Never Run Oracle on Windows

By | In Database Administration, Oracle | June 15th, 2015

win_oracleWhen should you run Oracle on Windows? Only if you absolutely have to because of skill set. Here’s why.

Ideally, you’ll want to run Oracle products on a supported operating system. If there are any issues, you can get the support as intended.

Although Oracle cites its interoperability with Microsoft, both on the desktop and in the cloud, saying “Oracle Database 12c makes developing and deploying Oracle on Windows and .NET easier, faster, and more cost-effective,” if you run a database on an operating system environment different from the one it was created to run on, it may not run optimally. Oracle was designed to run with UNIX while SQL was created for the Windows platform.

Oracle Can Still Run on Windows, But…

Opinions vary as to whether there’s really any noticeable performance differences based on the user’s operating system choice. Oracle 12c, for example, will run on several different UNIX operating systems as well as some Windows server environments. But, you may want to check the system requirements before plunging ahead.

Niall Litchfield, writing in Expert Oracle Practices: Oracle Database Administration from the Oak Table, by Pete Finnigan et al. offers:

For the most part…the choice of operating system makes absolutely no difference to the effective exploitation of the power of the Oracle database. It can, however, have a significant impact on the database administrator, who will often be interacting at the operating system level directly with the Oracle installation.

Some of the differences include how Oracle uses CPU resources, as well as memory and various scripts. Ironically, after noting these, Litchfield concludes that the implication for running a 32-bit Oracle application on 32-bit Windows is, “don’t do it.”

When you run scripts or execute tasks on Windows, you may need additional steps or scripts. You may also want to consider whether it’s worth the time and effort for you to support workarounds.

The differences associated with operating Oracle in Windows can be pronounced. So much so that Oracle explores many of the differences on its platform guide for 12c. Also, several Oracle products are not supported in Windows, including Java Server Pages. You will need to evaluate your environment and note these exceptions to determine whether or not it makes sense to run Oracle on Windows.

Inheriting an Oracle on Windows Situation

Granted, there may be situations in which you have no option, such as if you inherit another organization’s technologies through an acquisition or merger. For all you know, they could be running Oracle on Windows and SQL on UNIX. Develop a plan for evaluating that system rather than blindly merging resources. What operating systems and databases is it using? What storage or other hardware assets are involved? What licensing is involved and is it transferrable? This will also enable you to identify any redundant technologies and allows your team to become familiar with those data assets.

We have had customers who are facing the same issues when it comes to running Oracle on Windows. Datavail can work with you to support your environment. We’ve previously offered other ideas for working with Oracle, including a webinar with Chuck Ezell on the value of conducting Oracle Health Checks.

To learn more about our remote database services and how our experts can help with your ongoing Oracle operations, please contact Datavail to discuss a custom solution designed for your enterprise.

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Vice President and Practice Leader of Oracle Services, Datavail
Patrick’s background includes 15 years of IT experience specializing in database architecture, database administration and performance tuning. He has managed the infrastructure for enterprise database operations of over 300 databases, including several ranging from 10 gigabytes to 80 terabytes. Patrick has designed and developed comprehensive database administration solutions for high performance, reliability and integrity, including backup and recovery, fault-tolerant connectivity, operations and performance monitoring, reporting, automated storage management, BCDR, SOX compliance and Co-Sourcing. A former manager at Level 3 Communications, Patrick has valuable experience in database architecture and corporate data warehousing. Patrick’s hobbies include skiing, Crossfit, hockey and playing with his kids.

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