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Review: Oracle Database 12c

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the check-it-out dept.

Cloud 147

snydeq writes "InfoWorld's Riyaj Shamsudeen offers an in-depth look at Oracle Database 12c, which he calls a 'true cloud database,' bringing a new level of efficiency and ease to database consolidation. 'In development for roughly four years, Oracle Database 12c introduces so many important new capabilities in so many areas — database consolidation, query optimization, performance tuning, high availability, partitioning, backup and recovery — that even a lengthy review has to cut corners. Nevertheless, in addition to covering the big ticket items, I'll give a number of the lesser enhancements their due,' writes Riyaj Shamsudeen. 'Having worked with the beta for many months, I can tell you that the quality of software is also impressive, starting with a smooth RAC cluster installation. As with any new software release, I did encounter a few minor bugs. Hopefully these have been resolved in the production release that arrived yesterday.'"

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sup (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44120433)

boner!

KILL ME NOW !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44120443)

A shot of 12 cc will do it !! Oracle blows !!

Really? (1)

Viol8 (599362) | about a year ago | (#44120629)

Well good luck getting MySQL or MariaDB to run 24/7 on a multi terrabyte database with 99.999% uptime including doing backups.

Re:Really? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44120743)

A "terrabyte"? Is that a byte the size of the earth? So, Marvin's brain is 1 terrabyte? Hmm. Makes sense.

Ah, terrabytes... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44120777)

...this earthy smell, I do like it!

Re:Really? (0)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year ago | (#44120909)

Actually, you'll have a lot of trouble doing that with Oracle.

Re:Really? (1)

Viol8 (599362) | about a year ago | (#44121299)

We managed it. Get yourself some new DBAs.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44122269)

ditto we do it as well on Oracle

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44120981)

You could try the new Oracle Soil, featuring TerraForming Enterprise, which takes cares of al your terrabytes

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44121579)

Well, it seems like Oracle was written by people who still soil their pants regularly. So Oracle Soil isn't new at all.

Re:Really? (1)

drummerboybac (1003077) | about a year ago | (#44121577)

Good luck getting Oracle to do the same on a 500TB database.

Re: Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44121681)

Facebook does that

Re: Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44121727)

This guy butters his bread with his oracle knowledge. Don't expect him to have an unbiased position here.

Re:Really? (1)

jbo5112 (154963) | about a year ago | (#44122381)

Thanks, I already have a multi-terabyte MySQL install with better uptime than Oracle than the last Oracle cluster I dealt with.

Facebook scales each node to multi-terabyte, and runs so many database servers that it would probably be cheaper to buy the company that licensing (~2 million cpu licenses aren't cheap). A year ago, Facebook was dealing with 2.5 billion content items shared, 2.7 billion likes, and 500+ TB new data ingested every day on their primary database (estimate about 15% higher now). Something else to add: Facebook's workload is 90% read and quite interlinked.

But but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44120449)

My company just decided to upgrade from 8i to 10g :(
Oh well maybe on 2030 ill be on this one.

Abject Shillery (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44120453)

Shouldn't shill articles be over on SlashBusinessCrap or whatever?

New features? (1, Interesting)

webmistressrachel (903577) | about a year ago | (#44120455)

Backup and restore are new features in this latest version of the Oracle Database??

How on earth did they manage before?! Seriously? Is it just me or am I the only person who writes programs from scratch with data security, portability and safety in mind? Gosh, My data has been separate from the program since I was loading out to 90-minute Type II's!

I mean, seriously, from this article can we assume that mysqldump offered a more sensible backup than every version of the mega-expensive Oracle, until this version?

Re:New features? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44120471)

Pretty sure it meant new capabilities in that department. Oracle offered dump and restore long back. That said, my experience with oracle has not been that good either.

Re:New features? (2, Informative)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#44120475)

lots of third party backup programs support Oracle and SQL server to back up the databases online

last i looked at mysql you had to shut down the database or dump it to another db and then backup the file. too expensive to do this on a 200Gb database sitting on a SAN

Re:New features? (1)

segedunum (883035) | about a year ago | (#44120493)

last i looked at mysql you had to shut down the database or dump it to another db and then backup the file. too expensive to do this on a 200Gb database sitting on a SAN

I cannot fathom where you've picked this up from.

Re:New features? (2)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#44120539)

so which backup programs support mysql natively

like i install an agent, set a policy on the backup server and have it backup to my tape library automatically without dumping the data to another storage device?

Re:New features? (2)

F.Ultra (1673484) | about a year ago | (#44120587)

mysqldump? But what you are doing, i.e backup of the database files directly, is a very dangerous form of backup. Restoring such when the database has been corrupted for whatever reason is not something I would enjoy, so going by an ascii dump like mysqldump does is way more saner from that perspective, it's of course also way more slow.

Re:New features? (4, Informative)

Gwala (309968) | about a year ago | (#44120593)

mysqldump can and will lock tables during its backup - there's some tricks around this; but on a big production database, its really suboptimal.

Re:New features? (2)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44120827)

http://www.percona.com/doc/percona-xtrabackup/2.1/

"Percona XtraBackup is an open-source hot backup utility for MySQL - based servers that doesn’t lock your database during the backup."

http://www.mysql.com/products/enterprise/backup.html

"MySQL Enterprise Backup performs online Hot, non-blocking backups of your MySQL databases."

Re:New features? (4, Informative)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#44120669)

one of the selling points of sql server and oracle is you can backup the database directly while its running. you can backup the database, by separate files and file groups

SQL server you can even have the database online during a restore. you restore the main file group and then the others. all the data may not be there, but the database will be able to server applications with some data. you can always move your tables around so that the most important ones get restored first

with SQL server on decent hardware from the last 2-3 years you can backup a database during business hours and your users will never know. i do it all the time

Re:New features? (4, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44120957)

What modern SQL server does not have some method of doing this? Even if it requires outside programs running against it?

Please stop calling MS SQL server, sql server it makes it sound like it is the only one.

Re:New features? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44121509)

That's want they want you to think. Its a corporate strategy. Same when they used "Word" as the same of their word processor product when there already existed "WordPerfect", "WordStar", etc. Same when they took over the ending ".doc" when it was in common use as any text document.

Now people don't say "spreadsheet" they say "excel". Just like the use of "Kleenex" instead of "tissue".

Oracle also allows online restores (1)

emil (695) | about a year ago | (#44121709)

The syntax is:

alter database recover datafile '/path/to/restored/file.dat';

alter datafile '/path/to/restored/file.dat' online;

I used that on an Oracle 7 database about 2 months ago.

Re:New features? (2)

benjymouse (756774) | about a year ago | (#44121169)

mysqldump? But what you are doing, i.e backup of the database files directly, is a very dangerous form of backup. Restoring such when the database has been corrupted for whatever reason

Actually no, it is not dangerous provided that you use a backup agent or an operating system that supports this. Windows does, Linux and Unix do not.

On Windows the Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) [microsoft.com] will interact with registered processes to coordinate *when* they should ensure persistent consistency - which is reserved as a fraction of a second. It requires the processes to register as VSS writers - which database servers generally do (Oracle and SQL Server do - I do not know if MySQL does).

On Windows in a virtual environment this will even propagate through VM volumes, i.e. if you backup the host of the VMs (where some of the VMs could be running database servers), the host VSS service will ask the guest VSS service to ensure consistency right when the disk image file is being backed up. This means that you can backup the host Hyper-V server with all the disk images and rest assured that the VMs are consistent.

Huge boon for uptime.

Bad link to VSS (1)

benjymouse (756774) | about a year ago | (#44121351)

The correct one:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/aa384649(v=vs.85).aspx [microsoft.com]

For a list of in-box (Windows' own internal VSS writers that ensure disk consistency) see here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/bb968827(v=vs.85).aspx [microsoft.com]

Oracle is an external VSS writer. Has supported VSS for many years.

Re:New features? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44121869)

VSS may provide file consistency, but how does it provide database consistency ?

Re:New features? (1)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about a year ago | (#44122275)

It doesn't - that's what the DBMS is for.

Re:New features? (1)

FictionPimp (712802) | about a year ago | (#44120905)

commvault, zmanda, tivoli?

Re:New features? (1)

andawyr (212118) | about a year ago | (#44121201)

You can do log shipping with mysql to have multiple sync'd databases - I've set this up in a small environment, and have not tested this feature with a high-capacity database, but the capability *is* there.

Re:New features? (4, Informative)

hamster_nz (656572) | about a year ago | (#44120511)

I didn't read that from TFA - just that object level restores have been improved, as has some compression features.

Just so everybody is aware Oracle has always had kick-ass restore and recovery features, way ahead of other database - such things as Flashback [oracle.com] , it has been shipping transaction logs since Noah was a boy, and the good ol' "ALERT TABLESPACE BEGIN BACKUP" to allow you to copy files online. It can perform change block tracking on database datafiles to allow increment backups "ALTER DATABASE ENABLE BLOCK CHANGE TRACKING USING FILE ;". All of this is platform independent too.

Recovery is also awesome. "ALTER DATABASE RECOVER UNTIL [timestamp]", "ALTER DATABASE RECOVERY UNTIL CANCEL", "ALTER DATABASE UNTIL CHANGE [transaction number]" and so on. If you accidentally loose you control files (somewhat like your MS-SQL master database being trashed) you can recreate them using SQL.

The big problem is that you have to be doing a lot of it to be good at it, many very think books have been written on Oracle backup and restore. So tools like Oracle's RMAN have been created to manage the process for DBAs...

Re:New features? (4, Informative)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about a year ago | (#44120603)

I see you're a dedicated full-time Oracle support guy. I don't know of a lot of other products that require a full-time support person to do (conceptually) simple stuff. My biggest complaint about Oracle has always been that to even take it out of the box and install it required guru-level Oracle knowledge, much less keeping it running well. I absolutely hate all things Microsoft, but at least you can install Squeel Server and set up backups without two days effort and an overwhelming desire to stick a gun in your mouth.

Re:New features? (5, Insightful)

war4peace (1628283) | about a year ago | (#44120729)

It's a complex product. of course it has a point-and-grunt installer, but anything else requires configuring the product, and it doesn't have an "easy mode", simply because it's not targeting "simple people".

You're thinking from a tiny point of view (small company or personal). And yes, in this case, oracle DB might not be for you. But a company which makes arguably billions off data located in an oracle DB Cluster doesn't care whether the DB needs 0, 1, or 25 people who manage it. Whatever the costs are, they represent a tiny fraction of the profits.

if your monthly profit is $10K then your DB costs might need to be below $200. However, make your monthly profit $500M, then you can afford spending anywhere between $200K and $1M a month on the DB and its support (licensed or in-house) and even more.

Re:New features? (5, Insightful)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | about a year ago | (#44120795)

This is all very true. For a small website MySQL or MariaDB are fine. I work in government and we collect, process and create terrabytes of ocean data a month for weather, sea ice, waves, salinity, temperature, oxygen, species migration, satellite imagery, and tons of other things. I hate Oracle because of their business practices and general asshatery as much as the next techie, but for large databases that require the kind of collection, processing and modeling we do, Oracle is all there is.

You're especially right that there's no "easy mode". I think it'd be silly to include such a thing and dumb down such a hugely complex product to a level that you might as well be using MySQL or MariaDB. And for the amount of data we deal with and the number of database instances we have, yes it's a full time DB admin job. God forbid the someone was to pull a Bobby tables [xkcd.com] because we didn't have someone qualified creating and maintaining the databases at all times.

Re:New features? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44121203)

... And for the amount of data we deal with and the number of database instances we have, yes it's a full time DB admin job...

Yes but it does get silly.

i worked for a couple of big storage companies in their backup section to provide resources and training for, among many other types of clienst, Oracle DB Admins. It always struck me that it was only 'very complex' and required 'many DB admins' because those same DB admins made it that way. Of course I didn't care, I was just about getting data to Tape/Disk and making sure they had a workable process to make whatever backup scheme they wanted, but good god... they didn't half want to make it very complex.

So I have to wonder, now that I am out of this field (and do SAN storage networking) if this is still the case. If after all you are 'essentially' just making space for some more data, why does the 'DataBase' need to be more and more complex?

It's like saying I need more and more skilled and/or more and more Tape Monkeys or Storage Admins because I use more and mroe disks. You don't really need more, as long as you have a place to put the data and a way to get it back, why should the systems you have in place change?

Most data just sits there and even then when it is needed it is read from, not really written too.

I sort of see this like a Road worker having to get more and more and more skilled as we increase the number of lanes in a highway. It's nonsense, just smacks of either complexity for complexity's sake, or that people don't really understand their product well enough to produce efficient routines/processes/reports. Of course the software companies love it, they can sell you more and more licenses. The PHB are ignorant in most cases (at least in my experience).

When I did my last job for the last backup company I worked for, it was for a finance and insurance company (a big international one), I noted that they had effectively 2 databases that were company critical, once system was legacy and was run on Mainframe (some Hitachi Iron I think) and the other was on a UNIX Platform (I think HPUX), the amount of DB admins to manage the Mainframe was 2 - for the whole of the northern hemisphere (they had a third who was on standby but was essentially a contractor), the UNIX Admins had 8 just for the one country.

The amount of tape being used was 5 times the amount on the mainframe compared to the UNIX DB admins, yet they said they had not had to change any process for over 4 years and all they did was just 'add disk' as the database got bigger and bigger.

I know that there is huge difference in cost of UNIX vs Mainframe, but the point was the amount of people needed to manage a system that was '5' times the size for an a geographical area 100 times the same took a quarter of the amount of people.

I have and still am not convinced that the 'complexity' of products like Oracle at least from the perspective of the way each company uses it (it is a big suite of stuff after all I get that), is ever that well run.

Re:New features? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44121449)

process and create terrabytes of ocean data

A real dba would never make such a typo. I smell something fishy here.

Re:New features? (1)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | about a year ago | (#44121665)

My keyboard is old and has had a lot of coffee spilled on it. Lately the keys stick a bit. Had I spelled it tarriebytes I might be able to see your concern, but one extra 'r' doesn't really count as a serious typo.

I'm not a DBA and I never made that claim, I'm a developer. Some of the applications I write are front ends for researchers to access data stored in Oracle databases. Some applications are for modeling data and comparing models against hindcasts. There is a lot of data.

Re:New features? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44121463)

MySQL isn't the only other option. DB2, Postgresql, Hadoop ?

Re:New features? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44121689)

MySQL isn't the only other option. DB2, Postgresql, HBase ?

FTFY

Re:New features? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44121741)

This is all very true. For a small website MySQL or MariaDB are fine.

A small website... like facebook?

Re:New features? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44122497)

LOL!! That was great! I laughed, I cried, I peed my pants.

Re:New features? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44122003)

How does your DB admin prevent SQL injection vulnerabilities in client code?

Re:New features? (1)

pak9rabid (1011935) | about a year ago | (#44122135)

God forbid the someone was to pull a Bobby tables [xkcd.com] because we didn't have someone qualified creating and maintaining the databases at all times.

Wouldn't preventing a "Bobby tables" incident be more on the application developers plate than the DBA's?

Re:New features? (1)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | about a year ago | (#44122251)

Yes, as I'm an application developer that is why it came to mind. My reason for pointing it out is because the DBA would be responsible for cleaning up the mess of some bad application developer if that situation was to arise. I'm not the only application dev in my group and am far more knowledgeable than some of my coworkers, and far less knowledgeable than others.

That being said, my understanding is if a DBA does a good job setting up permissions and uses DBA terms, such as materialized view, they can reduce the chance of an application dev messing things up in the first place.

Re:New features? (1)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about a year ago | (#44120849)

I suppose I should have pointed out that I'm speaking as a developer of an independant application who has to (transparently) support multple database types. Oracle is the one that consistantly makes me want to tear my hair out.

Re:New features? (4, Insightful)

malkavian (9512) | about a year ago | (#44120755)

The complexity often sets the ceiling.
SQL Server is pretty simple out of the box, and with a reasonable toolset to let you administer it. I trust it to a level. However, cost 'savings' being what they are, a lot of companies who do not understand exactly what it is they're asking, will hire someone who can click the SQL Server buttons on the GUI and change a tape.
They're cheaper than an in depth DBA that groks the environment by a long shot. However, when it comes emergency time, I really don't trust that things will go smoothly.

Oracle has the starting point that you need to know a few of the bits under the hood, so you actually start to understand what's really going on (it tries not to hide the messy details from you), seems to come with the kitchen sink (though occasionally with a fair mortgage as well), and requires staff that actually know what they're about; it actively encourages you to go deeper all the time.

I don't have a problem with a product that's geared for high end enterprise requiring a guru level knowledge to actually get going. At that level, you really should have the skills to back your actions up with.

Re:New features? (4, Insightful)

jbolden (176878) | about a year ago | (#44120759)

First off installing Oracle does not require guru knowledge. They write pretty good installation guides. Developers install Oracle for themselves all the time. I will agree it is much harder than SQLServer to install but that's a SQLServer strength.

Oracle is a professional product. It exists at the top end for people who want to be able to manually configure and tweak the database to get the most out of it. It also allows for complex configurations that the other systems don't. It the database server hardware cost is in 4 or 5 figures, and the configuration isn't extremely complex don't use Oracle. When you compare Oracle to SQLServer compare a setup of a database distributed over 4 continents involving $20m in server hardware because that's where all that complexity really shines.

Re:New features? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44121361)

"They write pretty good installation guides".

Either they have seriously gotten better at writing documentation(got rid of anything Oracle circa 2007)
and you are very young, or you are an Oracle shill.

Back then it was quite known among oracle users(dbas, developers) that Oracle intentionally crippled their
documentation in order to profit, even more, from certifications and books. Nothing ever worked by following
the Oracle online manuals. The Oracle forum was your only hope and even there some answers were not
allowed to be written.

Oracle exists for the same reason MS products exist - "Noone ever got fired for bying Oracle/MS".
The quality of the software is attrocious(read: enterprise level) and is intented for PHB's.

Re:New features? (1)

jbolden (176878) | about a year ago | (#44122169)

As for installing from the guides. I've done it many times, it does work. And they are extremely detailed. I often do look at websites for more information but the official oracle guide is my primary source.

I'm not young, I'm not a shill. Oracle's documentation is rather good. No one writes 100k+ pages of professional quality documentation per version and intentionally cripples it. Absolutely Oracle Press and other 3rd party writers do a good job in providing documentation, often because you have writers and not technical writers involved. And there is better up to the minute information in their various forums, no question.

But can you many products with better documentation?

Re:New features? (1)

Tailhook (98486) | about a year ago | (#44122195)

install [...] a SQLServer strength.

Microsoft has accomplished easy installation on a single platform. 12 c is fully supported [oracle.com] on many versions of 5 major operating systems. The installation GUI (yes, the whining is about a system with a GUI/wizard installer you can blast through banging on 'next'...) is pretty consistent across platforms.

It's not hipster software. Oracle has the conceit to expect sufficient experience to follow some basic instructions. Nevertheless developers get it done every day without drama.

Re:New features? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44120963)

I see you're a dedicated full-time Oracle support guy. I don't know of a lot of other products that require a full-time support person to do (conceptually) simple stuff.

Oh look, somebody's never worked at a company with more than 50 people.

Dipshit.

Re:New features? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44121015)

Thanks for your thoughtful and useful response.

Fucktard.

Re:New features? (1)

HockeyPuck (141947) | about a year ago | (#44121399)

I work at a fortune 100 company.. Where else do we have dedicated support personnel?

Mainframe operators/programmers
Storage (HDS & netapp) admins
DBAs
Network (L2/L3) and another team that handles L4-7 and security like firewalls
VMware admins
Aix admins

Damn. You must work at one awesome company since your DBA can do all of that. He or she should get a raise.

Re:New features? (1)

advid.net (595837) | about a year ago | (#44121067)

It can perform change block tracking on database datafiles to allow increment backups "ALTER DATABASE ENABLE BLOCK CHANGE TRACKING USING FILE ;".

Note: block change tracking is used to reduce reads in case of incremental backup. It is not required to allow incremental backup.

Re:New features? (1)

jbolden (176878) | about a year ago | (#44120739)

I'm not sure what line you are talking about. There are a few references in the article to backup and recovery like, "In addition, you can back up and recover pluggable databases independently of the container database" which say nothing remotely like Oracle didn't have backup and recovery. The backup strategies that MySQL uses were developed by Oracle usually a decade or two before.

Re:New features? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44120749)

Additional backup features moron. Like the ability to retrieve a point-in-time version of a single table from a full wihile-in-use backup augmented with continuous log backup. Didn't have to specify in advance a backup strategy for that specific table. Not limited by specific dump times.

Re:New features? (1)

nairnr (314138) | about a year ago | (#44122395)

Backup and restore are new features in this latest version of the Oracle Database??

How on earth did they manage before?! Seriously? Is it just me or am I the only person who writes programs from scratch with data security, portability and safety in mind? Gosh, My data has been separate from the program since I was loading out to 90-minute Type II's!

I mean, seriously, from this article can we assume that mysqldump offered a more sensible backup than every version of the mega-expensive Oracle, until this version?

No, it says that it has new capabilities - not that backing up is new to Oracle...

Slashvertisement alert (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44120481)

Wow. What a blatant advertisement. Slashdot has really sunk.

Nothing about price? (5, Funny)

Njovich (553857) | about a year ago | (#44120485)

Wait what. He wrote a review about Oracle, gave an 8 for value, and didn't mention pricing? Is this some kind of shill or such?

Even for a shill I would at least expect a line like
'Yes, a license for a normal octocore setup costs more than your home, but...'
or 'After going through the 2 hour cost calculation matrix, the resulting price seemed a tad steep, but'

If you have to ask, you can't afford it (0)

RLiegh (247921) | about a year ago | (#44120533)

maybe they have some sort of hobbyest program, like mysql or something?

Re:If you have to ask, you can't afford it (4, Informative)

ReallyEvilCanine (991886) | about a year ago | (#44120581)

It's free for personal use (edelivery.oracle.com) just like all Oracle software. You only need paid licenses and support for commercial use. For that you need a lot of money.

Re:If you have to ask, you can't afford it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44120635)

For commercial use, as an independent developer, the Personal licenses still only cost around $200/year.

Re:If you have to ask, you can't afford it (1)

ledow (319597) | about a year ago | (#44120685)

So if you're one guy who needs a database for himself that he doesn't need to expose to clients at all, it's only $200 a year.

Sorry, but I can't imagine they have much take-up of that at all, except for testing / experiments / copyright infringement.

Re:If you have to ask, you can't afford it (4, Informative)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | about a year ago | (#44120821)

No, it's $200/year for a personal licence if you're going to use it commercially. If you're just creating a DB to categorize the porn on your PC and don't ever plan on making money or exposing it in a commercial sense it's free to use.

Re:If you have to ask, you can't afford it (1)

ReallyEvilCanine (991886) | about a year ago | (#44120865)

Sorry? Because you doubt the T&Cs right there on the site? As for the last line, you're not terribly imaginative, are you? The free access means anyone who wants to learn how to use any of Oracle's products to, say, get a job, can do so for free.

Any company considering systems (Oracle sells hardware, OS, database, back end, middleware and front end) doesn't have to pay first and hope later. Developers can and do build full turnkey solutions at zero speculation cost. Try that with DB2 or MS Foxbase Pro. Try it with SAP (for that manner, try getting SAP to run on Flash.free Apple). Can you imagine it now? This is the same thing as Apple, Microsoft, Adobe, Autodesk and the rest giving freebies to schools and deep-discounting for students.

Re:If you have to ask, you can't afford it (3, Insightful)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about a year ago | (#44120643)

Nobody, not one single person is using Oracle databases in a personal capacity. It is always in connection with business. Therefore, I expect there to be a mention of pricing.

Re:If you have to ask, you can't afford it (2)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | about a year ago | (#44120891)

Oracle uses a tiered system for licensing and the prices are usually depended on what features you need for your business. I've installed and use Oracle DB for personal use. It was mostly a training excise, but I use it to keep track of my beer brewing recipes, cost of supplies, quality checks, temperature, specific gravity, alcohol by volume, taste, etc... I could have used MySQL, but I wanted to learn and practice with Oracle because that's the industry standard for large database applications.

I'm not a shill promoting Oracle, MySQL and SQLServer are all great products. I haven't used MariaDB yet, but I like to play around with the technologies. Oracle is a great product if you have a need for large database applications. It's management are still a bunch of asshats; it sucks that business people get in the way of and ruin great technologies.

Re:If you have to ask, you can't afford it (1)

FictionPimp (712802) | about a year ago | (#44120921)

In education they like to send you a quote for a unreasonable amount of money with stupid discounts.

I think our quote was a few million for the license with 98.5% discount.

Specifically... (1)

emil (695) | about a year ago | (#44121809)

A processor license for Oracle Enterprise database is $47,500.

http://www.oracle.com/us/corporate/pricing/technology-price-list-070617.pdf [oracle.com]

Currently, this lets you run on a dual-core x86, or a single core RISC/Itanium. The SPARC Niagra line had some real discount wierdness, since they present 64 cores to the OS.

Re:If you have to ask, you can't afford it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44121921)

Has anyone ever used Oracle's database (Oracle, not MySQL) for personal use, except as a trial for commercial use?

It's like saying you have a wrecking ball that's free for personal use. I guess it's neat but who would ever use such a thing? It's inherently a tool for a different kind of project. For any personal use I can think of, there are perfectly good sledgehammers that are far easier to use.

Re:Nothing about price? (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about a year ago | (#44120535)

'Yes, a license for a normal octocore setup costs more than your home, but...'
or 'After going through the 2 hour cost calculation matrix, the resulting price seemed a tad steep, but'

but, but... but you don't realise, look at the title of TFA, it says: Finally, a true cloud database.

Do you understand that? They finally have managed to install their database on an actual freaking CLOUD! How cool is that? I imagine it's pretty cool, maybe -50 Centigrade or so.

Re:Nothing about price? (5, Funny)

jimshatt (1002452) | about a year ago | (#44120575)

A true clown database. Clown storage and clown computing is all the rage these days.

Re:Nothing about price? (1)

denvergeek (1184943) | about a year ago | (#44121231)

I bet the compression is pretty good

Re:Nothing about price? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44121503)

Only for mobile platforms.

Re:Nothing about price? (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about a year ago | (#44121589)

But it only works if you pay premium for special large clown shoes, without those the thing tips over all the time (and that's how it got that clown nose, kept hitting the darn thing against the pavement).

Re:Nothing about price? (2)

F.Ultra (1673484) | about a year ago | (#44120589)

Yeah but is it web scale?

Re:Nothing about price? (1)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | about a year ago | (#44120695)

Yes, it works quite well with both spiders and silkworms. Though keep in mind that most arachnids and insects do not perform well uninsulated in the cloud layer due to the abnormal temperatures, turbulence, and humidity. To get the best query throughput, keep your servers and invertebrates in a controlled, pressurized environment.

Re:Nothing about price? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44120817)

Do spiders and silkworms support sharding?

Re:Nothing about price? (1)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | about a year ago | (#44121271)

It's not as fast as /dev/null. Does /dev/null support sharding yet?

Re:Nothing about price? (4, Funny)

Bill Dimm (463823) | about a year ago | (#44121323)

Yeah but is it web scale?

For those that don't know the joke, it is here [youtube.com] .

Re:Nothing about price? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44120655)

'Yes, a license for a normal octocore setup costs more than your home, but...'
or 'After going through the 2 hour cost calculation matrix, the resulting price seemed a tad steep, but'

but, but... but you don't realise, look at the title of TFA, it says: Finally, a true cloud database.

Do you understand that? They finally have managed to install their database on an actual freaking CLOUD! How cool is that? I imagine it's pretty cool, maybe -50 Centigrade or so.

Weather summary: Shitstorm
Chance of rain fucking up your data center: 100%

Re:Nothing about price? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44120637)

Price is pretty much the same - $25K per core for basic, $50K per core for enterprise, $75K for RAC. Things like containers are extra, so figure a typical 8 core at being only $.5M license (14% annual maintenance). Around here, that only buys a small house.

Re:Nothing about price? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44120969)

Im an Oracle DBA with 15 years behind me. Im an OCP as well (for what thats worth these days...).

Oracle is not expensive. Not for what you get. The problem is that licensing and options are poorly understood. Business's install the Enterprise edition when they dont need it. They use partitioning and DG when they dont need it.

And there is the hardware choice. Oracle applies a 1, a 0.5, or a 0.25 multiplier depending on your OS choice. In other words - it's going to cost you more to run the same edition of Oracle on a windows box than it would if you stuck OEL on it - same hardware. It's gets a little more complex with Solaris SPARC [and Oracle will seek to push this harder and harder over the next few years with it's promise of embedded database code on the chipsets]. And remember - the prices are negotiable.

Oracle is licensed by CORE. Not by CPU. You can use this to your advantage.

It's all in the documentation:@ http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E11882_01/license.112/e10594.pdf

Anyway - thats me done. I know as a corporation that Oracle salesmen are asshats. But only if you let them be.

Re:Nothing about price? (1)

hibiki_r (649814) | about a year ago | (#44121183)

I guess that they are not expensive for what you get in the same way that a fighter jet is not expensive for what you get. Most people should just not buy one at all.

It's amazing how many companies are there paying an arm and a leg for Oracle installs when the same work would work just fine in Postgres for $0.

Re:Nothing about price? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44122079)

My old workplace (post anonymously to protect them) had a bit of fun with that. We had our main production machine licensed for Enterprise, but another machine licensed for Standard. Oracle decides to do an audit - I was working at a state agency, and they decided to audit the entire state government. We ran the scripts they sent us and sent back the output, believing that we'd done everything correctly.

As it turned out, at some point, one of our DBAs had run the Oracle database tuner against the machine that was running the Standard version. You're not allowed to do that. Oracle said that we would have to upgrade the server running Standard to Enterprise, and back-license it for the previous five or six years - the time since we'd installed Oracle on that server. That was a significant chunk of money - it's been a few years now, but I believe it was in the neighborhood of $200K (after Oracle's offer of their usual incredibly steep 'discount' Hypothetically, we owed them over a million, at the list prices that no one actually pays). Certainly the state could afford it, but it was an unbudgeted expense, and someone would likely wind up on the chopping block for it.

We dug deeper. We created a new database on the server running Standard, then tried to connect to it with the tuning application (which you install elsewhere, on a server running Oracle's management tools, not on the database server itself). We discovered that it did not give any warning that you are connecting to a server running Standard. Checking into the logs from Oracle's audit scripts, we also discovered that the tuner had been used against that server exactly once.

So we talked to Oracle. We told them that one of our DBAs had innocently run the tuner against one database on there, once. We'd identified which DBA it was and given her additional training so that it would not happen again, and added to our procedures to let any future additions to the DBA staff know that they should not assume that the tool would let them know if it wasn't okay to use it on a particular database. We told them there was no malicious intent, and it was a simply mistake. We also mentioned to them the fact that their own tool didn't indicate anything about it not being allowed, and that they might want to fix that, since it would be simple for the tool to determine it.

Their reply was essentially, "You touched it, you bought it. Pay up."

We got our legal department involved, explaining the situation to them. One of our attorneys wrote a rather fun letter to Oracle, using the phrase "minefield marketing" - meaning basically that Oracle appeared to have deliberately set things up so that it would be likely for someone to accidentally do something they weren't supposed to, in order to make money by doing audits and then threatening people who made honest mistakes in order to get extra money.

Again, their reply was simply, "You touched it, you bought it. Pay up."

We offered as a compromise to pay them one year's licensing for the Enterprise version for that server, since there had only been the one incident. They replied that they would not accept that. License it all the way back (including a couple of years before the activity outside the license ever happened), or they would take us to court.

Our legal department replied, "Okay. Take us to court, then. We'll have some very interesting things to tell a judge and jury about how your software is set up to entrap unwary users."

I don't know what happened from there, since that's about the time that I left the company. The last I talked to anyone about it, about a year ago, it was just their lawyers and Oracle's lawyers talking, and the people in IT were being kept in the dark about it.

Still, though, I found Oracle's attitude toward a company that had been a loyal customer for more than twenty years to be very hard to understand. We'd literally paid them somewhere in the neighborhood of $40-50 million in that time... but they were more than willing to throw away that relationship, and the possible future revenues from us, for $200K. And it wasn't like we were running completely unlicensed databases, or had been doing anything maliciously - it was quite literally a simple mistake that happened once.

At the same time, they demanded several million dollars for licensing for our Oracle Application Server boxes. This takes a little explaining.

A couple of years before that, we'd started setting up a new OAS installation, moving from one OS to another. As we were beginning that, Oracle contacted us for a 'license review'. We welcomed them with open arms, and I personally sat down with Oracle representatives who were doing the license review, and explained to them what we were planning on doing (it involved running a couple of test servers on virtual machines, on VMware). We asked them whether this would be allowed under our license. They told us they would have to research it and get back to us.

A month later, we reminded them of that. They told us that they'd forgotten about it, but would research it and get back to us. Another month went by, and this repeated.

By this point, we were needing the test servers up, so we let them know that we were going to start with the installation, and to please let us know as soon as possible if this would be a licensing problem, so we could fix things.

They never got back to us. But when they came around for the audit, two years later, Oracle then informed us that what we were doing on the test servers was outside the scope of our license, and we would have to pay for it. Again, back to the time of install. We sent them all the emails we'd sent back and forth to the people doing the licensing review, and explained that we honestly believed Oracle was okay with what we were doing, since we'd told them about it before we did it, and they had never raised an objection, even after repeated questioning.

Their reply was that a 'license review' was not the same thing as an 'audit', and the people who did 'license reviews' had no authority to tell us what was and wasn't okay. We asked if that were the case, why the people doing the review didn't simply tell us that, rather than let us operate under the belief that what we were doing was okay. When we got the lawyers involved, the lawyer who wrote about 'minefield marketing' included this as well, pointing out that Oracle had operated in bad faith by letting us believe that we were legal when we were not. (Oracle's response to this was, of course, "You touched it, you bought it. Pay up.")

Personally, I won't recommend Oracle to anyone. They make an excellent database, but their marketing practices seem predatory, and they appear to have no concept of trying to maintain customer goodwill. That's my experience.

Re:Nothing about price? (1)

jbolden (176878) | about a year ago | (#44120773)

That is kinda weird since DB2 has now used pricing as a strategy, "buy our hardware (Netezza) and get your DB2 licenses included". Which means AFAIK Oracle is now the most expensive product per CPU.

In terms of value... Oracle saves people a lot of money on hardware and telco at the high end. There just isn't any easy way to do a value computation because their just aren't the right kinds of competitors.

Meta-review (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44120497)

I wouldn't call this a review so much as an annotated version of a changelog. To me, the word review implies some level of critical analysis, but this article just describes what Oracle intended to achieve without examining how well the changes work. To the article's credit, it does at least briefly mention the techniques being used, but it would be a more effective advertisement if it included actual numbers rather than just gushing praise when describing improved query optimization and availability.

You lost me at RAC (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44120615)

RAC is not the end all be all of database scalability and availability. :)

smooth RAC cluster installation (1)

close_wait (697035) | about a year ago | (#44120789)

"smooth RAC cluster installation". That would make a pleasant change.

Oh Goody! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44120873)

Another version the DBA's will rave about, take years to put in, be afraid to actually use to fail-over because it doesn't actually address failing over the application that runs on it, spend all their time and system resources pounding the shit out of the system for backups they are afraid to use because it takes to long to restore and in the end rely on the real SYSADMINS and SAN ADMINS for flash copies and snapshots and then ask us why the systems are running slow. Can't wait.

financial marketing (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44121017)

got update financial marketing by clicking http://financialinn.com/

Where's the Skip This Ad button? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44121059)

I just get 4 pages of advert.

Re:Where's the Skip This Ad button? (1)

jfdavis668 (1414919) | about a year ago | (#44121253)

Its right beside the dislike button.

Cloud ? Not so much. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44121415)

There is not so much cloud in the review, but marketing - a lot !
It gives percentages and bombastic sentences about how good the new Oracle is. It looks like the whole review is not intended for an engineers.

All in all, looks like a product intended to squeeze more money out of DB cash cow, with limited innovation.

Think twice before using Oracle, then think again (4, Insightful)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about a year ago | (#44121421)

99% of database users have no need at all to give money to One Rich Asshole Called Larry Ellison.

Yes, there are a tiny handful of applications where Oracle outshines the alternatives. Yours probably isn't one of them. If you're running a small website, MySQL/MariaDB will almost certainly work just fine. (Or the free version of MS SQL Server, if you're developing in ASP.NET.) For larger applications, PostgreSQL can do the vast majority of what Oracle can do at no cost. If you're not working with absolutely massive datasets, and don't need the specific enterprise features the system offers, Oracle is probably a waste of your money.

Too many companies throw their money away just because it's "standard", even though it really isn't – other databases are more widely used as well as being cheaper and easier to administer. Anyone who wants to buy Oracle should have to justify with clear and specific reasons (not just marketing buzzwords) why they need it and how the massive expense is going to benefit the company compared to the alternatives.

from an Oracle DBA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44122027)

Ok that article was nice marketing fluff. When the new version comes out the community tends to pick it apart. There are a significant number of people who dig into various new features. Its hard to find the good articles buried under the 'copy and paste of the documentation' guys who pretend like they are doing stuff to get attention. The best place to go for this is the oracle-l@freelists.org listserv. The guys on there tend to pick this stuff apart and talk about what work sand what doesn't with details.

BTW, as far as price. No one pays list price. Everyone gets a discount and pays a fraction of that price. Its not uncommon for smaller companies to literally pay 10% of the listed price (or less) since they want to make the sale. It is still expensive, but its not as expensive as you think. Also, I agree if your running a small website or something like that Oracle is a waste of money. If you know how to exploit the features for a large high end system its pretty robust. I'm not an evangelist and Larry doesn't pay so I won't say that Oracle is always the best choice. I am on a project now where we are using oracle for our core central DB and then an open source DB for downstream data stores. The open source DBs have significant limitations, but its in the 'good enough cause its free' category.

I have never been hired to work on small to medium size systems. All the projects looking for Oracle DBAs are large high end systems. They make the vast bulk of their money off of these systems.

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