Oracle DBAs who weren't so eager to trial 12cR2 in the cloud can now check it out on their own premises.
Oracle had been piling the pressure on customers to consume its wares as-a-service by initially distributing the updated second release of Oracle Database 12 (12cR2) on a cloud-only basis.
Now, arriving on-premises, is the exact same product, although Oracle's cloud service is intended to provide automatic provisioning of configurations to make management a little easier for less experienced users.
12cR2 introduces a couple of new features, including the ability to horizontally partition or shard a large database across a pool of independent instances, each with their own server and storage.
Oracle's Multitenant capability also provides a database consolidation model in which multiple Pluggable Databases (PDBs) are consolidated within a Container Database (CDB), allowing the PDBs to share the memory and background processes of a common CDB, while also keeping the isolation aspects of single databases.
12cR2 is now downloadable for Linux and SPARC, specifically for Linux x86-64, Oracle Solaris (SPARC systems, 64-bit), and Oracle Solaris (x86 systems, 64-bit).
These versions arrive first because Oracle database is almost entirely written on Oracle Linux 6 x86-64, though some DBAs maintain a degree of incredulity regarding whether parts are written on Solaris. Regardless, this is why these releases are the first to arrive before being ported to other platforms. 12cR2's eventual availability for Windows is expected, as happened for 12cR1.
Considering the length of time 12cR1 has been around, and users' very slow move to that, it is likely going to be several years before 12cR2 begins to be adopted by businesses.
Oracle's cloud-only move was an attempt to drive customers to its cloud services too, but as with its new release, uptake for serious enterprise customers is minimal. The majority of customers running Oracle databases are doing so on-premises, while the few that are using Oracle database in the cloud are not really using Oracle Public Cloud to do so. ®