FAQ
subject changed so I can rant. This is my response to the recent thread
about how to install Oracle in a Windows environment. I've changed the
thread because I think that the main points were answered before we got
here. What we then saw was a surprising (for this list) attribution of
unevidenced or ill thought out suggestions about using Windows as a server
O/S for Oracle Databases:

Windows platform is not fully compatible with Oracle products so these
problems always appear.

Really? As opposed to RedHat Linux where Oracle have gone to the bother of a
kernel patch for the o/s itself. Every major version of Windows has had the
current or next release of the database certified on it sharpish. Similarly
look at the certification speed for Oracle E-Business on windows compared to
(say AIX).

If your production servers are installed at windows platform,You
shouldn't let them to join windows Domain at installation phases, as this is
a wrong decision for running time performance.
You should use a Workgroup or primary DNS suffix which allow you to avoid
such problems you may face at joining windows Domain.

Again a statement with no evidence presented. In general AD does a good job
of policy and security management and certainly a better job than managing
an estate of Windows servers one at a time. If you haven't got your dns
management right and tied into the domain (which the latter suggests, then
you haven't got AD setup correctly)

Clusterware was installed with a domain account. That proved to be a
fatal mistake when this particular domain the account belonged to was shut
down as part of a migration project. After a scheduled reboot Clusterware
wouldn't start at all. End of the story was a complete rebuild of the
environment using local administrator accounts.

The fatal mistake here would seem to be not correctly identifying the
dependencies in the migration project.

Windows is just play box it is never for server installation if you are
using oracle,db2 (I do not whether db2 is avaialble on windows) kind of big
databases.

I must remember to tell that to the ten billion dollar a year manufacturing
operation that run their multi-terabyte SAP datawarehouse on Windows. :)

Oh, and when you have to do maintenance on a DB on a Windows server and
the IT Security department tells you NOT to log in to ANY server using your
AD account because there's a virus in the network and we need to contain
it..

What has the AD account got to do with this scenario - it makes no
dfference to virus propagation if you log in as local Admin or a domain
account with admin rights to the rights inherited by the executable code on
your machine.

. and when they have to reboot a production DB server to apply a hotfix
(which happens a lot more often than unix patches)

run up2date on your Linux box and count the number of updates released -
it *will* surprise you. Because Linux admins don't update their servers for
known security holes in general, and windows admins do is not really a great
argument for frequency of patches.

or when they need to reboot the DB server because it's been up more
than 90 days straight... well, that's when you know the platform you've
chosen is probably not the wisest choice.

nope that's when you know that the admin doesn't understand the platform. I
must reboot every 90 days is an admission that something that I don't
understand is happening.

I had that in the back of my
cab once :)

Search Discussions

  • Guillermo Alan Bort at Feb 15, 2011 at 10:10 pm
    Niall,

    You make good points and talk from a logical point of view. I talk from my
    experience alone, and it may very well be that I ran into crappy windows
    administrators and good unix administrators, but overall stability of the
    system has been always better on unix than on windows as far as my personal
    experience goes. This has biased me against windows as a server OS.

    On the other hand, I have similar experiences with HP-UX and have had
    more than enough problem with AIX, as well as some weird reactions from the
    CRS on linux. On the other hand, as it is far less common for people to be
    familiar with Unix and hardcore unix admins are usually very curious people,
    they tend to be better at their job. Again, this is my personal experience.

    And here I bring you to MS SQL Server. In itself it's not a bad RDBMS,
    it's actually quiet good, however it's amazing how many SQL Servers you find
    out there that are not properly configured and maintained. Now, I've found a
    few Oracle dbs like that, but far less than SQL Servers o MySQL (which I
    must admit have little to no experience with).

    I understand where your rant comes from, this kind of bias against an OS
    is uncharacteristic of this list, but please, try to understand where the
    bias comes from...

    Oh, and btw, the fact that Oracle released a patch for RedHat speaks to
    the openness of RedHat and not to the compatibility of Windows.

    cheers
    Alan.-

    On Tue, Feb 15, 2011 at 6:15 PM, Niall Litchfield <
    niall.litchfield_at_gmail.com> wrote:
    subject changed so I can rant. This is my response to the recent thread
    about how to install Oracle in a Windows environment. I've changed the
    thread because I think that the main points were answered before we got
    here. What we then saw was a surprising (for this list) attribution of
    unevidenced or ill thought out suggestions about using Windows as a server
    O/S for Oracle Databases:



    - Windows platform is not fully compatible with Oracle products so
    these problems always appear.

    Really? As opposed to RedHat Linux where Oracle have gone to the bother of
    a kernel patch for the o/s itself. Every major version of Windows has had
    the current or next release of the database certified on it sharpish.
    Similarly look at the certification speed for Oracle E-Business on windows
    compared to (say AIX).

    - If your production servers are installed at windows platform,You
    shouldn't let them to join windows Domain at installation phases, as this is
    a wrong decision for running time performance.
    You should use a Workgroup or primary DNS suffix which allow you to
    avoid such problems you may face at joining windows Domain.

    Again a statement with no evidence presented. In general AD does a good job
    of policy and security management and certainly a better job than managing
    an estate of Windows servers one at a time. If you haven't got your dns
    management right and tied into the domain (which the latter suggests, then
    you haven't got AD setup correctly)


    - Clusterware was installed with a domain account. That proved to be a
    fatal mistake when this particular domain the account belonged to was shut
    down as part of a migration project. After a scheduled reboot Clusterware
    wouldn't start at all. End of the story was a complete rebuild of the
    environment using local administrator accounts.

    The fatal mistake here would seem to be not correctly identifying the
    dependencies in the migration project.


    - Windows is just play box it is never for server installation if you
    are using oracle,db2 (I do not whether db2 is avaialble on windows) kind of
    big databases.

    I must remember to tell that to the ten billion dollar a year manufacturing
    operation that run their multi-terabyte SAP datawarehouse on Windows. :)


    - Oh, and when you have to do maintenance on a DB on a Windows server
    and the IT Security department tells you NOT to log in to ANY server using
    your AD account because there's a virus in the network and we need to
    contain it..

    What has the AD account got to do with this scenario - it makes no
    dfference to virus propagation if you log in as local Admin or a domain
    account with admin rights to the rights inherited by the executable code on
    your machine.

    - . and when they have to reboot a production DB server to apply a
    hotfix (which happens a lot more often than unix patches)

    - run up2date on your Linux box and count the number of updates released -
    it *will* surprise you. Because Linux admins don't update their servers for
    known security holes in general, and windows admins do is not really a great
    argument for frequency of patches.

    - or when they need to reboot the DB server because it's been up more
    than 90 days straight... well, that's when you know the platform you've
    chosen is probably not the wisest choice.

    nope that's when you know that the admin doesn't understand the platform. I
    must reboot every 90 days is an admission that something that I don't
    understand is happening.




    I had that in the back of my
    cab once :)

    --
    Niall Litchfield
    Oracle DBA
    http://www.orawin.info
    --
    http://www.freelists.org/webpage/oracle-l
  • Andrew Kerber at Feb 15, 2011 at 10:39 pm
    Well, the issue I have with windows is the overhead. I have to agree that a
    well managed Windows server will run just as well as a well managed Linux
    server, but there are more wasted resources on windows server, especially
    Memory. It takes a lot of RAM and CPU just to run the Windows environment
    that is not required for Linux/Unix.

    On Tue, Feb 15, 2011 at 4:10 PM, Guillermo Alan Bort
    wrote:
    Niall,

    You make good points and talk from a logical point of view. I talk from
    my experience alone, and it may very well be that I ran into crappy windows
    administrators and good unix administrators, but overall stability of the
    system has been always better on unix than on windows as far as my personal
    experience goes. This has biased me against windows as a server OS.

    On the other hand, I have similar experiences with HP-UX and have had
    more than enough problem with AIX, as well as some weird reactions from the
    CRS on linux. On the other hand, as it is far less common for people to be
    familiar with Unix and hardcore unix admins are usually very curious people,
    they tend to be better at their job. Again, this is my personal experience.

    And here I bring you to MS SQL Server. In itself it's not a bad RDBMS,
    it's actually quiet good, however it's amazing how many SQL Servers you find
    out there that are not properly configured and maintained. Now, I've found a
    few Oracle dbs like that, but far less than SQL Servers o MySQL (which I
    must admit have little to no experience with).

    I understand where your rant comes from, this kind of bias against an OS
    is uncharacteristic of this list, but please, try to understand where the
    bias comes from...

    Oh, and btw, the fact that Oracle released a patch for RedHat speaks to
    the openness of RedHat and not to the compatibility of Windows.

    cheers
    Alan.-



    On Tue, Feb 15, 2011 at 6:15 PM, Niall Litchfield <
    niall.litchfield_at_gmail.com> wrote:
    subject changed so I can rant. This is my response to the recent thread
    about how to install Oracle in a Windows environment. I've changed the
    thread because I think that the main points were answered before we got
    here. What we then saw was a surprising (for this list) attribution of
    unevidenced or ill thought out suggestions about using Windows as a server
    O/S for Oracle Databases:



    - Windows platform is not fully compatible with Oracle products so
    these problems always appear.

    Really? As opposed to RedHat Linux where Oracle have gone to the bother of
    a kernel patch for the o/s itself. Every major version of Windows has had
    the current or next release of the database certified on it sharpish.
    Similarly look at the certification speed for Oracle E-Business on windows
    compared to (say AIX).

    - If your production servers are installed at windows platform,You
    shouldn't let them to join windows Domain at installation phases, as this is
    a wrong decision for running time performance.
    You should use a Workgroup or primary DNS suffix which allow you to
    avoid such problems you may face at joining windows Domain.

    Again a statement with no evidence presented. In general AD does a good
    job of policy and security management and certainly a better job than
    managing an estate of Windows servers one at a time. If you haven't got your
    dns management right and tied into the domain (which the latter suggests,
    then you haven't got AD setup correctly)


    - Clusterware was installed with a domain account. That proved to be a
    fatal mistake when this particular domain the account belonged to was shut
    down as part of a migration project. After a scheduled reboot Clusterware
    wouldn't start at all. End of the story was a complete rebuild of the
    environment using local administrator accounts.

    The fatal mistake here would seem to be not correctly identifying the
    dependencies in the migration project.


    - Windows is just play box it is never for server installation if you
    are using oracle,db2 (I do not whether db2 is avaialble on windows) kind of
    big databases.

    I must remember to tell that to the ten billion dollar a year
    manufacturing operation that run their multi-terabyte SAP datawarehouse on
    Windows. :)


    - Oh, and when you have to do maintenance on a DB on a Windows server
    and the IT Security department tells you NOT to log in to ANY server using
    your AD account because there's a virus in the network and we need to
    contain it..

    What has the AD account got to do with this scenario - it makes no
    dfference to virus propagation if you log in as local Admin or a domain
    account with admin rights to the rights inherited by the executable code on
    your machine.

    - . and when they have to reboot a production DB server to apply a
    hotfix (which happens a lot more often than unix patches)

    - run up2date on your Linux box and count the number of updates released -
    it *will* surprise you. Because Linux admins don't update their servers for
    known security holes in general, and windows admins do is not really a great
    argument for frequency of patches.

    - or when they need to reboot the DB server because it's been up more
    than 90 days straight... well, that's when you know the platform you've
    chosen is probably not the wisest choice.

    nope that's when you know that the admin doesn't understand the platform.
    I must reboot every 90 days is an admission that something that I don't
    understand is happening.




    I had that in the back of my
    cab once :)

    --
    Niall Litchfield
    Oracle DBA
    http://www.orawin.info
    --
    Andrew W. Kerber

    'If at first you dont succeed, dont take up skydiving.'

    --
    http://www.freelists.org/webpage/oracle-l
  • D'Hooge Freek at Feb 16, 2011 at 12:04 am
    Niall,

    I concur with what you say. It is absolutely possible to have a performant and stable Oracle environment on windows.

    However, I still prefer to use linux instead (or solaris as a second choice). The reason for this is that, when you have a problem with a process or installation or something, it is much easier to investigate on unix then on windows. For instance, most linux/unix sysadmins and even Oracle DBA's know how to do a system trace of a process and information about the system calls can easily be found. On windows you can also trace processes, but few windows admins know how to do this and information about it is hard to find.

    Another reason is that the unix / linux kernel is better instrumented then windows, giving you more real time information (eg solaris dtrace).

    Regards,

    Freek D'Hooge
    Uptime
    Oracle Database Administrator
    email: freek.dhooge_at_uptime.be
    tel +32(0)3 451 23 82
    http://www.uptime.be
    disclaimer: www.uptime.be/disclaimer
  • Thomas Roach at Feb 16, 2011 at 12:13 am
    In one of the previous places I worked one of the managers was very pro
    Microsoft/SQL Server. I asked him why? He said because Windows admins and
    SQL admins cost less.

    I guess it goes to show that sometimes you do get what you pay for. If you
    hire the cheapest admin you can find, you are most likely going to have a
    system (Windows, Linux, SQL, Oracle, DB2 etc...) that is not properly
    maintained.

    In many cases the system gets blamed when it is just a function of poor
    management.
    On Tue, Feb 15, 2011 at 7:04 PM, D'Hooge Freek wrote:

    Niall,

    I concur with what you say. It is absolutely possible to have a performant
    and stable Oracle environment on windows.

    However, I still prefer to use linux instead (or solaris as a second
    choice). The reason for this is that, when you have a problem with a process
    or installation or something, it is much easier to investigate on unix then
    on windows. For instance, most linux/unix sysadmins and even Oracle DBA's
    know how to do a system trace of a process and information about the system
    calls can easily be found. On windows you can also trace processes, but few
    windows admins know how to do this and information about it is hard to find.

    Another reason is that the unix / linux kernel is better instrumented then
    windows, giving you more real time information (eg solaris dtrace).


    Regards,

    Freek D'Hooge
    Uptime
    Oracle Database Administrator
    email: freek.dhooge_at_uptime.be
    tel +32(0)3 451 23 82
    http://www.uptime.be
    disclaimer: www.uptime.be/disclaimer
    --
    http://www.freelists.org/webpage/oracle-l

    --
    Thomas Roach
    813-404-6066
    troach_at_gmail.com

    --
    http://www.freelists.org/webpage/oracle-l
  • Rich Jesse at Feb 16, 2011 at 12:09 pm
    Hey Niall,
    - or when they need to reboot the DB server because it's been up more
    than 90 days straight... well, that's when you know the platform you've
    chosen is probably not the wisest choice.

    nope that's when you know that the admin doesn't understand the platform. I
    must reboot every 90 days is an admission that something that I don't
    understand is happening.
    While the person(s) you reference apparently did not make references for
    their arguments, I will.

    If the server happens to be a 32-bit flavor of Windows Server because that's
    all the vendor supports, the dreaded "feature" of low System Page Table
    Entries can certainly be a factor -- it definitely for me. See:

    http://blogs.technet.com/b/cotw/archive/2008/04/07/symptoms-lack-of-free-system-page-table-entries-ptes-system-wide-delays-i-o-request-failures-and-low-on-paged-pool-memory-and-or-non-paged-pool-memory-on-32-bit-windows.aspx

    The "solutions" given in the article are as vague and poorly thought out as
    the posts you allude to. The title of this article might as well be "Let's
    Play Games With Our Production Server and Pray That Something Works".

    I file the article under the theory given to us by Cary Millsap from his
    blog at
    http://carymillsap.blogspot.com/2011/01/axiomatic-approach-to-algebra-and-other.html

    "Theory: Redoing an n-step math problem instead of learning how to propagate
    a correction to an error made in step n – k through step n is how we get to
    a society in which our support analysts know only two solutions to any
    problem: (a) reboot, and (b) reinstall."

    ...which I happen to have hanging on my cube wall. Unfortunately, given my
    situation, my only cost-effective solution is (a). I hate (a). It's
    20-freaking-11 for crying outside.

    No, I don't know Win administration. I know a little of Unix/Linux. I
    think your rant is certainly valid, given the apparent poor evidence of the
    poster(s) to back up the suppositions. But there is also truth to *some* of
    their posts.

    If someone could just point me to where I can turn off file caching of
    Oracle datafiles -- with proof -- that'd be a great start.

    I like this ranting, Niall! :) Although I'll stop here, since dealing
    with SQL Server this week, which apparently does not enforce dependencies
    between objects, making it impossible to enforce. Fun! (mini rant);)

    Cheers!

    Rich
  • Bill Ferguson at Feb 16, 2011 at 1:31 pm
    Many good points in your rant Niall.

    But, I will make a comment on one point. Our AD was very poorly
    designed and implemented. It is setup like agency.department.net
    (which if you try to connect via the web, doesn't resolve to
    anything), while in all actuallity, the address format that does work
    is in the format of region.agency.gov.

    This caused me extreme grief a few years back when installing Oracle,
    as it auto-magically read the AD information and appended that to my
    database name, making the database unfindable (and unworkable) in our
    environment. I finally stumbled upon the fact that if the machine was
    out of AD and in a workgroup, then no problems with the installation.
    I have absolutely no idea what would happen if I now changed the
    machine to be back in AD, now that installation is over.

    I've held off on testing this aspect for two main reasons:
    1.) It's working fine, so why try something that may break it again?
    2.) Due to a big (at least to me), security issue with AD, I will
    refrain as long as I can from having the server in AD.

    The security issue is that anybody at a higher AD level than myself
    can easily write a GPO to make themselves an Admin, propagate the new
    GPO to any machine they want, and have complete control of that
    machine. When they are done screwing things up, they can just as
    easily write another GPO to remove themselves from the Admin accounts,
    leaving everybody scratching their heads as to what happened. We
    tested this scenario a few years back to confirm, so I decided then
    that as long as I can, I'll attempt to keep my servers out of AD. If
    anything happens to them, it's my butt, and the folks we have in our
    agency that have more permissions than I do, don't know squat about
    Oracle, they can barely spell SQL Server, but of course being a
    Micro$oft product, they are totally enamoured with it, even though
    they don't use that either.

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