Friday Feb 27, 2015

Why you seriously can't wait for the second release!

Premier Support for Oracle 11.2 has ended 4 weeks ago at 31-January-2015. 
Read here if you didn't know or don't believe it.
https://blogs.oracle.com/UPGRADE/entry/premier_support_for_oracle_11

I think most Oracle DBAs are aware of it. And I have stressed the topic about the need to upgrade to Oracle Database 12.1.0.2 a lot in the past months via the blog, in workshops and in discussions and customer meetings.

But there are still plenty of people out there you would like to wait for Oracle Database 12.2, the so called "second" release. From looking backwards I can understand this thinking. Neither Oracle 9.0 nor Oracle 10.1 were the best and most stable releases ever. If you waited a while then you could expect at least the first or sometimes even the 2nd patch set for the SECOND release being available. And then most people started going live. And some did wait for the terminal patch set.

But this has changed. You can't seriously wait anymore for the second release. Why? There are several reasons and it's fairly easy to explain.

  • Reason 1 - Every release is a full release
  • Reason 2 - Every release has a significant number of changes
  • Reason 3 - Every release has a significant number of new features
  • Reason 4 - Oracle 12.1.0.2 is the TERMINAL patch set 
  • Reason 5 - The time span between releases has grown to large
  • Reason 6 - Important application providers will certify Oracle 12.1.0.2

 

Especially the Reason 5 is very important. You can't seriously wait for Oracle Database 12.2 as you will potentially see a period with no bug fixing support for Oracle 11.2. 

So let's be honest:
You don't wait for the second release. You'll wait at least for the first patch set.
Patch Sets in the past got released roughly 12 months after the initial drop has been put out (please don't get this wrong: I'm not saying that 12.2.0.2 will be released 12 months after 12.2.0.1 - I just try to project from the past!).

We announced already the planned availability of Oracle 12.2 for H1CY16 (first half of calender year 2016).
See the Release Schedule MOS Note:742060.1for further details.

And keep in mind that this is a plan and no fixed schedule. So let's project the usual patch set cycle from the past. Then we may be in the 2nd half of 2017. If you start your tests (I hope you'll test :-) ) by then you may be ready to go live in 2018 - and Extended Support for Oracle 11.2.0.4 will end 31-January-2018.

Ouch ...

Look at the release cycles:

Oracle Release Cycle

It has grown from 18 months in the past to 45 months for Oracle Database 12.1.0.1. For Oracle Database 12.2 we may be at 30-36 months based on the currently announced plan.

Any further questions?

Be smart and transform from "We'll go live on the 2nd release only" into "We'll go live with the current release's first or terminal patch set!". This will be Oracle Database 12.1.0.2. There's a reason why large application providers such as SAP will announce support for Oracle Database 12.1.0.2 soon.

--Mike 

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 

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
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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