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Re: Confessions of An Oracle Expert -- What a Fortnight

From: Jared Still <>
Date: Mon, 5 Jun 2000 07:37:24 -0700 (PDT)
Message-Id: <>

Egads Ian, are you ready for that vacation now?


On Fri, 2 Jun 2000, MacGregor, Ian A. wrote:

> Expert: A person who has made all the conceivable mistakes and is working
> on the inconceivable.
> This week I migrated one of our databases connected with one of the physics
> experiments to a new machine and 8.1.6. The day runs all proceeded without
> incident, but after the midnight shift change problems started occurring
> with client connections. I found that I could not
> get the database to accept a certain username and password from a client,
> but it would from the database machine itself through an IPC connection. I
> checked, double-checked, and triple-checked the setting of the TWO_TASK
> variable which was correct. In then tried
> username/password_at_alias form the client and I was in. I had forgotten that
> earlier that
> day one I was working on wrapping sqlpus so it runs in its own shell, and
> the shell was
> setting two_task to something different. This was not the problem the users
> were having,
> theirs were related to switching to shared servers.
> A few people came out of the woodwork saying they needed to see and in some
> cases update the data on the new box. Here permissions on an applications
> data is the responsibility of the application's owner. Obviously some
> database links were needed. The links needed to be shared, but couldn't be
> public links. I've not read about this anywhere, but you
> can share a database link via a view. For example user a: creates the link
> called
> from heretothere, creates a view some_table as select * from
> some_table_at_heretothere,
> and grants user b permissions on some_table. User b can then access
> "some_table_at_heretothere
> as a.some_table. I learned this from a self-taught developer a few years
> ago.
> A vendor came in this week to install a product which dumps web logs into
> Oracle. Two more 8.1.6 instances on a brand new box. Some flaky things
> started to happen, not with the database, but with the Oracle software. A
> reboot showed super block problems, the file systems were rebuilt and things
> looked okay at first. But soon got flaky. I decided to re-install the
> Oracle software. After using the installer to remove the software, I
> decided to wipeout the directories as well. This was done via the rm -rf
> command which should get rid of any "." files. Yet some would report back
> that they were not empty. An ls -la would report back nothing. The sysadmin
> reformatted the partition. Oracle was installed, the vendor got about 95%
> through his installation all looked well. Last night I rebooted the
> machine again to kill off an automount daemon. The system would not come
> back up. Again a bad super block. Another sysadmin was able to recover
> from this. I got the system
> back sand tried to bring up Oracle using svrmgrl. Svrmgrl could not find
> its message translations. So whenever I got a message on another box I
> would issue oerr mgr "<number>
> and see what it was telling me. This was a bit cumbersome so I tried
> sqlplus /nolog intending to connect after a sysdba. The screen behaved as
> if the linefeed key was permanently pressed. This was not the best
> situation either. Compounding the growing angst was Jared message that he
> couldn't get sqlplus /nolog to work. Something that had worked for me a few
> hours before.
> I thought this was a bad disk. There were previous parity problem with the
> disk, but these went away when the SCSI cable with a bent pin was replaced.
> It was not a hardware problem at all. The sysadmin who originally built the
> partitions for the Oracle software and the Vendor's software overlapped
> them. Thus both could access some of the same disk blocks. Disk block
> multiplexing is not yet ready for production systems :). It was the
> vendor's file system which had the super block problem, and fixing it
> trashed part of the Oracle software install.
> Ian MacGregor
> Stanfored Linear Accelerator Center
> --
> Author: MacGregor, Ian A.
> INET: ian_at_SLAC.Stanford.EDU
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Jared Still
Certified Oracle DBA and Part Time Perl Evangelist ;-) Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon Received on Mon Jun 05 2000 - 09:37:24 CDT

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