Active GridLink for RAC is now included in Oracle WebLogic Suite
26 Jul 2011 by Simon Haslam (in HA) | Comments (2)
|Finally it's official - the GridLink Data Source, also known as "Active
GridLink for RAC" by Oracle's marketing folks, is now included as part
of the WebLogic Suite licence!|
As mentioned by James Bayer over on Oracle's WebLogic Blog the Fusion Middleware Licensing Document (126.96.36.199) has now been updated to this effect - the magic words are "Use of WebLogic Server GridLink data sources, known as Active GridLink for RAC, is an entitlement available only as part of licensing WebLogic Suite or Exalogic Elastic Cloud Software."
Note if you have downloaded an older version of the 188.8.131.52 middleware documentation set it does not include this wording.
For Java enterprise applications that make serious use of the database (which in practice usually means Oracle RAC), the GridLink Data Source is almost certainly the most significant improvement Oracle has made to the core WebLogic Server since it acquired BEA Systems 3 years ago. It brings the proper environmental integration between the java server and the database tier - taking into account not only service announcements (e.g. for instance maintenance, and as already implemented in Oracle's previous application server product), but also extending to dynamic workload management. If you have a busy 24/7 website, or demanding contact centre applications, this is very good stuff! For an introduction to the GridLink Data Source see my blog post earlier this year.
I have always maintained that WebLogic Suite, as Oracle's premium Application Server package, and RAC, Oracle's premium database product, should have sophisticated levels of integration built-in. Therefore, whilst I was delighted to see the development of the GridLink Data Source, I thought it was particularly harsh to effectively limit its use to those who also bought Oracle Exalogic (a high-end machine). Therefore I think this change in policy is a very positive sign that Oracle is listening to its customers, as well as providing an additional functional incentive for more customers to upgrade from iAS/WebLogic Basic to WebLogic Suite.
Which editions of WebLogic does this change apply to?
The traditional way that WebLogic users had to connect to a RAC database was with BEA's Multi Data Source, a feature that is less than satisfactory on a number of levels. The revised availability of Multi and GridLink Data Sources for the various products that include WebLogic Server is shown below:
|Product||Multi Data Source ||GridLink Data Source |
|WebLogic Server Standard Edition|
|WebLogic Server Enterprise Edition|
|WebLogic Server Basic |
(i.e. included with iAS SE or EE)
WebLogic Suite plus Exalogic Elastic Cloud
When does this permission to use the GridLink Data Source take effect? This change would appear to take effect immediately but, because the licensing document where this is described is released as part of the patchset documentation, it might depend on what patchset you are running:
- 184.108.40.206 / 10.3.5 / PS4: as above, section 220.127.116.11.4, now says GridLink data source "available ... as part of licensing WebLogic Suite"
- 18.104.22.168 / 10.3.4 / PS3: the licensing doc (section 22.214.171.124.4) says "WebLogic Server GridLink data sources, known as Active GridLink for RAC, are available when licensed with the Exalogic Elastic Cloud Software option on WebLogic Suite."
- 11gR1 pre-PS3: the GridLink Data Source only arrived with PS3 and is not available on earlier releases.
Note: the above is purely based on my interpretation of the documents, so be sure to check for yourself and ask your Oracle sales person!
Oracle licensing is often considered a game of cat and mouse so using a Grid Link data source on PS3 might be a tasty morsel of cheese best left alone! My advice is, if you don't have tricky certification dependencies, to upgrade to WLS 10.3.5 as you shouldn't find it difficult.
So, if you're running WebLogic Suite 10.3.5 and RAC databases, I encourage you to put the GridLink data source on your research "to do" list. Here is some more information:
- My blog post including some configuration screenshots
- The official documentation: Oracle® Fusion Middleware Configuring and Managing JDBC Data Sources for Oracle WebLogic Server11g Release 1 (10.3.5)
If you're not quite in a position start research right now, and are going to be at Oracle OpenWorld 2011 in a couple of months, then please do come along to this session to find out more and see some demonstrations:
Oracle WebLogic Server and Oracle RAC
Oracle WebLogic Server enables your applications to leverage Oracle Real Application Clusters (Oracle RAC) for maximum performance, availability, and manageability. Attend this session to learn how to integrate Oracle WebLogic Server with Oracle RAC and hear details of Oracle WebLogic Server's Active GridLink feature for Oracle RAC. The presentation also discusses plans for future capabilities.
|When/Where:||Wednesday 5/10/11, 01:00 PM, Marriott Marquis - Salon 7|
|Who||Frances Zhao, Senior Principal Product Manager (Oracle), and myself|
Sorry I couldn't fathom out how to link to this session - instead you can just go to the Oracle OpenWorld 2011 - Content Catalog and put gridlink into the search box... ours is the only session that comes up.
Frances and I will hopefully be doing the same presentation in Europe at the UKOUG Conference 2011 in Birmingham this December too - details to follow nearer the time.