The investment in the Oracle Database once done has never been lost. Now, almost any older versions of the Oracle Database could be upgraded to the latest Oracle Database 12c which is 126.96.36.199.
The Premier Support for Oracle Database Version 11.2 has ended on Jan 31, 2015.
It is now 9 months over!
But, the Extended Period of Oracle Support for the current database version 188.8.131.52 is June 2021.
There are two ways to upgrade to Oracle database 12c:
1) The Direct Path
10.2.0.5 184.108.40.206 220.127.116.11 and Higher
2) The Indirect Path
7.3.3 (lower) to 7.3.4 to 18.104.22.168 to 10.2.0.5 to 12.1.x 8.0.5 (or lower) to 8.0.6 to 22.214.171.124 to 10.2.0.5 to 12.1.x 8.1.7(or lower) to 126.96.36.199 to 10.2.0.5 to 12.1.x 188.8.131.52 (or lower) to 184.108.40.206 to 10.2.0.5 to 12.1.x 220.127.116.11 (or lower)to 10.2.0.5 to 12.1.x 10.2.0.4(or lower) to 10.2.0.5 to 12.1.x 18.104.22.168 to 22.214.171.124 to 12.1.x 126.96.36.199 to 188.8.131.52 to 12.1.x
The direct path allows you to upgrade directly from versions 10.2.0.5, 184.108.40.206, and 220.127.116.11 and Higher to 18.104.22.168. The Premium Period of Support for 22.214.171.124 is until June 2018.
The indirect path requires you to plan and organize the upgrade to 126.96.36.199 in several steps. The older the version of the Oracle database that you are going to upgrade, the longer the process.
The oldest version that could be upgraded to 188.8.131.52 is 7.3.3 or lower to 7.3.4.
As of 8i and 9i upgrade, there are 2 to 4 steps to do it, for an example, versions 8.1.7(or lower) are first to be upgraded to 184.108.40.206, then 220.127.116.11 will be upgraded to 10.2.0.5, and finally the version 10.2.0.5 will be upgraded to 18.104.22.168.
Again, think about it, it is a big advantage! The Premium Period of Oracle Support for 22.214.171.124 is until June 2018 and the Extended Period of Oracle Support for 126.96.36.199 is June 2021. It is about 6 years from today!
The Oracle Corporation recommendations about each possible path of the upgrade, direct or indirect, are explained in detail in the document
Oracle® Database Upgrade Guide 12c Release 1 (12.1) E41397-11
The cost of the upgrade includes in some extreme cases:
- the replacement of the hardware,
- the upgrade or replacement of the operating systems,
- the change or replacement of the applications,
- the change of the used client software,
- the prolonged downtime of your system,
- the number of the databases that you are upgrading.
The longer you avoid the upgrade to the Oracle Database 12c, the harder and more expensive it becomes.
To speed up the hole process of the upgrade, the Oracle Corporation advises you to run the new preupgrade script preupgrd.sql which will generate the fix up scripts and gives you the starting information about issues that might be present both before and after the upgrade. That would be the base of how to organize your upgrade and calculate the cost of it.
For the owners of the large systems with more than 100 Oracle databases running, there is the option of the PARALLEL UPGRADE that guarantee you:
– FAST UPGRADE and
– LOW DOWNTIME
Beside the command line script upgrade, there is the Database Upgrade Assistant (DBUA) which automates the hole upgrade process.
The Hands-On-Lab “Upgrade, Migrate and Consolidate to Oracle Database 12c” is available for DOWNLOAD from the website http://blogs.oracle.com/UPGRADE.
The lab will guide you through the following tasks:
- Upgrade an 188.8.131.52 database to Oracle 184.108.40.206
- Plug in this database into a 220.127.116.11 CDB
- Migrate an 18.104.22.168 database with Full Transportable Export into another PDB
- Unplug an 22.214.171.124 PDB and plug/upgrade it into an 126.96.36.199 CDB
If you are in a doubt about when to start the upgrade, now or later, the Hands-On Lab is a good starting point as it will show you how to do it, and allow you to experience the features of 188.8.131.52 straight forward.
The Oracle Database 12c with a new architecture allows a multitenant container database to hold up to 252 pluggable databases.
The main features of the Oracle Database 12c are:
- High Consolidation Density
- Rapid Provisioning and Cloning
- Rapid Patching and Upgrades
- Managing Many Databases as One
- Pluggable Database Resource Management.
The process of upgrading to Oracle Database 184.108.40.206 may be costly and long and separated in many steps that should be done as required, but the final product is worth it. In the end, the Oracle Database 12c replaces all previous database versions and gives you the new start. Remember, the Premium Period of Oracle Support for 220.127.116.11 is until June 2018 and the Extended Period of Oracle Support for 18.104.22.168 is June 2021.
The above facts are taken from the following sources:
1) Oracle® Database Upgrade Guide 12c Release 1 (12.1) E41397-11
2) Nitin Maheshwari, PDF document “upgrade-to-oracle-database-12c-2412040-en-in”
3) Mike Dietrich, “Upgrade, Migrate, and Consolidate to Oracle Database 12c” , Oracle Webcast, 16 June 2015
4) Database Upgrade OTN website