Infrastructure at your Service


Today I assisted at a first session about one of my favorite tool: Upgrade to EM 13c now. The session was presented by Phil Gric from Red Stack Tech.

At the begining he described us the most common mistakes while implementing Enterprise Manager:

- EM 13c is an enterprise application

- It is a critical part of your infrastructure

- it is designed to help you

- EM 13c is not a glorified db console

- IT manager should not see EM as a job for DBA

He described us the main pre requisites before to realize an EM 13c upgrade ( for example disable optimizer_adaptive_features). He also talked about isssues such as the upgrade will create users with the sysman password, we should ensure that the repository password policy accept such a password.

There is also an issue while upgrading agent on AIX to 13.2 version. There is a problem securing the agent due to SHA encryption (Metalink Note 1965676.1).

To complete his presentation, he described us the main new features in EM 13c: export and import of incident rules, incident compression, always on monitoring, in emcli more than 300 new verbs and a general functionnality improved, system broadcast , comparaison and drift management.

He finally explained us why for him it is important to regularly upgrade to the last EM13c version: it is easy to upgrade, and the longer you wait, the closer it is to the next upgrade :=))

The second presentation was about the 12c upgrade : the good , the bad and the ugly presented by Niall Litchfield. He talked about his experiences about upgrading to 12c a very huge infrastructure composed of more than 100 servers, with database version from 10.1 to, with RAC or single instances.

His first advice was to read the Mike Dietrich documentation (Update, Migrate , Consolidate to 12c), and to have a look at the Oracle recommanded patch list.

A good reason to upgrade is because the support for 11g ends at teh end of the year, and the extended support is expensive.

The good news after this huge upgrade was that there has been no upgrade failures (tens of clusters, hundreds of servers and databases), a performance benchmark showed a 50 % improvement.

The bad and ugly news concern the number of patches. It also concern the JSON bundle patches which require database bundle patches. He also adviced us to turn off the optimizer_adaptive_features (recommanded also to be disabled with EM13c, PeopleSoft and EBS). Finally a last ugly point is the documentation, there is no one place to read the documenation but many. He also recommended to allow significant time for testing the database and the applications after the upgrade to 12c.

Then I assisted at a session talking about Oracle database 12c on Windows animated by Christian Shay of Oracle.

He showed us the database certification on 64-bit Windows. In a short resume Oracle 12..2 is certified on Windows server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016, as Oracle 12.1 is certified on the same servers except Windows Server 2016.

In Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012, Microsoft has introduced the Group Managed service Account (GMSA), i.e. a domain level account which can be used by multiple servers in that domain to run their services under this account. A GMSA can be the Oracle Home user for Oracle Database Real Application Clusters (Oracle RAC), single instance, and client installations. It has similarities with the ‘oracle’ user on Linux, as you are able to connect on windows with this user and perform administrative tasks  like create database, install Oracle or upgrade databases.

In Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, Microsoft introduced virtual accounts. A virtual account can be the Oracle home user for Oracle Database single instance and client installations.

The recommandations are the following: for DB server (single instance) use virtual account to avoid password management (12.2), for 12.1 specify a Windows user account during installation. For RAC DB and Grid infrastructure, use a domain user or group managed service account, for a GMSA you do not need to provide the password for any database operation.

He also talked about large page support for windows. When large page support is enabled, the CU are able to access the Oracle database buffers im RAM more quickly. It will address the buffers in 2 MB page size instead of 4 KB increments.

Large pages can be used in two modes : Regular or Mixed mode. The regular one means all the SGA is attempted to be allocated in large pages. By the way if the amount of large pages is not available the database will not come up. Thats the reason using the mixed mode is perhaps better, if all the SGA cannot be allocated in large pages, the rest of the pages will be allocated with regular pages and the instance will come up.

I finished my UKOUG day by assisting at Franck Pachot’s session talking about 12c Mutltitenant (not a revolution but an evolution). He clearly explained us that we did not have to fear about 12c mutlitenant, from the begining of Oracle there has been a lot of new features a lot people feared, but now they are impelemented and work correctly. By the way the patch upgrade optimization is partially implemented, we will see how 12c multitenant will evolve in the next years.





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Pierre Sicot
Pierre Sicot

Senior Consultant