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February 2018

18c, Cloud First and Cloud Only features: think differently

Remember the times when the Oracle Software features were the same on all platforms? Where Oracle databases could be ported to any relevant platform? Where we were able to try any feature, freely, by downloading the latest release software? Now we need to think differently. Because:

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In the spirit of Cary Millsap’s comment: “The fastest way to do anything is to not do it at all”, here’s my take (possibly not an original one) on solving problems:

“The best time to solve a problem is before it has happened.”

I spend quite a lot of my “non-contact” time thinking about boundary cases, feature collisions, contention issues, and any other things that could go wrong when you start to implement real systems with (new) Oracle features. The benefit of doing this, of course, is that when I’m looking at a client’s system I can often solve problems because I recognise symptoms that I’ve previously created “in the lab”. The strange thing about this is that there have been times when I’ve pushed Oracle to a breaking point, documented it, and then dismissed the threat because “no one would do that in real life” only to find that someone has done it in real life.

A free persistent Google Cloud service with Oracle XE

In a previous post I’ve listed several free online services which run an Oracle XE so that you can test your SQL easily. You may want use Oracle XE further, with full access to the database and its host, and still from a web browser. You probably have a Google account. Then you also have a Virtual Machine on the Google Cloud (0.5 vCPU / 1.70 GB RAM boostable to 1 vCPU / 3.75 GB) and 5 GB of persistent storage (as long as you used it in the 120 previous days). Just try this Google Cloud Shell: https://console.cloud.google.com/cloudshell.
In this post, I explain how to install Oracle XE there.

PDB upgrade from 12c to 18c

Oracle 18c is out, in the Oracle Cloud, and the first thing I do with a new version is testing how long it takes to upgrade a previous version PDB by unplug/plug. Faster upgrade should be the benefit of having a slim dictionary where the system objects are reduced to metadata links and data links. However, it looks like upgrading the PDB dictionary still takes the same time as upgrading the CDB$ROOT.

ODA Lite: What is this ‘odacli’ repository?

When ODA Lite was introduced, with ODA X6-2 S/M/L, and now with ODA x7-2 S/M, a new ‘odacli’ was there to manage it. It will probably replace the oakcli for ODA HA as well in the future. One big difference: it uses a repository to record the configuration and the operations. I don’t really like it because when something fails you are blocked. Oracle Support can modify the directory, but they ask for an access to the machine for that and this is not easy in secured environments. Anyway, I really don’t understand why another repository has been introduced. We already have the Oracle Inventory, the Grid Infrastructure resources, the Linux /etc files,… And now we have a closed repository which controls everything, accessible only with the very limited odacli commands which are not the best example of automation code and error handling.

Scene and Cut. Training Days 2018

I’m recovering after a very successful RMOUG Training Days 2018 and now looking towards the next year.  The board elections come up in two months and I’m happy to say, that the goals that I hoped to achieve in my year as president, the board was able to achieve even as I worked on the conference and started as the president for the SQL Server User Group here in Denver, all in parallel.

18c–If you can’t wait

You’ve seen the tweet !!

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but perhaps the accompanying blog post has tempered your enthusiasm Sad smile

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You might be thinking:

Huge Pages

A useful quick summary from Neil Chandler replying to a thread on Oracle-L:

Topic: RAC install on Linux

You should always be using Hugepages.

They give a minor performance improvement and a significant memory saving in terms of the amount of memory needed to handle the pages – less Transaction Lookaside Buffers, which also means less TLB misses (which are expensive).

You are handling the memory chopped up into 2MB pieces instead of 4K. But you also have a single shared memory TLB for Hugepages.

RMOUG Training Days 2018, Day 2

So I survived the first day of RMOUG Training Day’s workshops, sessions and the VIP Reception ran a little later last night than we originally planned.  I had to present in the first session of the day at 8:30am, so I was a little worse for wear when I checked into my room for DevOps for the DBA.

I really appreciate all the attendees that came to the session, the great questions and feedback I received.  Its not easy to pay attention to a speaker that early in the morning!

A Word About Amazon EBS Volumes Presented As NVMe Devices On C5/M5 Instance Types.

If It Looks Like NVMe And Tastes Like NVMe, Well…

As users of the new Amazon EC2 C5 and M5 instance types are noticing, Amazon EBS volumes attached to C5 and M5 instances are exposed as NVMe devices. Please note that the link I just referred to spells this arrangement out as the devices being “exposed” as NVMe devices. Sometimes folks get confused over the complexities of protocol, plumbing and medium as I tend to put it. Storage implementation decisions vary greatly. On one end of the spectrum there are end-to-end NVMe solutions. On the other end of the spectrum there are too many variables to count. One can easily find themselves using a system where there interface for a device is, say, NVMe but the plumbing is, for example, ethernet.