Wow, this took a long while. Thanks to my team mate, Data Pump Product Manager Bill Beauregard who went through the complex approval process, the new Oracle 19c Hands-On Lab is available now for download. And in addition, I adjusted the instructions on the blog as well.
What you’ll get …
At first, the download is huge. All together, you will download 13 files summing up to 25GB. When you unzip it, you will get an OVA file. Then you will need to import this appliance into Oracle VirtualBox. The lab will consume 62GB of space.
Why is it so big?
You will find two Oracle 126.96.36.199 databases, one Oracle 188.8.131.52 non-CDB and one Oracle 184.108.40.206 CDB plus an Oracle 19c CDB in it. 5 databases all together. And 3 different Oracle Homes. The homes are patched up to the October 2019 patch bundles. If you miss the January ones, please find the instructions to apply them here. The approval process took months until we could published the lab.
But the lab contains much more than just a few database to upgrade.
Ensure Performance Stability
An essential part of the lab is to make sure you can play with the performance tools we offer. You will generate load at first, then make sure performance is stable once you upgrade – and fix the issues with either SQL Plan Management or SQL Profiles. You will capture from AWR and Cursor Cache, you will do AWR Diff reports, use SQL Performance Analyzer, and a lot more.
And it’s not a REAL real world scenario. But the idea is that you make yourself familiar with these tools.
Please be aware of …
I’m a very big fan of Oracle VirtualBox and use it more or less daily. With the most recent version 6.x, I had my first experiences last year in the AUOG workshop in Vienna. Some people just had black screens. We could login via the terminal but not with the window manager. The Wayland display server protocol in Linux was an issue, and thanks to Dejan Topalovic who diagnosed the issue with me in the lunch break, I disabled it in all future drops of the lab. Interestingly this wasn’t an issue with VBox 5 installations.
But when Roy, Bill and I moved to VBox 6.x, we all encountered various and different things. Simon Coter, our VBox PM was very helpful and diagnosed some issues in the lab. Still, things aren’t perfect yet. But the VBox team takes all our feedback and fixes things we find. Even for the most puzzling change, the manual Scale Factor for the display, we’ll get something in a future version of VBox.
This actually is the part I had some trouble with during the Hands-On workshops in January this year. When my laptop is on HDMI or DVI, the Scale Factor is set to 100% – and all is fine. But as soon as I undock it, and use my laptop either directly with its screen or connect with one of these old-fashioned VGA ports to a projector, 100% scaling lead to a tiny unusuable screen size. I have to enlarge it to 200%. But the part I struggled with in Canada recently: Different laptops have different resolutions. And hence, you will have to adjust and play a bit with the best setting for your environment.
For instance, in Canada for most Windows laptops, 145% scale factor worked best. But at worst case – the resolution is not ideal – you need to stop the image, adjust the Scale Factor a bit, and start again.
At worst case, you may need to access and use the last available VBox 5.x version with the matching extensions. There we haven’t seen issues. But this version isn’t supported anymore as far as I can see.
Where to start?
Once you downloaded the lab, the instructions are all online. And I extend them from time to time using the same lab as you use. But of course let me know if you find anything not working as expected.
This explains the setup steps you may want to do before launching the lab, and of course all the different exercises.
Have fun with the lab!
Links and More Information
- Download the Upgrade to Oracle 19c Hands-On Lab
- Download VirtualBox 6.x
- Download VirtualBox Extension Pack – All supported platforms
- Download VirtualBox 5.2
- Patching all my environments with the January 2020 Patch Bundles