Multitenant Enhancements in Oracle Database 12.2 (Some More Articles)

The Oracle Database 12c Release 2 (12.2) learning process continues. I’m determined to get to the bottom of all this new multitenant stuff. 🙂

Here’s the latest batch of articles.

So the last one is actually for 12.1, but I hadn’t written about it already, so I added it.

I also updated this article to include the “CONTAINERS Hint” feature functionality.

There is a new feature listed in the docs as as “Support for PDBs with Different Character Sets, Time Zone File Versions, and Database Time Zones in a CDB”. I’ve already written about the PDB character set stuff and it is also listed separately as a new feature. The time zone stuff works in 12.1, so it doesn’t appear to be a 12.2 new feature. The different Time Zone File Versions functionality, as far as I can see, relates to OCI client connections to the server and was introduced in 11.2. With all that in mind, I’m really not sure what this listed new feature specifically relates to. If someone can clear that up for me I would be really grateful, as I’m wondering if I’ve just missed the point somewhere. 🙂

I’ve added these to the list of all my multitenant articles here.



Oracle’s Cloud Licensing Change : Be Warned!

Over the last couple of years I’ve been doing talks about running Oracle databases in the cloud. In both my talks and articles I refer to the Licensing Oracle Software in the Cloud Computing Environment document. This morning I was reading a post on a mailing list and someone mentioned the document had been updated on 23-Jan-2017 and contained two rather interesting changes.

The Good

The document now explicitly mentions the difference between how vCPUs are licensed on different cloud providers. On AWS a vCPU is one Intel hyper thread, so you need 2 vCPUs to make a real core. Azure does not use hyper threading on their boxes, so 1 vCPU equals a real core. The previous version of the document did not make this clear, so it read like you were paying per thread on AWS, even though people who used cloud-savvy partners understood this issue and paid correctly (vCPUs/2 on AWS).

The Bad

The document now says,

“When counting Oracle Processor license requirements in Authorized Cloud Environments, the Oracle Processor Core Factor Table is not applicable.”

Just digest that for a moment. The intel core factor is 0.5, so an 8 core physical box requires 4 cores of licensing. Now on the cloud, an 8 core VM (16 vCPUs on AWS or 8 vCPUs on Azure) requires 8 cores of licensing.

On the 23-Jan-2017 the intel core factor was removed from the cloud licensing calculation and overnight your cloud licensing costs doubled! WTF! 🙁

Update: For the new  AWS bare-metal service, the core factor *should* still apply.

The same person also pointed out that in a MOS Note (Doc ID 2174134.1), last updated on 20-Aug-2016, Oracle pulled support for the Oracle Multitenant option from AWS EC2. WTF on a bike! 🙁 I assume they mean both non-CDB and Single Tennant (Lone-PDB) are still supported.

The Ugly

The reaction to this is going to be really bad! It’s getting really hard to remain an Oracle fanboy these days!

If you have been to one of my cloud talks over the last couple of years and you are basing your opinion on something you’ve heard me say, please remember things change. For those people I presented to at the UKOUG Database SIG on Tuesday, I’m sorry, but I was 2 days out of date on one slide. I’ve updated my slides and articles to reflect this change!

This is all so completely depressing!



PS. I’m not saying this policy document overrides your contracts. Just saying this is the most recent policy document produced by Oracle!

PPS. You might want to take a look at page 19 and the addendum on page 23 of this copy of the NoCOUG Journal.

Extended Support Fee Waiver for and 12.2.0.X Dates

I just read this post by Mike Dietrich. Thanks Mike!

There were a couple of very welcome bits of news from that, and the MOS note (Doc ID 742060.1) it points to.

First, the extended support fee for has been waived for another 18 months, taking it to the end of 2018 (start of 2019). This is really big for us as we have some projects which are gradually dying as we move to Oracle Cloud Apps and we don’t want to spend time upgrading them. This is going to save some money! I suspect a lot of people will be really happy about this!

Second, there are some “proposed” dates for the release of Oracle database on-prem. As the doc says, nothing is cast in stone so be warned. This is welcome news for me because there’s is only so many ways you can say, “I don’t know”, when people ask you about it. 🙂

Probably more interesting than the date is the proposed date, which is later this year. In my testing so far, has been a lot more robust than was, but many would still probably wait for before doing something major with it (see below). If that really does get released this year I think it would be great for uptake!

What does this mean if you are thinking, “Do I upgrade to 12.1 now, or wait for 12.2?” Just my opinion, but I would say the following, some of which may seem a little contradictory…

  • I am not one of those people that believes you should never use the first Oracle release. You should test it. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, wait for it to get fixed with patches or a patchset, then use it. Your experience will depend on the feature set you rely on.
  • The difference between releases is now *massive*! In real terms 12.2 is more like 13.1. I don’t think it would be a major exaggeration to say the patchsets are now what we used to know as releases and releases are now what we used to know as new versions. I hope Oracle scrap the whole release 1, release 2 naming approach. It’s confusing as its meaning has been lost, especially as new functionality is being delivered in PSUs and patchsets all the time…
  • I don’t think it is terrible to wait for the first patchset of a release, but as mentioned previously, a patchset contains a lot of new functionality now. It’s not just bug fixes! Each PSU or patchset could introduce something new that breaks your stuff, so you can’t assume a PSU or patchset is safe. You have to test!
  • My plans are to continue with the 12.1 upgrades that are already scheduled. At this point 12.1 is a known quantity and 12.2 is not! If there are projects with timelines that we could consider 12.2 for, I will, but only on the basis we test the sh*t out of it. 🙂

Overall, some great news!



UKOUG Database SIG : January 2017

I left work after an hour yesterday and spent the day cycling between sleeping in bed and sleeping in the bath. In the evening I had a Machu Picchu incident and started to puke every few minutes until I eventually fell asleep. At about 05:00 I woke up, got in the bath and slept for another 2 hours. It was then time to leave for UKOUG Database SIG! 🙂

I was originally down to do a single session. I agreed to do a second session when someone pulled out sick. 🙂 The agenda had me up first and third. I asked Jonathan if I could do a swap and he agreed, so I was up first and second. That gave the opportunity to leave if I felt bad…

My two talks were:

They seemed to go OK and there were some nice comments on Twitter. 🙂

As I expected, the Lemsip and adrenalin was wearing off by the time I finished my second talk and I had started to sweat like crazy. I had a quick chat with some folks during the break, then I got in my car and came home.

Sorry for doing a hit and run! Next time I’ll hang around for the day. I hope everyone else’s sessions wen well!

I’m off to bed now!



PS. I amended my Secure External Password Store article to address Jonathan’s question. 🙂

PPS. With the todays update (27/01/2017) of the extended support waiver extension (Doc ID 742060.1), your timescales for upgrades may now differ somewhat. Added a new slide. 🙂

Video : Table Point In Time Recovery (PITR) in Oracle Database 12c

It’s been a while, but here is a the latest video.

If videos aren’t your thing, you can read the articles here.

The star of this video is Uwe Hesse, who I recorded at UKOUG Tech 15. Yes, I did mean “15”. I have a bit of a backlog to work through. 🙂



PS. Subscribe to my YouTube channel here.

UKOUG Database SIG : See you on the 25th Jan 2017

In about 4 days (Wednesday 25th Jan 2017) I’ll be one of the presenters at the UKOUG Database SIG in Solihull.

I was originally doing a single session, but someone pulled out so Patrick asked if I could fill in.

I’ve spent this morning bringing my slides and some related articles up to date, so I think I’m ready to go! 🙂

I did a talk at work last week, which was my first presentation of the year, so hopefully this event won’t be too much of a shock for the system. 🙂

If you can make it, it would be great to see you there!




VirtualBox 5.1.14

Now that you’ve broken all your New Year’s resolutions, you can console yourself by upgrading to VirtualBox 5.1.14. 🙂

Downloads and changelog are in the usual places.

I’ve done the installation on my Windows 7 desktop at work. I’ll do an install on macOS and Oracle Linux 6 hosts some time soon and put an update on this post. 🙂



Update: The installation went fine on macOS Sierra and Oracle linux 6 hosts too.

Does it mean you work on boring stuff too?

Peter Sorger tweeted a not-so-serious question that is the title of this post, “Does it mean you work on boring stuff too?”

Absolutely… 🙂

Just to qualify that a bit, I work on a variety of things in my current job. Some I really enjoy, some I don’t enjoy so much. These days it’s really hard to be a specialist. To get stuff done you need a lot of different skills. I’m lucky that I have experienced a lot of different things over the last 21+ years, but the down side of that is I get drawn into doing work that is not exactly my “favourite stuff”. It’s dangerous to be useful. 🙂

On the one hand, it would be nice at times to specialise a bit more. On the other hand, I like to understand more of the bigger picture. If I’m honest, I think I would go bonkers if I just worked one thing constantly.

People often write and present about the cool things they do. As a result you can be forgiven for thinking they only do cool stuff. It’s a selection bias. I’ve written about this before. You speak to 20 experts at OpenWorld and start to believe you are stupid, but the reality is most of them couldn’t do your job. They are amazing because they are focused on such a small area. You would kick their ass doing your day job. 🙂

Everyone has to do some mundane work, but even that can be made into fun. How do I automate this? How do I make this so someone else can do it, rather than me? 🙂 Will I still need to do this in the next release of the product?

Anyway, I’ve got to get back to Oracle 12.2 because when I ask my Amazon Echo if I am cool, it tells me, “You’re cooler than cool. You’re the coolest!” and why would it lie? 🙂



Multitenant Enhancements in Oracle Database 12.2 (The Next Batch)

I’ve continued playing with some of the new multitenant functionality in Oracle Database 12c Release 2 (12.2).

Here’s the latest batch of articles.

This article is not a multitenant article as such, but you can use the functionality in a PDB.

I’ve added these to the list of all my multitenant articles here.



Cloud Control 13c Release 2 (13cR2) : It’s In Production Now

I didn’t think there would be quite so many posts about this journey, but we finally have Cloud Control 13cR2 in production, monitoring all our Oracle Database and WebLogic servers, and scheduling all our database backups.

Here are some of the posts that came out when I thought we would be using 13cR1.

And here is what I posted since 13cR2 was released.

All my 13c articles are here.

As I mentioned in some of the previous posts, we’ve gone for a slash & burn approach. We were running 12cR5 across the board. We built a new 13cR1 server, which subsequently got upgraded to 13cR2. Some of the early 12cR5 to 13cR1 agent upgrades didn’t go so well, so instead we removed the old agents and installed new ones. I used EMCLI to export some of the config, like backups definitions, so the transfer was pretty easy.

Remember, we are a pretty small company and we mainly use Cloud Control for monitoring and backups, so this replacement approach was relatively easy for us. If you are monitoring thousands of servers and use more of the Cloud Control features you may not want to take this approach. 🙂

Anyway, yesterday we got the 13cR2 agents installed on the last group of production servers, so we have completed the move!

I’m hoping there will be some time before 13cR3 is released. 🙂