Oracle Lifts Lid On 10g Database Upgrade

Oracle 10g Release 2 database

This "incremental" upgrade will sport updated Automatic Storage Management (ASM) perks including automated backup to tape and enhanced storage virtualization, said Andy Mendelsohn, senior vice president of database server technologies for Oracle, Redwood Shores, Calif. The current database supports automated backup to disk.

Also on deck is better data provisioning, including enhanced support for transportable tablespaces, Mendelsohn told reporters at Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco.

In ten-month-old 10g Release 1, transportable tablespaces enable a DBA to move pieces of a database from platform to platform, but this new facility will enable them to move the entire database from Linux to Windows or vice versa "within minutes," he said.

The database, which will initially ship on Windows and Linux, and then on the rest of the supported platforms, will also give users the option of using SQL X or XML Query to access XML data. Native XML support and querying of XML data has proven a bone of contention between database giants Oracle, Microsoft and IBM, all of which claim to have the best support for XML data within their relational databases.

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To ease adoption of Real Application Clusters (RAC, this release will also include the Cluster Verification Utility that will scan the storage, interconnect and server infrastructure before installation to give them a clean bill of health. In the past, if a configuration mistake was made, it took time to locate and trouble shoot it before clusters could be up and running.

Mendelsohn also said the limit on supported cluster nodes will jump from 64 to 100 nodes with this upgrade.

Also new, better self-diagnostics tools including the Automated Database Diagnostic Monitor (ADDM), an expert system to watch for and flag database problems and dramatically faster sort algorithms, Mendelsohn said.

While Oracle is using this annual conference to tout its overall software platform, the database remains its flagship product, and the foundation of that platform. Mendelsohn said nearly a year into its launch about 8 percent of Oracle's installed base has moved to 10g and that total represents about 16,000 systems. Traditionally, many customers wait for the first update to move, he added.

He expects Oracle's own eBusiness Suite and Collaboration Suite to be certified on the database in late December or January. SAP is expected to certify this summer or fall. "PeopleSoft said they'd be certified by now. You can make your own jokes here about what's going on there," he noted.

Oracle is in the throes of a hostile takeover attempt of PeopleSoft.