All posts by Ann Sjökvist

Standard Edition has the same core tech as Enterprise Ed. It just haven't all nice gadgets available so different solutions is required. Easy to violate license agreements, so be careful out there :)

OOW17 Security and Standard Edition

(c) Ann Sjökvist 2017- Helsinki

OpenWorld 17 Thanks

The harvest of my trip to Oracle OpenWorld, San Fransisco was a huge “learning-networking-aha-new ideas”.

I specially like to thank Tammy, Martina, Wes and all the others from the ODA team that made my trip special in many ways.

I also like to give a special thanks to Hanni , Jussi and Hannu. The pre-meeting idea was super!

Larry’s Security Keynote – SE Hope

It was great to see a smiling and fun making Larry Ellison on the stage. His Keynote about Security made more than sense to me.

His speech gave me hope. Standard Edition database is part of the Oracle fleet, so when Larry announced Oracle has started the Cyberspace Security journey, and taking the business seriously, I think it looks promising from SE perspective.

I learned from Security team in San Fransisco that Audit Vault+Database Firewall is buy able for SE environment. Ofc, the challenge of not having FGA, will still be there. But that’s not a huge problem, only an issue.

In SE environment we just learn how to cope with obstacles, and if not…..well either an EE upgrade or we look for a new Vendor (with all the restrictions that Vendors DB will have). So far my experiences are; There are no free lunches. It’s simple as that.

(c) Louise Salminen 2017

Take care, stay well and enjoy the options to stay positive.


Helsinki October 2017

GDPR – Oracle Max Data Security Architecture – SE?

Using Oracle Database Security Products

Oracle Corp.(c) + my added SE notes

Standard Edition Data Security

As you already guessed, Oracle offers many solutions to tackle the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).  The picture above, is an Oracle (c) and I have added Standard Edition database related information to it.

Why? It is simple. Many of the options that Oracle are suggesting requires an Enterprise Edition database, because you cannot buy those options for your Standard Edition database.

And the original picture comes from document.

update: 15.10.2017: OOW17 Security Team hear saying: Standard Edition can buy AVDF option. The EE requirements no longer there

Oracle SE exit?

I guess most of the people interested in Oracle Corporations related Technology has noticed the latest moves and changes in their strategy.

I was told, that changes has occurred within customer support and education, and it looks like well qualified people have been relocated or dismissed from their duties. Really?

I was informed that the SE climate has gone from a nice warm breeze to a more ice-cold climate. Really?

Tim Hall's post about Oracle cloud license changes doesn't leave doubts about the changes.

Somewhere on the net I found an article about the amount of databases available on the market. Sorry but lost the link. The writer explicitly said 'as an Oracle DBA, I would start learning other vendors DB's'.

His thoughts and the changes in strategy of Oracle made me ask: "If Oracle strategy is only from an IT perspective instead from a customer perspective. What is the added value of having an Oracle SE database?"

postgreSQL internal database might add some new values for SE customers. For sure looks interesting. Have you read Inc article "How to select the best database software: Know your database software types". I agree with this quote "experts stress the importance of selecting a system that best meets your needs."

We are living in a new area where digitalization brings new methods, processes and new ways of looking at things. Customer care is not according to some specialist what it used to be either.

According to the specialists, customers are looking for added value and good experiences not only IT technical stuff.

Changes in climate make customers changing there behaviors. When it is getting cold you by a warmer coat. Right?

So it's all seems natural when hearing about customers starting to look for new solutions that might add a better ROI from a customer value perspective instead from an IT perspective, doesn't it?

Let me borrow this quote with a miner change (report->blog)

This blog is in no way designed to be definitive. Rather, the objective is to encourage thinking about the future, to stimulate and facilitate debate, discourse and discussion, so that we are all better placed to shape our industry in the years that lie ahead.
Holger Taubmann, Senior Vice President Distribution, Amadeus"

Take care, stay well and maybe the climate will get nice and warm again. 🙂

26 Feb 2017

Cloud Backup Service pitfall for SE

(c) Oracle
(c) Oracle

Backup Cloud Service – Standard Edition proof?

New updates below 9.9.2016

I did some googling, and found this document “Using Oracle Database Backup Cloud Service“. In the beginning of the document it states:

use RMAN parallelism and compression??
use RMAN parallelism and compression??

“…Use RMAN parallelism and compression…”

To my understanding, the On-prem Standard Edition database have no license model allowing the DBA to use parallelism or compression, so after looking at the above document, I’m asking my self, has there been a change in the Cloud? Can a Standard Edition Cloud database use parallelism and/or compression for free?

Answer from Oracle License Specialist 11.8.2016:

“Standard Edition has the same rules in the Cloud as in On-Prem. So You may not use the parallelism and compression features”

Thanks Oracle for the clarification, and lets remember the golden rule – remember to be careful before starting to do things if your environment includes a Standard Edition database.

Below is the “Special-Use Licensing” part from the 12c License document:

available in Oracle Advanced Security Option
available in Oracle Advanced Security Option

IMHO: The information between these two different documents provided by Oracle is misleading.

To my understanding we are not able to follow this “Best Practice ….” document advice if we have a Standard Edition Cloud database.

Can we find a document like this?

“Standard Edition Howto with Cloud Backup Service” 

Update per 9th Sept 2016  – start:

i was speaking about SE at a DOUG meeting in Denmark at the end of August 2016, were we had a great time talking and exchanging thoughts about SE related stuff. We had a great interactive session during my 90 minutes talk!

Thanks to Lars Bo V, and Peter G, I learned new things about the Cloud Backup Service that need to be added to this post.

Oracle Database Backup Service – FAQ (Doc ID 1640149.1) answer the question:

Can I backup Oracle Database Standard Edition databases to Cloud Service?”

The answer is yes, but there are some restrictions and requirements that need to be fulfilled.

“Please note that all the backup related restrictions – such as single channel etc. still applies to the standard edition. “

As the Oracle License Specialist referred to earlier in this article.

According to the Edition document this feature is free of charge, and available for SE/SE1/SE2 databases:

free option
free option

The good news is that Yes you can backup to the cloud, and the costs might not even be too expensive,  so I suggest you look in to it.

Update per 9th Sept 2016  – end

Take care, stay well and enjoy the opportunities in the Cloud

Helsinki, 11.8.2016


Talking SE at Danish Oracle UG 25.8.2016


Danish Oracle User Group Event August

Danish Oracle UG 25.8.2016 – Let’s talk SE

Are you a user of Oracle Standard Edition Database, or are planning to start working with a Standard Edition Database?  I would love to meet you and hear about your experiences and exchange thoughts about SE future.

I will be talking about my experiences in SE, and its different pitfalls that I think every Oracle DBA should know about.

More information on the event can be found here.

Take care, stay well, and see you in Copenhagen!




Administrating Oracle Standard Edition in the Cloud

Exploring the journey of SE Cloud

In my previous post, I activated and created a Cloud Standard Edition Database (=CSE) .

Oracle’s promise – Cloud no DBA necessary

“Fully managed by Oracle – no DBA necessary”

Cloud - No DBA cecessary

The above statement is for a Database Schema Service database, and sounds very promising from a SME business owners perspective. Hopefully I have time to test drive it, to check the degree of truth in that statement.

Testcase Database as a Service (=DBaas)

So I am the lucky “owner” of a  Cloud Standard Edition Database.

Our Cloud Standard Edition Database is not yet aware of any companies data.

 What does my Cloud SE DB looks like?

Newly created without any Customer Data
Newly created without any Customer Data

The picture above shows my newly created CSE.

The CSE database has not yet any business related data in it, and 93% of Operating system Memory in use.

Well-known DBA routines still useful?

Should I have asked for a bigger Cloud? Are these numbers normal and good enough to hold the real customer data as well? Should I have taken something into considerations, before activating my CSE database? Did I miss something important? How can I be sure not to overdue the small budget, that the SME customer has? How about the automatic backup routines?  Can I rely on the default backup policy, or should I urgently fix them? Is this Cloud different from On-Prem or should I stick to the company’s well-known DBA routines?

I found this document, but do still have some open questions that need answers.

Start using my CSE

Oracle provide us with an “out-of-the-box”  the  “DBaas Monitor” Console, which helps us monitoring our Cloud Standard Edition Database Instance well being.

Options in “DBaas Monitor” Console:

Database - what we can do from DBaas Monitor
Database – DBaas monitor Console
OS - what we can do in DBaas Monitor
OS – DBaas monitor Console
About - DBaas monitor Console
About – DBaas monitor Console
Overall & Logout -DBaas monitor Console
Overall & Logout -DBaas monitor Console

Enable https access

Before we can use the “DBaas Monitor” Console, we need to sign in to our Cloud Service account, and enable the https access “Access Rules” option for our instance:

Instance Access Rules
Instance Access Rules
Enable https Access
Enable https Access
OK - otherwise will not work
OK – otherwise will not work

Login to DBaas Monitor

There. Now we can Open the Console and start to explore our newly created CSE.

DBaas Monitor
DBaas Monitor
DBaas monitor
DBaas monitor
DBaas monitor Login
DBaas monitor Login

Login to CSE with SQL Developer

If your attention is to use SQL Developer remember to enable the listener from our Cloud Service.

Access Role - SQL Developer
Access Role – SQL Developer

After this small exercise in the Cloud,  more questions arises.

 Thinks to think about in SE

In my next post I will talk about Cloud Backup Service and what to think about when your DB is a SE Cloud version.

Take care, stay well and let’s enjoy the sunny days of Summer!

Helsinki 31.7.2016


Oracle Standard Edition in the Cloud – easy or not?

Oracle Database Cloud Service (Database as a Service)

It is based on VMs provided by Oracle Compute Cloud Service. You can connect to your Oracle Database Cloud Service (Database as a Service) instances by using Oracle Net Services from outside the Oracle Cloud.

Two service levels of Oracle Database Cloud Service (Database as a Service) instances are available:

  1. The Virtual Image level includes the Oracle Database and the supporting software as part of the virtual machine you provision. You have to install the Oracle Database, and you are responsible for all maintenance operations for this software.
  2. Oracle Database Cloud Service (Database as a Service).
    The instance comes with automated tooling for backup, recovery, patching and upgrade. When you provision one of these Oracle Database Cloud Service (Database as a Service) instances, your virtual machine comes with your Oracle Database instance already running, with backup jobs already scheduled.

Standard Edition is like EE in the Cloud

The Cloud is here to stay, and lot’s of people have already tried it out, and by googling, it seems that most of the articles are focused on the Enterprise Edition option. Please check out Tim Hall’s post about his tests from here.

How about if I want a Standard Edition Database? Any different steps needed?  Let’s check it out.

How-To create a SE Instance in the Cloud

1 – Create a SSH public/private key

  1. Generating a SSH Public/Private Key Pair (I used PuTTY Key Generator), to be used with our SE Cloud Database.  Enter a password/passphrase for the private key and save the private key.
    • To save the public key copy and paste in a Notepad file the generated text, and save the Notepad document with the .pub expension; for example
SSH Key Generator
SSH Key Generator
Copy and save your Public Key
Copy and save your Public Key

IMPORTANT – Save the keys and remember the passphrase for your private key. This will be
used in further steps.

2 – Create a Storage Container

Before creating the SE instance it’s a good idea to create the storage container, since this will be required during the Instance creation phase. It is used for backups, and I used CloudBerry,  but you can also create one with REST API if that’s more your “cup-of-tea”.

Create Storage Container for Backups

3 – Login to Your Oracle Cloud account (Create if not available)

After you have registered with your (trial) account, login and remember to choose the “Data Center” associated with your services. In my case i use a site geographically near Finland.

SE on Cloud
SE on Cloud

4 – Create a Database Cloud Service SE Instance

Click on the Oracle Database Cloud Service and you will see a a  “Create Instance” – button on the right side of the Dashboard, and choose the Database option


Choose the Create Service”- button and fill in the questionnaire form

Choose Virtual Machine or a Cloud Service

Create Service

Choose a Database version you need

Choose Database version 11 or 12
Choose Database version 11 or 12

In early days of Oracle Cloud Service, the only available Standard Edition version provided was SE1. Checked the information provided by Oracle at the moment, and they say “Standard Edition”, so I guess they now provide us with the SE2 edition.

so is it Standard Edition 2?

Choose Standard Edition Database

Choose Standard Edition Database

Service Configuration Steps

Give your service a suitable name, Description, Shape, timezone, and provide your SSH public Key to be used for authentication when using a SSH client to connect to a compute node VM that is associated with your SE Cloud Service Instance:


Database and Backup Configuration

Provide the rest of the information.  Remember the CloudBerry stage performed earlier? Now is the time to provide the information about the storage you created.

Database & Backup Configuration
Database & Backup Configuration

That’s all. A note to my self: How about the “automatic backup routines” that came with the above configuration steps?

Checking with CloudBerry, and some backups available already….Nice.

Backups already there
Backups already there

There is my newly created Standard Edition Database and instance, and it didn’t take long and didn’t require much Oracle DB skills to get things working. Anybody can clearly get a DB up and running in no time.

The real question now is how about using or administrating this type of database? Any pitfalls to be aware of? How about migrating the old On-prem database with a different character set to this Cloud SE Database? How do I restore a lost Cloud SE DB? Can anybody perform the normal DBA stuff as easily, or do they need some kind of Oracle DB knowledge? I guess it’s time to figure out, if some Oracle DBA skills are needed at all in this world among clouds.

Take care, stay well, and enjoy the challenges in life!


Turku 23.7.2016

ps. This YouTube might be handy. It shows the steps mentioned above

SE Database is On-Prem out of fashion?

SE Usage Example
(c) Oracle Corp.

Oracle Database  ver. 12.2 first on the Cloud

Many of you have probably already read from the internet, that Oracle is  first distributing the new 12.2 Database to the Cloud, and then at a later stage it will become available for customers who still prefer the On-Prem option (

 “Cloud is growing, however, and software licensing continues to shrink. This is true right across the industry from Adobe, to IBM to Microsoft.”

Oracle for Small Business Enterprise (SME)?

Can SMEs afford an Oracle Database, or this database only for bigger companies?

Oracle  provide a Cloud option for Small and medium-sized enterprises (=SME). The costs for a Standard Edition Cloud Service is according to an Oracle slide approx. £4050 per month.

The On-prem Standard Edition 2 processor list price is approx. $17500.

After the release of their Engineered Systems ODA X6/S and ODA X6/M, which include a bare metal Standard Edition 2 installation for a list price of $18000, I would be tempted to say that Oracle do care about small customers as well.

As a comparison here is the price list for Microsoft SQL Server 2016.

At a first glance, the price difference between the two doesn’t seems to be major, so  the argument I hear a lot “Oracle is too expensive” seems a little bit enlarged. Other arguments or just “we don’t know the technology”, sounds more proper when deciding what database to use.

Oracle Database Cloud Service Standard Edition

In May this year at OUGF Conference I had the privilege to talk to Mr. Luis Moreno Campos, who is the EMEA Director, Data Management Cloud at Oracle EMEA. he said that Oracle is concentrating on Cloud, and in the long run we will see less On-Prem environments on the market.

As I told him, we all know a DBA who just needs to be able to “hug” the Database server every know and then. For long I have been a strong believer in ODA, and now Standard Edition 2 is finally available as a bare metal option. So, Oracle didn’t forget all DBAs who just loves to have a physical server luring in the room next door, Pretty cool – and yet an opportunity for Standard Edition Community.

Upcoming post…..Standard Edition Cloud Service – Is it easy or not?

Turku 23.7.2016

BREAKING NEWS – Oracle ODA SE2 Bare Metal RELEASED Today 21st June 2016

AnnSjokvist(c)2016 – Dreams

ODA X6-2S / X6-2M – Yes, it’s true!

(Standard Edition 2 Bare Metal solution)

Oracle Corporate (c) - "SE options
Oracle Corporate (c) – “SE options

Oracle has just officially announced, that “Little Brother Standard Edition2 Database” has joined the Oracle Database Appliance family.

Started in 2014

It was back in the beginning of 2014 when I first got acquainted with the ODA solution. I have also written about my thoughts on both LinkedIn and on my blog ( This old video of ODA will give you a feeling about what it is and what it may provide.

Back in autumn 2014 I asked Mr John Abel, Head of Technology and Cloud for UK, Ireland and Israel at Oracle if it had ever crossed Oracles mind, to make ODA the “Little Brother of EXADATA”, and by so providing an affordable smart solution to small customers”.

“Forget it!”

Passionately I tried to convince people in Oracle Community about the missing opportunities a ‘Standard-Edition-Bare-Metal-ODA’ solution would bring to the community, but everybody told me “Forget it! Oracle will never make a ‘Standard-Edition-Bare-Metal-ODA’ solution available!”.

Pardon me for saying: “With passion, innovation and creative thinking things do happens, and SE JUST LOVE IT”.  Makes me feel good.

UKOUG TECH15- ODA Director

At UKOUG TECH 15 Conference I finally had the opportunity, to talk to Tammy Bednar, Director Product Management, Oracle Database Appliance at Oracle, about ODA with a SE Bare Metal solution. Since then, I have asked and asked, and Thanks Tammy to You and your Oracle team mates.  It would be a pleasure to meet the “gang” who made this solution come true!

Have I tested ODA X6/2S?

To my knowledge there are no such service available as an “ODA test drive Cloud”, that would give you an insight on what it is and what it isn’t. Like it is with a new car; everybody wants to test drive before buying – right?

So the answer to the question is unfortunately I haven’t been able to make a deeper test drive. Is there things a Standard Edition DBA should “avoid”? That would be a great thing to explore, and write about. For sure there are much to explore from a Standard Edition point of view. To my understanding, there are “gadgets” in there, that are only available with the Enterprise Edition version of ODA. Will the need of innovative thinking vanish in an ODA X6/2S 2/M? Left to see.

CTO / CIO a ‘ODA X672S’ solution?

IMHO this is a solution worth checking. The costs building a new system will probably be less, than the standard way  -buy a server and then start building the system. A customer told me once, that it took them 6 months to get a new server up and running.

Here is some material  ODAX6-2CustomerPresentation I received from Tammy. I hope it will guide You, when you start to explore this new solution for your Standard Edition Database. Thanks Tammy



And the entry List Price for X6-2S is $18.000. Did I make you interested?

Oracle Standard Edition Community will have the opportunity to choose from two different “ODA SE2 Bare Metal” versions ODA X6-2S and ODA X6-2M.

Database Appliances for Every Organization – X6/2S/2M

  • it doen’t yet support virtualization
  • contains a new Appliance Manager (ODACLI)
  • NVM Express (new standard for PCI Express (PCIe SSD))
    • works directly with PCIe interface, No SCSI protcol overhead
  • there is an REST API that supports Oracle Cloud
  • SE2 License model is either 1-socket (X6-2s), a 2-socket (X6-2M)  or NUP based (NUPS/min 10 users/server)
  • Security is “Built In, and not Bolt out” – Oracle (c)2016
    • Secure Oracle Operating System (default to highest levels of security)
    • Advanced Security Features (EE only)
    • Secure Out-of-the-Box (RPM requirements)
    • Timely System Updates (single patch for entire stack)
    • Complete In-house HW Design( Motherboard, BIOS, and service processor firmware designed 100% Oracle)
  • High-speed for memory
  • High Available Network Connectivity
  • High performance and reliable OS storage

Oracle’s promise:

oracle (c)
oracle (c)


Oracle has today released ODA X6/2S and ODA X6/2M solution that has a Standard Edition 2 Bare Metal Installation.

Is this an opportunity for Oracle Standard Edition Community?  Is this an affordable solution for a small customer, and will the customer be able to start small and let his business grow, and eventually be able to upgrade to EE+ODA technology when his business requires? IMHO I think so.

Will ODA X6/2M or ODA X6/2S have a fair chance in the Cloud society? I think we all know at least one DBA, who once in a while loves to hug his DB Server, to check that everything is ok – So, yes I do believe there is a positive future for this solution.

What do you think?

Take care, stay well, and let’s stay curious in life!


Helsinki, 21. June 2016