Monday, December 22, 2008

EBS: No OCFS2 with Shared Application Tier File System

Currently I am involved – sideways – in an Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 implementation at one of our customers.
One of my colleagues is implementing a RAC solution with two nodes and two application servers. The platform is Oracle Enterprise Linux 4.
Before I joined, the team decided to choose OCFS2 as cluster file system for the database. A logical step would be to use OCFS2 for sharing the Application Tier File System as well.
However, we recently found out that this ORACLE product still is not supported/certified for use with the Application Tier of Oracle E-Business Suite. There are issues with OCFS2 in combination with a Shared Application Tier File System (see my article at the AMIS Technology Weblog). Somehow Oracle doesn’t seem to be putting too much efforts into certifying OCFS2 against the EBS Application Server Tier. Initially, the reason was that Oracle had to put too much work into Release 12 and Fusion. However, we are more than 2 years from the initial announcement by Steven Chan, and still no certification, even though customers are requesting it. The only workaround for the issue with OCFS2 in setting up a Shared Application Tier File System is the one proposed in my article, and it is this workaround being referred to by Oracle Support as well. But keep in mind that this doesn't mean it is supported, because it is not!
OCFS2 is a Cluster File System that is certified against and supported with Oracle Server. Why not with Application Server (EBS)? In my opinion there are many customers willing to use OCFS2, because it is stable, from Oracle and not at the least: free of charge.
By the way, the issue I found with OCFS2 also applied (at the time) to GPFS (IBM's Cluster File System). When I tried to reproduce it on AIX on Power, the issue did not reproduce. It might therefore be something related to Linux (whether it be OEL or RHEL) and not at all to OCFS2.
One thing is sure: I would want to use OCFS2 at my customers. I have enough of them who would be willing to use it.
Until that time, my recommendation is to stay away from OCFS2 with the EBS (shared) Application Tier. Use NFS, or any alternative which is supported instead.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

1Z0-238 (EBS R12 IP&M) exam release date?

On October 30 of this year I took the 1Z1-238 Oracle EBS Release 12 Install, Patch and Maintain Applications Exam. At the time it was still in Beta status, what is more, the Beta exam ended the very day after (Oct. 31). If you are interested in my experiences, please visit Mohan Dutt's weblog, which holds a blog from me sharing my experiences on the exam.
One of the nice features of Oracle's beta exams is that anyone who takes this exam will be scored on the basis of the actual production exam, resulting in a valid certificate for the production exam, when passed.
Like anyone else in my position would be, I am very eager to know whether I passed this exam. If I do, I will be among the first to get the OCP status for E-Business Suite Release 12, because I already have got the 11i OCP certificate.

Today I was checking the prometric website to see whether the scoring had been applied to the test. Unfortunately, the status still was "Tested"... To get an idea of when to expect the scoring result, there is Oracle's statement that it will take approximately 8 to 10 weeks after closure of the Beta Period, but you can always check with Prometric what the availability is for the actual production exam. So I looked up 1Z0-238 (beta exams always start with 1Z1, production exams start with 1Z0) and started the scheduling engine for this exam. This way I found out that the first available date for the exam is set to February 2nd (strangely enough, the exam can only be scheduled until February 10?).

Anyway, I guess my results will be made available somewhere in January... I need some more patience...

UPDATE, January 6, 2009:
I was checking again today and saw that the first exam-date for this exam is now scheduled at January 20, 2009.