First Thoughts on 12C from a Dba Perspective


Last few weeks ago I invested some time in attending  a webinar on Oracle 12CRac Upgrade  and  i was also present at the 2 Days  Oracle Roadshow for Partners in the Netherlands  and i must say I was really impressed with the community an Oracle sharing new Technology this way.  Of course an article like this can only give you a glimpse of all the great new features  that are out there for you  but I will try to show you some of my favorites  from a Dbas perspective.

It was not much of a surprise to see that Oracle in the Database environment will focus on Big Data (seems that it never stops growing)  on Engineered Systems ( still have to put my hands some time on an Exadata but so far no project brought me near that) and of course into the Cloud computing ( Not without a reason they called their latest Release 12C where C stands for Cloud computing and for consolidation of data(bases)).

From an architecture point it is clear that Oracle will focus on a continued drive towards shared servers with a common OS and shared Databases in the Multi tenant environment (on the web and in the Debates already know as the Pluggable Databases).  As a dba working in a large Data-center that makes extra curious and cautious cause in consolidation this way is also something to bear in mind  when consolidating more and more databases on less and less ( but more powerful machine). You and your team should try hard to bring similar environments together on such multi tenant environments cause from experience it can be very hard to patch the very  diverse environments on limited boxes ( even with rolling upgrades , Rac being present etc.).

Lets take a look at some of the key Focus Areas:

Multi tenant Architecture.

In order to save resources both in hardware,  memory by consolidate databases  Oracle has introduced  Container databases (aka CDB). A Container databases in itself will act like literally a container cause it will be able to hold multiple Pluggable Databases ( meanwhile already well-known as pluggable Databases  (PDB).  AS in mentioned in my intro please be careful what you bring together though  try to look for similar environments with regard to security , patching requirements etc.

The big promise the Container databases will offer:

  • Consolidation of (pluggable) databases in to a container save Resources , offer the ability to handle multiple as on and even  give separate PDBs different priorities in the Container Database.
  • With changing workload unplugging and plugging a Pluggable database into another container.
  • In separating duties between Infra structure dbas and Application Dbas  the Multi tenant Dbs  offer you the option to manage the containers  using the Infra structure Dbas and it offers you the option in the dedicated PDB to set up Application Dba environment  limited to that one PDB only.
  • Manage the PDBS as one since you set up  your backups on the Container Level ( restore on the  Pluggable Db level is of course possible).
  • Flexible management with the PDBS since you can move them towards different tiers when they become more mission critical. ( And  with a specific tier you cover Slas with regard to (High) availability and  restores).
  • Fast provisioning with regard to setting up cloning , copy of the Pluggable Databases. Which as a Dba i particularly like since it offers  option to refresh preproduction from  Prod, maybe even move from Preproduction to production that way.

Automatic Data Optimizing.

Even though i will not cover this in this Article i think it is good to mention key development as with regard to  Performance tuning and Information life cycle management.  You really should check out the great features of:

  • Heat Map
  • (Smart) compression ( somehow i think  this technology was adopted from the Exadata environment)
  • The Automated tiering . It looks really like dbas together with their customers can put an effort in automating Information life-cycle management  in 12c.

Flex ASM.

In my day to day business dealing with a lot of Rac environments , and indeed sofar ( 11.2 included)  it can be a real bad day when an ASM instance crashes cause it will take all other instances on that box with her.  IN 12c  there is no longer a 1:1 map between Node-ASM instance. So  you will be able to have nodes without ASM instances  that are connected ( indeed most likely using the same Interconnect) to nodes that Do have ASM instances. And  of course you are right ASM could still be a single point of failure..  but of course Oracle thought of that  by allowing that non ASM node to connect to a different ASM Instance and this concept really makes me excited !  Well Done Oracle .

Real Application Clusters (RAC).

  • Till 12c it was a requirement to have all servers same in capacities like cpu, memory that is no longer needed .
  • Adding – Removing nodes become more easy.
  • Setting up pools and being able to move nodes between pools .
  • Multiple scans possible.
  • Support of Ipv6.
  • Of course supporting the Multi tenant options that 12c is offering .
  • Flex clustering where  Central ( Hub nodes ) can be easily connected to so-called Leaf Nodes which  are not directly connected to the storage nor via interconnects to different nodes . The promise this offers is  that it will be easier to add or remove (leaf) nodes since they only connected to their hub node.

Hmm i guess i could be writing on an and on. But the purpose of this article is only to share some insights and to make you want more by looking for more yourself .

Some hints to get you even more started:

  • Two great book recommendations i recently purchased myself:
    • Expert Oracle Rac 12c ( reading it  and it is an asset to read !)
    • Expert Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c ( will be great reading about 12C Grind control since i really need to get my hand back on the Enterprise Manager).
  • The web  is really a Candy store with regard to information being present on the topic of 12c. My recommendation would be to get involved in blogging and twitter to have early insight on the developments in the community that is out there waiting for you
  • A big recommendation ( also a big Thank you to Steve Karam on the Web also know as the Oracle Alchemist ) who did  excellent job in offering a Summary on a lot of articles on 12c that are already out there. so TY Steve ! :

AS always  happy reading.