Amazon Web Services (AWS) : Relational Database Services (RDS) for Oracle

Here’s the latest video on my YouTube channel. This one is a quick run through of RDS for Oracle, a DBaaS offering from Amazon Web Services.

If you are not into the video thing, you can see the article this video was based on here.

Galo Balda has now joined the illustrious list of people who have said “.com” on one of my videos. :)

Don’t worry, I’ve not sold my soul to the cloud. I’m doing some talks at work and I’m doing these videos more as reference for my colleagues. Once this batch of videos is done, I’ll return to some less cloudy stuff. :)

Cheers

Tim…

Video: Database as a Service (DBaaS) on Oracle Cloud

The latest video on my YouTube Channel is a run through of using the Database as a Service (DBaaS) offering on Oracle Cloud.

There have been a few minor changes in the interface since I last ran through capturing images, so the related article has been brought up to date.

I used my dad for the cameo in this video. Hopefully this will help him get a little more recognition, as he’s pretty much a nobody on the Oracle scene at the moment. With your help this could change!

Cheers

Tim…

Update: Almost as soon as I released this blog post the footage was out of date as Oracle released some minor changes to the interface. I rerecorded the video and re-uploaded it, so it is up to date as of now. All links from my website and this blog post point to the new video. If you have read this post via an RSS reader, you may still be seeing the old version of the post, and as a result see the link to the video as broken. But in that case, you won’t be able to read this either. :)

Video: Oracle Linux Virtual Machine (VM) on Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Continuing the cloud theme, here is a quick run through of the process of creating an Oracle Linux virtual machine on Amazon Web Services (AWS).

A few months ago I wrote an article about installing an Oracle database on AWS.

I updated the images in that article last night to bring them in line with this video.

The cameo today is by Joel Pérez, who was a bit of a perfectionist when recording “.com”. I’ve included about half of his out-takes at the end of the video. Don’t ever hire him for a film or you will run over budget! :)

Cheers

Tim…

Video: Oracle Linux Virtual Machine (VM) on Micorosft Azure

The interface for Microsoft Azure has been re-jigged since I last did screen shots, so I did a run through of creating an Oracle Linux VM and recorded it for my channel.

I also updated the associated article.

Cheers

Tim…

Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 13c : Navigation and “Look and Feel”

o-enterprisemgr-13c-clr-2769481I’ve continued to play around with Cloud Control 13c and I’m generally getting a nice vibe from it.

One of the things I really hated about Grid Control 10g and 11g was the navigation. It felt like you had to click on 50 links to get to the thing you wanted. When Cloud Control 12c came along and had a main menu it was a massive improvement. Even so, it was still a little annoying as the menu was split, with some bits on the left and some bits on the top-right.

em12c-menu

In Cloud Control 13c, these menus have been brought together into the top-right of the screen.

em13c-menu1

If the screen size is smaller, the buttons collapse to show just the icons, which saves space.

em13c-menu2

It probably sounds really trivial, but having both menus together is a really nice touch. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been fumbling around, unable to find something, only to remember it is in that blasted menu at the top-right. Now there is no excuse. :)

The job scheduler navigation is also a lot nicer. In Cloud Control 12c we had a bunch of drop-downs and a “Go” button.

em12c-jobs

In Cloud Control 13c there are tiles along the top to alter the context of the output and the tree on the left allows you to quickly flip between criteria.

em13c-jobs

It is so much quicker to get the information you want this way.

So as far as I’m concerned, Cloud Control 13c is getting a big thumbs-up from a navigation perspective!

A couple of people have asked my impression about the new look and feel. If we ignore the navigation, most of the pages are quite similar to what we had before, so there is no need to panic. Overall it has a sparser, cleaner look, which is more in keeping with the way the web is these days, so I think that’s a good thing. Anyone who has used Oracle Cloud will find the look very familiar. :)

I guess the biggest bonus of the new look and feel is it is more responsive. On some of the old pages you had a lot of sideways scrolling to do if you have a small browser window. The new look and feel deals a lot better with that. It’s not perfect, but it is better. So I’m giving the new look and feel a big thumbs-up too!

Being the bitter old man that I am, I reserve the right to change my mind and hate it all in the future. :)

Cheers

Tim…

Caveat: I use a very small subset of the functionality available from Cloud Control, so my opinion is going to be based on the bits I use a lot. It might be that other areas have been adversely affected by the new navigation or look and feel, but the bits I care about are looking good.

Oracle Linux : UEK4 Released

linux-tuxI wrote a post a couple of months ago called
Which version of Oracle Linux should I pick for Oracle server product installations? One of the points I raised was the use of UEK allows you to have all the latest kernel goodies, regardless of being on an older release, like OL6.

I saw a post today about the release of UEK4, so now you have access to all the improvements in the 4.1 mainline Linux kernel, whether you are on are running OL6 or OL7. That just goes to prove the point really.

If you are running RHEL, you might be feeling pressure to move from RHEL6 to RHEL7 to get a bunch of the kernel enhancements that came with it. If you are running OL6, just switch to UEK4 and your kernel is ahead of the RHEL7 kernel. No stress and no having to deal with systemd and firewalld. :)

Cheers

Tim…

Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 13c Upgrade

em-12cA couple of weeks ago I posted about doing a fresh installation of Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 13c (article, blog post). I’ve finally got around to doing an upgrade test from EM CC 12cR5 to 13cR1. You can see the result of that here.

upgrade-meme

Gokhan Atil did a post about this upgrade pretty much as soon as it was released, so I’m a little late to the party compared to him. :)

As you’ll see from the article, the upgrade process was similar to the patches that came before it. There are of course some extra prerequisites which you can read about in either my post, Gokhan’s or the docs…

Even though the upgrade tests were fine, after discussion with our system administrators, we are probably going to go for a clean installation and migrate the monitored hosts one at a time.

Why the slash and burn approach? I’ve made some mistakes with our installations in the past and they persist with every subsequent upgrade. It would be nice to take a step back and fix stuff. We are doing a similar thing with our WebLogic installations. I was learning new stuff all the time while I was installing our WebLogic 11g infrastructure. Rather than upgrading to WebLogic 12cR2, we are going to build a new infrastructure, migrate to it and throw the old one away.

This is relatively easy for us for a few reasons.

  1. We use virtualization for everything. We will provision the new VMs, set everything up. Start migrating stuff. When the migration is complete we will throw away the old VMs. No major hardware overhead.
  2. We are a pretty small operation. If we had a massive amount of infrastructure, a slash and burn approach would be very time consuming and as such, very costly.
  3. I am really anal about some things and I am willing to go the extra mile to get things right. I did the best I could at the time, but I’m happy to admit I made mistakes and I want to sort them out. This is not because I’m a company boy. It’s because those mistakes eat away at me and I want them eradicated so they will only haunt me in my memories, not in my day to day life.

If we had been going for the upgrade approach, I probably would have done it in the next couple of weeks. With clean slate approach, we’ll probably take a few more weeks to get ready for it. No point rushing in and making more mistakes. I would rather let the idea brew for a while before we start. :)

Cheers

Tim…

Oracle XE 12c?

There was a post on Oracle-L asking about Oracle Express Edition (XE) 12c. I started to write a reply, but thought a blog post may be more appropriate.

Oracle XE 12c doesn’t exist yet, but people at OpenWorld 2015 confirmed they “plan” to have one. As always, no promises. So when will it arrive? Typically the XE version is put together based on the the first major patchset of release 2 of a version. So the kind of thing you might expect is,

  • 12.2.0.1 : Released mid 2016 maybe.
  • 12.2.0.2 : Released mid 2017 maybe.
  • XE team brought together: Some time after 12.2.0.2 release.
  • XE Released: When it is built and stable.

Things to consider, based on stuff I’ve heard over the last few years.

  • There is no XE team. People are taken from their normal jobs to put this together and test it. There is no revenue generation directly associated with this product, so it’s not at the top of the priority list.
  • There are no patches for XE, so they wait until they have a stable release they can rely on for the 3-6 years before the next release 2 DB version.
  • Previous versions of XE have had bits of functionality missing/disabled, so it’s not just rolling out SE with some restrictions.
  • Other products in the Oracle stack are moving to more regular release cycles (3 months to cloud, with a yearly on-premise release). Comments from the database team suggest this is not the case for the database. As it gets more complicated, the testing takes longer, so the release cycles are getting longer. They originally said they wanted an 18 month release cycle for the database. 12cR1 took about 3 years to arrive. It looks like 12cR2 will arrive about 3 years after 12cR1. If that cycle continues, it would mean about a 6 year wait between XE releases, unless they change tack.

Of course, this is all just me thinking out loud. No facts have been presented here! :)

I think Oracle XE is a really important product for Oracle, even though it doesn’t directly make them money. Think of it as a gateway drug. XE makes it easy and cheap for people to try stuff with Oracle. If those projects grow, that could be additional licensing of SE2, EE or cloud subscriptions in the future. Without it, people will look elsewhere for their cheap starting point and may never make a move to Oracle later!

Cheers

Tim…