Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Unconventional Oracle Installs, part One

You have to watch this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHzV4LZnvHc

We'll follow it up with a few other initiatives in order to help the big companies bring down the time spent to install Oracle from, say, 50 hours to one or two.

16 Comments:

Blogger bstav said...

I do not know the comments made by IBM, but maybe a few points have been missed.

The Oracle installer and dbca are very convenient indeed. But what about the prerequisites for the installer ? Why on earth do I need X installed for a database ? What do I have to do if some other department has installed Linux by it's own (ever changing) standards, and the installer just won't run ? Where do I get all these RPM's from without a tool like up2date configured ? What are the RPM dependencies ? These are the situations where you spend hours and hours to get the Oracle prerequisites right, and to get an installer which starts up without errors as the biggest bonus !

1:37 AM  
Blogger Forbrich said...

Two farmers each with about same sized farms.

The first farmer prepared his land before starting to plow. The other, relatively new, started plowing around the obstacles.

The first knew that preparation was part of the job.

The second needed to avoid the obstacles for the rest of the season, when planting, when fertilizing, and when harvesting. All jobs took longer.

I guess a new rake might be in order. Perhaps a rake called Doris? (see http://www.dizwell.net/prod/)

This was absolutely the funniest Oracle-related thing I have ever seen. Please ... Part 2 ... Please!

11:50 AM  
Blogger bstav said...

Yes ! Preparation is everything when it comes to installing Oracle, even more if you do RAC. But the problem is that the preparation is not always done by DBA's, but by sysadmins. Some of them don't care about Oracle prerequisites, and only about their standards. This puts up the DBA with a lot of extra work, even more when the DBA has not much sysadmin knowledge.

Anyhow, it doesn't matter who does the preparing. It *is* part of the Oracle installation, which is left out in the Youtube video. The preparation is about half of the work if you do it right. It is more than half if you don't do it right. And that might be the comments which IBM (and other companies and people) are making.

Oracle should make a text based installer to start with. This saves a little trouble with installing X, using graphical terminal emulators and such, and mo need to get a JVM running.

3:32 PM  
Blogger Forbrich said...

Actually, I do not think preparing IS part of the Oracle installation process. Otherwise we would need to re-prepare when installing a second time.

SysAdmins who do not do the job right are failing at their work. DBAs are kind enough to let it slide. And prep can be automated to a large extent, as demonstrated by Howard at the link I posted.

I'm not sure I'd want to return to the text-based installer from the 80s and 90s. Instead, I think learning about silent install, and the lack of X required for that these days, would be the better way to go.


In any case ... when can we expect part 2???

8:44 PM  
Blogger breakableoracle said...

That was really funny, thanks very much. It even made my wife laugh, who is happily ignorant of the world of IT.

From my experiences of trying to install software for a large customer, or watching other poor suppliers attempting to do it, the time consuming bit is fighting your way through the political nightmare of the customer's IT department. Passed from team to team, all of whom have different reasons why you cannot install the software, or install that particular version, or install it there, or install it in that way.

Once you actually get sat down with your software, don your straight jacket and get your nose to the grind stone it's quick and plain sailing.

Any chance of attempting an underwater installation in this series?

12:55 AM  
Blogger bstav said...

@breakableoracle:

Like me, you are used to work in large companies, where every type of job is done by a separate department.

I've seen multiple DBA shops in large companies. In one situation communication and cooperation with sysadmins was excelent. I could do installation, creation of a database, monitoring configuration, backup configuration & tests, documentation, etc, in 4 hours. Later on I went to another company, and I experienced the 'other side', and the same work cost days. The sysadmins who did work for you were even spread over multiple departments and locations. No communication or cooperation exists.

@Forbrich:
Is preparation part of the installation ? Well, if your sysadmin doesn't do it, you will have to ! But yes, you have to do it once for a system. Can you automate it ? Well yes, if the OS you get and the Oracle version to be installed is always the same.

1:09 AM  
Blogger Moans Nogood said...

I agree with most of your comments. A smart (Dutch) guy named Andre Bakker, who once ran Oracle Support in EMEA, once told me:

Levels (in an organisation) create queues and queues remove responsibility.

That's what we see in the big companies, where you sometimes have to wait days just to have some space allocated on the SAN for an installation.

And yes, preparation is of course important. But there's a bit step from 37 minutes for the installation up to 50 hours or more that we're seeing offered to our customers by the big three-letter vendors. Sometimes a LOT more :-)).

That's what irritates me. One of the vendors here (fairly large)charges the customer five hours for installing the database, documenting it and setting up basic backup. That's fair enough, and it could be more, too, without anybody minding it.

Mogens

1:22 AM  
Blogger Niall said...

Hans,

DORIS is there for those of us installing without support. Oracle themselves provide an rpm through the ULN that prepares either RH or OEL for Oracle using up2date.

1:46 AM  
Blogger Forbrich said...

@Niall,

EVERY prep method you use is 'on your own'. Oracle does not tell us how to prepare the system, just what is needed in the end.

If you trust DORIS - or better use it as the basis for your own prep script - the result is just as supported and supportable as any other preparation technique.

@maons

The big, risk-adverse, consultancies will ensure that things are properly documented. That way, when the installation fails, they can point to the document and say "that specific config requirement was not in the contract - YOU had a chance to look it over and did not put it in."

Anyone done any studies on the consultancy failure to success install contracts?

9:17 AM  
Blogger Joel Garry said...

Maybe part two can test for a good UI.

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