Notes on Applying Exadata Bundle Patch (BP5)

Randy Johnson has done a brief post after applying BP5 on our Exadata Lab machine. Looks like it went pretty smoothly with the exception of a problem with DBFS and some misleading comments in the README file regarding using the RDS protocol (both of which we had in play). Here’s a link to his post:

Exadata Bundle Patch 5 Gotcha’s

What’s Really Happening at OpenWorld 2010?

This is a quick blog entry to share a few of my plans for OOW. I’ll be co-presenter with a Wallis Pereira, Sr. Technical Program Manager in the Mission Critical Segment of Intel’s Data Center Group. Wally is a very old friend of mine and we’ll be delivering the following session. ID#: S315110 Title: Optimizing [...]

Running Oracle Exadata V2 on Dell Hardware

Well we had to give it a shot.

So we created an Oracle Exadata Storage Server Software CELLBOOT USB flash drive. I’m not kidding, that’s what the Oracle/Sun guys decided to call it. They didn’t even use an acronym in the manual (I guess “ESSSCB USB FD” doesn’t roll off the tongue much better than the whole thing anyway). We used the make_cellboot_usb utility to create the thing off one of our storage servers, which by the way was not that easy to do, since the USB ports are in the back of the 4275’s and they are not easy to get to with all the cabling that’s back there. Anyway, once we had the little bugger created we pulled it out of the back of the rack and booted a Dell Latitude D630 off of it. Here’s a picture:

Notice the thumb drive is all lit up like a Christmas tree.

Here is a close up of the screen (in case your eyes are going bad like mine):

So we tried a couple of different options but eventually got to this screen:

An investigation into exadata

This is an investigation into an half rack database machine (the half rack database machine at VX Company). It’s an exadata/database V2, which means SUN hardware and database and cell (storage) software version 11.2.

I build a table (called ‘CG_VAR’), which consists of:
- bytes: 50787188736 (47.30 GB)
- extents: 6194
- blocks: 6199608

The table doesn’t have a primary key, nor any other constraints, nor any indexes. (of course this is not a real life situation)

No exadata optimisation

At first I disabled the Oracle storage optimisation using the session parameter ‘CELL_OFFLOAD_PROCESSING’:
alter session set cell_offload_processing=false;

Then executed: select count(*) from cg_var where sample_id=1;
The value ’1′ in the table ‘CG_VAR’ accounts for roughly 25%.

Execution plan:

SQL Developer and MS SQL Server…

This afternoon I’ve been cleaning up some data in an SQL Server database. I decided to use SQL*Developer to connect to SQL Server by following this post.

I made liberal use of the following tip when dealing with TEXT and NTEXT types.

The joys of dealing with multiple engines…



SaneSAN2010: Serial to Serial – When One Bottleneck Isn’t Enough

I was recently looking into a storage-related performance problem at a customer site. The system was an Oracle 9 Linux system, Fibre Channel attached to an EMC DMX storage array. The DMX was replicated to a DR site using SRDF/S. The problem was only really visible during the overnight batch runs, so AWR reports [...]

Sane SAN 2010 – Introduction

This year at the UKOUG Conference in Birmingham, acceptance permitting, I will present the successor to my original Sane SAN whitepaper first penned in 2000. The initial paper was spectacularly well received, relatively speaking, mostly because disk storage at that time was very much a black box to DBAs and a great deal of mystique [...]

OakTable member!

Just like Tim Hall I was nominated and approved as a member of the OakTable network. I am very happy to have been accepted to a group of such gifted individuals!


I was recently nominated and approved as a member of the OakTable Network .

Do you ever get that feeling that one day people are going to realize you don’t have a clue what you are talking about? I think that day just got a little closer. :)



Wirth’s Law…

I was scooting around the net and I stumbled on a reference to Wirth’s Law and had a flashback (not Nam related) to a conversation I had about 14 years ago with my boss at the time. We were setting up the kit for a new automated warehouse solution (Oracle 7, HP 9000s and ServiceGuard if I remember correctly) and he said something along the lines of, “Why is it that for each customer we buy faster and more expensive computers, yet they take the same length of time to produce the results?”

The answer was pretty simple in that case. We were refurbishing the existing (fairly simple) warehouse as well as adding a completely new one. We were replacing some AVGs with a very complex conveyor layout, which required some difficult routing decisions. The basic “find me a space in the warehouse” decisions were replaced by pretty complex searches that had to take account of conveyor routing, system load and potentional sorting (and defragmentation) of the content in the warehouse. The customer needed a highly available solution, hence the use of ServiceGuard, so we more than doubled the hardware and software costs for no perceivable performance improvement. From the outside looking in it seemed like nothing had changed. It was still, “Here’s a pallet, put it in the racking”, but the process required to do that operation efficiently had increased in complexity manyfold.