The MAGIC Questions

Almost every week Roy, Carol and I receive one or more emails in the following style:

“Hey, we (or my customer) plan(s) an upgrade to Oracle 11g. We (or the customer) wants zero downtime. Currently we (or they) are on AIX with Oracle 10g (and someold  9i) databases. Can we get an advice please?”

or another one here …

“Upgrade from 8i to 11g. The customer’s database is 28 TB (quite big!). Downtime is 5-6 hours. It’s on AIX. And it’s an it’s an Oracle EBS database”

Well, in both cases we lack a lot of useful information – or sometimes things are almost impossible or simply wishful thinking. So we have a collection of (we call them) The Magic Questions. Once those are answered upfront it is way easier to give a helpful advice.

  • Will you exchange the hardware?
  • Will you change to a new OS version?
  • Will you change to an entire new OS architecture?
  • Will you change the database characterset?
  • Do you plan to consolidate (schema/database/…)?
  • Number of databases you plan to upgrade or migrate?
  • Size of database(s)?
  • Exact source and target Oracle versions?
  • Maximum allowed downtime per database?
  • Fallback requirements?
  • Test environment available? Testing tools?
  • Does a performance baseline exist?
  • Changes required to enable new features?
  • RAC/Grid Infrastructure already in use or planned?

Once we get the answer and (even more helpful) a sheet describing the entire landscape in more detail we will be able to give some advice.


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