Thursday, August 22, 2019

Action Plan for Early EPM 11.2 Adopters

Several customers and prospects have reached out asking about the process to upgrade to EPM 11.2, what it would cost, etc.  Until I see the Release Notes, Installation Guide, and am able to download the software, I can't provide a comprehensive answer.

So the purpose of this post is more about what to do in advance in order to prepare a Proof of Concept (POC) lab / sandbox.

At this time ("Safe Harbor"), Oracle has disclosed the software will be introduced for Windows Server, and UNIX will come later.  Oracle has also indicated Windows Server 2016 and SQL Server 2016 will be certified for EPM 11.2.  What is not clear is if higher versions of Microsoft will be certified.

Unless there are further delays ("Safe Harbor"), EPM 11.2 is now just 1-2 months away.  Oracle's Knowledge Base and blog indicates Sept 2019 is a possible release date, but a Q&A in an Oracle webinar earlier this week suggested Oct 2019 is now the target date.  As with every new on-premises EPM/Hyperion release, it is always a "wait and see" approach.

All of the above being said, here are some things we can do to prepare our POC labs / sandboxes in anticipation of the new release.

  1. Procure license keys for Microsoft Windows Server 2016, and your choice of either an Oracle database or Microsoft SQL Server 2016.  Time-limited trials are typically available if your POC lab will be used for throwaway testing & prototyping.
  2. Procure a few virtual machines.  I'd suggest starting with 3:   1 for the web tier, 1 for Essbase (if you use it, otherwise put HFM & FDMEE on server #2), and 1 for the relational database.  On server #1, where the web tier will run, ideally you want 1 virtual CPU core and 2-4 GB of RAM for each web service.  As we are talking about a POC lab / sandbox, we can skimp a little.  Future UAT and Production environments would need to be beefier.  The disk footprint is unknown at this time -- when in doubt, provision a standard C: drive for the operating system, and 150GB or more for the D: drive where EPM will reside.
  3. Install the operating system and database.
  4. Run Windows Update and apply the recent database patches / updates.
  5. Install your favorite 3rd party utilities on server #1 and #2.  I tend to use Notepad++ and 7-zip.  If the relational database is to be hosted on a UNIX variant, I additionally install PuTTY and FileZilla.  All of these are legally free (not shareware).
Now we wait.

Avoid creating schemas/databases until the software and installation guide are released.  I expect the schemas/databases needed will be the same as 11.1.2.4 and prior, but it would be wiser to wait.

We don't yet know if DRM will require Microsoft IIS, ASP.Net, and/or .Net Framework.  I'd wait to install these until the installation guide is published.

Finally, make sure your company is current on paying the Oracle Support maintenance fee.  Upgrades are only available to companies who are current on maintenance.

A reminder this blog post relates to a Proof of Concept lab / sandbox, which would be used to validate that your applications can be successfully migrated from your old system into EPM 11.2.  Once you're ready to build out your "real" EPM 11.2 environments, the number of servers and their specifications may be much different.

What else would you do to prepare?  Leave a comment!


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