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Azure VMs with Oracle- Next Steps

Microsoft has done a great job of documenting how to create a VM with the appropriate VM image and Oracle version, then how to log in, startup the listener and create the database.  I just have some enhancements I’d like to make to it, hoping to help it move up one level.

I Bequeath to You

All instructions provided by the Microsoft documentation show how to connect to the database using a bequeath, (BEQ) connection.  This is done by the following command, using SQL Plus, (or similar):

sqlplus / as sysdba

It bypasses the need for a connection string, only requiring the SID to be set at the environment level:

export ORACLE_SID=

This information, for Oracle DBAs, is often gathered from a running database server executing the following command:

Linux Scripting, Part IV- Scripting for Longevity

We’ve learned a lot about commands, utilities and how to create a script, but we need to discuss the importance of scripting for longevity.

What is Scripting for Longevity?  We have a tendency to focus on scripting to automate something WE might not want to perform manually, but avoid what we think might void our value.  We may try to ensure there is necessity for our role or our knowledge as we create scripts.  This can be built into the execution process, scheduling, arguments, pre-run or post-run steps.  This doesn’t make us an asset, but a liability and against what I call, “the Code of Conduct” when automating.

Questions

The questions you have to ask yourself as you script out solutions are:

Create an Oracle VM on Azure in Less than 5 Minutes

If there’s one thing I’ve been able to prove this week, it’s that even with the sweet 4G LTE, Wi-Fi setup in my RV, Montana still has the worst Wi-Fi coverage in the US.  Lucky for me, I work in the cloud and automate everything, because if there’s one thing I love about automating with scripts, is that I can build out a deployment faster and less resource intensive than anyone can from the portal.

Oracle Virtual Machines in Azure

When you build out an Azure VM, with Oracle, you’ll also need to have the supporting structure and a sufficiently sized additional disk for your database.  This can be a lot of clicks inside a portal, but from a script, a few questions and bam, you have everything you need.

Best Practices for Oracle Data Guard on Azure

I keep saying I’m going to start sharing what I’m doing in the Analytics space soon, but heck, there’s too much I need to keep adding to on the Oracle in Azure arena!

So, as most people know, I’m not a big fan of Oracle RAC, (Real Application Cluster).  My opinion was that it was often sold for use cases that it doesn’t serve, (such as HA) and the resource demands between the nodes, as well as what happens when a node is evicted to those that are left are not in the best interest for most use cases.  On the other hand, I LOVE Oracle Data Guard, active or standard, don’t matter, the product is great and it’s an awesome option for those migrating their Oracle databases to Azure VMs.

Oracle and Microsoft’s Cross-Cloud Partnership

A couple weeks back, Oracle and Microsoft announced their cross-cloud partnership.  This was wonderful news to me, as I’ve been working on numerous Oracle projects at Microsoft with Azure.

The Gist

To know that there is now a partnership between the two clouds and that there’s also a large amount of documentation about working between the two clouds is very helpful vs. the amount I’ve been working on based off just my knowledge.  Just as anyone appreciates a second set of eyes, I now have two company’s worth!

Linux Scripting, Part III

In the previous blog posts, we learned how to set up the first part of a standard shell script- how to interactively set variables, including how to pass them as part of the script execution. In this next step, we’ll use those to build out Azure resources. If you’re working on-premises, you can use this type of scripting with SQL Server 2019 Linux but will need to use CLI commands and SQLCMD. I will cover this in later posts, but honestly, the cloud makes deployment quicker for any business to get what they need deployed and with the amount of revenue riding on getting to market faster, this should be the first choice of any DBA with vision.

Linux Scripting, Part II

In Part I, we started with some scripting basics, as in, how to write a script. This included the concepts of breaking a script into sections, (introduction, body and conclusion)

For Part II, we’ll start with the BASH script “introduction”.

The introduction in a BASH script should begin the same in all scripts.

  1. Set the shell to be used for the script
  2. Set the response to failure on any steps, (exit or ignore)
  3. Add in a step for testing, but comment out or remove when in production

For our scripts, we’ll keep to the BASH format that is used by the template scripts, ensuring a repeatable and easy to identify introduction.

Dynamic Values in Linux Scripting

I do a LOT of scripting. Given the choice to click in a GUI vs. typing at the command line, I’ll choose the command line. Given the choice to type commands in repeatedly vs. scripting out a task I perform more than twice, I’ll script. Scripting effectively is an art as much as it’s a science.

My idea of science

Where a GUI can change, both in content, as well as layout, a script is less impacted by this when it is designed to dynamically work with the catalog. You have the choice to either work with the values in an array or to just pull it into a temporary file to work with as part of the script. For the example, I’ll stick with the latter to make our example easier to reproduce.

Oracle RAC vs. SQL Server AG

As I have seen the benefit for having a post on Oracle database vs. SQL Server architecture, let’s move onto the next frontier- High Availability…or what people think is high availability architecture in the two platforms.

To RAC or Not to RAC

There is a constant rumble among Oracle DBAs- either all-in for Oracle Real Application Cluster, (RAC) or a desire to use it for the tool it was technically intended for. Oracle RAC can be very enticing- complex and feature rich, its the standard for engineered systems, such as Oracle Exadata and even the Oracle Data Appliance, (ODA). Newer implementation features, such as Oracle RAC One-Node offered even greater flexibility in the design of Oracle environments, but we need to also discuss what it isn’t- Oracle RAC is not a Disaster Recovery solution.

Oracle vs. SQL Server Architecture

There are a lot of DBAs that are expected to manage both Oracle and MSSQL environments. This is only going to become more common as database platforms variations with the introduction of the cloud continue. A database is a database in our management’s world and we’re expected to understand it all.

Its not an easy topic, but I’m going to post on it, taking it step by step and hopefully the diagrams will help. Its also not an apple to apple comparison, so hopefully, but starting at the base and working my way into it with as similar as comparisons as I’m able to with features, it will make sense for those out there that need to understand it.

We have a number of customers that are migrating Oracle to Azure and many love Oracle and want to keep their Oracle database as is, just bringing their licenses over to the cloud. The importance of this is they may have Azure/SQL DBAs managing them, so I’m here to help.