20th anniversary

When I started to work for a current employer in 1995 the company run a tiny Oracle 6 production database on IBM mainframe (OS/390). Nothing serious or big. The majority of data processing at that time was still done in Cobol and TPL. Development with Oracle*Case of the new state Business registry however started on LAN, with Oracle 7 on Netware 4. Yes. Life. Was. Exciting. Recovery from a server crash was almost a daily routine. But for a starter like me, it was definitely fun and exciting working environment.
In the mid 90’s company was using a myriad of OS’s (OS/390, Netware 3 and 4, OS/2, DOS, Windows 3.1, Windows 3.11, Windows NT 3.5, SCO Unix, IRIX….but not Windows 95!). We used two network protocols, primary one was IPX/SPX and secondary was TCP/IP (Oracle Listener was listening on IPX/SPX adapter). It was a ZOO.
After Microsoft released Windows NT 4 at the end of 1996, the decision was made to consolidate OS environment on NT 4 at every level, from laptops, desktops to the servers. With one exception. Two main file servers were left to run on Netware.
Why not Unix? Due to the lack of skilled workforce with strong Unix skills on the market it was somehow logical choice to pick a mainstream OS player.
So, on March 1997 we put our first non-mainframe production Oracle database in use. It was IBM PC Server 320 with two Pentium 133Mhz processors, a whooping 128MB of RAM and four 2GB Fast Wide SCSI disks. We run NT 4 and Oracle 7.3. Backups were done with ArcServe and HP Surestore DAT tape library. This first PC based host was (predictably) named ORANT.

At that time we were considered as weirdos (perhaps we still are?), because no one run Oracle production on Windows. Local Oracle representatives used us as a reference whenever someone asked them if anyone is using Oracle on NT or how stable Oracle is on NT. Honestly, from 1997-1999, it was not as stable as we wished to be (regular monthly reboots were needed), but it was certainly a giant leap forward compared to Oracle on Netware. The real stability came with Windows 2000/2003. Twenty years later our production still runs on Windows Servers, but this is gonna to change soon. Not because of the lack of stability (modern Windows Servers are rock solid, and we can prove it;) but because of clear Tux technology dominance and advantages in the Cloud/OSS era.

Anyway, I took a couple of screenshots from my VirtualBox guest, running Windows NT 4 (SP1) and Oracle 7.3.4:

For the record: installation of the Windows NT 4 took ~10 minutes. Installation of Oracle 7.3.4 with Replication option took another ~10 minutes (including building a database). It took 1.3GB of disk space for both OS, RDBMS and sample database. For comparison, Oracle 12c R2 ISO file with all the components is 9.7 GB.

Posted on 21.03.2017, in Other and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on 20th anniversary.

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