Oracle’s Database version 12.1 is moving to Sustaining Support at the end of July 2022. If you are one of the many Oracle customers still making use of this version, it may be time to start thinking about an upgrade.
Oracle products go through 3 cycles of Support during the lifetime of a given version. Premier Support for current versions, which typically lasts for 5 years. Optional Extended Support which gives almost all of the same benefits as Premier, albeit at an additional cost, and is typically available for 3 years. And finally Sustaining Support, which provides the least benefit, but has no additional costs outside of the standard yearly uplifts. Below is Oracle’s chart detailing what is included during each period:
Oracle would certainly prefer to have their customers always running on the latest versions that are in Premier Support, as it provides the most benefit at the lowest cost. Of course in the real world, we know that business needs, application requirements, and time availability all play a role in how frequently a particular product is upgraded within a Client’s environment. Oracle understands this as well and structures their support in way that is intended to give a customer enough time, and reason, to want to make the necessary upgrades to the latest versions.
This brings us to Database version 12.1. Originally released in June of 2013, Premier Support ended in July of 2018. Extended Support was available following the end of Premier, but only for Enterprise Edition and Standard Edition 2. This concludes at the end of July 2022, and this version will move to Sustaining Support.
Standard Edition and Standard Edition One have been in Sustaining Support since August of 2016. Extended Support was not made available due to the release of Standard Edition 2 in September of 2015.
So, what should one do?
Simple question, not so simple answer. It’s going to depend.
As we mentioned earlier, there are all sorts of reasons that Clients hold off on version upgrades. Is an Application that you run dependent on this version of Database? Is this a legacy environment that does not require frequent upgrades, or that you intend to keep static? Perhaps then an upgrade is not warranted.
On the flip side, if the reason for not upgrading has more to do with lacking time or resources, or other projects took priority, but this is a Production environment, or one that underpins your business, then now is the time to give upgrading another look.
With the move to Sustaining Support, critical updates, patches, and regulatory changes will no longer be available, outside of what has already been released. At the same time, you will still need to pay your yearly Support costs in order to submit requests and maintain your ability to upgrade when needed.
Ready to upgrade?
Oracle has released a number of versions of Database since 12.1 moved off Premier Support. Version 12.2 (released in March of 2017), as well as 18C (released in July of 2018), have both already moved into Sustaining Support. These versions are what Oracle considers Short Term Releases, for which Extended Support is not made available. Note that 12.2 did have a period of Limited Error Correction but that ended in March of this year.
Version 19C is Oracle’s current Long Term Release of Database with Premier Support currently slated to last until April 2024 and Extended Support available for an additional 3 years afterwards, until April 2027.
How can Miro help?
We’ve been assisting Clients for more than 20 years on projects of all shapes and sizes. Upgrading your Database environment is a hefty undertaking, and having a team of experts in all things Oracle on your side is key to getting it done efficiently, with as few bumps in the road as possible.