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November 2013

Handoffs delay, self service saves

“Self-service is awesome; if they can get work done without opening a ticket, we’re winning.” - Kelsey Hightower via Gene Kim, author of The Phoenix Project

There is a great “ah ha” moment in the book, The Phoenix Project, when the hero, Bill Palmer, realizes why it takes his  star IT technician, Brent, several days to accomplish a task that Brent said would take him 45 minutes!  The reason it’s taking Brent days to accomplish the 45 minute task is that the task depends on several hand offs between different people and each hand off is eating a surprising amount of time. Why if each of the multiple steps only takes a few minutes each does the completed task end up taking several days? The reason is the queuing time between each handoff. Handoff time delays and handoffs delay inordinately the busier each resource is.

The Thin Cloning Left Shift

The DevOps approach to software delivery manages risk by applying change in small packages instead of big releases. By increasing release frequency, overall risk falls since more working capabilities are delivered more often. The consequence of this is that problems with your data can be amplified. And, as a result, you can squeeze the risk out of one aspect of your delivery just to introduce it in another. Thin cloning attacks that risk, enhancing and amplifying the value of DevOps by reducing the data risk inherent in your architecture.

Data Delivery

Scripts to create AWR reports quickly.

It is easier to create one or two AWR reports quickly using OEM. But, what if you have to create AWR reports for many snapshots? For example, your Oracle support analyst wants you to supply 10 1-hour AWR reports from 10AM to 8PM in a 8 node cluster? That’s about 80 AWR reports to create! Okay, okay, I may(!) be overselling it, but you get the point. It is useful to have a script to create AWR report for all instances for a given range of snapshot IDs. Following scripts are handy:

OakTable World UK 2013

Just a quick post to remind people coming to UKOUG Tech13, you can also register for OakTable World UK 2013.

If you go to the page you can see the agenda and the registration form. The event is free, but you need to be registered for UKOUG Tech13!

Enjoy!

Cheers

Tim…

Difference between storage snapshots and database virtualization

Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 7.49.21 PM

photos by Keith Ramsey and Automotive Rhythms

People are hearing more about Delphix and database virtualization. Database virtualization is where database copies can be made in minutes using thin cloning. Thin cloning  means sharing the  un-modified blocks on the file system between clones. Modified blocks are private to the clone that made the modification.

The Principle of Least Storage

We’re copying and moving redundant bits

In any application environment, we’re moving a lot of bits. We move bits to create copies of Prod for BI, Warehousing, Forensics and Production Support. We move bits to create Development, QA, and Testing Environments. And, we move bits to create backups. Most of the time most of the bits we’re moving aren’t unique, and as we’ll discover, that means they we’re wasting time and resources moving data that doesn’t need to be moved.

Unique Bits and Total Bits

Radically reducing the bulk and burden of caring for all of the data in the enterprise has to start with two fundamental realizations: First, the bits we store today are often massively redundant. Second, we’ve designed systems and processes to ship this redundant data in a way that makes data consolidation difficult or impossible. Let’s look at a few examples:

Backup Redundancy

Create Tablespace and ORA-28374

One of the projects I worked on last week was improving our processes around encryption in Oracle. I spent a lot of time becoming intimate friends with the database wallet. Late in the week while attempting to create an encrypted tablespace on an 11.2.0.3 (PSU6) system, we mysteriously ran into ORA-28374. Oddly enough we were building two identical databases in parallel using a scripted approach but only one of the databases ran into this problem. And no matter how many times I rolled back and re-ran the wallet setup script, I kept getting this same error! There are a handful of informative Oracle Support notes related to this error and one of them had the solution to my problem. However it wasn’t immediately obvious why, so I thought it would be worthwhile to write a description based on my experience.

Create Tablespace and ORA-28374

One of the projects I worked on last week was improving our processes around encryption in Oracle. I spent a lot of time becoming intimate friends with the database wallet. Late in the week while attempting to create an encrypted tablespace on an 11.2.0.3 (PSU6) system, we mysteriously ran into ORA-28374. Oddly enough we were building two identical databases in parallel using a scripted approach but only one of the databases ran into this problem. And no matter how many times I rolled back and re-ran the wallet setup script, I kept getting this same error! There are a handful of informative Oracle Support notes related to this error and one of them had the solution to my problem. However it wasn’t immediately obvious why, so I thought it would be worthwhile to write a description based on my experience.

Reverse Key

Here’s one of those little details which I would have said just couldn’t be true – except it’s in the manuals, and the manuals happen to be right.