The OAUG Upgrade SIG hosted a meeting at Collaborate 10 to discuss upgrade issues from E-Business Suite Release 11i to Release 12.
- John Stouffer, Independent Consultant, Past Chair of the Upgrade SIG, Moderator
- Lester Gutierrez, Oracle EBS Performance Group, works on upgrades and reducing downtime
- Udayn Parvate, EBS Release Management Team, works on building and packaging the E-Business Suite software. Udayn performs installation and upgrade activities, defines and enforces standards for packaging and delivery with development teams. He works to get upgrade issues resolved so E-Business Suite customers' experience is as smooth as possible.
- Sandra Vucinic, Vlad Group, Inc., Chair of the Upgrade SIG
- Floyd Teter, Jet Propulsion Labs, functional guy on the panel
- Steven Chan, Director, Applications Technology Integration, Oracle Corporation
- Michael Rulf, Executive Director - Product Development, AT&T Hosting and Application Services (H&AS)
The Questions and Answers
We are going to upgrade from Release 11.0.3 to Release 12. We are currently running on Sun Solaris and will switch to a Linux Intel environment. Our architecture team is wondering how to do performance load simulation so we know how much hardware we need to buy to run the upgraded E-Business Suite environment. Our database is 700 gigabytes, and we have 2500 users.
- First, you need to get a sense of how many concurrent users you have, and what those users are doing. While you may have a total of 2500 users, those users probably aren't all logged on at the same time, and they likely aren't submitting data and hitting commit at the same time. The limits will not be software, but will be hardware limitations based on the degree of throughput, and read and write operations per second. The architecture team needs to understand the product mix (modules), the read/write workload, and the concurrent manager workload, and then bring in the hardware vendor to help build out a test environment. You can also use load simulation software like Mercury Interactive. Oracle has a Test Starter Kit (see http://blogs.oracle.com/stevenChan/2010/04/ebs_1211_tsk.html) for E-Business Suite Release 12.1.1 that can be helpful, but you need to choose carefully when you put together your test environment.
- As you purchase your hardware, make sure you are positioned to be scalable, so you have room to grow if you need to. You might find, for example, that when you do the first close on the new system, you need to add more hardware to deal with the extra load. If you can move to parallel concurrent processing, you can add another node easily. Given the size of your environment, you should research and understand the options available for using load balancing and shared appl tiers (see Parallel Concurrent Processing Failover and Load Balancing of E-Business Suite Release 11i and Release 12 by Mike Swing at TruTek).
- As far as hardware is concerned, we are starting to see where the Intel world is supporting more processor cores, and the hardware is hot pluggable. Be careful not to skimp on the chassis, but populate it with the number of processors you want. We're about to see a big jump in the industry from 4 core to 8 core. You should try to pick a hardware solution that allows you to make that move if you need to. Note that there's a tradeoff to buying more processing power than you need - if you overload your processor, your software fees will go up, so you have to strike a balance.
We upgraded to release 12.0.4 and saw a 25-30% increase in database size. Is there a similar increase with the 12.0.4 to 12.1.2 upgrade?
TCA, SLA, and E-Business Tax added a lot to the database size, but you've already bit the bullet on those modules, so no, you shouldn't see a significant increase.
We are currently running Release 126.96.36.199. Is there a recommended upgrade path?
You should upgrade to RDBMS Version 11gR2 and then Release 12.1.1, and then apply the 12.1.2 RUP. We've "borrowed" a wonderful diagram from Steven Chan's blog of what your E-Business Suite Upgrade Roadmap is:
Is there a plan to offer a gui screen for the Mobile Supply Chain module? Currently it uses a telnet session.
It is a high priority with the User Experience team, but we aren't sure when it will be released. The Release 11.5.10 gui version, according to someone in the audience, was too slow, so it wasn't adopted by many users.
Do people typically upgrade or reimplement?
Upgrading is less expensive, and much better supported by Oracle. Because of the nature of reimplementations, the path isn't as clear because we all have different reasons for doing it. It is much more difficult to determine what post upgrade patches to apply, and how to do validation testing. Reimplementation customers will have to blaze their own trail.
Is bifurcation still recommended?
For Release 12, the new term is Upgrade by Request. Upgrade by Request allows you to upgrade part of your data during the upgrade, and then upgrade the rest of your data after your upgrade completes. Modules that can use Upgrade by Request include Financials and Procurement, projects, Supply Chain Management, and CRM. You can read more about Upgrade by Request in Appendix G of the Release 12 Upgrade Manual.
Are there any recommendations for preparing for a Release 188.8.131.52 upgrade to Release 12.1.2?
- See Sandra Vucinic's presentation, Get Ready for EBS Release 12.1! Tasks to Complete Now to Ease R12.1 Upgrade Process. Here's a list of tasks from her presentation:
- Upgrade database to 11gR1 or 11gR2
- Convert tablespaces to OATM model
- Evaluate impact of R12.1 on customizations and extensions
- Introduce BI (XML) Publisher and JDeveloper
- Introduce Web ADI and Report Manager
- Archive and purge EBS 11i data
- Convert from JInitiator to Native Sun JRE - _21 is recommended
- Integrate Discoverer Server Release 10g with EBS 11i - use Discoverer 11g if possible as Discoverer 10g is desupported at the end of 2010
- Configure Oracle iAS Release 10g for external apps (SSO, OID, Portal) and integrate with EBS 11i
- Position for high availability and scalability
- Evaluate and complete platform change based on ROI
- RDBMS 11gR2 is a major architectural change in the nature of the cluster software. DBAs need time to understand the fairly steep learning curve. The many new features may help justify doing the database upgrade separately from the E-Business Suite upgrade so DBAs can come up to speed on the technology.
- In terms of testing, have you catalogued all of your customizations? How are you going to train your user community? What tool will you use to develop training guides?
- Read the 11gR2 Upgrade Companion, and be sure to stay current throughout your upgrade on new patches. There's already a RDBMS Version 184.108.40.206.1 patch which fixes a lot of issues.
A user related his story of upgrading from Release 220.127.116.11 to Release 12.1.2. During the upgrade the patch stuck on a program, they waited a day, and got a pre-upgrade patch that needed to be applied before starting the upgrade. He noted how frustrating this was, and asked if there is any My Oracle Support note that tells all performance and serious functional issues in the upgrade.
The official My Oracle Support documents are the Release 12 Upgrade Guide, the Release Notes, and the NLS Release Notes. When Oracle encounters issues, they update the Release Notes. They may also release additional patches, including Critical Update Patches (CUP), which include a consolidation of fixes. Users must actively monitor My Oracle Support for additional patches and alerts while upgrading. Another option is to look at the Release 12 Forum, a very active, live, real time forum. Often solutions can be found there before logging a problem in My Oracle Support. Check out the forum at: http://forums.oracle.com/forums/forum.jspa?forumID=395&start=0
How close are we to desupport on Release 18.104.22.168?
Premier Support ends at the end of November, 2010. The extra cost for Extended Support is waived until November, 2011. Extended Support ends in November 2013. Premier support is what you have today, and includes certifications with Oracle products and other products. If a new MS Windows client is released, with Premium Support, Oracle will certify to that. Extended Support, however, will not include third party certifications, so if a new service pack for Windows 7 is released after November, 2010, Oracle is not bound to certify to that service pack. Odds are, they'll give it a try, but they are not likely to produce new patches. The emphasis at Oracle once Extended Support kicks in for Release 22.214.171.124 will be on Release 12.
This point is very important - E-Business Suite customers use a variety of other products besides the E-Business Suite on their computers. Once Extended Support starts, customers may find themselves needing to upgrade because of some other product that they use, but unable to do so because of certification issues with Windows or JRE or other products.
When you move to R12, JInitiator is not certified and won't work on Windows 7 or Vista. You will need to migrate to the native SUN JRE client. Don't have to worry about java conflicts between applications.
I am new to an organization that uses grants, contracts, and projects. In the past, these were considered outliers that kept us from going to the latest release. Will these modules impact our ability to go to Release 12?
Panel members pointed to several companies using those modules who are upgrading, and said they have not hit any big issues.
An audience member said that she had put together a plan for her company based on what she has heard at the conference and wanted to make sure they were heading in the right direction. They are running RDBMS Version 10.2.0.3 with Release 126.96.36.199, they are already on JRE, they have Discoverer and ADI/GL already implemented with the web, and are moving to RDBMS 11g using OATM with a 2 node shared $APPL_TOP and the latest Release 12 (currently 12.1.2). Is that where her company should be heading?
The panel agreed, her approach is correct.
What features of RDBMS Version 11gR2 would be useful to the E-Business Suite Applications?
You can save a baseline of your production RDBMS 10g performance, and 11gR2 will tell you that your current execution plan is fine, or that you need to run a different plan. You won't lose any performance by going to 11g. This feature is built into 11g. If you run into a performance problem, you can fall back to the 10g plan to get immediate relief while working with Oracle Support to get a more permanent fix.
All in all, it was a fun meeting with lots of questions and interesting answers. As one might expect, the OAUG Upgrade SIG strongly urges you, if you haven't done so already, to get ready to upgrade to Release 12. There are exciting features in RDBMS 11gR2 that will benefit the E-Business Suite Applications even if you don't upgrade to Release 12. The path to upgrading is well-laid out and tested, and the software is now very stable. If you have questions about the upgrade, feel free to contact the OAUG Upgrade SIG. Just drop a note to barb at oncalldba dot com