What a wonderful question:
“We are on Oracle 188.8.131.52 right now. Should we wait for Oracle 19 because of the proposed long term support for this release?”
I have gotten this question roughly 15 times in the past week, raised either by colleagues, customers or partners via email, twitter, in web conferences or (old fashioned way) on the phone. People refer to the graph printed in MOS Note: 742060.1. And I won’t replicate it here as this graph can change anytime. And it got adjusted just a few weeks ago as the support timeline for Oracle 184.108.40.206 was drawn too short.
“We are on Oracle 11.2 – should we wait for Oracle 19?”
Draw a line in the graph in MOS Note: 742060.1 when Free Extended Support for 220.127.116.11 will end: Dec 31, 2018. Just realize please: this is in 13 months.
As Oracle 19 may be available sometime in 2019 probably (that’s why we will call it Oracle 19) this simply means: if you intend to stay please plan to spend an extra premium of 20% on top of your support fee in order to purchase extended support for Oracle 18.104.22.168. Otherwise you won’t get security fixes.
I’m silently assuming that you will do some testing. Therefore 13 months till the end of Free Extended Support aren’t such a long and comfortable period. And therefore the conclusion and answer to this question is:
No, don’t stay on Oracle 22.214.171.124. Move forward to Oracle 126.96.36.199. Start your testing now.
Even worse when you are still on Oracle 188.8.131.52. I’ve just had a discussion with a customer still having many 184.108.40.206 databases. Please remember, 220.127.116.11 went out of any bug fixing support on Aug 27, 2015, i.e. NO SECURITY FIXES for more than 2 years.
Why not wait for Oracle 18 you may ask now. It would be an option as well of course. But there’s no release date known for the on-premises version. If you consider moving to the Oracle Cloud it may be an alternative for you. But there’s no published release date yet. Therefore, for on-premises installations, you clearly should move all your Oracle 11.2 databases as soon as possible to Oracle 18.104.22.168.
“But we are on Oracle 22.214.171.124 already – can’t we wait for Oracle 19?”
Oracle 126.96.36.199 will go out of Premier Support by end of July 2018. But the first year of Extended Support will be waived. So you are safe until mid 2019. Now, before you gamble, keep in mind that you usually won’t jump to the new release on the first day of its availability. You (hopefully) will test a bit (at least).
Look at your current release timelines, i.e. how long does it take you to roll out a new database release. When you are pretty fast you may wait for Oracle 19. Just keep also in mind that often people wait at least for the first Release Update (RU).
You could of course say, we will wait for Oracle 18 and one or two RUs – and then we move. Still fully under Free Extended Support. This doesn’t sound like a bad strategy to me.
Or you could just move to Oracle 188.8.131.52 now. Many of my customers have done this already and surprisingly saw very small number of issues. And then you may skip Oracle 18 and jump to Oracle 19 later on.
Famous Last Words
Please don’t stay on Oracle 184.108.40.206 until the end of Free Extended Support happens. 13 months sound comfortable now. But time flies. You should move forward now. Especially those who have still Oracle 220.127.116.11 databases (or even older releases) in use should move now. Oracle 18.104.22.168 should be your choice.