Strange story

Yesterday, a few folks sent me this link : http://www.linux-mag.com/id/4120/. I read it with interest as there are a few things, ignoring the tone of the article, which I thought were interesting. 


I don't know how to make this clearer, so I'll reiterate what we've said from the start...Oracle Enterprise Linux is fully source and binary compatible with RHEL, so the same "experience" exists when you install either product. For good or bad. If we made it different, so that Oracle's installation was different, there would have been a complaint that we are not compatible. hmm no win ? But remember, our focus is on enterprise-quality support and that means we strive to provide customers with the best possible user experience. Oracle Enterprise Linux is compatible with RHEL and what we do is provide a great support service on top of either/both. We didn't launch a Linux distribution business, we started a Linux support program. I think we have made that very clear many a times. 


Next is the claim that it takes many hours to get things working... that made me wonder... So I decided to take an old laptop, a 2gz p4 with 1gb ram, install everything from scratch(OS + Oracle database 10gR2) and time it. To the minute (or second) give or take a few seconds, but given the comment of "many hours" those few seconds surely won't matter. 


So I started at 1:50pm, booted up my laptop and with the EL4U5 for x86 DVD. At 2:01pm, I had the entire distribution installed and the system did the reboot. This was the default installation, no customizations.  


The box reboots. I configure a regular user, oracle. It starts up Xwindows, I run rhn_register as the root user and configure my box to connect to ULN. This took me 3 whole minutes ! Time flies... 


then I run : 


[root@localhost ~]# up2date oracle-validated 


Fetching Obsoletes list for channel: el4_i386_latest... 


Fetching Obsoletes list for channel: el4_i386_oracle...


######################################## 


Fetching rpm headers...


######################################## 


Name                                   Version        Rel


----------------------------------------------------------


oracle-validated                        1.0.0          4.el4             i386 
 


Testing package set / solving RPM inter-dependencies...


########################################


oracle-validated-1.0.0-4.el ########################## Done.


compat-libstdc++-33-3.2.3-4 ########################## Done.


elfutils-libelf-devel-0.97. ########################## Done.


gcc-3.4.6-8.0.1.i386.rpm:   ########################## Done.


gcc-c++-3.4.6-8.0.1.i386.rp ########################## Done.


glibc-devel-2.3.4-2.36.i386 ########################## Done.


glibc-headers-2.3.4-2.36.i3 ########################## Done.


glibc-kernheaders-2.4-9.1.1 ########################## Done.


libaio-0.3.105-2.i386.rpm:  ########################## Done.


libaio-devel-0.3.105-2.i386 ########################## Done.


libstdc++-devel-3.4.6-8.0.1 ########################## Done.


sysstat-5.0.5-15.0.1.el4.i3 ########################## Done.


Preparing              ########################################### [100%] 


Installing...


   1:libstdc++-devel        ########################################### [100%]


   2:libaio                 ########################################### [100%]


   3:glibc-kernheaders      ########################################### [100%]


   4:glibc-headers          ########################################### [100%]


   5:glibc-devel            ########################################### [100%]


   6:gcc                    ########################################### [100%]


   7:gcc-c++                ########################################### [100%]


   8:libaio-devel           ########################################### [100%]


   9:sysstat                ########################################### [100%]


  10:elfutils-libelf-devel  ########################################### [100%]


  11:compat-libstdc++-33    ########################################### [100%]


  12:oracle-validated       ########################################### [100%]


The following packages were added to your selection to satisfy dependencies: 


Name                                    Version        Release


--------------------------------------------------------------


compat-libstdc++-33                     3.2.3          47.3


elfutils-libelf-devel                   0.97.1         4


gcc                                     3.4.6          8.0.1


gcc-c++                                 3.4.6          8.0.1


glibc-devel                             2.3.4          2.36


glibc-headers                           2.3.4          2.36


glibc-kernheaders                       2.4            9.1.100.EL


libaio                                  0.3.105        2


libaio-devel                            0.3.105        2


libstdc++-devel                         3.4.6          8.0.1


sysstat                                 5.0.5          15.0.1.el4 
 


so now we are at 2:05pm.  


I grab the oracle 10.2.0.1 CD and put it into the laptop and start runInstaller.


This is a standard out of the box install with the starter database created. 


2:15pm. software installed, products relinked and creation of the clone/seed database started. Remember, this is a laptop with one of those 5400rpm disks.  


2:26pm. database created, configuration assistants ran, I type as fast as I can to run the root.sh scripts and about a minute later. done. 


2:27pm, after 37 minutes, on the slowest machine I could find near me, I installed the OS from scratch (EL4U4), I installed Oracle RDBMS 10.2.0.1 with the default started database from scratch. And now have everything up and running and configured. Including a registered system with ULN.  


So for the default Linux install, get the oracle-validated rpm which we have talked about plenty and clearly tell people this is the sort of add-on stuff we can provide to make it easy to install Oracle products without having to modify the distribution. 


Maybe I cheated a few seconds left or right while reading the clock, so say 38 minutes. Still far less than an hour, and certainly not many many hours and certainly no installation problems, at all. No errors, no finding packages from CDs to get something going. Just hit the next button and enter a password here or there. 


Did I miss something ? It didn't feel like rocket science to me, even though, admittedly, it wasn't my very first Linux or Oracle installation. Someone want to try and beat me on installation time ? I can try it on a current desktop, I bet I can bring it down to about 20 minutes. Yes, it really is that easy and on top of that, if I had a problem, I could call support and I am sure they'd have been very helpful :) 


Reference URLs


http://linux.oracle.com


http://oracle.com/linux


http://edelivery.oracle.com/linux


http://www.orablogs.com/sergio/archives/001882.html

Comments:

did you also add the time that a normal dba would have had to chase up Metalink, looking for any patches needed to make his applications run with this install? You see, anyone can dump a product off a site and install it. Responsible dbas also CHECK if what they are installing is not going to break their environment or creat an incompatibility with the software they have to run. Remember: it's NOT the database. Folks don't "run" databases. They run applications which happen to use a database. If the db code breaks an app, then it's a waste of time. If the db code MAY break an app, then the dba has to do due dilligence in finding out a priori if that would indeed be the case. HAve you tried to install Oracle in a Peoplesoft environment? Do hyou know how many patches you have to adsd to Oracle in order to not break the Peoplesoft environment? Try it out, it's educational. THAT, is what takes time in an install. Not the actual process of plonking it there: anyone who can type in a keyboard can do that in a flash.

Posted by Noons on September 20, 2007 at 12:52 PM PDT #

ok so... Did you read the link in which my post was a response to ? My entry was not about "look DBAs of the world, it's trivial to get a production environment going". no where, in what I wrote, did I make that claim. I was simply responding to an article someone wrote, if you go read it, that stated that a basic oracle install on EL was an hours and hours long task that just didn't even work out. it was not a DBA that was setting up a production environment and was diligent and so forth. to that point however, we have a program that we launched over a year ago, Validated Configurations. http://www.oracle.com/technology/tech/linux/validated-configurations/index.html the poiont of that is to provide a document that also lists oracle and OS bugfixes which should be applied in order to have a well tested environment and reduce hours of effort. so in order to pre-empt a side-discussion - of course this is not the solution to everyones problem and I am sure you have some application that could find a bug that needs a fix which is not listed on this. However, as far as "reasonable" goes, these configurations are in fact well tested and if I had a normal application and did some of my testing I would feel pretty comfortable. the point of VC is to make many standard db usage environments an easier experience and give you all the info needed. 100% no. but definitely good. Would it replace a super experienced dba as I am sure you are's diligent efforts ? no. either way. my article was a response to something and not a basic statement that would downplay the complexity of real world environments. we can agree to disagree on that but the first paragraph of my post was pretty clear on that. and the other part of the response was that the author was complaining how we fail in the same ways as RHEL and why we couldnt' even make our "linux" work with an installation. Well, I think we made very clear, last year that EL is/was/will be the same as RHEL in order to be able to trivially support whether you start from Red Hat's product and switch SUPPORT. or you get the software from us. But what we do, in order to avoid these much feared fork discussions, is provide rpms like oracle-validated which help us in providing these easy tools to make it a better product. But it's hard to please everyone we can only try to do our best. one thing the author stated we Should do, we actually are able to do , and my post showed it. peace.

Posted by Wim Coekaerts on September 20, 2007 at 03:57 PM PDT #

I take your point about the original reference. Coming back to the validated configurations: they are very useful and a small step in the right direction. Wish I had that when I was helping a Linux SEO organization, 2.5 years ago. Unfortunately, we had to battle the vagaries of 9i and RH3. Got there, but after a lot of unnecessary angst. But I can bet you anything you want I can pick any of your 10.2.0.2 validated configurations, plonk Peoplesoft on it and end up with a non-working system! The work is not finished, by any means. Still a long way to go. This is a good step.

Posted by Noons on September 20, 2007 at 04:49 PM PDT #

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Posted by gnc9mcz3na on October 10, 2007 at 11:14 AM PDT #

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About

Wim Coekaerts is the Senior Vice President of Linux and Virtualization Engineering for Oracle. He is responsible for Oracle's complete desktop to data center virtualization product line and the Oracle Linux support program.

You can follow him on Twitter at @wimcoekaerts

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