On Wednesday, Oracle executives unveiled the new Oracle Database 11g. For some IT executives, such as Starwood Hotel and Resorts’ Arup Nanda, who were 11g beta testers, the day was the culmination of 10 months’ worth of partnering with Oracle on its overhaul of the 10g database.
Oracle 11g’s new features — Real Application Testing, Data Replay, Data Guard, and new data partitioning, archiving and compression capabilities — were well-known and welcomed by Nanda.
“All of those functions were on my wish list,” says Nanda, Starwood’s senior director of database engineering and architecture, via e-mail.
For other IT execs, such as Golden Gate University CIO Anthony Hill, it was just another busy Wednesday. “We are an Oracle customer, but I have to admit not even being aware of the 11g announcement,” he wrote in an e-mail. “Shame on me.”
Outside of the 11g product, however, when asked what IT execs really need from Oracle now, the responses are wide ranging. “Oh, the list would be endless,” says Nanda, “but here are my top ones.” Nanda would like to make rolling patch and upgrades in RAC (Oracle’s Real Application Clusters) a reality. He’d like to see more online capabilities — to have the ability to make most of the patches and database parameters online, and make most application changes as online as possible — “without needing downtime.”
In addition, Nanda would like to see failures from the other systems such as I/O, storage, OS, more transparent and traceable “instead of the cryptic error messages that don’t convey anything,” Nanda says.
As to what other areas of Oracle where he’d like to see an “upgrade,” Nanda responds, “Fewer patches will be the nirvana but may not be realistic. So, instead I want the ‘upgrade’ to be in the area of patching — making it less intrusive, requiring less downtime demanding and consolidating more patches.”
Golden Gate University’s Hill says the 11g announcement “will have no short-term impact on us nor will it change our operations. Future database plans will obviously be influenced by a major new release, but not in the short-term, i.e., in one year.”
Hill does say, however, that one possible exception to his plans might involve an upgrade to 11g that actually leaps over 10g. “We may skip 10g altogether and go straight to 11g. We are on 9i right now,” he says. “We would have to analyze this, but it is certainly an opportunity.”
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