By Eldred Smikle
January 31st, 2011
It looks like Oracle is releasing Hyperion 126.96.36.199 in the coming weeks. And not a moment too soon because people have been waiting a long time for this. I’ll get to what’s in release 188.8.131.52 and why people want it, in a minute, but first I’m going to talk a bit about previous versions: Systems 9 through 184.108.40.206.
One of the biggest changes with version 11.1.2 is the introduction of a centralized domain, for the Java application server, Weblogic 10.3. Prior to version 11.1.2, the Hyperion products could use a decentralized model, for the Weblogic domains, of a distributed environment. For example, say you have two servers: Server A and Server B. Currently, with version 220.127.116.11, administrators can install Shared Services on both servers, and configure them in an active/passive relationship. This configuration allows information, from Server A (the active server), to be passed to Server B (the passive server). If Sever A goes down, Server B can quickly be activated, to handle failover. The transition isn’t instantaneous-making Server B the active instance does take some manual interaction from an administrator.
Inherently, Shared Services has always been a single point of failure. Why? The answer is because Shared Services is used for user authentication, thus any loss of Shared Services, causes a loss of authentication, for the Hyperion suite of products. But when you move up to 11.1.2, you could have an enhanced failover platform.
The 11.1.2 release uses a centralized domain, which is focused on a centralized sever, which could be the Shared Services server. To illustrate this, I’ll use the server names from the previous example. Server A is designated as the primary server. In this case, Server A is in constant communication Server B. This is more easily accomplished, because both servers reside on the same Weblogic domain, which currently requires you to install each product to be deployed, on the Weblogic domain, on Server A. Now you don’t have to deploy the applications on Server A, but you do have to install them. The applications can then be deployed on Server B where they will work.
This new model allows two instances of Shared Services to operate simultaneously, in version 11.1.2. Each instance theoretically operates independently, which means there is no single point of failure. If Server A goes down, Sever B can automatically become the primary instance. This allows for high availability for Shared Services.
Okay, so now that we’ve covered the 11.1.2 release, let’s talk about the next thing: System 11 used to allow you to install over the top of prior System 11 releases. The universal installer would recognize the components and upgrade them properly. Version 11.1.2 no longer does that. It is a complete new install. It is also recommended that you upgrade your hardware as well. Previous releases usually would leave legacy information behind and could cause unexpected conflicts. One workaround was to perform an uninstall of the Hyperion products, and then do a registry clean up. However, you would have to be VERY careful, working in the registry. It was a meticulous with a capital M task. If you’re not careful, you can make catastrophic mistakes rooting around in the registry, and the result can be that Operating System no longer works. So it makes sense that Oracle would recommend installing 18.104.22.168 on a clean, pristine machine.
The cost benefit analysis of sticking with your existing machines, uninstalling, and then cleaning up systems, for reuse vs. following Oracle’s recommendation is that you could get far more value by simply going with new machines.
One reason you should not attempt to install over the top of an existing release is that the underlying infrastructure for 22.214.171.124 is dramatically different from previous releases. Right now, release 11.1.2, only uses Weblogic 10, as the Java Application Server platform. Weblogic 10 is the out-of-the-box Java Application Server, for 11.1.2. Meaning when you install 11.1.2, you have no choice but to use Weblogic. In 126.96.36.199, the Java Application Server support is expanding to include Websphere and Apache Tomcat.
So why is everyone chomping at the bit to get on release 188.8.131.52? Two big reasons:
- The release includes support for Windows 2008 operating system. Companies running older Windows operating systems, like 2003, are anxious have been waiting a long time to make the switch. Release 184.108.40.206 will let them do so.
- Migration path is next biggest reason. Migration tools/conversion tools are included in the 220.127.116.11 release. These tools allow you to migrate prior versions, of the applications, to the latest version. This allows all System 11 applications to be seamlessly upgraded.
What remains unconfirmed at this time is whether the application conversion tools can be used with software versions prior to System 11. Given that there is no straight shot to System 11 from anything prior to System 9.3.1 (to get to System 11, you have to take the interim step, of converting Pre-System 9 software, to version 9.3.1 first, and then to System 11), it is probably a good bet that you will need to take some interim steps. I will stay tuned.
If you want to stay in the loop, on the release of version 18.104.22.168, including when it is going to be available, what kind of migration paths are offered, and any other critical upgrade information, drop us a line at TopDown. Once we know, we’ll let you know.
In the meantime, to be on the safe side, I’d say if you have older applications, start converting to get ready.