Why you shouldn’t ignore Oracle 11g support end-of-life

By Dave
16th October 2020

Most of us are looking forward to seeing the end of 2020, for a multitude of reasons. However, if you are still enjoying the relative comfort of extended support on Oracle 11g, now might be the time for a change, as the extended support ends along with 2020.

 

There is no doubt that in today’s world, businesses cannot function without data and that managing and protecting that data is critical. According to DB Engines, Oracle and SQL are the most popular database management systems because of their reliability and the effective way they manage information and applications of their users.

In order to ensure that they keep being relevant for their customers and staying on top of the game, both systems constantly release new versions with new features and new tools that increase security, capabilities and performance. As new versions are released, support for the oldest versions gets retired, like in July 2019 when Microsoft stopped providing support for SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2.

The same is about to happen with Oracle, as it will stop Oracle 11g extended support on December 31st, 2020.

 

So, what are your options?

1. Do nothing – you can literally ignore the end of support Oracle 11g and still be able to use your Oracle database.

What does this mean for you? If you are running this version of Oracle database, the support end-of-life means no further critical patch updates, hotfixes or security fixes. Basically, you can still use it, but you won’t receive any Oracle support if you incur any new problems, and critically, your system would be vulnerable from a security point of view.

2. Upgrade – DIY, via Oracle or using an external provider – upgrading will be the recommended choice and maybe a chance to consolidate your databases into multitenant architecture, before it becomes mandatory in Oracle 20c.

3. Move to CloudOracle provides guidance on how to migrate to the cloud, although once again you can decide to use your own DBA team or to outsource.

 

If you decide to upgrade, what do you need to do in order to migrate?

Oracle has an entire set of documents designed to help you with the migration.

However, before you start the upgrade process, it is critical that you take some time to plan the migration. In fact, planning is most likely the part of the process that requires the most time. In your plan you should allow time for:

· Checking the status of software and hardware, to ensure that you can actually complete the migration (See the next point ‘What if you can’t upgrade’)

· Planning for the downtime required for the migration.

· Preparing a back-out plan, should anything go wrong.

· Testing, testing, testing! Everything should be run on a test system before you move to the live system.

PRO TIP: On https://support.oracle.com check out MOS note 884522.1 where you can see how to access and run Oracle’s Database pre-upgrade utility. This will highlight any database issues that could occur during a database upgrade.

 

What if you can’t upgrade?

There are instances where upgrades are not possible, or at least not straight away. Oracle has set up a number of paths that need to be followed before you can jump from a very old version to the latest releases.

You can check this useful document from Oracle to find the supported upgrade paths from Oracle 11 to 12/18 and then onto 19.

Oracle Database ReleasesAlso, your applications or your hardware might not be certified against the latest version, in which case you will need to invest in validating your application and updating your hardware before you can upgrade your Oracle system and enjoy again full extended support.

If you need assistance on checking what versions of Oracle Database are supported on what versions of Operating systems you can visit https://support.oracle.com:

1. Click on the certifications tab

2. Complete the Product and Release fields

3. Click on search to display certified versions.

Talk to us, if you need support, our team is here to help.

 

In summary

Such a drastic change of architecture may look daunting, but it is important for safeguarding your database estate and get a full extended support.

If you don’t feel comfortable or don’t have the in-house expertise to manage the migration, WellData has the expertise to help and advise on what is right for you.

Whether it is a full or partial consolidation, or simply moving what will become a legacy technology right up to date with minimal disruption, getting premier support, and protecting your database, we are there for you.

In this way, you can concentrate on what you do best and leave the rest to us.

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