Friday Apr 16, 2010

The Scoop: Oracle E-Business Suite Support on 64-bit Linux

Linux tux-large.jpg
This article addresses frequently asked questions about Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS) 64-bit Linux support.

Q:  Which 64-bit Linux OSs are supported for EBS?

A: Beginning with Release 12, we support the following 64-bit operating systems for both application and database tiers on x86-64 servers:

  • Oracle Enterprise Linux
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server
For EBS Release 11i (and again in Release 12), when the application tier is installed on a certified platform, additional platforms (including the above) may be used for a 64-bit database tier on x86-64 servers. This is an example of a mixed platform architecture (Release 12), or a Split Configuration (Release 11i).

Q:  I understand that the EBS application tier code is 32-bit, even for the 64-bit Linux OS -- is this the case?
A: It is true that the majority of executables provided as part of our release media on the application tier are 32-bit (as are the Fusion Middleware libraries and objects they depend on).  However, the 'Planning' products have large memory requirements and therefore are 64-bit compiled to take advantage of the larger memory space afforded by the 64-bit OS'es.

Q:  How do I install EBS on 64-bit Linux?
A:  For new installations of EBS Release 12 on supported 64-bit Linux operating systems, you can use Rapid Install as directed in "Oracle Applications Installation Guide: Using Rapid Install" to install the database and application tiers.

For Database Tier Only platforms in a mixed platform architecture, you can use Rapid Install as directed in "Oracle Applications Installation Guide: Using Rapid Install" to install the database and application tiers on supported platforms, and then migrate the database tier to a certified 64-bit operating system.

Q:  How do I migrate EBS Release 12 from 32-bit Linux to 64-bit Linux?

A:  Please refer to Migrating Oracle E-Business Suite R12 from Linux 32-bit to Linux 64-bit (Note 471566.1) for instructions on how to migrate EBS from 32-bit to 64-bit Linux.

Q:  How do I migrate an existing EBS database to 64-bit Linux?

A:  To migrate an EBS database to a certified 64-bit Linux operating system on x86-64, refer to one of the following documents:

For EBS Release 11i:

For EBS Release 12:
Q:  How do I migrate EBS Release 12 on a non-Linux platform to 64-bit Linux?
A:  There is no documentation that covers the direct migration from a Windows or UNIX application tier directly to 64-bit Linux.  However, the document Application Tier Platform Migration with Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 (Note 438086.1) contains instructions for migrating to 32-bit Linux, and Migrating Oracle E-Business Suite R12 from Linux 32-bit to Linux 64-bit (Note 471566.1) contains the additional steps to configure your environment for 64-bit Linux.  Pondering this question just now gave me the idea to write a new white paper, which will presumably eliminate several steps from either document and insure a smooth migration process.  Stay tuned to this space for more information on this upcoming paper.

Q:  How do I patch EBS on Linux 64-bit?

A: The EBS 32-bit Linux application tier patches are applicable for 64-bit Linux OSes as well.  From the Oracle support portal, you can do a search by patch number to bring up the 32-bit patch.  Note that if you click on the informational icon to the left of the Platform pulldown menu for this patch, it brings up a page stating:

For Oracle Applications Release 12 on Linux x86-64, queries will return a Linux x86 patch. This patch may be applied to both 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems.

Q:  What are the benefits of running EBS Release 12 on 64-bit Linux?

A: Theoretically, 64 bit architectures allow for "2 to the 64th power" bytes or 16 exabytes of RAM, and while individual operating systems and hardware architectures impose constraints (for instance, the maximum RAM is 1 terabyte on x86-64), you are unlikely to hit this memory limit with today's applications. 

For 32-bit compiled code, even though the process address space is limited to approximately 3 GB (even on the 64-bit OS), with overall addressable space up to 1 terabyte you'll be able to run many more processes.  This is an excellent model all around for larger customers wanting to consolidate their hardware or scale up.

Q:  Can we (or why can't we) run EBS Release 11i on 64-bit Linux?

A:   We support the use of 64-bit Linux OS'es in the EBS database tier in a 'split configuration' or 'database tier only' configuration for 11i, wherein the application tier can be on any certified EBS platform and the database tier can run additional database certified platforms (like 64-bit Linux).  Customers wanting headroom for the RAM-intensive DB processes can run their database tier on Linux 64-bit (in a split tier configuration), and if needed spread the application tiers (CM, Forms, Web) across multiple middle tier machines to distribute the load amongst the 32-bit OS'es.

As to why we do not support EBS Release 11i on 64-bit Linux, there are several reasons:  a)  it doesn't "just run";  b) there is no third party support; c) given the costs, we chose to chose to focus our resources on EBS Release 12 and beyond.  Let me explain.

Contrary to what you might think, you cannot necessarily run 32-bit code on 64-bit Linux without a bit of tweaking.  On the technical front, you would need to install the 32-bit OS libraries and deal with potential conflicts between 32-bit and 64-bit OS packages, including file overwrites.  Note that when we introduced 64-bit OS support in EBS Release 12 we made changes to all of the product makefiles, carefully analyzed and laid out both the 32-bit and 64-bit package dependencies, modified installation, configuration and cloning software for OS recognition and proper file locations, and conducted extensive testing.  Each new release requires this process to be repeated, and each new release package requires an independent packaging effort.

In addition, for 64-bit Linux support we've established a 64-bit infrastructure across Oracle teams (in support, engineering, release, QA and certification teams).  This infrastructure investment was made for EBS Release 12 and higher.

Also note that EBS Release 11i has an aging technology infrastructure, and neither Oracle nor third party tool versions used in EBS Release 11i are explicitly supported on the 64-bit operating system in 32-bit mode.

Call us old-fashioned if you will, but given these limitations, because of our support commitment to you and what's behind that commitment we will only support EBS Release 12 forward on 64-bit Linux.

References
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Friday Feb 26, 2010

Oracle E-Business Suite Platform Smörgåsbord

Yes, we have a Smörgåsbord!

One of the definitions of
smörgåsbord is "a set of a great number of opportunities to combine."  This brief article (corresponding to my entrance into the world of blogging) describes the Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS) platform smörgåsbordWhile 'platform' can mean different things to different people, here it means an "operating system and hardware architecture combination."  So, think "Linux x86" (as in the operating system Linux on the x86 architecture) or "Solaris SPARC" (similarly, Solaris on the SPARC architecture).

We split EBS platforms into two categories:

  1. E-Business Suite Certified
  2. Database tier only
EBS-R12-architecture-diagram2.png

What is an E-Business Suite Certified Platform?

E-Business Suite certified platforms are platforms for which both the application and database tiers of E-Business Suite are supported, and for which there is a corresponding release package.  The term "E-Business Suite certified" is synonymous with "Rapid Install Supported".  Here are the E-Business Suite certified platforms for EBS Release 12.1.1 at the time of this writing:

  • Linux x86
  • Linux x86-64
  • HP-UX Itanium
  • HP-UX PA-RISC (64-bit)
  • IBM AIX on Power Systems (64-bit)
  • Microsoft Windows Server (32-bit)
  • Oracle Solaris SPARC (64-bit)

What is a Database Tier Only Certification?

Database tier only platforms are supported for the database tier only.  There is no corresponding EBS release package, so customers must perform a separate database install and migration.  Here are the database tier only platforms for EBS Release 12.1.1 at the time of this writing:

  • Linux Itanium
  • IBM: Linux on System z (formerly zSeries Based Linux)
  • IBM: Linux on POWER Systems
  • Microsoft Windows x64 (64-bit)
  • Microsoft Windows Itanium(64-bit)
  • Oracle Solaris x86-64 (64-bit)

For Release 11i, we used the nomenclature "Split Configuration Database Tier" to refer to a configuration which included a database tier only platform.  In Release 12, we use "Mixed Platform Architecture" to refer to a configuration where the application and database tiers are located on different platforms, either by choice or because not all tiers are certified on a particular platform.  Once a database tier is certified for a given platform (say, 11gR2 on Sun Solaris SPARC 64-bit), it can be combined with any supported application tier platform.

See the Certification Information on My Oracle Support for exact versions and platforms certified with E-Business Suite

Enjoy the smörgåsbord!

References

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