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Exadata has arrived, part 2

The second installation step of the database machine aka Exadata by Oracle ACS (Advanced Customer Support) is configuring the database and storage (‘cell’) nodes/servers. The blades are delivered with default IP addresses, during this step they are configured to the IP addresses which fit in our environment. Also the cellservers are configured (‘LUN’s are carved’) to have storage for ASM.

The cellservers are configured with three diskgroups during a normal installation: DATA for data, RECO for the flash recovery area and a diskgroup for the clusterware (voting disks, cluster registry) called SYSTEMDG.

A RAC database is configured too. We have a half rack, which means 4 database nodes, so a 4 node RAC database is configured, called ‘dbm’. The database has no data in it, besides the data dictionary (obviously), and is using a ‘humble’ amount of memory (8GB on a 64GB machine).

Now it’s up to me to automate the creation (and deletion) RAC databases, adding and deleting instances of the RAC database, modifying the storage (to be able to test both half rack and quarter rack configurations) and also some optimising/configuration, like enabling hugepages, add rlwrap etc.

Busy, busy, busy :)

Tagged: oracle database machine exadata

Oracle 11g R1/R2 Real Application Clusters Handbook… Review in process

A few years back I had the pleasure of meeting Ben Prusinski at Oracle Open world.  Ben has published several books on Oracle Internals and Debugging.  In his most recent project he teams with Guenadi Jilevski and Syed Jaffer Hussain to write
“Oracle 11g R1/R2 Real Application Clusters Handbook”.  I have only just cracked the cover but already know this will be a good resource for the beginner and seasoned professional.  If you want to look for yourself, you can preview or order the book through PACKT publishing.

Oracle RAC on VirtualBox…

With the recent news that the latest version of VirtualBox now supports shared disks, I thought I better give it a go and see if I could do a RAC installation on it. The good news is it worked as expected. You can see a quick run through here:

This is pretty good news as that was the last feature that tied me to VMware Server. I’ve now moved pretty much everything I do at home on to VirtualBox and it’s working fine.

It’s worth taking a little time looking at the VBoxManage command line. Some of the operations, like creating the shared disks, have to be done from the command line at the moment. It’s also handy for running VMs in headless mode if you don’t want the GUI screen visible all the time.

Cheers

Tim…

Oracle Exadata and Netezza TwinFin Compared – An Engineer’s Analysis

There seems to be little debate that Oracle’s launch of the Oracle Exadata Storage Server and the Sun Oracle Database Machine has created buzz in the database marketplace. Apparently there is so much buzz and excitement around these products that two competing vendors, Teradata and Netezza, have both authored publications that contain a significant amount of discussion about the Oracle Database with Real Application Clusters (RAC) and Oracle Exadata. Both of these vendor papers are well structured but make no mistake, these are marketing publications written with the intent to be critical of Exadata and discuss how their product is potentially better. Hence, both of these papers are obviously biased to support their purpose. My intent with this blog post is simply to discuss some of the claims, analyze them for factual accuracy, and briefly comment on them. After all, Netezza clearly states in their publication: The information shared in this paper is made available in the spirit of openness. Any inaccuracies result from our mistakes, not an intent to mislead. In the interest of full disclosure, my employer is Oracle Corporation, however, this is a personal blog and what I write here are my own ideas and words (see [...]

Oracle Exadata - Storage Indexes

Wow! - I was stunned a few days ago by Exadata’s Storage Indexes. I was doing a little testing to see what could be offloaded and what couldn’t (more on that later). I have a 384 million row table I was using on our Exadata Quarter Rack test system. A single threaded full scan with no where clause on the table takes about 24 seconds (ho hum - it’s amazing how quickly we become numbed to the outstanding performance ). So imagine my surprise when I decided to check and see how many nulls I had in a column and the result came back in .07 seconds. Wow! I thought it was a bug! Turns out it was the Storage Indexes. Alright already, I’ll show you some output from the system (by the way, as usual I used a couple of scripts: fsx.sql and mystats.sql):

Mister Trace

For the past several weeks, my team at Method R have been working hard on a new software tool that we released today. It is an extension for Oracle SQL Developer called Method R Trace. We call it MR Trace for short.

MR Trace is for SQL and PL/SQL developers who care about performance. Every time you execute code from a SQL Developer worksheet, MR Trace automatically copies a carefully scoped trace file to your SQL Developer workstation. There, you can open it with any application you want, just by clicking. You can tag it for easy lookup later. There’s a 3-minute video if you’re interested in seeing what it looks like.

Exadata has arrived, part 1

At the 5th of august, the database machine (half rack) has arrived at VX Company. The machine arrives wrapped (in plastic) on a pallet.

Because the whole rack is already assembled, which means all the parts are already in the rack, the machine is quite heavy (600 kilograms I’ve been told). After some pushing, pulling and lifting together, we arrived at our serverroom.

Next is the hardware configuration and attaching the network cables from the database machine to our network.

After the cables have been mounted and checked, the power is turned on, and all the database (4) and storage servers (7) are turned on!

The 9th of august we carry on configuring the machine with Oracle ‘ACS’ (Advanced Customer Support), to configure the database and storage servers.

Tagged: oracle database machine exadata

I am an ACE Director!

Yesterday I received a mail from the Oracle ACE team (Victoria and Lillian) telling me I was nominated for ACE Director, and that the nomination was accepted.

This means I am an ACE Director now!

Thanks to the Oracle ACE team and everybody who was involved and everybody who congratulated me!

Tagged: oracle ace aced director

Environment Variables in Grid Control User Defined Metrics

This post originally appeared at the Pythian blog.

Emerson wrote: “Foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds”. I love this quote, because it allows me to announce a presentation titled “7 Sins of Concurrency” and then show up with only 5. There are places where consistency is indeed foolish, while other times I wish for more consistency.

Here is a nice story that illustrates both types of consistency, or lack of.

This customer Grid Control installed in their environment. We were asked to configure all kinds of metrics and monitors for several databases, and we decided to use the Grid Control for this. One of the things we decided to monitor is the success of the backup jobs.

Oracle’s next blockbuster deal…

I got an email today, which I think is for once a genuine one…beside that, just before Oracle Open World, its always interesting to guess about what Mr. Ellison is about to announce…

I have checked out the site/post and, besides the apparent ones (PR), I couldn’t find any hidden traps (always a bit, healthy I hope, paranoia on this kind of stuff).

From: Stephen Jannise
Sent: Tuesday 3 August 2010 19:57
To: Marco Gralike
Subject: Editorial question about your blog

Hi Marco,

I thought you would be interested in an article I’ve written about Oracle’s next blockbuster deal. The company’s surprising acquisition of Sun suggests that Oracle is willing and able to make major deals in unexpected areas. I’m interested to see where they go next, so I’m hosting a poll on my blog at: http://www.softwareadvice.com/articles/manufacturing/oracle-mergers-acquisitions-whos-next-1080310/.

I’ve presented a list of thirteen potential targets for readers to vote on. Rather than guess these targets at random, I’ve done some research into the past five years of Oracle acquisitions as well as studied the current market to make some educated suggestions about possible future acquisitions.

Responses are trickling in, so I’m reaching out to a few bloggers to spread the word and drive more responses. Would you mind posting a brief entry about this on your blog? I would really appreciate your help. Please let me know what you think.

Thanks,

Stephen

Stephen said about his article in one of his emails to me: