 3 talks.

As promised here are the slides to download:

Finally a very special Thank You to the organizers of the UKOUG 2015 Conference - it was an excellent event!

Hope to be back again in 2016!

--Mike

Tuesday Dec 01, 2015

UKOUG Tech 2015 - 3 Talks - Upgrades & Consolidation

UKOUG 2015- I'ma  aSpeaker

UKOUG Tech 2015 Conference will begin on Monday, Dec 7, 2015. But there will be some activities on Sunday as well.  

It will be my first time at UKOUG's conference. It will happen in Birmingham/UK in the ICC.

Looking forward to meet great customers, experts and colleagues.

I'm happy to be invited to deliver 3 talks:

Hope to meet you there!

--Mike

Monday Nov 16, 2015

DOAG Conference 2015 - My Talks

Guess how I realize that it's just 4 weeks and a bit towards Christmas?

When DOAG (German Oracle User Group) Conference is happening in my hometown Nürnberg in mid November every year. And this year's DOAG may be my 14th DOAG Conference as far as I remember.

Really looking forward to is as it is THE SPOT to meet with many German customers, some of them good friends, many many familiar faces, the DOAG leaders who all do a fantastic job - and I'll have the chance to see a lot of great presentations and learn a lot from experts, customers and my dear colleagues.

Only real downside? I'll have to board a train tomorrow early in the morning to be at the conference center right in time as my two appearance as a speaker will happen tomorrow only: 

Looking forward to see you there!

--Mike

Friday Oct 30, 2015

OOW 2015 - Upgrade Hundreds and Thousands

Uhh .. OOW15 is finally over.

Lots of work - tons of great input - and so many excellent discussions with customers, users and Oracle ACE's.

Just in case you'd like to download our slides please find the in the Slides Download Center to your right.

Thanks again - and hope to see you again next year!

--Mike

 

Tuesday Oct 27, 2015

OOW 2015 - Upgrade and Migrate to Oracle 12c Talk - Live and Uncensored - Get the Slides

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!!!

Roy and I were extremely happy yesterday as the room was full. Totally sold out. I've read on Twitter that some people wanted to go in and weren't allowed to join as the room capacity was reached.

If you want to get the few slides for our first talk:

And thanks again - you were an awesome audience! And we are looking forward to see you in one of our two other talks:.

  • Our 2nd talk will happen on Wednesday at 12:15pm (skip the unhealthy lunch).
    We'll contrast some nasty things with some very good and detailed customer examples included in it. Real world examples, no artificial lab exercises. Againuncensored (mostly <img src=" title=";-)" style="border: none;" /> ) and just from first hand experience.

    How to Upgrade Hundreds or Thousands of Databases in a Reasonable Amount of Time [CON8375]
    Mike Dietrich, Master Product Manager, Oracle
    Roy Swonger, Sr Director, Software Development, Oracle

    Wednesday, Oct 28, 12:15 p.m. | Moscone South—102
    .
    .
  • The 3rd talk of our group is the Data Pump  Performance Tips and Tricks talk delivered by Data Pump experts from Development.

    Deep Dive: More Oracle Data Pump Performance Tips and Tricks [CON8376]
    Dean Gagne, Consulting Member of Technical Staff, Oracle
    Jim Stenoish, Senior Director, Software Development, Oracle

    Thursday, Oct 29, 9:30 a.m. | Moscone South—305
    .
    .

--Mike

Monday Oct 26, 2015

OOW 2015 - if you've missed our Upgrade Hands On Lab

Ready to kick off with the first of our four Hands-On-Labs at OOW15 at the Nikko Hotel. Currently it's calm before the storm  ...

OOW 2015

But just in case you didn't grab a seat at one of the labs then please come to our talk today (Monday!) at 1:30pm in Moscone South 102 as we'll show you the core parts of the lab - and you'll be able to download it later on from the blog and run it by yourself.

Download the lab via this link:

--Mike

Friday Oct 23, 2015

OOW 2015 - Upgrade and Migration Talks

Oracle Open World 2015
will kick off in a day and a bit.
And still some work to do ;-)

A few things I would like to mention:

  • Our four HOLs are all overbooked already with many people on the waiting lists. You can always come by and wait in line at the Nikko Hotel's Golden Gate lab room as some people don't show up. But no guarantee. What I would recommend to you in case you are interested in the lab but didn't get a seat:

    Come to our talk instead on Monday at 1:30pm as Roy and I will demonstrate LIVE and UNCENSORED parts of the lab. Then you'll download it from the blog (find it in the Slides Download Center) and try it out by yourself afterwards: Hands On Lab Upgrade, Migrate, Consolidate to 12c

    Upgrade and Migrate to Oracle Database 12c: Live and Uncensored! [CON6777]
    Mike Dietrich, Master Product Manager, Oracle
    Roy Swonger, Sr Director, Software Development, Oracle

    Monday, Oct 26, 1:30 p.m. | Moscone South—102
    .
    .
  • Our 2nd talk will happen on Wednesday at 12:15pm (skip the unhealthy lunch).
    We'll contrast some nasty things with some very good and detailed customer examples included in it. Real world examples, no artificial lab exercises. Again uncensored (mostly ;-) ) and just from first hand experience.

    How to Upgrade Hundreds or Thousands of Databases in a Reasonable Amount of Time [CON8375]
    Mike Dietrich, Master Product Manager, Oracle
    Roy Swonger, Sr Director, Software Development, Oracle

    Wednesday, Oct 28, 12:15 p.m. | Moscone South—102
    .
    .
  • The 3rd talk of our group is the Data Pump  Performance Tips and Tricks talk delivered by Data Pump experts from Development.

    Deep Dive: More Oracle Data Pump Performance Tips and Tricks [CON8376]
    Dean Gagne, Consulting Member of Technical Staff, Oracle
    Jim Stenoish, Senior Director, Software Development, Oracle

    Thursday, Oct 29, 9:30 a.m. | Moscone South—305
    .
    .
  • And the 4th talk I'd like to highlight is the Database Upgrade 12c - Oracle Support talk from Support Architect Roderick Manalac.

    Oracle Database 12c Upgrade: Tools and Best Practices from Oracle Support [CON8664]
    Roderick Manalac, Architect - Database Support, Oracle
    Thursday, Oct 29, 12:00 p.m. | Moscone South—305
    .
    .

Ship

CU soon :-)

--Mike

Thursday Oct 22, 2015

PSU (and CPU/SPU) October 2015 got released

October 21, 2015 - Oracle released the October 2015 SPU/CPU, PSU and BPs. 

See:

For Oracle Database 12.1.0.2 and Oracle Grid Infrastructure access the PSUs from here - if you have only a single instance database you can safely take the Combo patch as you'll get downtime anyways - but for customers running RAC you need to evaluate the OJVM component as this will incur downtime which the database-only patch does not require as it can be applied rolling.

Patch Set Updates

Document Description Rolling RAC Patch Download
Note:21555660.8 Oracle JavaVM Component 12.1.0.2.5 Database PSU (Oct 2015) (OJVM PSU) No Patch:21555660
Note:21520444.8 Combo of 12.1.0.2.5 OJVM PSU and 12.1.0.2.5 DB PSU (Oct 2015) Part Patch:21520444

No patch found at the moment [Mike]
Note:21359755.8 12.1.0.2.5 (Oct 2015) Database Patch Set Update (DB PSU) Yes Patch:21359755

Grid Infrastructure

Document Description Rolling RAC Patch Download
Note:21523260.8 Combo of 12.1.0.2.5 OJVM PSU and 12.1.0.2.5 GI PSU (Oct 2015) Part Patch:21523260
Note:21523234.8 12.1.0.2.5 (Oct 2015) Grid Infrastructure Patch Set Update (GI PSU) Yes Patch:21523234


And be aware to patch your DBaaS Cloud databases as well - this is not done automatically ;-)

--Mike

.

Friday Oct 02, 2015

OOW 2015 Sessions and Labs - Oracle Open World

OOW 2015OMG ... only a few weeks to go ... Oracle Open World 2015 in San Francisco is coming closer and closer ...

And this year will be really tough as we have a reduced number of people there - but more work to do as in previous years. 3 talks (2 for Upgrade, 1 for Data Pump), 4 labs (all in Nikko Hotel 15min walking distance from Moscone Center) - plus a good number of customer meetings already lined up. Plus the chance to meet so many great people ... and not to forget the Data Warehouse Global Leaders event at the Oracle HQ. 

I have that strange feeling that I will be VERY tired when I'll board the plane on Friday night heading back to Germany ... ;-)
.

Focus On Upgrades/Migrations

As the fantastic application we are using for the OOW content catalog doesn't allow me to link directly to a session Roy has built a Focus On document to guide you to some important talks around Upgrades and Migrations at OOW2015.for your convenience: 


Talks

Session ID

Title

Start Time

Room

CON6777 Upgrade and Migrate to Oracle Database 12c: Live and Uncensored!

Many customers now have database environments numbering in the hundreds or even thousands. This session addresses the challenge of maintaining technical currency of such an environment while also containing upgrade and migration costs at a reasonable level. Learn from Oracle Database upgrade experts about product features, options, tools, techniques, and services that can help you maintain control of your database environment. You will also see examples of how real customers are successfully meeting this challenge today.
.
.
October 26
at 13:30h
Moscone South—102
CON8375 How to Upgrade Hundreds or Thousands of Databases in a Reasonable Amount of Time

Many customers now have database environments numbering in the hundreds or even thousands. This session addresses the challenge of maintaining technical currency of such an environment while also containing upgrade and migration costs at a reasonable level. Learn from Oracle Database upgrade experts about product features, options, tools, techniques, and services that can help you maintain control of your database environment. You will also see examples of how real customers are successfully meeting this challenge today.
.
.
October 28
at 12:15h
Moscone South—102
CON8376 Deep Dive: More Oracle Data Pump Performance Tips and Tricks

The Oracle Data Pump development team is back with even more performance tips and tricks for DBAs! In this session, learn about Oracle Data Pump features, parameters, and patches—some added since the first patch set of Oracle Database 12c 12.1.0.2—that will improve performance and decrease overhead for Oracle Data Pump projects. Whether you are an Oracle Data Pump novice or already an expert, you are sure to learn something new in this session that will help you maximize the throughput of your export and import operations.
.
.
October 29
at 9:30h

Moscone South—305

HOL10348 Upgrade, Migrate, and Consolidate to Oracle Database 12c [HOL10438]

The Oracle Data Pump development team is back with even more performance tips and tricks for DBAs! In this session, learn about Oracle Data Pump features, parameters, and patches—some added since the first patch set of Oracle Database 12c 12.1.0.2—that will improve performance and decrease overhead for Oracle Data Pump projects. Whether you are an Oracle Data Pump novice or already an expert, you are sure to learn something new in this session that will help you maximize the throughput of your export and import operations.
.
Oct 26 at 11:00h
Oct 27 at 11:45h
Oct 28 at 13:15h
Oct 29 at 12:30h

Hotel Nikko - Golden Gate


Hope to see you at OOW 2015!

--Mike

Thursday Oct 01, 2015

Some Seoul Impressions - 09/2015

A very intense week in Seoul, Korea, is over - and Roy and I both returned a bit sick ;-) The pleasures of traveling ...

But thanks to all our colleagues who did all the orga work, to everybody who traveled from near and far to our 2 day internal workshop (and I still remember many names :-) - it was great fun to spend those two days with all of you) - and of course the the customers and partners we've had the pleasure either to visit or come to our workshop. Upgrade is in your hands now - just do it

Finally some Seoul impressions - and even though it was my 5th visit to Seoul I'd realize still haven't seen a lot of the city :-( Next time ...

Roy and I ended our trip again - our usual ritual - with a visit to the Best Bar on the Planet :-) 

Seoul 1

Seoul 2

Seoul 3

Seoul 4

Seoul 5

Seoul 6

Seoul 7

Seoul 8

Seoul 9

Seoul 10

Pictures were taken in the Bongeunsa Temple, and in and around the COEX Center.

CU soon again!

--Mike

PS. Forgot to mention this one here ... looks a bit like row-organization inside ... :-)

Hana

Monday Sep 28, 2015

Upcoming Upgrade Workshops in Prague and Bucharest

Oracle Upgrade Workshops Fall 2015

I've just returned from a work intense week from Seoul, South Korea - and there are upcoming Upgrade / Migrate /Consolidate to Oracle Database 12c workshops already on my radar - and both are almost booked out completely. So if you are either based in the Prague or the Bucharest region you may quickly sign up (and show up as well) :-)
.

  • Upgrade / Migrate / Consolidate to Oracle Database 12c
    .
    Wednesday, October, 7, 2015
    Prague, Czech Republic
    @Oracle Czech
    .
    Registration Link is here
    .
    .
  • Upgrade / Migrate / Consolidate to Oracle Database 12c
    .
    Tuesday, October 13, 2015
    Bucharest, Romania
    @Oracle Romania
    .
    Registration Link is here 
    .

Hope to see you there :-)

--Mike

Monday Apr 20, 2015

Oracle PSU and BP April 2015 is available

As of April 14, 2015:

The April 2015 PSU/BP is available!

Here's the most important information:

Please find below the links to the Recommended Patches and Patch Numbers for each of your database releases:

12.1.0.2
 Availability and Known issues for 12.1.0.2      Note:1683799.1
12.1.0.1
 Availability and Known issues for 12.1.0.1      Note:1565082.1 
11.2.0.4
 Availability and Known issues for 11.2.0.4      Note:1562139.1
 
11.2.0.3
 Availability and Known issues for 11.2.0.3      Note:1348336.1

11.1.0.7
 List of fixes included in 11.1.0.7              Note:601739.1

-Mike

Tuesday Apr 14, 2015

COLLABORATE15: Hands On Lab: Bring Your Laptop!!!


Wednesday, Apr  15, 2015, Roy and I will deliver two Hands-On Labs at COLLABORATE15 in the "Southseas Room A" in the morning. If you are signed up and read this please don't forget to bring your laptop with a VNC installed - and power charged for at least 1 hour.

You will access the lab via a VNC session - there are no laptops in the room - and the hotel doesn't provide power strips for labs shorter than 1 hour :-(

Unfortunately we don't have access to the registration data. Therefore we are unable to inform you upfront directly. Just in case you arrive without meeting these requirements you can always afterwards download the entire lab from the blog:

Hands On Lab -  Upgrade, Migrate, Consolidate to 12c

Hands On Lab Instructions 

--Mike

Wednesday Apr 01, 2015

Upgrade Workshop incl Hands-On in Vienna/Austria on April 9./10. - still some seats available :-)

Just in case you'll would like to participate in an Upgrade and Migration Workshop including Hands-On in the area in and around Vienna, Austria :-)

I'll deliver an Upgrade workshop in the Oracle Office (IZD-Tower, 3. Stock - Wagramer Straße 19 - 1223 Wien) next week on April 9 and 10. It will include Hands-On so you'll have to bring your laptop with Oracle Virtual Box installed and roughly 40 GB of free space to copy an image into your environment.

Just in case you'd like to participate ... here's the registration link which has more details about the agenda and the requirements:

 --Mike

Wednesday Feb 18, 2015

Grid Infrastructure PSU Jan 2015 - Am I too intolerant?

Germans are not only known for being precise and timely - but sometimes also for being too direct. Well, Roy could tell you stories ... and I always honor his politeness :-)

Enough about stereotypes. I work with a customer at the moment on their 12c upgrades. And I did recommend the most recent PSU (Patch Set Updates) for their Grid Infrastructure environments running Oracle Restart. Same of course for the database homes but this blog post will just name some findings I've had the other night when trying to apply the January 2015 GI PSU to my Oracle Restart environment.

First of all, start here:

  • Drill down from MOS Note:161818.1 (Click on the Release Link for 12.1.0!) into
  • Oracle 12.1 Support Status and Alerts MOS Note:1565065.1 and further into 
  • 12.1.0.2 Patch Set - Availability and Known Issues MOS Note:1683799.1 to get
    • Recommendations for patches on top of Oracle Database 12.1.0.2 - and of course for Grid Infrastructure (GI), Engineered Systems and Database In-Memory as well.

For GI you'll get the following recommendations:

Grid Infrastructure

Document Description Rolling RAC Patch Download
Note:20132450.8 Combo of 12.1.0.2.2 OJVM PSU and 12.1.0.2.2 GI PSU (Jan 2015) Part Patch:20132450
Note:19954978.8 12.1.0.2.2 (Jan 2015) Grid Infrastructure Patch Set Update (GI PSU) Yes Patch:19954978

Well, first question:
Do you need the Combo Patch or the non-Combo? 

My personal recommendation: Take the non-Combo Patch as the combo patch includes not only the GI PSU, but also the Database PSU, the OJVM Patch and some other things you will not need for patching your Grid Infrastructure only. Of course I can see the benefit of downloading just one big piece and applying everything all together to my environment. But first of all parts of the patch (speaking of OJVM) are not rolling applicable - and second I'd like to control and script things separately. But please feel free to see and do this in a different way.

So I did download Patch:19954978 to my environment. Unzipped it. 
.

You all know it already - you will need a new OPatch!

Of course my OPatch version is too old. You will need at least OPatch 12.1.0.1.5 - the most recent one is OPatch 12.1.0.1.6 - and you simply download it via MOS patch 6880880 and install it after removing the old directory into your $ORACLE_HOME. 
.

First learning experience? OPatch doesn't do anything without a response file.

The reason for this (at least for me as I don't patch daily) new requirement seems to be the new opatchauto call which scripts the entire apply process in a silent way. Well, at least the patch readme tells me what to do. Please read MOS Note:966023.1 to learn about how to create this response file.

If you do not have the OCM response file (ocm.rsp), see the following My Oracle Support Document 966023.1 How To Create An OCM Response File For Opatch Silent Installation.

I did create it with OCM OFF as I don't see a benefit in my environment for using OCM. And just on the side: I was a bit worried that this note does not contain the new opatchauto syntax but instead lists an example (which is always good and nice and helpful) from the old days:

$ORACLE_HOME/OPatch/ocm/bin/emocmrsp -no_banner -output /u02/unconfig.rsp

-

Second learning experience? Analyze analyzes ... not everything!

In the readme under 2.2 you'll find also the requirement to run an anylze for conflict detection and resolution first. Maybe I'm too naive as I'm so happy with all the stuff ORAchk (credits for this gem of a tool go to Sandesh Rao's team - I will write something about it later) can deliver - and expected too much. In my case the anylyze signaled: All good, sky is bright and nice and clear - ready to fly!

#GRID_HOME/OPatch/opatchauto apply <UNZIPPED_PATCH_LOCATION>/19954978 -analyze -ocmrf <ocm response file>

You'll read below why my assumption was incorrect.
.

Third learning experience? An error is an error is an error!

Can you expect a patch to get applied correctly in the first run?

opatchauto apply /oradata/grid/12.1.0/19954978 -oh /oradata/grid/12.1.0 -ocmrf /oradata/grid/12.1.0/OPatch/ocm/bin/emocmrsp 

I did. Well ... mine failed. Must be Murphy's Law See the log below - I have marked the failing part in red.

2015-02-16_19-45-09 :
Failed to run this command :
/oradata/grid/12.1.0/OPatch/opatch napply -phBaseFile /tmp/OraGI12Home1_oracle_patchList -local  -invPtrLoc /oradata/grid/12.1.0/oraInst.loc -oh /oradata/grid/12.1.0 -silent -ocmrf /oradata/grid/12.1.0/OPatch/ocm/bin/emocmrsp
oracle.opatchauto.gi.RunExecutionSteps.runGenericShellCommands(RunExecutionSteps.java:913)
oracle.opatchauto.gi.RunExecutionSteps.processAllSteps(RunExecutionSteps.java:215)
oracle.opatchauto.gi.GIPatching.processPatchingSteps(GIPatching.java:544)
oracle.opatchauto.gi.OPatchautoExecution.main(OPatchautoExecution.java:141)
Command "/oradata/grid/12.1.0/OPatch/opatch napply -phBaseFile /tmp/OraGI12Home1_oracle_patchList -local  -invPtrLoc /oradata/grid/12.1.0/oraInst.loc -oh /oradata/grid/12.1.0 -silent -ocmrf /oradata/grid/12.1.0/OPatch/ocm/bin/emocmrsp" execution failed:
UtilSession failed:
Prerequisite check "CheckSystemSpace" failed.

Log file Location for the failed command: /oradata/grid/12.1.0/cfgtoollogs/opatch/opatch2015-02-16_19-45-03PM_1.log

2015-02-16_19-45-09 :

--------------After fixing the cause of failure you have two options shown below:
Run 'opatchauto resume'
  or
Manually run the commands listed below
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

/oradata/grid/12.1.0/OPatch/opatch napply -phBaseFile /tmp/OraGI12Home1_oracle_patchList -local  -invPtrLoc /oradata/grid/12.1.0/oraInst.loc -oh /oradata/grid/12.1.0 -silent -ocmrf /oradata/grid/12.1.0/OPatch/ocm/bin/emocmrsp (Run as oracle) - (TRIED BUT FAILED)

.
Now the question is:
How much space does it really require to apply this PSU? 

At this point I was wondering as the analyze passed successfully - and I couldn't find anything in the readme about specific space requirements. My disk had roughly 8GB of free space - and as my GI Restart installation's footprint was around 6GB I don't had any bad thoughts. 
.

Forth learning experience? Always see the logfile first ...

Just rerunning the mentioned command gave me the correct information (just wondering why OPatch couldn't tell me this during the failed run?). So I did execute as oracle user:

/oradata/grid/12.1.0/OPatch/opatch napply -phBaseFile /tmp/OraGI12Home1_oracle_patchList -local  -invPtrLoc /oradata/grid/12.1.0/oraInst.loc -oh /oradata/grid/12.1.0 -silent -ocmrf /oradata/grid/12.1.0/OPatch/ocm/bin/emocmrsp

Receiving finally this result:

Verifying environment and performing prerequisite checks...
Prerequisite check "CheckSystemSpace" failed.
The details are:
Required amount of space(12773.858MB) is not available.
UtilSession failed:
Prerequisite check "CheckSystemSpace" failed.
Log file location: /oradata/grid/12.1.0/cfgtoollogs/opatch/opatch2015-02-16_19-49-04PM_1.log

Ouch - 12.7GB of free space??? Really? Seriously?? Now I was scared. 

The patch for Linux x86-64 has a tip size of 873 MB - but unzipped it takes 3.3 GB. So why does it require 12.7 GB of free space? Actually I don't know the answer yet but I will follow up here as soon I know the details. Colleagues in Development ensure that especially on AIX you will need even more free space, such as in the area of 22GB!!!

One of the reasons for such a huge space requirement may be this:

Starting with 10.2, Opatch does not backup only the affected modules, it also takes a backup of the complete affected libraries to $ORACLE_HOME/.patch_storage/<patchid>/backup/<lib_directory_name>/<library_name>.

.

Fifth learning experience? There are workarounds ...

Blogs are sometimes VERY helpful. I found two helpful entries from external bloggers (but didn't bookmark them so I can't credit them here - sorry).

/oradata/grid/12.1.0/OPatch/opatch napply -phBaseFile /tmp/OraGI12Home1_oracle_patchList -local  -invPtrLoc /oradata/grid/12.1.0/oraInst.loc -oh /oradata/grid/12.1.0 -silent -ocmrf /oradata/grid/12.1.0/OPatch/ocm/bin/emocmrsp OPatch.SKIP_VERIFY_SPACE=true

Of course you can't give this variable at the end to opatchauto as it wouldn't understand.
.

Final learning lesson? Clean up is a great idea!

This is not as simple as I did expect it. Of course, it's not. But please see this MOS Note:550522.1 - How To Avoid Disk Full Issues Because OPatch Backups Take Big Amount Of Disk Space
.

Famous Last Words?

Patches are great. In fact YOU NEED TO PATCH. Take the PSUs. There's no way out as it will help you to avoid plenty of known issues. But I hope that my above learning experience may help you to sail around one or the other pitfall :-)

--Mike

Tuesday Jan 20, 2015

Some Tokyo Impressions - January 2015

Just some impressions from our week in Tokyo, Japan in January 2015.

Tokyo 2015

Tokyo 2015

Tokyo 2015

Tokyo 2015

Tokyo 2015

Tokyo 2015

Tokyo 2015

Tokyo 2015

Tokyo 2015

Tokyo 2015

Tokyo 2015

Tokyo 2015

Tokyo 2015

Tokyo 2015

-Mike 

Monday Jan 12, 2015

Upcoming Upgrade Workshops Jan/Feb 2015

The new year will start with a good bunch of Upgrade, Migrate & Consolidate to Oracle Database 12c workshops in Japan, USA, Canada and Europe: 

January 20, 2015  
Tokyo,
Japan
Oracle Database 12c Upgrade Seminar
including Hands-On for Partners
by invitation only



February 04, 2015  
Irving (Dallas), TX
USA
Oracle Database 12c Upgrade Seminar - Dallas
Register
.

February 05, 2015  
Houston, TX
USA
Oracle Database 12c Upgrade Seminar - Houston
Register
.

February 09, 2015  
Bratislava,
Slovakia
Oracle 12c Database Upgrade Seminar - Bratislava
Register
.

February 10, 2015  
Budapest,
Hungary
Oracle 12c Upgrade Seminar Budapest
Register
.

February 10, 2015  
Reston, VA
USA
Oracle 12c Upgrade Seminar Reston
Register
.

February 11, 2015  
Atlanta, GA
USA
Oracle Database 12c Upgrade Seminar - Atlanta
Register
.
February 19, 2015  
Nürnberg,
Germany
Franconian User Group:
Oracle Database 12c Upgrade
17:30-21:00 Uhr - TU Nürnberg GSO - 
Raum WE.012 Wasertorstraße 10
Anmeldung
.

About

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

Based in Germany. Interlink between customers/partners and the Upgrade Development. Running workshops between Arctic and Antartica. Assisting customers in their reference projects onsite and remotely. Connect via:

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