How long can I hold off on Oracle 12c?

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It’s that time again. Oracle 12c is out and many of us are forming various plans on what we’re going to do with it. I’ve found that most thoughts around this are one of:

  • I’m going to blog until my fingers bleed.
  • I really wish I could just upgrade production now.
  • I’ll just wait until

Just think about this if you’d like an unsettling thought… statistically speaking, there is most likely at least one professional DBA in the world that will upgrade their production database to Oracle 12c tonight without taking a backup.

Speculation aside, the question remains: When do I have to leave Oracle 11g behind?

Oracle 11g EOL

TricksyFrom what I’ve seen, there are still plenty of people on Oracle 10g. It’s not officially supported by Oracle Premier Support anymore, and a small handful have purchased the Extended Support option for it. For whatever reason, there was a lot of angst around upgrading to the latest release this time around. Personally (and no offense, Oracle) I think it was due to the agony a lot of folks (and by extension, companies) encountered when going from Oracle 9i to 10g. The optimizer changes in that release blindsided a lot of DBAs that didn’t know all the facts. In fact, almost as common as 10g databases are 11g databases with “optimizer_features_enable” still set to 9.2.

Regardless, most of us like to keep up with the latest version once we feel it has reached a stage that we are comfortable with (my magic number is x.2.0.3). If you’re planning on holding out for later releases before you bite the bullet, there are a few things you’ll want to know:

  • Oracle 10gR2 (10.2) has been desupported for 3 years, though technically they gave everyone a free year of extended support which brought EOL for most companies to July 2011.
  • Oracle 11gR1 (11.1) was taken off Premier Support in August 2012. Hopefully you’ve moved on to 11.2 by now, it’s great and mostly stable.
  • Oracle 11gR2 (11.2) will go off Premier Support on January 2015.

The HammerThat means you have 1.5 years to get acquainted with Oracle 12c, get to liking it, and most importantly get to trusting it. Because if you don’t upgrade by January 2015, you will either have to pay extra support fees (for all your support, you can’t pick and choose) or go unsupported.

One interesting note: Oracle 9iR2, 10gR1, 10gR2, and 11gR1 all had a 5 year window from GA to Premier Desupport. Oracle 11gR2 for whatever reason has a 5 year, 4 month window. I’d welcome any theories on it.

You can find the PDF with desupport dates at this link, or you can check out MOS note 161818.1.

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  1. I suspect 11.2 has 4 months extra support so that there is 6 months after the expected release of to upgrade before support ends for 11.2, with the new patch set policy of a single patch set for x.1 releases and multiple patch sets for x.2 releases it seems like the .1 release is intended for companies wanting a long term stable release, as patch sets are de-supported 12 months after the release of the next one x.2 releases will require more upgrading to remain fully supported.

  2. check metalink doc id 1360790.1, its changed since i last looked, effecivly will be supported (pathced) for 12 months after becomes avialable. The x.2 support has got more involved as the base release gets updates for 12 months after patchset one is releases but patchsets get 24 months after the next patchset. This is helpfull as it can take a while for us to get patchsets certified internally and by vendors.

  3. I know that this is old new from last month, but for most of us this is good/expected new “Oracle Database 11gR2: The Extended Support fee has been waived for the period of February 2015 – January 2016. During this period, you will receive Extended Support during these periods as described in the Oracle Technical Support Levels section below.”

  4. Good article.

    When is the release date for We are looking at upgrading our ERP and have the option of going 11g or 12c. I would imagine it would be crazy (or very safe) to go for the 11g option over the next year.

    Sorry if this is a well known fact that I am yet to fall upon.

  5. I want to get certified on Oracle Database, I have been working with oracle since version 7.3 buy I have not gotten around certifying and taking exams and spending a bunch on training. My worry is should I just train and certify or just go to 12c instead?

  6. 11g extended support has been extended till 2020 interestingly. And the year2 (Jan 2016 to Jan 2017 ) has been waived. so 3 chargable years leff but you have until 2020 (less your migration time) to migrate. Lifetime support policy was updated in December it seems.

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