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…

WordPress 4.4.1

WordPress 4.4.1 has been released.

You can see the list of fixes here. Your site will probably auto-update soon if you can’t be bothered to give it a nudge before.

There is also an update to the Twenty Sixteen theme, which you will have to trigger manually, if you are using it of course. :)

Happy blogging.

Cheers

Tim…

Happy New Year 2016!

New-Year-Eve-2016Happy New Year to everyone! Yes, even you!

I’m not big on new years resolutions, since I always end up breaking them on the first visit to the 24 hour Tesco store down the street! So in a similar vein to a post I wrote in 2012, here is my mission statement for the year!

Content

  • Keep doing the website and the blog. Hopefully this should be one I actually achieve. :)
  • Try to keep making videos for my YouTube channel. I enjoy doing the videos, but they take so long to produce it’s really not a good use of my time. It would be easier if I quit everything else and just focused on it, but that wouldn’t really make sense, but then again…
  • Diversify. I’m not talking about a full on change of direction, but I shouldn’t be scared to try different things out. If they work, great. If they fail, move on. Sounds so simple, but does always feel that way.

Fitness

  • I’m starting 2016 the heaviest I’ve been in a long time, over 250 pounds or over 115 Kg for you metric types. At my age and with my medical history, it’s really not a great place to be. You gotta eat less if you wanna see 2017 man!
  • Keep going to the gym. I love going to the gym and I like chucking round loads of weight. I’ve probably got to hold back a bit more for the sake of my wrists, elbows and shoulders.
  • Keep stretching, but pay some more attention to back flexibility and general posture. There’s no point having great posture for a few minutes of yoga, then slouching for the rest of the day.
  • More cardio! Swimming is the only cardio I enjoy, but to put it mildly, I dislike other swimmers. I should start walking more.

So really, this year has to be a year of moderation in everything to do with fitness. Especially where food is concerned.

Work

This is weird one for me, because basically I just shouldn’t work. I’m good at the technical side of IT, but I am terrible at the politics and bullshit. What would make me happy is to quit my job and go back to the life I had for the 4 years before I started working at this place. Just sitting at home, playing with tech and writing about it, with the odd conference thrown in for good measure.

The problem is, writing about technical stuff when you are not using it daily in your job is bullshit. You end up in this little bubble of idealism and totally lose touch with the day-to-day grind that most developers and DBAs have to deal with.

I need to work so that I stay connected with reality, which has a beneficial effect on my content.

Personal

Just “do me” and forget about the haters. The more popular you get, the more haters you acquire. The internet is a toxic place and you’ve just got to try and ignore them.

I think that will do for now! :)

Have a good year everyone, and I hope you achieve at least a few of your goals for the year!

Cheers

Tim…

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

I just got back from watching Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

I won’t give any spoilers, so don’t worry if you’ve not seen it yet!

Overall I thought it was a really good film. I went to see it with some friends and their kids, so ages in our group ranged from 6 to 60+. Everyone came out saying it was good, and the kids wanted all the toys and were arguing over which one of the characters they would be… So they pretty much nailed it as far as setting up this trilogy! :)

A move back to physical sets was really welcome. Everything felt so much more real in this film compared to Episodes 1-3, which felt like 100% green screen.

I watched the film in 3D IMAX. There was once seen where a space ship was totally sticking out at me and it took all my will power not to reach out and try and touch it! It was pretty amazing. I still don’t like 3D, but this was a pretty good experience.

Having said all that, this was basically a remake of Episode 4. There is pretty much a 1:1 mapping between most of the characters in this film and those of Episode 4. I don’t think that is a bad thing and it probably needed to happen so that all generations could come away happy. I just hope the next films take a different route. It would be very easy to recycle the past again and they would be enjoyable, but I think it’s important the next two films have their own identity and secure the legacy.

Cheers

Tim…

Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 13c : First Steps

o-enterprisemgr-13c-clr-2769481Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 13c Release 1 (13.1.0.0.0) was released a few days ago. Does that have the acronym “oemcc13cr1”? :)

As usual, my first steps are to do some basic installations. The approach is pretty similar to the 12c installations, but it’s a little greedier now. :)

My first attempt was a bit of a disaster. I was trying to install it on a VM with 8G of memory, about all I can spare on my work PC) and it was running like a dog. It got nearly to the end of the configuration section and I ran out of disk space on the physical host. That would have been OK if the installer were running on the VM itself, as the VM would have paused and resumed once I had cleared some space. Unfortunately, I was doing from an X session, which got killed and took my installer with it. :( Rather than trying to continue on my piece of shit work PC, I waited until I got home to do it on my server.

Once home, I kicked off two installation simultaneously. One on OL6 and one on OL7. Each VM had 10G of memory and their virtual disks were on different spindles to the OS disk. As a result, they ran through at a reasonable pace. Not mega fast, but OK.

Over the Christmas break I’ll have a go at some upgrades, then decide if we should be doing this in production at work. If you’ve followed the discussion on Twitter, you’ll know some of the basic requirements.

  • Oracle 12c (12.1.0.2) Enterprise Edition for the repository database. Patched to latest security patch.
  • You can use a Non-CDB or a PDB for the management repository. The template database is still non-CDB.
  • OPTIMIZER_ADAPTIVE_FEATURES=FALSE

That means we will need an upgrade of our repository database from 11.2.0.4 to 12.1.0.2. That’s no big drama, but another thing to do. :)

Cheers

Tim…

Update: Thanks to Seth Miller for pointing out my mistake about the PDB support for the OMR.

VirtualBox 5.0.12

I was just going to update one of my seldom used servers to VirtualBox to 5.0.10, when I noticed Santa brought 5.0.12 as an early Christmas present yesterday! :)

VirtualBox 5.0.12 is a maintenance release with a bunch of fixes and additions. The downloads and changelog are in the usual places!

So far I’ve installed it on Windows 7 (work PC), OS X : El C[r]apitan (Laptop) and Oracle Linux 6 (a home server) and all the guest additions I’ve updated so far as happy. :)

Cheers

Tim…

 

Birmingham City University (BCU) Talk #4

bcuOn Thursday last week, the day after UKOUG Tech15, I did my 4th talk at Birmingham City University (BCU).

In my previous visit I did a talk about community and employability to the staff. This time I did a quicker version of the same talk, but to the students. I’ll be going back a few times this year to do technical sessions.

I’ve mentioned before, this type of non-technical presentation is really useful in developing yourself as a presenter. It’s easy to hide behind the technical content. Non-technical presentations have to be more conversational and have more “personality”, for want of a better word. I think that feeds back into your general presentation style.

After the session I always have a chat with Stuart about how it went and what comes next. I get the feeling he’s sometimes worried I’m not getting enough out of it, but that’s far from the truth. I think these kind of sessions are helping me far more than I thought they would.

If you are thinking about getting into the presenting game, I’ve written some public speaking tips. As well as all that, consider throwing in a variety of types of session. If you have any local universities or colleges, get in contact and see if they need some guest speakers.

Cheers

Tim…