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October 2011

Calling all DBA's - we still need your input...

And time is running out.  A month ago we started taking input for Oracle University and what sort of courses they should be providing.  The survey is nearing an end - and while we received a great response to day, they would like to get more input.

So, if you have the time and inclination - check out


Parallel Downgrade

There are many reasons why a parallel execution might not run with the expected degree of parallelism (DOP), beginning with running out of parallel slaves (PARALLEL_MAX_SERVERS or PROCESSES reached), PARALLEL_ADAPTIVE_MULTI_USER, downgrades at execution time via the Resource Manager, or the more recent features like PARALLEL_DEGREE_LIMIT or the Auto DOP introduced in Oracle 11.2.

Coming to Dublin...

I'll be coming over to Dublin, Ireland at the beginning of November.  On November 2nd I'll be holding a free seminar from 9:00 to 15:30 at the Oracle offices.  Everyone is invited to attend.  You can register by downloading this file and emailing the contact.  It also includes all of the information for the day.  I'll be doing two of my sessions from Oracle Open World this year (Five things you probably didn't know about SQL / PLSQL), a talk on database options and then an open question and answer session at the end.

Hope to see you there!

The Death of UK Football…

If anyone was wondering why football (soccer) in the UK is gradually being eroded to the point where we are a 3rd world country, you might want to take a look at this.

So in schools the kids are streamed based on their ability, with the most able kids paraded as shining examples of academic excellence and that is considered fine, but put them on a football field and the physically excellent kids have to be held back to allow for the weak to “compete”. This makes me sick. This has nothing to do with the kids. They don’t even read the papers. It’s to do with politically correct parents who just can’t deal with the fact their kids are wet lettuces. You can be sure the kids will remember a 20:0 defeat and you can be sure their friends will know the real score.

The real problem with the Telford Junior League is they have a “football for all” policy, which is good, but they refuse to stream the kids at an early age, so teams made up of Premiership Development Center players are playing against kids who are rarely facing in the direction of the ball. That’s no joke. I’ve seen it. With this in mind, of course some teams are going to get the sh*t kicked out of them.

Every kid should have the right to play football, but it should be against opposition that is of an appropriate level to them. Stream the kids in sports, the way they are in school. This latest nonsense from the TJL is political correctness gone mad. Life isn’t fair. Everyone is not equally good at everything. Kids need to learn that and start working hard for the things they want, rather than having it handed to them on a plate.



Update: The decision has been reversed. The full scores are now being published again. I like to think my blog rant helped, but the reality is, just about everyone with any sense could see that lying about the scores was not sensible.

Why Are My Indexes Still Valid Quiz ? (Move On)

OK, this quiz is a nice easy one, the lads at work got this without too much trouble.    Normally, when you MOVE (re-org) a table, all the associated indexes become Unusable. As below:         So the indexes are now all unusable ..     However, I previously created another table called BOWIE that [...]

The end of the Management and Infrastructure SIG – What Next?

The 27th September was in some ways a sad day for me. It was the last of the UKOUG Management and Infrastructure Special Interest Group meetings. This SIG was dedicated to looking at how you cope with Oracle as part of a large or complex organisation. The last audience was bijou and compact but the speakers were cracking, as is confirmed by the excellent feedback everyone received from the post event critique forms.

First Impressions of EM12C

One of the major announcements at Oracle Open World last week was the launch of Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c, though I’m going to refer to the product as em for the rest of this blog. EM is a product that I both love and which completely infuriates me from time to time. Its worth understanding [...]

OakTable Membership…

On a small note… Sometimes there is some confusion about how you become a OakTable member as could be noticed here “SbhOracle” (post has been altered now)… The OakTable membership can ONLY be acquired by INVITE after being recommended by one or more of the OakTable members regarding long time outstanding achievements done in the Oracle …

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Oracle OpenWorld 2011–Reflective Thoughts

And so another OpenWorld has come and gone, and while I wasn’t able to attend in person this year, I was able to watch most of the keynotes live while following along with my peeps on Twitter.

It’s always interesting to see whether or not people are “impressed” with the announcements from Oracle during OpenWorld — a lot of that depends on your perspective. While the past couple of OpenWorlds brought us Exadata and Exalogic, I felt that there were a LOT of “engineered systems” announced in both the run-up to OpenWorld (Database Appliance, SPARC SuperCluster) and at OpenWorld itself (Exalytics, Big Data Appliance). If you’re keeping score at home, you now have at least the following set of engineered system components to choose from:

Exalytics — an OBIEE high-performance system (Essbase, OLAP, TimesTen)
Database Appliance (mid-market 2-node RAC in a box)
Big Data Appliance (Hadoop, NoSQL, R and Infiniband connectivity)
Exadata Storage Expansion Rack
SPARC SuperCluster

I predict that integrators and Oracle sales engineers will be very busy putting together solution portfolios and configurations for large customers.

This bigger set of products also puts more pressure on Oracle to deliver a solid management console that can oversee multi-engineered system landscapes, and while the jury is out on Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c, there were several encouraging bits about it — including the ability to customize the screens and workflows in a whitelabel fashion.

Of course, in addition to the Big Data Appliance, which appears to be Oracle’s way of “legitimizing” Hadoop within the enterprise, and providing tighter integration through enhanced connectors over Infiniband, there was another Oracle database product “announced” in the form of Oracle NoSQL. From most accounts, the NoSQL product appears to be a well-engineered key-value store system based on the Berkley DB software.

Then we had the Oracle Public Cloud announcement and theater around and their keynote. With the cloud, Oracle emphasized the their stance on the open, portable nature of Java and how you can easily move onto and off of their cloud. Two things about the Oracle cloud were particularly interesting to me: the possibility of getting access to “public” data sets on the cloud, and the Oracle Social Network.

Larry Ellison demonstrated the Oracle Social Network used within a company sales process as a collaborative activity streaming tool integrated with Oracle’s Fusion applications — which seemed to resonate well with the enterprise customers in attendance.

All in all, a lot of stuff — and I didn’t even cover the Fusion Apps stuff.

One final intriguing thought — now that Oracle has so many different database products: RDBMS, NoSQL, Essbase, TimesTen and Rdb — it will be interesting to see how they “integrate” them, possibly on their cloud. I can imagine a future in which you don’t choose your product, but rather your feature and usage requirements, something like this:

Oracle Public Cloud Data Configuration

Describe your data requirements:

I need high-volume access to keys and values, I am less concerned about consistency
I need tables and columns that I can use to create relations and views to support ad-hoc queries and analysis
I need faceted, multi-dimensional analysis structures to support numerical analysis
I have a lot of documents and my data is basically unstructured.

Describe how your want to access your data:

I need JDBC / SQL connectivity
I need a RESTful API
I need a SOAP API

And then underneath the covers the cloud provisions the correct product for you, while watching your usage to see if it needs to configure a different product…

Cloud Control 12c R1 Installation on Oracle Linux 5.7 and 6.1…

While I was at Open World I tried a few times to get hold of the new Cloud Control software, but the hotel network wasn’t up to the job, so I had to wait until I got home.

The installation is pretty simple compared to previous versions of Grid Control and it installs fine on both Oracle Linux 5.x and 6.x. As always it’s a little greedy on the memory front, with the recommendation for a small installation being 4G for the Cloud Control and 2G for the repository database. That’s not including the OS requirement. On the subject of the repository database, you can use a number of 10g and 11g versions, but anything before requires additional patches, so I stayed with

You can see what I did here.