Monday, February 21, 2011

Oracle 11.2.0.2 Software Install Guide

In the second part of the series of Installing Oracle Software here is the Installing the Database Software for a single instance system

This Document will graphically explain the Installation Process for Oracle 11.2.0.2 Database . Oracle 11.2.0.2 Database is used to either create a new Oracle Database or upgrade an existing Database.
The Images/Installation were performed on a system running AIX 6.1.6.2


The First step is to run rootpre.sh. If you have ASM . ensure the Grid Infrastructure guiide is followed first.  if rootpre.sh fails due to clusterware running and you have upgraded ASM to 11.2 . You can  ignore the messages and then  execute ./runInstaller  --- Please note setting up X is not in the realm of this document.

 

After you pass the initial screen. Select do not install updates and do not type in your Oracle Support ID and password.





The Second Screen Will provide you the following options. You can select Software only if you intend to do a  software install for upgrade later.



Once you Select  Install you will get the Screen below below .  Our Goal is to install  Software for a single instance based database & Select English as your language

The next option talks about the editions of Oracle . Based on your license agreements. Select the appropriate version. We will select Enterprise for this installation. Please note the space requirements are also listed below

 The select options screen at the bottom allows for selecting specific options. Select the  options appropriate to your needs.

Next screen you will ne asked to enter ORACLE_BASE and Software Home Directory
If you select a home directory that is the same as the user directory if will prompt youand let you know that Oracle Recommends not using the User Home Directory for the ORACLE_BASE .




 
You can say yes if you are sure .
Next Step will ask you for OS Groups. Please follow your standard  security practice for selecting OS Groups . For  purposes of this install i will select dba for all groups.


 
After This the software will start checks to ensure all OS Level parameters requirements are met. The Recommendation is to always use RDA first .  ./rda.sh –T hcve will give you a good overview of your system and ensure that the prerequisite checks are met prior to starting a software install.After the checks Oracle will now provide a script that will work on fixing the prerequisites that are missing .

After the fixup scripts are run in  conjunction with the sysadmins.  run Check Again and  reso,lve any ourstandign issue. If issues are non mandatory you can check ignore all and continue

After making sure all the values are right Select next and the install process will start


On AIX 6.1 You might Hit bug #Bug:10259393  talked about in ID 1264074.1 . An AIX APAR will be required based on the version . THE AIX APAR might be different  based on your configuration For AIX 6.1 TL6, IBM have released fix IZ88711:
If you get an Error during Linking that has similar attributes as described in the above note just Press continue . Relinking the agent is explained in the doc above after the APAR is installed.
After the install Has completed . Run or have your Sysadmins run root.sh and the software install is complete.


You have now completed the install for Oracle 11.2.0.2 Software .

Publish Post

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

New deinstall utility in Oracle 11.2

Oracle 11.2 Now does not allow you to deinstall software via the OUI interface directory . Any Requests for software deinstallation using the OUI will tell you to use the deinstall utility

There is a new utility know as deinstall available in $ORACLE_HOME/deinstall that allows for deinstallation

$ORACLE_HOME/deinstall/deinstall will allow for deinstallation in the form shown below

The deinstall process will cleanly deinstall the software and detach the Oracle Home.


######ORACLE DEINSTALL & DECONFIG TOOL START ############

Checking for existence of the Oracle home location /oracle/product/11.2.0/db_1
Oracle Home type selected for de-install is: SIDB
Oracle Base selected for de-install is: //oracle
Checking for existence of central inventory location /oracle/oraInventory


Install check configuration END


Skipping Windows and .NET products configuration check


Checking Windows and .NET products configuration END



Network Configuration check config START


Network de-configuration trace file location: /oracle/oraInventory/logs/netdc_check2011-02-14_10-32-02-AM.log


Network Configuration check config END


Database Check Configuration START


Database de-configuration trace file location: /oracle/oraInventory/logs/databasedc_check2011-02-14_10-32-02-AM.log


Use comma as separator when specifying list of values as input


Specify the list of database names that are configured in this Oracle home []:
Database Check Configuration END


Enterprise Manager Configuration Assistant START


EMCA de-configuration trace file location: /usr/local/oracle/oraInventory/logs/emcadc_check2011-02-14_10-32-12-AM.log


Enterprise Manager Configuration Assistant END
Oracle Configuration Manager check START
OCM check log file location : //oraInventory/logs/ocm_check9011.log
Oracle Configuration Manager check END

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Grid Control targets losing Config information

ew year New interesting issues.
This time we had a fellow DBA come to discuss  why this one particular database keeps  moving bad to metric collection error with database not configured anymore.

The Agent logs $AGENT_HOME/sysman/log/emagent.trc showed for this target
011-01-03 02:36:38,423 Thread-3643 WARN  vpxoci: OCI Error -- ErrorCode(1008): ORA-01008: not all variables bound
On doing some more  debugging. this issue  showed up to be a specific issue  with Oracle 10.2.0.3 and cursor_sharing as  described in  ID 422118.1.
The Workaround is to change the cursor sharing from similar to exact and flushing the shared pool.
Please also Note in Oracle 11 Cursor_sharing=similar has already been deprecated per Note # 1169017.1

Virtual Box 4.0 Is Out

Although the check for updates didnt work . Virtual Box 4.0
http://www.virtualbox.org
Change log is here
http://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Changelog
Enjoy the upgrade

Grid Control 10.2.0.5 AIX Alert

If you are using Oracle Enterprise Manager Grid Control. Please be  aware of a security certificate expiring on Dec 31. This is critical since your agents will not communicate to the OMS thus causing issues in your monitoring infrastructure.
From the Oracle Note
"What is the Issue?
Enterprise Manager Grid Control installations configured to use the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol utilize a self-signed Certificate Authority (CA) which is stored in the Oracle Management Repository.
For the 10.2.0.5 release of Grid Control on AIX 5L, this Certificate Authority will expire on 31-Dec-2010 00:00:00, which will cause SSL authentication to fail.. This issue affects Oracle Management Service (OMS) 10.2.0.5 on AIX 5L, as well as SSL communication from all new 10.2.0.5 Management Agents on AIX 5L (regardless of OMS platform/release) added after 31-Dec-2010 00:00:00.
Note that this communication issue is specific to Enterprise Manager Grid Control release 10.2.0.5 on the AIX 5L platform only."
Please refer to MOS Note Note 1171558.1 for more info.
Update: I just added a copy of the Email we recieved. Seems like people didnt know about this . Not sure how MOS targets its emails for alerts like these. GC_Alert_OCT-10

Book Review - SQL Pocket Guide By Jonathan Gennick

SQL Pocket Guide by Jonathan Gennick is book that addresses SQL across multiple platforms. The Book tries to talk about SQL syntax across the major databases, which include Oracle 11Gr2, DB2 9.7, Postgres SQL and SQL Server.  Not All SQL is standard and variations of SQL in terms of Syntax are clearly highlighted and explained. The Book is written by Jonathan Gennick whose previous titles include SQL* Plus a definitive guide, Books on SQL Loader & regular expressions.
The SQL Pocket Guide is not a guide that is meant for cover-to-cover reading. This Book is rather a keep for the times when you need to find examples for SQL. Since my work with SQL has been for Oracle based Databases. I was intrigued by how SQL compares between Database vendors. E.g., CAST function was explained and pros and cons explained were brought to light that SQL Server has a better function called CONVERT that does a better job than CASE.
In This Age of Google searches and trying to find solutions in form of a web search, I feel Books Like these still play their part and should be in the arsenal of every Database Professional.  While I did not   read the entire book, the sections I scanned thru and the statements I used were definitely well explained and examples were of good value. The Book provides and easy reference with good online examples that can be downloaded and used to test syntax.
Further Book Details can be found here.

I review for the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program

Querying EM Grid Control data

EM Grid Control provides lots of benefits in  the enterprise. Most people discuss Grid Control in the context if Diagnostic Packs and Tuning Packs which Grid Control has a nice interface to, but Grid Control  has  a wealth of other information  built into it.
I was recently asked by a colleague to help him find all the Listener ports that were being used in the Enterprise .
While Grid Control Doesn't provide a default  report for this . All the data is available in the Grid Control repository. A Simple Table Based report based on the below query can be used to get that data

SELECT mgmt$target.host_name,mgmt$target.target_name,mgmt$target.target_type,mgmt$target_properties.property_name,mgmt$target_properties.property_value
FROM mgmt$target, mgmt$target_properties
WHERE (mgmt$target.target_name = mgmt$target_properties.target_name)
AND (mgmt$target.target_type = mgmt$target_properties.target_type)
and (mgmt$target.target_type='oracle_listener')
and (mgmt$target_properties.property_name='Port');

The Above SQL Will Display all Listener's and their ports.
the MGMT$target and mgmt$target_properties can provide and great deal of other options and reports based on Block Sizes and other parameters set can be used to quickly find issues in your enterprise.
P.S The above query is based on the Grid Control 10.2.0.5 Repository

PSU and Upgrades

While upgrading  one of the instances on a server . We hit an error
ORA-00600: internal error code, arguments: [kccgtt_1], [3], [], [], [], [], [],
The Error was interesting and points to an aspect of the prechecks that we hadnt explored before. Differences in PSU Levels between Homes. The Database Home was installed recently and since it was a new Home the latest PSU was applied. What wasnt done was checking the ASM Home for the PSU level. Turns out ASM Home has 11.1.0.7.2 vs Database Home having 11.1.0.7.4. ASM has to follow the rule of Same or Higher patch level the the highest level of Database version.
Once ASM was Patched All was well but it just adds another layer of checking that DBA's have to do when installing or Upgrading Oracle.

11.1 DBUA & Blanks/Spaces

As part of a routine upgrade to 11.1 we decided to use dbua to complete all the upgrade tasks. Dev  & test were a breeze but the DBUA screens on Production came with a Big OK Sign  with no info whatsoever. It was kind of annoying but after digging into $ORACLE_BASE/cfgtoologs/dbua/logs  was able to Find the error to be
java.util.StringTokenizer.nextToken(StringTokenizer.java:259)
oracle.sysman.assistants.util.attributes.InitParamAttributes.loadInitParams(InitParamAttributes.java
:1763)
oracle.sysman.assistants.dbma.backend.Database.updateNonDefaultInitParams(Database.java:1068)
oracle.sysman.assistants.dbma.backend.CompManager.obtainDatabaseInformation(CompManager.java:2272)

Metalink search came up with a error in the DBUA utility for 10R2 (Oracle Please update that this issue exists in 11 also).   Note id # 444148.1 describes the situation as a parameter that have single quotes.
in our case i had smtp_out_server=' ' . This cause dbua to unable to parse the spfile.
Solution was to create a pfile remove this parameter and proceed. DBUA Proceeded to next step after this

Physical Standby Controlfile recovery when structures are different or

So this Thursday we were doing some application testing on our physical standby and after the testing was completed, My Backups kicked off while i was flashing back the Database. This caused the Controlfile to have an invalid entry with the ckp_time being null. The problem with an invalid entry int eh control file was that Oracle RMAN was not able to run an implicit resync catalog from the standby. Our Configuration has a primary and a physical standby that is used for backups so the backups were failing which is a problem.
A resync catalog would work for the primary so the issue was isolated to the physical standby. I thought hey that's simple , just get another copy of the control file from the primary using
SQL>ALTER DATABASE CREATE STANDBY CONTROLFILE AS 'stdbycontrol.ctl';
sftp the file
and then run
RMAN> restore controlfile from 'stdbycontrol.ctl;
and all will be good.
While the assumption was right . I was missing important components . Structure,OMF & ASM.
The Standby was originally created from a Filesystem Based Database which was later converted to ASM. Ths meant the structure of the primary and standby were very different. Even after the primary was converted into ASM OMF and standby_file_management=auto meant that  OMF would kick in and all files created in the primary will not get the same  file name on the standby. This caused loads of headaches for me and i was glad i had a backup.
The Only Good thing was that the File number matched on both primary and standby.  This Help me Build a SQL File to
SQL > alter database rename file  ' File name of primary   database'  to ' Files Name of Standby database';
The Way to do this the fastest was to dump the V$datafile from the old controlfile on the standby . Load it into the primary and run a select like this
SQL> select 'alter database rename file    '  chr(39)||a.name ||' chr(39)'  to    ' chr(39)||b.name||chr(39)||';' from  v$datafile a stdby_datafile b where a.file#=b.file# order by file#
This generated a quick and dirty  datafile  renaming script to get me up and running as soon as the standby controlfile was restored.
A painful process but definitely faster than restoring the whole database.

Oracle OpenWorld Blogger Meetup 2010Oracle OpenWorld Blogger Meetup 2010

he venue was Jillians, The Host was Pythian, The Sponsors were HP. There was competition. Sounds like an Action Thriller but no this was the Oracle OpenWorld 2010 Bloggers Meetup.
The Shirt Competition was a repeat of Last Year but was a lot of fun. Asif Momen Tool the Prize With Paul Nash Being the Runner Up.
The Meetup has a second portion to it . Unfortunately due to personal commitments i was not able to meet the deadline but here is the People I met.
1. Alex Giorbachev - CTO Of Pythian - RAC guy
2. Paul Valee - CEO Of pythian
3. Marc Fielding - Exadata Dude at Pythian.
4. Dan Norris - Dan The Exadata Guy works for X-Team at Oracle.
5. Sheeri Cabral - MySQL Lady
6. Chet Justice - The Infamous Oracle nerd
7. George Woods - DBA from Pittsburg.
8. Iggy Fernandez - THE SQL Dude
9. Phillip Muwai - From Kenya Work in the Govt Sect.
10. Jared Still - Original moderator of Oracle-l
11. Tariq Farooq - Some Dude from Brain Surface.
12. Gwen(Chen) Shapira - Awesome DBA from Pythian. Very Good Presenter.
13. Leighton - Oracle Db Guy
14. Jeremy Scheider - Ardent Perf . Another Fellow Chicagoan
15. Martin Nash - Works For HSBC . Loves Performance bottlenecks.
16 . Karl Arao - DBA
17. Riyaj Shamsudeen - Texas bound . Crashes is his speciality
18. Mohan Dutt - aka OCP Advisor
19. Richard Foote - Index is his middle name
20. Meg bear - Apps , Apps & Apps
21. Kevin Closson - NUMA and Exadata
22. David Haimes - Another Apps Lover
23. John Piwowar - Incharge of Oraclenerd during Openworld
24. Kim Njeru - Napster. The music you stole he probably knows about it
25. Rob van Wijk - Ruby On Rails
26. Tim Hall - Oracle Base
27. Brian Huff - Bex
This is not even close to a complete List and i do have ot go back and the twitter/blog Addresses for each of the above

Oracle Openworld 2010 oDay .5 roundup ad some useful info

Saturday technically was the day before Oracle Openworld Starts but the tweets and the Blogs have Started Coming through.
The First Announcement that was tweeted was from @krisrice and @oracletechnet about SQL Developer Data Modeller now being free. Costing about $3000 per seat that is a significant  early announcement that it will be free to all Database Customers. Sql Developer can be downloaded here. It Does seem like the pricing page has no0t been updated yet since it still lists the same price.
THis Year there are festivities in the Mason Street tent as Wellas on Howard Street .  There is a Sunday Night Keynote Party at Mason Street tent Details here. If you are a regular to Openworld you will not the  OTN Lounge at its regular spot In Moscone. OTN Lounge as moved to Mason Street Tent , Details are Here.
you cam follow hashtag #oow10 on twitter to see the updates . With Iphone 4 i might be qik'ing at http://www.qik.com/fuadar  . enjoy the madness that is Oracle Openworld  2010.

Oracle Openworld 2010. Get your apps on

For this first time this year. Oracle has released not one but 2 Oracle Apps for Various Smartphones.
I have downloaded the Iphone versions of the Oracle Openworld App and the Oracle Now App.
Both Apps are a good first try. The Openworld App even got its first update in under 24 hours which was impressive. The accessibility to schedule builder is nice but the missing link is adding the schedules into the iphone calendar for easy access. The Schedule builder access was still slow but manageable. Hopefully schedule builder can handle the load  this year. It suffered outages alot last year at openworld. The Other Features like opentable . show your badge is also nice and eayily accessble and social media tab has all the big players. It would have been nice to add a location based service to allow checkins into each conference room. The Openwoeld app crashed every so often on my iphone 4 and i think it does not use location services or push services to push your next session to you.
The Oracle Now application while has an Openworld Component with the QR codes is more of a new and information app and i guess will find more use overall even after Openworld. The New And Events tab are nice.
Both the Apps are still nice and will find a lot of use During Openworld.

Interesting Observation regarding ASH in 10GR2

was looking thru some reports on a time period when we has Database Contention . I noticed something really Odd in the ASH reports
I have one index that was the top DB Object w.r.t to Db sequential file read. I wanted to move that index to  a different tablespace anyway so i rebuilt the table. What i noticed on the ASH report was very interesting
Prior to my Index Rebuild the ASH report

Top DB Objects

  • With respect to Application, Cluster, User I/O and buffer busy waits only.
Object ID % Activity Event % Event Object Name (Type) Tablespace
135617 13.76 db file sequential read 13.71 INDEX1 (INDEX) X_BPGEN_50M
378375 1.20 enq: TX - row lock contention 1.06 TABLE1 (TABLE) D_PAT_AL1
86047 1.16 db file sequential read 1.16 TABLE2 D_PAT1

Top DB Files

  • With respect to Cluster and User I/O events only.
File ID % Activity Event % Event File Name Tablespace
124 11.70 db file sequential read 11.54 +DATA02/xyz/datafile/x_bpgen_50m.691.727601609 X_BPGEN_50M
146 2.39 db file sequential read 2.18 +DATA02/xyz/datafile/x_bpgen_50m.550.727596551 X_BPGEN_50M
After the Index Rebuild the ASH Report for the same time period

Top DB Objects

  • With respect to Application, Cluster, User I/O and buffer busy waits only.
Object ID % Activity Event % Event Object Name (Type) Tablespace
135617 13.76 db file sequential read 13.71 INDEX1 (INDEX) X_MISC_AL
378375 1.20 enq: TX - row lock contention 1.06 TABlE1 (TABLE) D_PAT_AL1
86047 1.16 db file sequential read 1.16 TABl2 D_PAT1



Top DB Files

  • With respect to Cluster and User I/O events only.
File ID % Activity Event % Event File Name Tablespace
124 11.70 db file sequential read 11.54 +DATA02/xyzdatafile/x_bpgen_50m.691.727601609 X_BPGEN_50M
146 2.39 db file sequential read 2.18 +DATA02/xyzd/datafile/x_bpgen_50m.550.727596551 X_BPGEN_50M
While the Top DB Files remains the same the top DB Objects now has a different table space not because the table space was that at the time of the problem but because it seems oracle is performing a real time query to determine what the current table space this. this can be confusing and misleading since the top db files and the top db objects now no longer match.
Anyone seen this or have any explanation of why Oracle would be doing this.

Bloggers Meetup 2010

The 2010 Oracle Openworld Blogger Meetup has been announced.  Details are here. it was loads of fun last time . Here's my shirt from last year. Do you still have yours ?.
From The Pythian Blog
When: Wed, 22-Sep-2010, 5:30pm
Where: Lower Dining Room, Jillian’s Billiards @ Metreon, 101 Fourth Street, San Francisco, CA 94103.

Oracle openworld 2010 preparations underway

So Oracle Openworld starts sep 19-23 But the preparation are already underway with the Schedule Builder going Live Yesterday.
The Official HashTag for Openworld 2010 is #oow2010 and @oracleopenworld can  be followed to get all the updates.
George Woods has started his yearly Tweeters Attending Blogpost here and i'm not many more resources will popup as OpenWorld Nears.
This Year Oracle OPenworld is expected to  be be massive with Java One Also added to the mix.
I am going to be Down in SFO this year and hoping to meet people as well as learn new stuff.
More updates and my schedule as i finish it up .

Oracle Installer Bug on IBM POWER7 Hardware

Oracle 11.1.0.6 and 11.1.0.7 are impacted with this weird java core dumping bug. This seems to a POWER7 related issues.
MOS Doc id 1065579.1 OUI crash observed with IBM JDK/JRE 1.5 SR4 on AIX when running on the new POWER7 based hardware
details the bug and provide the patch to download and use to resolve this issue.

Oracle Dataguard broker & CFC Part 2

n an earlier post i mentioned how Oracle Dataguard Broker does not support a cold failover cluster like HACMP. Well turns out Broker can be used on a Cold Failover Cluster.
There are a few simple steps that needs to be followed to make the data broker  be able to function.
On the primary
alter system set local_listener=;
This will ensure that the database knows about the listener that is running on a virtual host name.
After this step is completed Follow the steps in Metalink Doc # 808783.1
I'm listing the steps below
ALTER SYSTEM SET DG_BROKER_START=FALSE;
 SQL> show parameter dg_broker_config_file
--- remove files that are displayed on the primary and the start broker on both the primary and the standby
SQL>ALTER SYSTEM SET DG_BROKER_START=TRUE;
After this connect to Dataguard Manager
DGMGRL>CREATE CONFIGURATION 'DGCONF' AS PRIMARY DATABASE IS 'PROD' CONNECT IDENTIFIER IS PROD;
DGMGRL> ADD DATABASE 'STDBY' AS CONNECT IDENTIFIER IS STDBY MAINTAINED AS PHYSICAL; --or LOGICAL
DGMGRL> ENABLE CONFIGURATION;
-- validate
DGMGRL> SHOW CONFIGURATION;
--Success means all is good
The above commands are from the Metalink Doc above and work perfectly for a CFC . We are now able to failover our clusters and have Dataguard broker work for us to manage our configurations.

Oracle ASM (Automatic Storage Management) 11.1 with a 10Gr2 database

The last couple of weeks I've been working on converting on of my Databases to ASM. As databases grow adding more disk breaks performance if file systems are being used at many levels and to control performance Oracle released ASM which would provide RAW disk performance with dynamic re-balancing. This was precisely one of my use cases. So After performing my due diligence (dev testing) and so forth. I spent the last 3 weeks slowly converting the database to ASM. There were 2 reasons for the slow conversion. one i didnt have the diskto be able to convert it all at once and the second was gettin enough downtime to perform the conversion was a challenge.
Everything went really well till week 3 when the conversion completed . I asked my Sysadmins to give me the last chunk of disk to add to my disk group and executed a power 1 re balance. All went well for 5 days until i got a call from our support informing me of ORA-600[kffmUnlock_3] followed by an instance crash. Instance crash is always something to be worried about but oracle over the years is resilient enough for such issues. The database came up only to crash again in 9 minutes. Why 9 minutes because that was the total time that the re balance operation had left.
Oracle does have a note here that explains the whole situation . There is a apatch but i opted to shutdown the database and allowed te rebal;ance to finish. Since this was the last set of disks for now I'm guessing  i will not hit this issues and plan to test the patch and  have it in production before then. TIll then i hope all is well for this database.

Goodbye 2009 and the end of the decade.

he decade that started with the Y2K is finally ending this week. it has been an interesting decade for me with my move from Pakistan to the US in 2001.  This decade has brought towards a lot of technological advances including Blogging, tweeting, Qiking/Ustreaming, Boxee and Xbox .
Being an Oracle DBA. Oracle has changed in this decade from 9.2 to  Oracle 10 and the promise of a self fixing database. Automatic Storage Management (ASM) and the potential power sharing with the SAN folks.  Self tuning Databases in the form of the STA (Sql Tuning Advisor) . Oracle has worked hard toward getting a viable monitoring product that now challenges all the incumbents in the form of Oracle Enterprise Manager Grid Control. Active Dataguard was built to solve the challenges of Logical Dataguard while offloading backups from the primary systems.
This is also the decade where Oracle decided to make more money from its customers with the concept of a pack. AWR  & ADDM which were replacement for Statspack are now the Diagnostic Pack. STA is now part of Tuning Pack. and to blackout  a database in Grid Control you need to purchase a diagnostic pack.
The end of the decade also brought forward  My Oracle Support  (and the demise of our beloved metalink) and 11.2 and Oracle's Ambition to create a global problem management database that would proactively inform customers of problems based on other people that already had that problem . Oracle had been trying to push OCM  for a while now and Larry Demoed the next version of Grid Control at OOW2009  that had this built in.
This decade had brought forward war and promise of change .  This Decade brought forward the Iphone , wich for me was the biggest technological feat. Today i am addicted to the iphone even though i was never a Mac fan, My next hardware purchase will probably entail a Mac.
I've had the opportunity to work  on great new technology and meet and tweet with a great many friends and people that are far more knowledgable than myself. Which is why in ending my new years resolution is to keep myself in technology and keep pusing myself in newer technologies.
What are your resolutions and what was the defining moment / feature in Oracle for you this decade.
Happy New Year to all and Please enjoy JibJab's Year in review
Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

Copyright and Software License Agreement (Buyer Beware)

------
I was really baffled today when on moving to a newer laptop i was unable to install Self Test Software for 10g that i have had for a number of years . I have liked some of the content and have used it for reference when needed. Today when i transferred stuff to my new laptop i was unable to activate a product that i paid for .
The customer Service rep politely pointed me to the software license agreement that apparently i had accepted in 2006 when i bought the product.
The License agreement states
"The term of this Agreement begins upon installation of this Software and shall terminate 3 years from the date of purchase. STS reserves the right to terminate this Agreement at any time if you violate any provision of this Agreement. If the Agreement is terminated for any reason, you agree immediately to return to STS all copies of this Software and all accompanying items. "
SO even though i own a piece i dont own it because it was only given to me for 3 years. While i agree to most people Oracle 10g test questions might not be valid after 3 years but i feel that i should own a product and have the right to use it if i paid for it . The Company can desupport the product but it should be on the discretion of the customer as to when he stops using it.
Just a Buyer Beware rant on software licensing agreements.

Pictures from Openworld 2009

Just thought I'd share some of the pictures from openworld





Using EMC Clones and IBM ESS FlashCopy to Backup your Database

Lets Face it. Todays Databases are getting bigger and bigger and backups not only are painfully long depending on the methodology you are using  but also can cause performance issues. While Oracle has allowed for various methodologies including Backing up from the Physical Standby and now IN 11.2 the introduction of Change tracking file compatibility for incremental backups with Active Dataguard. Companies that like Hardware solution also have a choice of using products like EMC Clones or IBM Flashcopy . TO use either of these the Frame must be an EMC or IBM Frame. These copies can be mounted onto a seperate host and Full backups  can be offloaded to tape as well as  a Local DR copy split to account for various errors.
Metalink Doc id #302615.1 provides and excellent overview of How to Use Rman with Split Mirror Technology.
This Document by EMC and Oracle also provides and excellent overview. While Old The concepts still hold true in  Oracle 10 and 11.
I have had the oppurtunity to test the solution as well as perform extensive recovery testing to ensure the solution works

Oracle Openworld 2009 Days 2 & 3 recap

Its been busy and tiring. Unconference events are a conference by itself but are greatly imformative a nd should continue. High Availability and MAA has been my focus this year and i've learned a lot  about new technologies  that is new but the basics were built a long time ago. I learned that Focusing on the Basics leads to better results than focusing on the new and fancy.
Heard Daniel Morgan, Jonathan Lewis, Richard Foote  , Met alot of people at the Blogger meetup and intend to hear our Larry  Key note today.
I'm posting Pics on flickr so search for the #oow09 hastag or my personal flickr feed is
http://www.flickr.com/photos/8127726@N07/

Openworld Day 1 2009 a Brief recap.

SunDay is normally a day for User Group presentations . i got a chance to attend a couple of presentations  starting off with Demystifying Oracle Real Application Clusters Workload Management. by Alex Gorbachev . This was anexcellent presentation giving some good details on Workload management and CLB.  I'll stlll have to look at the presentation  again to understand some of the key concepts since i'm more of a RAC newbie.
Cary Millsap's session about Optimizing Oracle , how and why was also pretty good with cary doing an excellent talk about why  the database is almostnever a problem but how we can judge the problem from the database extended trace files. Cary mentioned ILO again. the Link to ILO is here . I did spend sometime in the Exadata session and find exadata to be very impressive.
I took a break and troued sanfrancisco for a bit but was back in time for the Keynote which Scott Mcnealy and Larry Ellison provided a lot of info and entertainment. The  event was widely tweeted under hashtag #oow09 with video at http://www.livestream.com/openworldlive.  Larry openly challenged IBM with AD's reiterating the challange coming out soon.
I missed Tom Kyte's Keynote but i have only heard good things about it and  will watch it on demand as soon as i get a chance. The ending was the reception night and it was executed very well.
Today lots more sessions and learning.

At Oracle Openworld 09

Finally made it here to Oracle Openworld 2009. I'll be tweeting , blogging , taking pictures, making video etc of the event .
If yuo would like to find out what i will be doing follow me on twitter at
Twitter http://www.twitter.com/fuadar
Friendfeed  http://friendfeed.com/fuadar
hash tag  #oow09 is the official hashtag of the conference . and this twitter saved search will give you live results of all things oow09
http://twitter.com/#search?q=oow09
We have a bloggers meetup at Jillians on Oct 13th http://www.oraclecommunity.net/main/index/detail?id=1988559:Event:56954&xg_source=activity
If you'd just like to meet and socialize DBA style send me a tweet and we will meet.

Physical Dataguard Password Change

 Orignally posted in Sep 2009
---
Oracle Performs redo shipping and authentication services between the primary and the standby using Password files and if your security protocols dictate a sys password change  you will start having issues with stopped log shipping with errors like .
Error 1017 received logging on to the standby
------------------------------------------------------------
Check that the primary and standby are using a password file
and remote_login_passwordfile is set to SHARED or EXCLUSIVE,
and that the SYS password is same in the password files.
returning error ORA-16191
------------------------------------------------------------
The solution to fixing thiscan be
1. Open the physical Standby  read only  and change the sys password.
2. Use orapwd to create anew password file.
3. ship/sftp the password file from the primary.
11g Brings  a new twist to options 1 and 2 .
SEC_CASE_SENSITIVE_LOGON=TRUE by default in Oracle 11g which means the option 1 and 2 will generate different hash when done on different systems
Metalink note #462219.1 provides an explanation and the solution to this problem. The solution includes a new option in the orapwd utility which allows you to ignorecase.

$ORAPWD FILE=filename [ENTRIES=numusers] [FORCE={Y|N}] [IGNORECASE={Y|N}] [NOSYSDBA={Y|N}
The other solution includes  changing case sensitivity by changing SEC_CASE_SENSITIVE_LOGON=FALSE . This is a dynamic parameter.
Please evaluate and implement all solutions based on your company security practice.

11Gr2 new features :Deferred segment creation

Orignally appeared on my old blog Sep 2009
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Looking at all the 11GR2 features. the Fact that Oracle decided to add deferred segment creation seems to be huge. For people that are space constained or cannot do manage capacity appropriately due to 100's of Tables (Siebel,Peoplesoft) .
According to Oracle Documentation There is a small penalty when the first row is created which migh be of concern to people who like to prevent  application impact by preallocating extents which can be achieved by  SEGMENT CREATION IMMEDIATE option of the CREATE TABLE. Capacity management will  also be key since Oracle Might have an unable to extend condition when the first row is inserted and there is no space for the extent to actually be created .
All* _SEGMENT VIEW will not have an entry till the first row is inserted  which help reports basedon those view stay the same. THE SEGMENT_CREATED COLUMN has been added to  _TABLES,INDEXES etc to show status  of DEFERRED .
There is an init parameter DEFERRED_SEGMENT_CREATION which can be set to FALSE is this behavior needs to be disabled. While i see utility in Apps style environment . I need to validate what the impact would be on ETL Loads for new tables.

11gr2 is out

 orignally appeared on my blog in July 2009
---- 
OK So the buzz around the Oracle World is that Oracle 11g R2 is out albiet for Linux only.
Some of the features to look out for are ASM based Cluster File system, File Watcher for files , Compression features etc, In memory caching . There will be lots of posts in the next coming days and week and Oracle Openworld will have lots of info and Hands on on the new stuff.
The Marketing Data and the Linux Download can be accessed  via the link below
http://www.oracle.com/technology/products/database/oracle11g/index.html

Dataguard Notes Part 1

Over the recent weeks pretty much most of my time has been spent debugging and working with Dataguard related issues and i thought i'd start this post about some notes
1. Know thy purpose.
Before deciding what type of dataguard environment you want to setup , Make sure you understand the business requirements and plan accordingly. If the purpose is DR only use Physical Dataguard. If the purpose is business reporting , use Logical Dataguard.
2. Understand the Load.
It is very important to understand the logic and the business reason behind the setup. Often people recommend  a Dataguard setup  without actually working through the requirements. This can lead to a cheaper but totally unusable solution which  might require lots of rework . Logical Dataguard  is much prone to such issues since users expect it to be up and available for performing read only activities and also expect it to be in sync real-time.
 Part 2 will go into some technical  details on trying to troubleshoot Dataguard issues and how to identify potiential issues .

gettign It right

t seems that today's DBA is not only tasked with managing a the database but also as a go between various business and technical units to help understand how the database is going to be used.
To me it seems that the divide between tuning specialist , development DBA and operational DBA is growing thinner and thinner with the expectation now being that a one size fits all DBA is the best form of DBA. This means that a DBA needs to not only understand the inner working of the database but also understand  how the various tiers interact with each other.
With all these expectation now put upon a DBA . A DBA is also expectedto get it right. This means that a DBA is tasked with ensuring the Database is sized it its can perform the right number of IOPS and the disk subsystem can perform  based on the application that in some cases might not even  exist.
If you know someone who is in this situation or are in this situation  you know that it is very important to have the right tools and ask for the right information to ensure that everything is in place . The proper flow of information is very important.  An application profile needs to be established upfront and based o the application profile and database requirements a server needs to be procured and disk subsystem installed.
Often but not it is very hard to communicate requirements to the SAN and the system admin teams based on an application that does not exist but it is very important to provide atleast a baseline of what is expected based on the application profile.  It is very important for DBA's to explain the requirements for the Disk setup based on an ASM profile or a non ASM profile. Proper metrics need to be established  and tools like Oracle ORION need to be run to ensure the setup meets the need of the hour.
Often but not projects are rushed and hardware is procured and setup with not much thought put into it . This can not only cause serious bottlenecks but also cost a lot more to tune and replace once the application is live.  A couple of days spent in proper planning  and setup can save a lot of grief in the long run.

Grid Control 10.2.0.5

So far i've been fairly impressed by 10.2.05. apart form some nuances like still not being able to map out systems with   a lot of disk devices  it has been a fairly stable release. The new tabs are a little confusing for anyone used to the pre 10.2.0.5  but once you get used to it  it is fairly well crafted in makes sense kind of way.
Oe of the features of grid control that i'm going to try out is the cloning option Metalink note 579156.1  . this option allows for zipping up a client installation and running the oui
./runInstaller -clone -forceClone ORACLE_HOME= ORACLE_HOME_NAME= -noconfig -silent
and the
agentca -f
followed by root.sh
this makes it much system than the option broken push installation method.
The Dataguard performance monitoring piece has been completed rewritten for people not using data guard the performance graphs work pretty well .

Oracle 11.2.0.2 Grid Insfrastructure install/ASM Upgrade

This Document will graphically explain the Installation Process for Oracle 11.2.0.2 Grid Infrastructure on a single instance systems . Oracle 11.2.0.2 Grid infrastructure is ASM/CRS bundled all together and is a requirement if you need to upgrade/Install ASM based system.
Please note Starting 11.2.0.2 all Oracle Patches are full installs.
The Images/Installation were performed on a system running AIX 6.1 with Oracle 10.2.0.4 and ASM 11.1.0.7.
If the Goal is to Upgrade ASM as part of the install.  you need to shutdown all databases and ASM and ensure CSS is down.
CSS can be shutdown sudo /etc/init.cssd stop
After everything is down . Please run rootpre.sh  as root
and then  execute ./runInstaller
After you pass the initial screen. Select do not install updates and do not type in your Oracle Support ID and password. I've found it to be very buggy to go to Oracle support for install updates
The Second Screen Will provide you the following options. You can select Software only if you intend to do a  software install for upgrade later.
Our tutorial will focus on Installing and Upgrading ASM. Please note Grid Infrastructure will be referred to GI at this point.  GI is a required component for ASM upgrades or installs.

Once you Select  Upgrade you will get the prompt below . This is a redundant prompt and Yes should be selected.
ASM in 11.2.0.2 reguires a new lower privleged user called asmsnmp. Type the password for that user below.

Select the Roles.  For the example below all of the roles are sleected as DBA . Oracle will see that and warn you.

The Warning Message shown after select dba group for all is below.
Next Step is to enter Base . Please note User Home Directory  can not be selected as base anymore
A successful entry above will lead to Oracle checking for Requirements

You will need to look at all the parameter since this might be misleading . In somecases we had higher values but oracle failed becuase it was looking for lower values.
you can definitely review the fixup.sh with your sysadmin and have them resolve it . After it is resolved press Fix and check again  or based on your situation Check Ignore Now.
Oracle will tell you where the fixup scripts are and what to do
You will now be shown a summary of the install.

Oracle will tell you where the fixup scripts are and what to do

And now you get to run rootupgrade.sh

The rooupgrade will create new OCR keys and register the CSSD daemon, add it to iniittab as well as start the ASM instance.
You Have Grid Infrastructure installed and ASM Upgraded to 11.2.0.2.
If you have grid Control here is how it will look in GC 10.2.0.5

[Book Review] The Myths of Innovation by Scott Berkun

I spend the holidays reading a very interesting book, The Myths of Innovation by Scott Berkun. The Books walks us through Some of the Common Myths and why they exist.  This books walks you thru a variety of myths and explains what is behind some of the most common innovations to date.
I will start my  thoughts with a Brilliant Observation in the Book
"Myths are more satisfying to us than the truth".
This statement resonated very deeply  with me . It is true that  excitement is much more  accepted than the mundane and boring, and this book provides excitement while dispelling the myths.  The Author makes a point to bring in the simple questions that are to date unanswered with the complex one and makes the reader ponder. Do we actually have a solution?.
Berkun very brilliantly goes over events like the Newton Apple & even about mythology of various commonly used words today.  The Process of gradual addition is what has lead to a lot of major events but are these  events actually innovations or the events leading to the  final product is the actual innovation. The Author wants us to think about the difference between an innovation and just progress as usual. This is very hard in my mind but  the author does do a good of explaining the concept. The Author  wants the audience and the readers to understand clearly that innovation is not a eureka moment but rather very hard work and involves many many people and many many prior events.
This book can be bought here

I review for the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program

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