Migrating Oracle developer 6i applications to Windows 2008 R2

Hi guys

Even though my blog has reached 600k+ visits, I am one of those “lucky” tech bloggers who is hardly reached through emails for some specific tips and helps.

One of the recent were about migrating from Developer 6i developed web deployment to Windows 2008 R2, and the asker decided to approach me through email after reading my post about installing Developer 6i suite on Windows 7 and later OS

There were many emails until I realized they have a web deployment! Using Developer 6i & I was truly impressed. Developer 6i setup was one of the toughest, when I tried it by 2004-2005 period and I truly given up once after a number of failures to setup it properly and “googling” wasn’t as efficient as today when a single search fetches you hundreds of blog posts those explain such setups minutely so that a beginner can, without sweating much could, almost setup anything!

The hacks I posted with my blog towards installing Developer 6i on Windows 7/later and Windows Servers did have it’s own drawbacks. Many of the Oracle products like Oracle graphs doesn’t work with the .dll hacks & we experienced unexpected crashes and I have made sure that I did warn the enthusiasts about them with my blog. Did it stop people from taking risks? I don’t think so

Our legacy Oracle database server hardware was 14 years old when we decided to finally decommission it. Many places around the world businesses never listen to the Administrators complaining about the age of hardware and how difficult it is to maintain obsolete hardware and software. Oracle database(proprietary) must be one of the widely used database without proper licensing and I hardly believe many small organizations will ever pay the unbelievable prices Oracle tries to extract from customers when they want to do proper licensing. Many of those environments may have new admins and the entire development teams dispersed or the software company that has developed the software diversified and started selling fish. Anyway, my asker’s situation was not far different. His hardware was obsolete and the company has brought him a new hardware with 4GB memory and he was desperately looking for a method to migrate from his Windows 2003 server to Windows 2008 R2 server

Can you/should you take risks by trying to migrate to a newer OS because there are “few hacks” available over internet?

I work as information technology manager and I will not let it happen, knowing and after having bad experiences. Instead I will try to find better solutions, like converting your Windows 2003 physical machine into a Virtual Machine and going online from a newer hardware and OS

Mr. Asker’s scenario

Windows 2003 Server with Developer 6i Web deployment and Oracle database 10g and his hardware has just 2GB memory!

His requirement

Want to start using the new hardware and Windows 2008 R2. Can’t take risks

My suggestion to him

  1. Use VMWare’s P2V converter, Convert the legacy server into a VM
  2. From the new hardware, run the VM

While I am NOT at all happy with the 4GB physical memory, I will suggest anyone who wants to go with such an approach to upgrade their hardware to have minimum 8GB so that the Windows 2008 R2 can reserve 4GB for itself, 3GB maximum for the 32Bit Windows 2003 Server and tweaking the Oracle database SGA to 40% of from the 3GB reserved for the VM!

Let us consider the few advantages of converting legacy hardware to virtual machines quickly

  1. One can always take a full backup of the VM, based on mission criticality, in addition to the database backups. Such backups will help the administrators to restore the whole “machine”, if something goes drastically wrong
  2. No headaches to figure out how the deployment was made, especially when there are hardly any documentations available explaining the setups

My asker got so excited that he stopped answering my consequent mails checking about progresses. That’s the downside of free consultancy in most of the cases. Oh well, that was not my first experience anyway. This year itself I helped someone to setup a 12c environment and when he was online, he told me how he had tears in his eyes and later he stopped answering my calls Winking smile

I hope I made some sense with this post and if you are someone who is frantically looking for a way to “Migrate” without risking much, give it a try. Have comments or need more clarifications? Use the comments area to let me know about them.

 

regards,

rajesh

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