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Data migration, code migration and performance tuning issues with upgrade

We are getting prepared at work to migrate to Oracle 10g RAC. We currently have Oracle 8i and 9i databases as well as related applications. The migration issues we have so far identified are data migration, code migration and performance tuning. The question here is whether we can accomplish this with native Oracle tools. Could you comment on the approach?

We are getting prepared at work to migrate to Oracle 10g RAC. We currently have Oracle 8i and 9i databases as well as related applications. The migration issues we have so far identified are:

  • Data migration. How to efficiently move the data, minimizing downtime? Ideally we'd like to accomplish zero downtime.
  • Code migration. How to quickly identify and perform the necessary code modifications?
  • Performance tuning. Using the information provided by the statpack and redo logs, how to efficiently (and ideally in an automated way) create test scenarios for load testing and performance tuning?

For data migration with zero downtime we are considering some transactional data management tools that offer real-time guaranteed capture and delivery of transactions across heterogeneous environments. The idea is to use them to maintain parallel systems with the option of going back and forth between them until we have eliminated all issues and can turn the old systems off. The question here is whether we can accomplish the same with native Oracle tools. Could you comment on the approach?

In terms of code migration, load testing and performance tuning, could you recommend migration tools that can help in this area? The most useful one should be able to analyze the current database workload and create a load testing script for the 10g environment.

It looks like you have identified the important components of your migration. With respect to minimizing downtime during the migration, you may be able to achieve zero downtime depending on the tool(s) you choose. Whatever method/tool you choose, be sure to create a test environment as an exact duplicate of your production environment. This way you can practice your migration multiple times until it is perfected.

With respect to code migration and quickly identifying modifications, the best way to do this is test, test and test. While it's important to test your migration procedures, it is equally important to involve your application support teams and business users at the start so that functional testing of applications can take place. Encourage your application support teams and business users to develop test plans and use them every time you test the database migration procedure. Even after performing exhaustive testing in your non-production environment, it is still possible (often likely) that new problems may arise once the migration occurs in production.

Finally, with respect to your question about load testing, I have heard of a product that works with Oracle9i and 10g. It's called Swingbench and it can be downloaded here. According to information on the Web site, "Swingbench is a free load generator (and benchmarks) designed to stress test an Oracle database (9i or 10g)." I have not personally used the product but I have heard good things about it from others.

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