Category Archives: Oracle 12c

Oracle Critical Patch Update for July 2015

Oracle’s Critical Patch Update is out for July 2015:

Affected are database versions,,, and

This is the final patch for both the and releases. The final patch for will be released in January 2016.

The most prominent bug on the risk matrix is CVE-2015-2629 whereby a remote authenticated user can exploit a flaw in the Java VM component to gain elevated privileges.

For the patches, you can apply one of the following: SPU for UNIX: patch 20803583 PSU for UNIX: patch 20760982 Quarterly Database Patch for Exadata (July 2015): patch 21142006
July 2015 Quarterly Full-Stack Patch for Exadata: patch 21186703

Don’t forget your Grid Infrastructure patching: PSU for UNIX: patch 20996923

And, of course, ever since those Java bugs were discovered, we should also patch the JVM: Database PSU for UNIX: patch 21068539

Happy patching!

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Exadata Critical Issue DB27

Oracle announced a new Exadata Critical Issue yesterday (DB27) as per MOS 2004572.1. databases running with Grid Infrastructure 12.1 (either or will crash whenever a health update is received (such as when a cell disk is marked “predictive failure”).

The database ASMB process terminates causing the database instance to crash.  The following errors are reported in the database alert.log:

ORA-15064: communication failure with ASM instance
ORA-03115: unsupported network datatype or representation
ASMB: terminating the instance due to error 15064

Perform one of the following actions to prevent bug 20361671:

  1. Upgrade the Grid Infrastructure home to (Database Patch for Engineered Systems and DB In-Memory or later.
  2. Apply patch 20361671 to the Grid Infrastructure home.

At the time of writing, the patch README incorrectly omits the commands required to unlock and lock the Grid Infrastructure home before and after patching, respectively.

Prior to running the opatch command to apply the patch run the following command as the root user to unlock the Grid Infrastructure home:

$GI_HOME/crs/install/ -unlock

After applying the patch run the following command as the root user to lock the Grid Infrastructure home:

$GI_HOME/crs/install/ -patch

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Oracle Interactive Quick Reference

Remember those enormous posters of Oracle’s data dictionary views you used to see in DBA shops?

Here’s the Oracle 12c Interactive Quick Reference – more interactive and less need for pulp.

The Oracle 11g Interactive Quick Reference can be downloaded from here.



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You WILL use container databases … and you WILL like it!

For those who haven’t climbed aboard the 12c train yet, note that using a “traditional” or non-CDB architecture is deprecated by Oracle from

That does not mean you have to use the multi-tenant cost option: container databases with a single pluggable database (“single-tenant”) will be OK.  The cost option only comes into play whenever you attach more than one pluggable database to a container database (“multi-tenant”).

I’m still surprised that Oracle charge you for the multi-tenant option, to be honest.

Earlier in the week, Oracle released patch set I’m not sure why Oracle didn’t call “12c Release 2 / 12.2”, as it includes a lot of major new features rather than just bug fixes, but I’m sure their marketing types had a reason.

In reality, this means that “12c Release 2, Patch Set 1” is now available. There are a lot of DBAs out there, myself included, who adopt a “wait until Release 2, Patch Set 1” approach before getting serious about upgrading to a new version. If you’re one of those DBAs, happy upgrading!

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Updated Oracle Database Release Schedule

FYI, the release schedule in MOS (742060.1) was updated last week. Basically: – expected in January 2016. – terminal release of 12.1, in Premier Support until the summer of 2018. – in Premier Support until July 2015, when support ends. – in Premier Support/Free Extended Support until January 2016. – in Premier Support/Free Extended Support until August 2015, when support ends. – in Extended Support until August 2015, when support ends. – in Limited Extended Support until July 2015, when support ends (finally!)

My thoughts:

Oracle must be very confident in the stability of to make it the terminal release for 12.1 already.

I suspect may get an extension on its free Extended Support until 12.2 is “stable” and available for all platforms, at the very least.

It would also be highly unusual for Oracle to only have one version (12c) in Premier Support at one time. Making customers pay for being on the terminal release of {LATEST – 1} will be very unpopular considering the fundamental changes found in 12c.

In hindsight, I think Oracle might have been better off if they had given the “12c Release 2” moniker to given the extra features provided (In-Memory database, etc). This might have also convinced the DBA community to bite at instead of “waiting until Release 2, Patchset 1” before upgrading.

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Oracle Big Data Lite VM 4.0

Following OpenWorld, Oracle released version 4.0 of their Big Data Appliance Lite Virtual Machine for VirtualBox.

It includes OEL 6.4, RDBMS database with Big Data SQL, Cloudera 5.1.2, NoSQL database 3.0.14 and GoldenGate 12c.

The “Getting Started” page now has all sorts of good documentation, white papers and hands-on labs you can try out.

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New Features of Oracle 12c Database Release 1 Patch Set 1


I admit it, I’m one of those “no Release 1” bigots when it comes to new versions of Oracle’s RDBMS.

I know dogma is not meant to have its place in technology, but I have gone through far too much suffering in previous x.1 implementations to believe that it really is different this time, promise when Oracle try and persuade people to upgrade to their latest Release 1.

Oracle have been claiming that “this NEW version is rock-solid, man, none of the old teething problems” since 9.1, so it’s difficult for those DBAs who don’t enjoy pain to make the leap instead of waiting until the second patch set of the second release before starting on their upgrade planning.

HOWEVER, the latest patch set for Oracle 12cR1 was released this week and, BOY, does it have a lot of really cool features.
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Oracle Database In-Memory

Oracle today announced their in-memory database option: Oracle Database In-Memory (ODIM).

Not to be overly dramatic (but…) – if this is for real, this could be a very big deal indeed for Oracle. I was somewhat unconvinced by some of the pre-release hype, but it looks like it might have been justified.

The performance improvement potentially dwarves the difference that Exadata made when it arrived on the scene. Of course, this was a super-slick presentation from Larry Ellison and the proof is always in the pudding. However, there are some SERIOUS players in the industry who are confirming that this IS as good as it sounds, if not better.

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