By George Lawton (You can follow George Lawton on Twitter at @glawton.)
Bharath Terala, practice manager at Apps Associates share his input on Oracle database upgrades and annual releases with George Lawton in his recent article published in TechTarget.
In this article, George looks at Oracle's shift to annual releases of its flagship database software and how it has added new upgrade planning issues for users. However, the process of managing Oracle database upgrades is still essentially the same.
According to technical consultants who offered their advice on how to ensure upgrades go smoothly, the best practices they said organizations should adhere to when upgrading Oracle databases include reviewing database certifications for packaged applications, testing the potential performance impact, and creating rollback and recovery plans in case the upgrade process goes awry. Database administrators (DBAs) should also take particular care during upgrades of mission-critical systems through the use of hot backups and other measures, the consultants said.
Oracle began the annual database release schedule in 2018 when it rolled out Oracle Database 18c, which was followed by the Oracle Database 19c update this year. Those names may give DBAs some pause in planning Oracle database upgrades, because the previous version was Oracle 12c Release 2.
Bharath Terala, Oracle practice manager at Apps Associates LLC in Acton, Mass., highly recommended users upgrade older versions of Oracle Database if only to maintain technical support for their systems. For example, patching and extended support for the final release of Oracle 11g are scheduled to end in December 2020, while the end date for the initial 12.1 version of Oracle 12c is July 2021.
Before upgrading, though, DBAs and IT managers must review platform certifications and supported database combinations for applications like Oracle E-Business Suite, Terala said. Even a minor upgrade could introduce subtle problems that break existing applications, he cautioned. It's also important, he added, to check the initialization parameters for each database release to get a full understanding of the pros and cons, as well as the impact they have on things like indexes and execution of SQL queries.
Terala also urged organizations to build out a robust release management process that ensures proper testing prior to making any changes to their production databases. And they should be prepared for problems in systems that can result from a database upgrade.
"Having a fallback plan is key in case the team encounters any unforeseen challenges post-upgrade," he said.
Data integrity should be another top concern in planning Oracle database upgrades.
Read the full article here: https://searchoracle.techtarget.com/feature/How-to-manage-Oracle-database-upgrades-and-annual-releases
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