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March 2017


One of the difficulties with trouble-shooting is that’s it very easy to overlook, or forget to go hunting for, the little details that turn a puzzle into a simple problem. Here’s an example showing how you can read a bit of an AWR report and think you’ve found an unpleasant anomaly. I’ve created a little model and taken a couple of AWR snapshots a few seconds apart so the numbers involved are going to be very small, but all I’m trying to demonstrate is a principle. So here’s a few lines of one of the more popular sections of an AWR report:

End of an era …

Four years ago I wrote about a little volunteer project that my partner did.  A small association that provided outdoor experiences and facilities for kids with physical impairments needed a system to record member and volunteer details, plus a few other bits and pieces.  We built an Apex solution running on XE.  This week, they became part of a larger government initiative, and thus their Apex application was no longer needed and the information migrated to a centralised service.  There was a tinge of sadness about that, but I also was pleased with the outcomes of this “project” namely:

Refreshing VDB With Sales History Data

Now that I’ve loaded a ton of transactions and did a bunch of work load on my source database with the SH sample schema and Swingbench, I’ve noted how little impact to the databases using different cloud tools, (which will come in a few later posts) now I’m going to show you how easy it is to create a new VDB from all of th

Purging Unified Audit Trail in 12cR2

A good thing from 12.2 is that the implementation of Unified Audit Trail has changed a little. It was stored in a weird CLI_SWP$ table but now we have a normal partitioned table named AUD$UNIFIED. In a previous post I traced the two purge method: purge all before a timestamp, or purge all. Here is the same in 12.2

Purge old

I have quite a few record in Unified Audit Trail here.

SQL Saturday – 25-March 2017 – Colorado Springs CO

I’m really excited about speaking at SQL Saturday on my favorite topic!

SQLSaturday is a free training event for Microsoft Data Platform professionals and those wanting to learn about SQL Server, Business Intelligence and Analytics.  I’m all for that!

At this event, I’ll be discussing Accelerating DevOps and TDM Using Data Virtualization.  This is my favorite topic, because for the 20 years that I worked as a DBA, I ran into the same roadblock time and again.  The roadblock of data volume.

“DevOps” is a conflation of parts of the words “development” and “operations”, and it represents the grass-roots movement to merge application development, application testing, and IT operations into one continuous stream.  All tasks from coding to testing to operations must be automated so that new features and fixes can be delivered on a continual flow.

How many members for standby redo logs?

I see lot of databases with two members for redo logs and also two members for standby redo logs. Why not, but when asking I realized that there are some mis-comprehension about it. And what was recommended 10 years ago may be different today.

benchmarking your disks


While at Delphix, we did a lot of storage benchmarking. The I/O response times of Delphix depends, as one would logically imagine, heavily on the underlying disks. Sure Delphix can cache a lot ( with 1 TB of ram and 3x compression that’s 3TB and that 3TB can be shared by 10 or a 100 copies being the equivalent to 30TB or 300TB of databases) but really there will always be important I/O coming from the storage subsystem.

Now Delphix mainly runs databases loads, so the best test for storage that is hooked up to Delphix is to benchmark the storage I/O for a database workload. Two questions arise

AWS CloudWatch with Delphix AWS Trial

I love valuable metric data and I wanted to see what’s offered from different cloud providers.  Metrics are data and data ensures that when performance is impacted, we have the information we need to answer questions and resolve issues.

Oracle 12cR2 on Windows: Virtual Accounts

Oracle Database is released for Windows, just 2 weeks after the Linux release, and this is a very good news. Let’s see something new you will encounter in the first screens of Oracle 12.2 installer. Don’t worry, the default choice is the right one. But better understand it.


On Linux, you don’t install Oracle Database as root. You create a user, usually called oracle, which will be the owner of the database files and the instance processes and shared memory. This looks obvious be before 12c the Oracle Instance is running as the root equivalent, the built-in SYSTEM user. This was very bad from a security point of view: running a software with the most powerful user on the system.

Let’s Talk Database: New Dates Released (You Can’t Talk)

Good news for all you Oracle Database folk in ANZ. I’ll be running a new series of “Let’s Talk Database” sessions at a venue near you in the coming months. I’ll be discussing two interesting topics, “Introduction to the Oracle Cloud for DBAs” and “Introduction to Oracle Database 12c Release 2“. The dates for this series and registration […]