January 2018

GDPR ‘Murica!

Just over a year ago, an alarm of emails, posts and projects arose in Europe surrounding the General Data Protection Regulation, also known with the acronym, GDPR.  It was as if someone had poked the sleeping bear of IT and woke it and boy, was it grumpy.

Histogram Hassle

I came across a simple performance problem recently that ended up highlighting a problem with the 12c hybrid histogram algorithm. It was a problem that I had mentioned in passing a few years ago, but only in the context of Top-N histograms and without paying attention to the consequences. In fact I should have noticed the same threat in a recent article by Maria Colgan that mentioned the problems introduced in 12c by the option “for all columns size repeat”.

So here’s the context (note – all numbers used in this example are approximations to make the arithmetic obvious).  The client had a query with a predicate like the follwing:

Spectre and Meltdown on Oracle Public Cloud UEK – LIO

In the last post I published the strange results I had when testing physical I/O with the latest Spectre and Meltdown patches. There is the logical I/O with SLOB cached reads.

Spectre/Meltdown on Oracle Public Cloud UEK – PIO

The Spectre and Meltdown is now in the latest Oracle UEK kernel, after updating it with ‘yum update':

[opc@PTI ~]$ rpm -q --changelog kernel-uek
| awk '/CVE-2017-5715|CVE-2017-5753|CVE-2017-5754/{print $NF}' | sort | uniq -c
43 {CVE-2017-5715}
16 {CVE-2017-5753}
71 {CVE-2017-5754}

As I did on the previous post on AWS, I’ve run quick tests on the Oracle Public Cloud.

Physical reads

I’ve run some SLOB I/O reads with the patches, as well sit KPTI disabled, and with KPTI, IBRS and IBPB disabled.

And I was quite surprised by the result:

Clone a table

Sometimes doing a CREATE TABLE AS SELECT is all we need to copy the data from an existing table.  But what if we want more than that ?  What if we really want to clone that table to match the original as closely as possible.  We had a question along these lines on AskTOM today.  A standard CTAS copies the NOT NULL attributes and the data types, but not really much else.  We know that Data Pump will take care of it, but that is more complex than a simple CTAS.

So here is a simple routine to wrap the Data Pump calls so that the CTAS can be achieved with just as simple a command.  A database link pointing back to the same database is all we need.

Secret Hacking Session: Oracle Background Process Communication, Exotic Wait Events and Some Tracing too

Update: I unexpectedly ended up falling ill and decided to reschedule this hacking session to January 24, 10am PST. No need to re-register if you already have done so. Sorry for the inconvenience. I will upload the video to Youtube after the event.

Since I’m running my Advanced Oracle Troubleshooting Training in the end of this month, I’ll do one of my “secret” hacking sessions too for promotion and noise-making reasons next week! ;-)

Secret Hacking Session with Tanel Poder: Oracle Background Process Communication, Exotic Wait Events and Some Tracing too

ASSM tangle

Here’s a follow-on from Tuesday’s (serious) note about a bug in 12.1.0.2 that introduces random slowdown on large-scale inserts. This threat in this note, while truthful and potentially a nuisance, is much less likely to become visible because it depends on you doing something that you probably shouldn’t be doing.

There have always been problems with ASSM and large-scale deletes – when should Oracle mark a block as having free space on deletion: if your session does it immediately then other sessions will start trying to use the free space that isn’t really there until you commit; if your session doesn’t do it immediately when can it happen, since you won’t want it done on commit – but that means the segment could “lose” a lot of free space if something doesn’t come along in a timely fashion and tidy up.

The Future of the DBA, #C18LV, Video 1

I’m starting to move towards doing more videos and hope to improve my video skills, (and maybe add a dance sequence, ya know, like the hip kids…)  Check out this post and please, do add comments, ask questions or just tell me what you think?

Have an awesome Wednesday and no, don’t comment on my consistent need to make a strange face at the beginning of a video… </p />
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ASSM Argh 2

After yesterday’s post one of the obvious follow-up questions was whether the problem I demonstrated was a side effect of my use of PL/SQL arrays and loops to load data. What would happen with a pure “insert select” statement.  It’s easy enough to check:

Spectre and Meltdown, Oracle Database, AWS, SLOB

Last year, I measured the CPU performance for an Oracle Database on several types of AWS instances. Just by curiosity, I’ve run the same test (SLOB cached reads) now that Amazon has applied all Spectre and Meltdown mitigation patches.

I must admit that I wanted to test this on the Oracle Cloud first. I’ve updated a IaaS instance to the latest kernel but the Oracle Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel does not include the Meltdown fix yet, and booting on the Red Hat Compatible Kernel quickly goes to a kernel panic not finding the root LVM.