Friday, April 11, 2014

HeartBleed and Oracle

There are a lot of people asking about Heartbleed and how it has impacted the web.
Oracle has published  MOS Note 1645479.1 that talks about all the products impacted and if and when fixes will be available.
The following blog post is also a good reference about the vulnerability.  https://blogs.oracle.com/security/entry/heartbleed_cve_2014_0160_vulnerability



Tuesday, April 01, 2014

User Groups and Speaking About Support and diag tools.

The Chicago Oracle Users Group (COUG) is finally in its reboot mode. Thanks to Alfredo Abate for taking on  the responsibility and bringing the enthusiasm to bring the community back together.  Jeremy Schneider has blogged about this here .  There is a Linked in Group now open for business and i would recommend every one to contribute and lets make this reboot a success.

I am also going to be presenting  at the Ohio Users Group on April 17th along with Jeremy Schneider. The Details of the Event can be found at http:///www.ooug.org. If you are in the area, Please stop by and say hi. I'll be talking about various support tools that Oracle has and how to use them effectively.



Monday, February 03, 2014

Collaborate 14 and Vegas

Collaborate 14 is coming soon and i can tell you that it is an excellent content learning and networking opportunity.  I have been going to collaborate for a while and have found it to be not only a place to learn but also to network with my peers .  We built the team to write the Practical Oracle Database Appliance  which is available here at Collaborate 13 and were able to deliver a book  with authors all across the world as a team effort.
I would highly encourage everyone to consider Collaborate 14 as a way to be part of the wonderful Oracle Community and talk to people ,  listen to people, learn and teach others and foremost volunteer. Hey did i mention its in VEGAS. 
Early Bird Registration ends February 12 , So please pass this along and use My Name Fuad Arshad as a referrer.  Adam Savage is the Keynote speaker which is going to be AWESOME.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Changes and Book

I just realized that i have not blogged in a very long time. This has been partly because i switched jobs and started working for Oracle.  it has been an interesting six months and i have been enjoying the challenge of working with various customer and helping them solve problems.
The other thing that has been an important milestone in my career is the publishing of a book that collaborated with a very fine team of individuals with . The book is a collection of our experiences and passion with the Oracle Database and is called Practical Oracle Database Appliance. You can pre-order the book at Amazon with a link available below. I will be trying to blog more about various aspects of my new job and interesting stuff above Exadata as i learn them


Friday, July 05, 2013

EM 12.1.0.3 interesting feature - Deploying Oneoff patches to Agents

Enterprise Manager 12c Already allows for deploying one-off patches thru the provisioning and patching module but what  if you need to deploy a lot of agents and don't want to keep patching them after the fact. EM 12.1.0.3 has  a new feature that allows for keeping management agent as well as plugin patches on the OMS for a particular agent version and the patches will automatically be applied when the agent  or plugin is deployed or upgraded. This is particularly a useful feature when you need to deploy or upgrade in bulk and have to apply one off patches on the environment as well.

The documentation for this feature is available in Technet EM Docs. The feature allows for generic patches by  putting them on each OMS
. In case of a Multi OMS this needs to be done on all OMS's Create a directory like below
$/install/oneoffs//Generic/
e.g 
$/install/oneoffs/12.1.0.3.0/Generic/
or 
$/install/oneoffs///
e.g 
$/install/oneoffs/12.1.0.3.0/linux_x64/  


On deployment or upgrade. The Patches will automatically  be  applied. The patches can be validated using the usual methods . Either by looking at the Manage Cloud Control --> Agents Screens or  Opatch lsinventory on the agent.

This is a very useful feature and will allow for rapid deployment and upgrades for agents without having to worry about applying one-off patches later.



Wednesday, June 05, 2013

EM12c Disk Busy Alert for Oracle Database Appliance V1 & X3-2

Oracle Just Published a Document ID 1558550.1 that talks about an issues that i've had an SR out for 6 months now.
Due to a Linux iostat bug  BUG: 1672511 (unpublished)  - oda - disk device sdau1 & sdau2 are 100% busy due to avgqu-sz value
This forces host level monitoring to report Critical Disk Busy alerts . This Bug will be fixed in an upcoming release of the the Oracle Database Appliance Software. 
This workaround is to disable Disk Activity Busy alert in EM12c. After the issue is resolved the user now has the responsibility to remember to reenable this alert.

  The alert in the document makes me laugh though 

Note:  Once you apply the iostat fix through an upcoming ODA release, make sure that you re-enable this metric by adding the Warning and Critical threshold values and applying the changes.
 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Patching an Exadata Compute Node

An Oracle Exadata Full Rack consists of 8 DB compute nodes. Oracle has shifted the strategy to patching the exadata in 11.2.3.2.0 onwards to using Yum as the method of patching. the Quarterly Full Stack  does not include the DB Compute nodes patches anymore. So that has to be done separately. 
So where does someone start when they are new to exadata and need to patch to a newer release of the Software.
For the Compute Nodes Start here
Exadata YUM Repository Population, One-Time Setup Configuration and YUM upgrades [ID 1473002.1]

This note walks you thru either setting up a direct connection to ULN and building a repository or using an ISO image that you can down for setting up the rpeository. Best Practice would be to setup a repository external to the Exadata and then add the repo info in the Exadata compute nodes. Once the repository is created and updated or ISO downloaded. you will need to create
/etc/yum.repos.d/Exadata-computenode.repo
[exadata_dbserver_11.2_x86_64_latest]
name=Oracle Exadata DB server 11.2 Linux $releasever - $basearch - latest
baseurl=http:///yum/unknown/EXADATA/dbserver/11.2/latest/x86_64/
gpgcheck=1
enabled=0
This needs to be added to all Exadata Compute Nodes . then ensure all repositories are disabled to avoid any accidents
sed -i 's/^[\t ]*enabled[\t ]*=[\t ]*1/enabled=0/g' /etc/yum.repos.d/*
Download and stage patch patch 13741363 in a software directory of each node This will have the helper scripts needed . Always make sure to get the updated versions. You will need to disable and stop the crs on the node you are patching as root and then perform a server backup .
$GRID_HOME/bin/crsctl disable crs
$GRID_HOME/bin/crsctl stop  crs -f
/13741363//dbserver_backup.sh
This will providecreate a backup and results similar to below will show up.
INFO] Unmount snapshot partition /mnt_snap
[INFO] Remove snapshot partition /dev/VGExaDb/LVDbSys1Snap
  Logical volume "LVDbSys1Snap" successfully removed
[INFO] Save partition table of /dev/sda in /mnt_spare/part_table_backup.txt
[INFO] Save lvm info in /mnt_spare/lvm_info.txt
[INFO] Unmount spare root partition /mnt_spare
[INFO] Backup of root /dev/VGExaDb/LVDbSys1 and boot partitions is done successfully
[INFO] Backup partition is /dev/VGExaDb/LVDbSys2
[INFO] /boot area back up named boot_backup.tbz (tar.bz2 format) is on the /dev/VGExaDb/LVDbSys2 partition.
[INFO] No other partitions were backed up. You may manually prepare back up for other partitions.
Once The backup is complete you can proceed with the update
yum --enablerepo=exadata_dbserver_11.2_x86_64_latest  repolist   // thisis the official channel for all updates 
yum --enablerepo=exadata_dbserver_11.2_x86_64_latest update
This will Download the appropriate rpm's and update the compute and reboot. The process can take between 10-30 mins . Once the node is up the Clusterware will not come up. Validate the image using imageinfo
[root@exa]# imageinfo
Kernel version: 2.6.32-400.21.1.el5uek #1 SMP Wed Feb 20 01:35:01 PST 2013 x86_64
Image version: 11.2.3.2.1.130302
Image activated: 2013-05-27 14:41:45 -0500
Image status: success
System partition on device: /dev/mapper/VGExaDb-LVDbSys1
This confirms that the compute node has been upgraded to 11.2.3.2.1 Unlock crs as root
$GRID_HOME/crs/install/rootcrs.pl -unlock
su - oracle 
.oraenv 
--select oracle database to set home
relink all
make -C $ORACLE_HOME/rdbms/lib -f ins_rdbms.mk ipc_rds ioracle
su root
$GRID_HOME/crs/install/rootcrs.pl  -patch 
$GRID_HOME/bin/crsctl enable crs
This concludes a compute node patch application.  Rinse and repeat for all compute nodes 8 in X2-8
Now if you have read thru all this you will kind of see how many manual steps are involved. Fortunately Oracle Just Released a utility ot automate all these Tasks for you. Rene Kundersma of Oracle Talks about this new utility Call dbnodeUpdate.sh in his Blog Post Here
 Andy Colvin has published on his Blog his take on these Scripts and a demo Here

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