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Jeremiah Wilton's Oradeblog

How I got access to My Oracle Support (MOS) for US$2.67

Oracle professionals know that the two main sites for information and support on running Oracle products are the Oracle Technology Network (OTN), and My Oracle Support (MOS).

Report from Oracle Openworld

Openworld 2010, despite the supposedly lagging economy, had record attendance again this year.  No doubt this was the result of Oracle acquiring something like fourteen companies since last year, including Sun in 2009.  The crowds were thick, divided about evenly between geeks in badly-fitting vendor t-shirts and slick sales-side hustlers with dress pants and shiny shoes.  I landed somewhere in the middle of the two (badly-fitting dress shirt, comfortable jeans and loafers), proudly sporting a long dangling codpiece of ribbons from my attendee badge:

A Cloud over San Francisco for OpenWorld 2010

Oracle OpenWorld 2010 is just bursting with big cloud-related announcements this week.  As I prepare to present on the Amazon cloud at OOW2010 on Thursday (http://bit.ly/aSKdIQ), I thought I would highlight two of the biggest cloud-related announcements of the week.

Exalogic

We all know about Exadata, Oracle’s hardware-based storage-optimized RAC monster capable of over 1 million IOPS.  In his keynote, Larry Ellison announced Exalogic, an appliance that is meant to provide cloud-like private internal infrastructure.  Oriented towards  middleware, Exalogic’s marketing materials emphasize the elasticity of resources and promote middleware consolidation onto a small set of Exalogic nodes.

Finding thread IDs and names of SQL Server background threads

In Microsoft SQL Server, session IDs of 50 or less are dedicated background threads. These are analogous to Oracle’s background processes.  Suppose you needed to obtain the Windows thread ID of a SQL server background thread.  Just try finding out how to do that in the Microsoft documentation or by Googling.  I tried, and came up empty-handed.

Why might you need to know this kind of thing?  Well suppose one of those threads was misbehaving or hanging. You would need to debug it and obtain a stack trace.  For that you would need the OS thread ID.

A little sleuthing shows that you need to query three dynamic system views: sys.dm_os_threads, sys.dm_os_workers and sys.dm_exec_requests.  The following SQL should do the trick in MSSS 2005 and 2008:

Good OCP / bad OCP

For those contemplating launching a career in Oracle database administration, there are essentially three routes:

  • Oracle education and certification (OCP)
  • Third-party educational programs (University and private training)
  • Self-directed study and experimentation

Most entering into the field assume that to be employable, they must become an Oracle Certified Professional (OCP).  They might be surprised to know that most working Oracle professionals do not have this certification.

Although having an OCP is a nice way to show a prospective employer that you are serious about your profession, this certification has never gained the kind of universal traction that Microsoft’s MCSE has.  There are a few reasons for this:

How Incompetence Stimulates the Information Technology Economy

As information technology professionals, we constantly complain about mismanaged projects in which we have the misfortune to be involved.  Frequently, someone with more power than knowledge – usually in management and under the sway of a persuasive vendor sales team – has come up with a systems design most politely described as novel. Because of our experience and understanding of the technology, we can clearly see the plan will fail.  Heedlessly, despite our loud protests, the project plods onward toward oblivion, consuming money, time and our human spirit along the way.

We feel bitter and exasperated at being ignored.  We are shocked at the audacity of spending a corporation’s money when you don’t know what you are doing.  Our most common reaction is to escalate, complain, and engage in a battle of wills with the author of the flawed plan.

High Performance Oracle 11g in the Amazon Cloud

Jeremiah Wilton will be presenting High Performance Oracle 11g in the Amazon Cloud at Collaborate 2010 – an updated version of his February RMOUG presentation.  For a preview, you can find both the white paper and presentation slides from RMOUG on our white paper page.  Currently scheduled for Monday, April 19, the session abstract reads:

New presentation: Deriving Optimal Configurations Using 11g Database Replay

Jeremiah Wilton’s presentation shows how to use Oracle 11g Real Application Testing to quantify effect of system and database configuration changes.  As an example, he uses Real Application Testing to validate the Automatic Advisor recommendations, and uncovers some interesting results.

Check out the presentation on our whitepaper page.

New presentation: Simulating failures for testing and diagnostic practice

In this entertaining presentation, Jeremiah Wilton demonstrates creative ways to induce Oracle failures with the objective of learning how to detect, assess and diagnose problems.  Some of the self-induced failures are quite amusing, and will allow the reader to have some fun with their DBA friends.

Check out the presentation on our whitepaper page.