Mythics Blog

A Guide to Oracle Database 12c Release 2 (12cR2)

Posted on January 11, 2017 by Jayson Nowlen

Tags: Oracle Database, Oracle Database 12c, Oracle Database 12cR2, Mythics Consulting, Oracle Database Upgrade

Oracle introduced the long awaited Database 12c Release 2 earlier this year at Oracle Open World.  The latest major release since 2013, originally announced in beta at Oracle Open World 2015, may have left some customers scratching their head after hearing the latest release would be what Oracle is calling “Cloud first availability”.  Simply put those who want an on-premise version of the latest Oracle database will have to wait a bit longer.  “Cloud first availability” means just that, Oracle Database 12.2 is only available in the following Oracle Cloud Services; Exadata Express Cloud Service, Enterprise Cloud Service (DBaaS), Exadata Cloud Service, and Exadata Cloud Machine (Cloud@Customer).  This may be a sign of things to come as Oracle continues to roll out new products updates with a potential “Cloud first” strategy.

Oracle customers typically wait for the second release of a database before upgrading to ensure that all the bugs have been worked out.  So Oracle’s decision to make the 12.2 database available exclusively in the cloud for a time could complicate buying decisions for organizations that want to take advantage of the new features and functionality.  That said there are still many ways customers can leverage these new features by migrating non critical, non- production workloads like Development, Test and UAT instances to the cloud during their 12.1 to 12.2 upgrade process.

Some of the key Oracle Database 12c Release 2 highlights are:

  • Multitenancy improvements, which allow for more databases to run on a single machine, 4,096 to be exact, up from 252 in 12.1.
  • Performance increases with SQL Performance Analyzer, DB Replay and SQL Plan Management. Users can now increase query execution with the Optimizer Statistics Advisor, SQL JOIN processing.

  • Security enhancements in auditing, like role based conditional auditing, privilege administration like new system administrative privilege for RAC, privilege analysis and data redaction, in transparent sensitive data protection with new types of policies for Fine Grain Auditing (FGA) and Transparent Data Encryption (TDE).

  • Availability enhanced features in RMAN like table recovery, transport data across platforms, enhancements related to online operations and ongoing enhancements with Oracle Data Pump, SQL*Loader and external tables.

Additional enhancements include; In-Memory FastStart which increases In-Memory performance by as much as 12x over 12.1, and enhanced Diagnostics with the new Trace File Analyzer  (TFA) tool.  However what might have been one of the hottest new features in 12.2 at Open World 2016 is support for automatic database “sharding”, the ability to scale a single database workload and running it across several disparate servers – a key feature in cloud computing.

Current documentation of new features and functionality:

At Mythics, we understand every upgrade is not without challenge, especially when it comes to cloud options.  Recently recognized by Oracle as the Complete Cloud Transformation Partner of the Year, Mythics offers comprehensive services to guide customers through the complexities of an Oracle 12.2 upgrade. 

If you have yet to upgraded to Oracle Database 12c (12.1) be sure to check out these compelling articles It’s Time to Upgrade to Oracle 12c by Mythics VP of Technology Randy Hardee and A Few Reasons to Upgrade Today! by Mythics Oracle ACE Erik Benner.

Jayson Nowlen, Enterprise Cloud Architect, Mythics, Inc.


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