Database

Top-N Queries and the Multithreaded Model in Oracle 12c…

A couple of new 12c articles have rolled off the press. Both of them small, but interesting to me.

These resulted in amendments to a couple of old articles.

WITH Clause Enhancements in Oracle 12c…

After doing a number of 12c installations, I decided it was time to write something new. I figured I’d pick something easy to start off with, so here is the first thing off the press.

How can we make Oracle Database 12cR2 the best release ever?

Oracle will be releasing Oracle Database 12cR1 at some point this year. Many companies will avoid this release, opting to wait for 12cR2, their reasoning being it will be more stable and, as a terminal release, will have a longer support life-cycle. Since 12cR2 is what most businesses care about, what can we do to make it as good as it can possibly be? Here are a few thoughts…

Exadata upgrade to version 11.2.3.2.0 and ASR

Recently we upgraded an Exadata to the currently latest version, 11.2.3.2.0. The Exadata software itself consists of an image for the storage servers (the storage servers are essentially re-imaged), and a set of updates for the database/computing nodes, including: firmware for ILOM (lights out adapter), BIOS, LSI RAID adapter, Infiniband adapter, linux kernel, drivers, mandatory packages, to name some.

Oracle Database on Oracle Linux 6.1…

I mentioned the day before Open World I put a Virtual RAC on Oracle Linux 6.1 article live. Although the procedure was complete, some of the screen shots were from an old article as I didn’t have time to redo them before my flight. :) I’ve just run through the procedure again and taken new screen shots. As a result, I’ve allowed the article to display on the front page of the website, which is why you will see it listed as a new article there.

This kinda rounds out the whole Oracle on 6.1 stuff as there has been a single instance installation guide out for ages and more recently the Cloud Control installation, which references it.

Remember, it’s still not certified yet, but it’s coming.

Cheers

Tim…




Oracle Database 11gR2 on OL6 / RHEL6: Certified or Not?

There seems to be a little confusion out there about the certification status of Oracle Database 11gR2, especially with the release of the 11.2.0.3 patchset which fixes all the issues associated with RAC installs on OL/RHEL 6.1.

Currently, 11gR2 is *NOT* certified on OL6 or RHEL6. How do I know? My Oracle Support says so! Check for yourself like this:

  • Log on the My Oracle Support (support.oracle.com).
  • Click the “Certifications” link.
  • Type in the product name, like “Oracle Database”
  • Select the product version number, like “11.2.0.3.0″.
  • Select the platform, like “Linux x86_64″ or a specific distro beneath this.
  • Click the “Search” button.

From the results you will see that Oracle Database 11.2.0.3 is certified on OL and RHEL 5.x. Oracle do not differentiate between different respins of the major version. You will also notice that it is not currently supported on OL6 or RHEL6.

Having said that, we can expect this certification really soon. Why? Because Red Hat has submitted all the certification information to Oracle and (based on previous certifications) expects it to happen some time in Q4 this year, which is any time between now and the end of the year.

With a bit of luck, by the time I submit this post MOS certification will get updated and I will happily be out of date… :)

Cheers

Tim…




Oracle Database Appliance — What Does It Mean for You and Your Business?

When I first heard about Oracle Database Appliance and what it does, I got really excited — I saw great potential in this product. When we got our hands dirty and started testing the appliance, I become confident that this product will be a hit. Now it’s finally the time when I can share my [...]

Two New Articles: UDEV and Database Triggers…

I’ve recently put a couple of new articles about old subjects on the website. In both cases, the articles were initiated by forum questions, but the explanations became too painful in the format of a forum post so they graduated into articles…

  • UDEV SCSI Rules Configuration In Oracle Linux 5 : For those of you that like to follow my Virtual RAC guides, but don’t like using ASMLib, you can use this article and replace ASMLib with UDEV.
  • Database Triggers Overview : This is really a primer on database triggers. I’ve focussed mostly on simple DML triggers, since this is what the vast majority of trigger-related questions I’m asked relate to. Consider it the “minimum” you should know before you write a database trigger.

Cheers

Tim…




Consolidation Is All About Costs

Back in February, Jonathan Gennick asked me if I would be interested in writing a bit of content for an APRESS brochure to distribute at RMOUG Training Days. I thought it was a cool idea and chose the topic of database consolidation. I only needed 10 short tips but when I started to write, it was difficult to stop — clearly, expressing ideas in concise way must not be my strength.

Jonathan did heavy edits and turned my draft into 10 brief tips and, of course, quite a few details had to go as we shrank the size 3-4 times. Since I’ve already put my efforts into writing, I figured I could share it as well on my blog. Thus, welcome the first blog post from the series of database consolidation tips. Let’s get down to business…

While there are often multiple goals of a consolidation project, the main purpose of consolidation is to optimize costs which usually means minimizing the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of data infrastructure. Your current hardware might be past end of life, you might lack capacity for growth, your change management might be too slow, etc.

These non-core goals (for the lack of a better term for side effects of consolidation projects) can play a role of timing triggers but success of a consolidation project is defined by cost metrics. In real-life there are very few pure consolidation projects as project success criteria usually contain other conditions than cost cutting.

Tip: Keep costs at the heart of the consolidation project but don’t get blinded by cost alone! It’s a total failure if a consolidation project delivers a platform with much lower TCO but is unable to support the required availability and performance SLAs.

It’s also not very popular to run a purely cost-cutting project in a company — people are not overly motivated especially if it endangers their jobs. Luckily, most healthy businesses have quickly growing IT requirements and consolidation projects very quickly bust out of the scope of just cost savings.

Tip: Get your success criteria right and keep cost optimization as the core goal. If required, reduce the scope and split projects into stages where each stage has it’s own core goal. This way, you can classify some stages as purely consolidation. It’s so much easier to achieve success if there are only few criteria. You could also check mark success boxes constantly as you go instead of trying to get to the light at the end of the tunnel that could take years.

If you have anything to share on the scope of consolidation projects — whether past experience or current challenges — please, comment away.

Oracle Database Consolidation — What’s Your Story? (book prize)

Dear blog readers,

I’m working on a small story about database consolidation and interested to learn what are success and failures that others are going through. While we have our own experience at Pythian, I find it interesting to learn about what others are going through. If you have enough details, it would be nice to see your feedback along those lines.

1. Why consolidation project started – targets?
2. What were expectations / success criteria and how they were set?
3. What was the scope of the consolidation project.
4. Expected time-frame and whether you are done by now.
5. Was the project considered successful? Goals met (see item 2)?
6. What were the measurements before and after? Were there any?
7. Issues faced and how they were solved or worked around.
….
Interesting facts like platform, number of databases, versions, consolidation strategy and etc.
….

Sharing your experience here would be beneficial for the community at large. Besides, don’t you want to win a book?

Expert.Oracle.Practices

I myself contributed the first chapter to this book but the rest of the authors are really awesome! ;-)

To win the book, you need to share your experience and provide details. Addressing the items I mentioned would be great but if you don’t have the whole picture, you might miss some of it so just tell us your story. Of course just few sentences won’t qualify you for a story teller so I’ll use 1000 characters as a guideline threshold to qualify for a draw but I won’t follow it blindly — insights into your consolidation project is what counts!

Don’t forget to enter a proper email address (remember that it’s not shared) when entering a comment so that I can follow up in case you get the prize.

Oh… and there is a deadline! You get time until tomorrow (at the time of writing) – 11:59pm EST 18-Jan-2011. Feel free to share even later but the prize will be gone by then!

Thanks in advance for all your comments!

Alex