In late 2014 I’ve got asked if I’d like to work with Swiss Mobiliar, the oldest Switzerland insurer, on their upgrade project to move almost 300 databases from Oracle 18.104.22.168 to 22.214.171.124.
- Read the full story about Swiss Mobiliar’s experience as an Oracle upgrade reference customer and why they will move to Oracle 12.2 here:
How do such projects start?
Usually we ask the customer upfront to sign a non-binding reference agreement with us. This ensures that we can support a customer in such a project before, during and after go-life without charging any costs but in exchange get a quote and a nice reference story.
You can find many examples in our big slide deck:
It includes of course also the Mobiliar case.
Once we agreed on the details we often start off with an onsite workshop where we discuss the project from the customer’s perspective and try to add our knowledge, finding the best solutions, recommending patches, warn about know pitfalls and discuss performance stability and tuning.
We don’t type!
Still the customer need to do the testing or engage a partner such as Oracle ACS Support or Consulting. We won’t type. Even though we may guide and assist during testing. But as our resources are limited as well we can’t execute the actual upgrades.
At Mobiliar the testing phase took 3 months until the first live upgrade got completed in February 2015. It was successful. The entire upgrade got scripted using the command line upgrade and reacting to the return codes of our preupgrd.sql with the correct action. The entire upgrade of almost 300 databases should be completed in 18 months.
I was surprised how efficient and smooth the entire team at Mobiliar worked together. A small team of less than 4 people with daily jobs completed the entire upgrade in 15 months.
Believe me, I don’t see that many projects completing faster than planned. And not with such a huge scope.
The best thing for me: We’ve still had a lot of fun. And Mobiliar fixed all the issues actually before going live. Let me quote Paolo Kreth, the Group Manager Databases at Die Mobiliar:
“The entire upgrade project of our 300 Oracle databases at Die Mobiliar is running very well. When we catch issues, we fix them before going live. And features such as Oracle In-Memory add a lot of performance boost to some of our applications.
Especially the Oracle Upgrade Reference Program was a great help and added a lot of value to our project’s progress. We are very happy and satisfied with the upgrade process and the reliability and performance of Oracle Database 12c”.
Yes, Swiss Mobiliar implemented Oracle In-Memory as well at the same time. And even better, they stepped into Oracle Multitenant as well with a large live/production deployment.
The Present and the Future
In many cases the relation doesn’t stop with the end of a project. We are working on the Oracle 12.2 strategy at Die Mobiliar right now. Especially the improvements with Oracle Multitenant will be a big benefit but also the In-Memory features will add a lot of extra value.
This all sounds nice but you should read what Paolo Kreth and the DBA team at Die Mobiliar write about their experience with the upgrade to Oracle Database 12.1 and 12.2:
- Die Mobiliar – Database Blog
Find plenty of good technical articles about Mobi’s experience with Oracle 12c and other tech solutions
- Success Story – Die Mobiliar and Oracle In-Memory
- AWR Performance Warehouse at Die Mobiliar
Presentation in German from the DOAG User Group Conference
- OOW 2016 – Customer Talk by Swiss Mobiliar about Oracle 12.2, Multitenant and Docker