OpenWorld 2013 starts on Sunday, 22 September and runs through
Thursday 26 September, 2013. This will be my first time presenting
at an OpenWorld conference (I've presented numerous times at
Collaborate and other OAUG-related events). I'm looking forward to
Suite DBA Best Practices (CON4733)
West Room #3016
26 September 2:00PM - 3:00PM
while you're there, stop by the Atherio/RedRiver Solutions booth #122
in Moscone South. I'll be hanging out there from time to time as
well! Enjoy the conference!
In my post yesterday, I indicated that Oracle Database 12c (184.108.40.206.0) was available for download on Oracle's E-delivery and TechNet websites, but that it still hadn't officially been "launched". The official "product launch" take place on July 10, 2013. You can RSVP for the launch webcast through the link below:
this under "it's about time" and "ICYMI (In Case You
Missed It), but Oracle has released Database 12c (220.127.116.11.0).
Downloads can be found on their TechNet and E-Delivery sites. At
this point, the only available versions are for Linux (x86-64),
Solaris (Sparc64), and Solaris (x86-64). Other platforms will surely
officially released... yet
to media reports (and my inability to find an actual press release
from Oracle), the formal launch of Database 12c will occur "within
a couple of weeks".
between TechNet and E-Delivery
otsensibly, it may be the same software, there is always the
possibility that you'll get slightly different versions. The
software that you download from TechNet is usually in the form of
either a zip file or a "tarball" of the staged
installation. The downloads from E-Delivery are also zip files, but
they represent the actual media packs (CD or DVD). For some reason,
Oracle doesn't do ISOs, but, nevertheless, the E-Delivery downloads
are typically viewed as more "supported". As a result, I
recommend using the E-Delivery downloads rather than TechNet if
you're planning on doing anything that is going to need to be handled
under a support contract.
for either method, you will have to agree to license terms and export
conditions. If you have never used E-Delivery from your Oracle
account, there might be a slight delay as your account is verified by
with all new software, be sure to test thoroughly and make sure any
applications are certified with 12c before deploying to production.
Client 12c is also available
Oracle 12c Client can also be downloaded for the following platforms:
Linux (x86-32), Linux (x86-64), Microsoft Windows (x86-32),
Microsoft Windows (x86-64), Solaris (Sparc 64), Solaris (Sparc 32),
Solaris (x86-32), Solaris (x86-64).
CERTIFIED WITH E-BUSINESS SUITE
this blog is focused on E-Business Suite (and E-Business Suite is
what I do), I feel the need to state that Database 12c is NOT
certified with ANY RELEASE of E-Business Suite at this point. I
suspect that we'll see it certified against 12.1.3 and the upcoming
12.2 at some point in the future (maybe 12.2 on release). It is
highly unlikely (in my opinion) to be certified against any release
11i. In the event that it is certified against 11i, you can bet that
it will be a pretty low priority item.
In case you hadn't noticed, Microsoft started pushing out Internet Explorer 10 to Windows 7 customers back in early March. Internet Explorer 10 is, at this point, not certified with any versions E-Business Suite.
You can read more about it on the E-Business Suite Technology blog (otherwise known as "Steven Chan's Blog"). A link to that posting can be found here.
frequently run into clients that are wanting to run Oracle products
in their VMWare cluster. Since I generally deal with E-Business
Suite customers, I tend to take the position of "anything that
swallows machines whole should probably have a physical machine"
approach to production systems. However, I can see some distinct
advantages to virtualization, particularly when it comes to managing
numbers of non-production environments.
there is a lot of confusion out there as it relates to Oracle and
virtualization... particularly surrounding one of the most popular
virtualization solutions, VMWare. I'll try to provide my best
understanding of the issues here.
Oracle products certified on VMWare?
short answer is, NO. But, that
really shouldn't be that much of a concern. Keep in mind that a
VMWare Virtual Machine is, technically, hardware. Oracle doesn't
tend to certify against hardware. And that's what that VMWare really
is, it's "virtual hardware". As such, it's really no
different than a particular model of Dell or HP ProLiant.
do is certify against a platform. A platform is the combination
of a particular version of an operating system (Solaris 10 vs.
Solaris 11, for example) and processor architecture (Sun SPARC vs.
Intel x86-32 or Intel x86-64). In the case of a deployment to
VMWare, your platform will be determined by the operating system that
you intend to run inside of the virtual machine. (For example, Red
Hat Enterprise Linux 4/5/6 for x86 or x86-64).
Oracle products supported on VMWare?
official support position can be found in MOS Note 249212.1, copied
below (emphasis mine):
Position for Oracle Products Running on VMWare Virtualized
Environments [ID 249212.1]
to customers how Oracle supports our products when running on VMware
Customers running Oracle products on VMware virtualized environments.
No limitation on use or distribution.
Status for VMware Virtualized Environments
has not certified any of its products on VMware virtualized
environments. Oracle Support will assist customers running Oracle
products on VMware in the following manner: Oracle will only provide
support for issues that either are known to occur on the native OS,
or can be demonstrated not to be as a result of running on VMware.
a problem is a known Oracle issue, Oracle support will recommend the
appropriate solution on the native OS. If that solution does not
work in the VMware virtualized environment, the customer will be
referred to VMwar for support. When the customer can demonstrate
that the Oracle solution does not work when running on the native OS,
Oracle will resume support, including logging a bug with Oracle
Development for investigation if required.
the problem is determined not to be a known Oracle issue, we will
refer the customer to VMware for support. When the customer can
demonstrate that the issue occurs when running on the native OS,
Oracle will resume support, including logging a bug with Oracle
Development for investigation if required.
Oracle has not certified any of its products on VMware. For Oracle
RAC, Oracle will only accept Service Requests as described in this
note on Oracle RAC 18.104.22.168 and later releases.
my understanding of the actual way that the policy is applied, it's
really a matter of whether or not the support engineer suspects
VMWare to be the culprit. What I'm saying here is that, generally
speaking, the support engineer will work your issue the same way that
he/she would if you were on physical hardware. However, once that
engineer thinks that VMWare could be the cause of your problem, they
reserve the right to "punt" and say "call us back once
you've reproduced it on physical hardware".
VMWare, to their credit, has a policy that they call "Total
Ownership", where they will accept accountability for any
Oracle-related issues. You can read their official policy at the
is my understanding that, as part of the "Total Ownership"
policy, VMware will reproduce the problem on physical hardware for
the customer if Oracle decides that VMWare is the problem.
of the big problem I've always had with Oracle on VMWare is caused by
Oracle's per-CPU licensing policy. My original understanding was
that, if you have a total of 64 cores in your VMWare cluster, it
didn't matter if you were only using 8 cores for Oracle. Oracle
would tell you that you had to pay for 64 cores. The idea behind
this is that you could, potentially, resize the virtual machine to
suit certain needs. Maybe you need more horsepower during month end?
I've since learned is that Oracle has a policy document (below) that
talks about "soft" vs. "hard" partitioning.
I've described above would fall under the concept of "soft
partitioning". However, "hard partitioning"
methodologies allow for a different approach. VMWare has (naturally)
a nice document that explains their approach to implementing clusters
that are in compliance with Oracle's licensing requirements.
that document, pay particular attention to section 2.2. In that
section (specifically Scenario B), they discuss DRS Host Affinity
rules and VMWare CPU pinning. (emphasis mine)
Clusters: Fully Licensed Versus Partially Licensed Clusters
B: Partially Licensed Clusters
a customer does not have enough Oracle application instances to
justify creating a dedicated cluster for those applications, only a
subset of the hosts in the cluster are licensed for the Oracle
application. In this situation, the customer must be careful to
restrict the movement of Oracle application instances and virtual
machines to only those hosts that are licensed to run the product.
this case, DRS Host Affinity
rules can be used to appropriately restrict the movement of virtual
machines within the cluster. DRS Host Affinity is a
vSphere feature that enables you to ensure that your Oracle
applications are restricted to move only between a subset of the
hosts—that is, not all hardware in the cluster is “available”
to the Oracle software. DRS Host Affinity is a clustering technology
and is not a mechanism for soft or hard partitioning of the servers.
As explained in section 2.1, using VMware CPU pinning to partially
license a host is not currently recognized by Oracle as a “hard
partitioning” mechanism that receives subsystem pricing. However,
once you have fully licensed the host, you have the right to design
your environment such that the Oracle workloads are free to run on
the licensed hosts inside the cluster. At present, Oracle does not
have any stated policy regarding clustering mechanisms or DRS Host
Affinity. Customers can easily maiatain records for compliance
purposes as explained in section 2.3.
advantages of this approach are similar to the advantages achieved
with a fully licensed cluster. Because customers are typically able
to increase the utilization of licensed processors, they reduce
license requirements. However, consolidation ratios tend to be lower,
because advanced vSphere features can be employed only on a smaller
subset of the hosts.
CPU pinning is a feature that (in my understanding) would allow you
to say that a given VM would only use certain cores in a physical
host. So, if you have a single host with 16 cores, you can "pin"
a given VM to four of them. According to Oracle's partitioning
document (and VMWare's document), you would still be required to pay
for all 16 cores in the box. The basic logic here is that Oracle's
licensing policy is based on the number of cores in a physical
server. You can't license part of a box. Period. No exceptions.
the other hand, DRS Host Affinity, is a way to pin a virtual machine
to a given host (or collection of hosts) within a cluster. So, let's
say that you have ten (10) 8-core physical hosts (total of 80 cores) in
your VMWare cluster. Using DRS Host Affinity, youcould restrict your
Oracle VMs to a subset of those physical hosts. For example, if you
restricted your Oracle VMs to only five (5) of those physical hosts,
VMWare's contention is that you would only have to license 40 cores.
sould probably include the standard "IANAL" (I am not a
lawyer) disclaimer. I'm also not a VMWare administrator. What I am
is a DBA and an IT Geek. That's pretty much the limit of it.
this provides some clarity on the issue.
further reading on the subject, here are a couple of blog links that
I used in my research:
apologies in advance, as this posting may sound like something of a
first thing I'd like to point out is that I have no real problem with
TOAD, Oracle Enterprise Manager, or Windows-based editors. They are
all excellent tools that can be extremely helpful in your
environment. My objection to these tools is based solely on a
a little background. Back in the early 1990's, I was working as a
Unix Systems Administrator for a company in Kansas City, MO. Since
then, I've worked mainly as a consultant.
before I started that job in Kansas City, the company had hired a new
CIO who let go about half of the legacy (mainframe, COBOL) IT
department. The new direction for the company was implementation of
Oracle E-Business Suite on Data General Unix (DG/UX).
mainframe IT staff that survived were being re-trained in the new
technology. At one point, several of them came to me insisting that
I install ISPF (an editor they were used to on the mainframe) onto
the DG/UX boxes because they were struggling to learn to use the vi
editor. I informed them that, while they (as a group) may carry enough weight to
convince the CIO to direct me to install it (assuming it was even available). However, when they go to their next job and claim that
"they know Unix", they would be alone and wouldn't have that leverage. My
suggestion was that I would help them to learn the vi editor. (I did
offer emacs as an alternative, since it is and was extremely common
on Unix systems... Unfortunately, friendlier editors like pico, nano,
and joe didn't exist yet.)
your primary job is software development, a tool like TOAD is
generally something you can depend on having. However, as a DBA, you
can't necessarily depend on having TOAD (or even Oracle Enterprise
Manager) at your disposal at all times. Maybe you're starting a new
job and the previous DBA hadn't set up Enterprise Manager (or you
haven't gotten around to it yet). Even in environments where those
tools are available, they may or may not be working when you need
my advice? There are certain tools that are almost ALWAYS there.
Get comfortable with ssh, SQL*Plus, and vi (or vim). They are your friends.