Many organizations are running their production applications on Oracle10g R2. The latest Oracle database is 11g R2. A thousand dollar question is whether to upgrade or not to upgrade to 11g.
Many organizations don’t see any business justification to upgrade to 11g at the moment. Many organization defers database upgrade task as long as possible simply because upgrade process could be long and resource-intensive. Not to mention Oracle10g database just works fine. We all have different priorities.
Business drivers for an Oracle11g upgrade may vary from organization to organization. New administrative features, new developmental features, improved performance, regulatory compliance, compatibility with other products are just a few drivers that I can think of for an Oracle11g upgrade project. The criticality and importance of these drivers may vary from an organization to organization, but regulatory compliance is one such driver that forces many organizations to upgrade.
Regulatory compliance mandates that all software must be patched with the latest security patches. Oracle security patches are available only to the customers with Oracle Support. Oracle10g R2 premier support ends next year in July 2011. What this means that Oracle security patches won’t be available since July 2011 onwards unless you purchase extended support at an additional cost. So most organizations may not have a choice but upgrade to 11g R2 by July 2011. Otherwise they jeopardize regulatory compliance. For this reason, we are expecting a spike in database upgrade activities over the next six months. In fact, we have just embarked on an upgrade project that is expected to be completed by early next year.
In this blog, I will share my thoughts and experience on Oracle11g upgrade project. Hopefully, you will find them useful.
Oracle11g upgrade must be treated as a project. There should not be any issues whatsoever during the upgrade and more importantly after the upgrade. Our applications must not break with Oracle11g. Upgrade must be 110% successful. Upgrade must be transparent, etc, etc, etc.
Proper upgrade planning is the only solution. Don’t underestimate the importance of proper planning. The following documents should help you get started:
- Jay Mehta Blog (Just kidding!)
- Oracle Database Upgrade Guide (Included in Oracle11g Documentation Library. Downloadable from Oracle Technet)
- Oracle Database Operating System specific Installation Guide
- Oracle 11gR2 Upgrade Companion [MetaLink ID 785351.1]
Pre-Upgrade Information Tool and Upgrade Diagnostic Tool
- Install Oracle11g R2 software and get hold of$ORACLE_HOME/rdbms/admin/utlu112i.sql script. Run this script against the database you are planning to upgrade to understand what you need to fix before the upgrade.
- In addition, download dbupgdiag.sql script from metalink and run against the database that you want to upgrade.
If you are planning to upgrade to 11g R2 manually, as we have decided to, the following metalink notes are indispensable:
- Complete Checklist for Manual Upgrades to 11gR2 [MetaLink ID 837570.1]
- RMAN Restore of Backups as Part of a Database Upgrade [Metalink ID 790559.1]