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Patch conflicts

My last post was about patching my home databases from 18.3 to 18.5 on Windows, and how I encountered a patch conflict when I tried to patch the JVM. I thought I’d give a little bit of info for anyone who runs into patch conflicts from time to time. It can be stressful especially if unforeseen, or you are in the middle of limited time outage window etc.

So before you jump into applying a patch, a nice little tool you might like to explore is the patch conflict checker on My Oracle Support. You can get it via:

https://support.oracle.com/epmos/faces/PatchConflictCheck

It is straightforward to use, you simply fill in the platform and your current patch inventory details, and then list out the patches you intend to apply.

Enterprise Manager 13c and AWS

This posting is to try to clarify what is supported when using Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 13c (EM13c) and Amazon Web Services (AWS). The question came from some of our sales consultants who were finding confusing information about what is actually supported when using EM13c and AWS, so I have asked our Support folks to write a support note to provide the definitive answer on this. While that is being written, I thought I would post a quick blog that could be used to help clarify matters.

So let’s look at what the different scenarios are:

[Oracle] Researching internal latch implementation (ksl_get_shared_latch, kslfre, kslgetsl_w) and crashing PMON

Introduction

Last week the DOAG 2014 conference took place in Nuremberg and it was a blast with a lot of useful presentations and especially great conversations and meet ups with Oracle friends. I had a nice talk about the Oracle latch implementation with a participant, who told me that his instance crashes every time, if he (manually) sets a shared latch in exclusive mode and tries to release it afterwards. It sounded really interesting as i have done this so many times without ever noticing such an issue. He also told me that this issue is reproducible at least on Oracle 11g R2 and 12c R1. I had no immediate answer or clue about the described issue and needed to research it furthermore.

Google+ Hangouts and Support…

You open a ticket and wait… When you do get a reply it tells you to send information you’ve already posted, or suggests you try some workarounds you’ve already listed in the ticket as having not worked for you. You get frustrated and write a blog post ranting about how terrible the support service is etc. I guess this could be a story about just about any internet support service I’ve had to use over the years.

Do you remember in the old days, before the internet was popular, when you phoned support lines? Do you remember how quickly some of these annoying issues were resolved by simply saying, “I’ve already sent that!”, to a real person at the end of the line? OK. I’ve conveniently forgotten to mention being put on hold for hours, but this is my blog and I’m allowed to have a totally biased opinion about things… :)

Maybe elements of the good old days are coming back thanks to social media. Check out this article where Michael Dell proposes using Google+ Hangouts as a way of connecting to Dell service and sales.

Imagine the joy of being able to rant directly at a real person again. :)

Cheers

Tim…




No Linux servers for Oracle Support…

I was just mailed a bug update and it included this text (spelling mistakes theirs, not mine).

Note customer is on Linux but could not find an available
11.2 Linux database to test on.  Reprocided problem on Solaris
confirming that there is some generic problem here.

Really?

And here’s me thinking that firing up a VM with any version of Linux & Oracle was quick and easy. Perhaps their VMs are running on Amazon, hence the lack of available systems. :)

Cheers

Tim…




Product Support vs Operational Support

Sometimes I get questions as to whether Pythian is one of the competitors battling with Oracle for MySQL support. The answer lies in the distinction of product support and operational support.

At Pythian, we are laser focused on supporting applications and data infrastructure using Oracle, MySQL and Microsoft SQL Server products. A vast majority of our Oracle customers (there are few customers who have very old 7.x and 8.x products running without vendor support) have Oracle maintenance subscriptions that include product updates and product support. Product support entitles the customer to open support requests when the product doesn’t perform according to the specifications (bug reports) as well as fill in enhancement requests. It also covers deployment blue-prints and deployment guidelines in the official vendor documentation and support database.

What you can’t expect from product support are answers to questions like these:

  • How do I architect my infrastructure?
  • How much CPU do I need to run this database
  • How do I setup my backups?
  • How do I tune that SQL statement?
  • What I need to monitor in my environment to keep it healthy and avoid service outages?

Of course you cannot expect product support to login to your systems and help monitor them, recover a corrupted database or resolve performance issues etc.

Oracle customers usually have clear understanding of the differences between product support and operations support and consulting that Pythian provides. Even then, every now and again we hear rare statements like “I’m not renewing our Oracle product support because we now have you, Pythian, supporting our databases.” Hearing that, we’re catching our breath for few seconds and then patiently explain that this is inadvisable and the product support is totally different from what Pythian does.

Because of its open-source nature, MySQL database customers have somewhat less incentive to sign up for product support relying on public community releases and the ability to patch the product themselves but even then there is a clear distinction between product support and operational support.

All that was a long prelude to answering the question — “Is Pythian Competing with Oracle and other vendors for MySQL product support”? The answer is NO — Pythian provides plan, deploy, manage services — we analyze, design, implement and maintain the infrastructure. We are working with the vendor providing product support (or as part of the community at large when it comes to the open-source community MySQL releases).

More PC support…

One of my Yoga buddies was given a laptop by is dad and wanted to get it connected over wireless. His dad also gave him a wireless ADSL router, but couldn’t get it set up.  This sounds like a job for Captain Support…

The router wasn’t able to connect to the internet. It turned out that the router was not working properly and needed a firmware update. Next issue was the wireless connection between the router and the laptop was kinda funky. The connection would never work when any form of encryption was turned on. In the end I had to turn off encryption and stopped the router from broadcasting in an attempt to reduce the chances of people piggy-backing on it.

How are normal folk meant to cope with this? The answer is they don’t and they need Captain Support… :)

Cheers

Tim…

MOS, Flash, benefit enrollment and purple crayons ...

Nuno's post today coincided with an email I received from Oracle Support, expressing a sentiment similar to that in the email Nuno received from KEH. I won't attempt to post the entire email from Oracle Support, as it's full of pictures and links, but here's the 'thank you for your patience' section:Thank you for your patience during this transition period. We recognize that some customers