(near)Zero Downtime Upgrades for Oracle 11g/12c — Introduction and Options

So, now that I have completed my series on  OpenLDAP for Oracle Net Service Name resolution, my next little adventure will be exploring the possibilities of zero downtime upgrades for Oracle 11gR2 and 12cR1.  This is an area that I don’t have a lot of experience with, so, I’ll be pretty much starting at ground zero.


Oracle’s suggested solution is GoldenGate.  (Oracle also has a near-zero downtime upgrade ability using Logical Standby, but, my understanding is that there are some datatype limitations with that solution.)  So, my goal last month, in attending Oracle Openworld, was to learn about GoldenGate, and what it can do.  However, I also learned about another product, by a company called dbvisit, that claims to offer the same functionality in replication and (near)zero downtime upgrade abilities.

The Plan

I’ve just been handed control of two VMware guests (4 cores, 32 GB RAM, running OL6.3).  So, I’ll be installing Oracle 11gR2 ( on both servers, and then I’ll configure replication using Oracle GoldenGate.  Once that’s done, I’ll attempt an upgrade to Oracle 12cR1 (  Finally, I’ll do a game reset on the two database servers, get them back to 11gR2, and try the same exercise using the dbvisit Replicate software.  I’ll be blogging about my experience with each of these products, and my thoughts about usability, performance, any problems or issues I run into along the way.

Stay tuned for the next blog posting, in the next week or so, (near)Zero Downtime Upgrades for Oracle 11g/12c — GoldenGate installation and configuration.

4 comments on “(near)Zero Downtime Upgrades for Oracle 11g/12c — Introduction and Options

  1. Fd Habash says:

    Hi there …
    How were you able to justify the cost of acquiring GG to perform an activity such as an upgrade which takes place sporadically and even when it does, it normally takes 45 minutes.

  2. mbobak says:

    Hi Fred,

    We haven’t justified any costs yet. I’m just beginning testing. I’ll be testing GG, as well as dbVisit Replicate, and part of my analysis will be cost of the two products, as well as ease of use, etc.

    As to costs, in general, I guess it’s really a management/business decision. How long is the downtime? What does that cost you on your production system, both in terms of real dollars as well as customer dissatisfaction/inconvenience?

    More to come as my testing proceeds.

  3. Fd Habash says:

    Why did you exclude ‘transient logical standby rolling upgrade’ method as an option. It promises a <= 2 minutes of downtime. See here for details http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/database/features/availability/maa-wp-11g-upgrades-made-easy-131972.pdf. Datatype support is less restrictive and having to enable supplemental logging is not a show-stopper (I believe).

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