DBA Blogs

Open World 2013 - Wednesday: Focus on a bunch of things

Hans Forbrich - Thu, 2013-09-26 19:10
Even though I spent my prime time with RAC Attack, I ended up involved in a variety of discussions.


I am still amazed at how people and companies increase the cost of Oracle to themselves. 

One discussion was with a one-man company, and how Oracle Enterprise Edition is so expensive. This former employee, now entrepreneur, was still under the impression that Personal Edition has no capabilities.  A quick glance in the licensing document would have told him that the $400 + 22% annual fee would have served his purposes, since Personal Edition is for developers and includes all features of the Enterprise Edition (except RAC) at no extra charge.

Another discussion effectively was an acknowledgement that companies do not bother to understand and use the features they have bought - resource management, scheduler, email, etc.  Instead they buy additional product from other companies, attempt to shoehorn all these things together, incur additional license costs both from Oracle (because they now have additional s/w using up cores, therefore they need additional cores of DB license) and the added product they buy, as well as the cost of integrating it. 

And they wonder why Oracle seems expensive.


We had a wonderful discussion with the IOUG Spatial and Graph SIG executive and a number of SIG members.

I'd love feedback one idea: is to create a MAP Attack - a hands-on workshop similar to RAC Attack, with extremely fine-grained detail on installing and loading database and spatial, through installing and configuring Map Viewer and Map Editor, that we could play back at conferences.


As usual, we had a lot of people interested in RAC Attack.  And as usual, the attendees found that the difficulty is in getting the networking and shared storage right.  The bulk of the problems arose from network mis-configuration.


Again we had a number of discussions on "X as a Service".  I think it is very important that DBAs start to embrace that - OracleVM, Cloud Control and DB Templates are in their future.

DBAs may still be able to push back for a while, but I am increasingly seeing CIOs and CTOs be convinced of the cost savings.  And if DBAs are not familiar with the technologies, they are being pushed aside and viewed as roadblocks to progress.  This can be a scary position to be in.  Learn the Cloud Control ...


One of the best courses I've taught in a while is the Oracle Virtualization (OracleVM for x86) course.  Well worth the time.
Categories: DBA Blogs

Open World 2013 - Tuesday: Focus on RAC Attack

Hans Forbrich - Wed, 2013-09-25 11:14
The big discussions from Oracle was around "Internet of Things".  This is the future where your fridge tells you that the butter has curdled and you need to order more Arugula.  Or your car is speeding.  Or your portable electric generator has kicked in.  Or your credit card has been used.  Or ...

In other words, the "Internet of Things" is all about capturing real time data, in a standardized form, from nearly every device out there.

The potential impact on data volumes and security are ... well ... big.

There are millions of users on the internet, and there are potentially dozens and hundreds of security access points per user.

BUT, there are potentially thousands or even millions of devices *for each user*, acting as sensors and sending data back for information, action and analysis.  And these also need an identity and related security.

Who said DBA role is dead?  If you didn't understand performance before, you will need to now.


On my side, it was day 1 of RAC Attack.  In case you do not know about RAC Attack, it is a hands-on workshop to help interested people to build a complete RAC on a laptop as a learning environment. The details of what we build are at http://racattack.org/12c and that includes each and every small detail to implement your own.

This is in addition to, not instead of, the various Build-your-own-RAC articles at OTN and the various blogs.  The difference is that we provide hands-on assistance to interested individuals. 

This year it is the OTN Lounge and being run by a number of  OTN members, including 3 Oracle ACEs and 5 Oracle ACE Directors (including 'yours truly').

Thanks to
- Oracle Technology Network for making their space available for this
- Dell Corp for providing a server
- Exit Certified for providing several laptops as loaners
- this crop of RAC Attack volunteers
- Jeremy Schneider, Dan Norris and Parto Jalili for kicking it off several years ago and keeping it alive

Look for RAC Attack at any Oracle conference or user group meeting near you.  Feel free to contact me, or OTN, or any RAC Attacker if you want a session at your location.

More information is at http://racattack.org

Categories: DBA Blogs

Open World 2013 - Monday: Focus on Spatial

Hans Forbrich - Wed, 2013-09-25 10:54
Oracle's Theme of the Day is: there be a lot of data out there.  Larry's keynote yesterday was about the hardware and hardware-consuming products that support chewing through huge amounts of data - from the Sparc M6 through the In-Memory Database.   Monday was about big data, scalable solutions with a lot of emphasis on crunching and analytics.

My Theme of the Day is Oracle Spatial and Graph.  Many of you know that Spatial is one of my major interests.

For me, the exciting new information is two-fold:

Nearly all of SDO_GEOMETRY-related functionality (except for LRS) previously available in 11gR2 and below is added to the free Locator stack.  The full description for Locator 12c is in the documentation at http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E16655_01/appdev.121/e17896/sdo_locator.htm#i632018

Related to that is that the existing functionality has been supplemented with a complete rewrite, from ground up, of nearly everything in SDO_GEOMETRY with a focus on performance.  Discussed benchmarks indicate performance improvements can range from 5x to 100x in all areas from indexing through analysis using any of the rewritten functions. 

A number of these performance improvements are available simply by upgrading.

However, some of these performance improvements are available only in Enterprise Edition, with the Spatial Option, by setting the 'Go Fast' parameter to 'True'

as described at http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E16655_01/appdev.121/e17896/sdo_intro.htm#sthref136
It definitely is time for me to get back to Spatial, and get more involved in the IOUG Spatial SIG.

Categories: DBA Blogs

Have a sneak peek of my book

Oracle NZ - Tue, 2013-09-24 17:32

Do you want to have a sneak peek of my book “Oracle 12c Backup and Recovery Survival Guide” I wrote with my good friend Aman Sharma? If yes, you can download the chapter 1 of the book as a demo from here.

You can see more information regarding the book or buy it from here.



Francisco Munoz Alvarez



Copyright © OracleNZ by Francisco Munoz Alvarez [Have a sneak peek of my book], All Right Reserved. 2016.
Categories: DBA Blogs

Open World 2013 - Sunday: Focus on Virtualization

Hans Forbrich - Mon, 2013-09-23 16:02
I've decided to attend Open World on a thematic basis, and today's theme is Virtualization.  Therefore I'm attending the IOUG Virtualization / Cloud SIG sessions.

First:  what is 'Cloud'?

There are a lot of definitions out there, none of why I really like.  Part of the problem is that they try to give one consistent definition from all points of view.  However, I believe tjhere must be TWO independent definitions - one from the 'user' perspective and one from the 'operations' perspective. 

User perspective:

A compute cloud provides the right service (CPU, memory, storage, database, application) at the right time (day, night, month-end, year-end) to the user (person, department, system), without the user needing to be aware of the location of that service.

Operations perspective:

A compute cloud includes the infrastructure and metrics to permit appropriate, best-practices, architecture to permit support and configuration of the hardware and software needed by the user.

This is basically the same distinction as the electrical grid: users simply want electricity to be available when they plug-in and flip the switch; operators need to provide a very complicated, metered, and interoperable infrastructure to make the delivery nearly invisible and ubiquitous.

Basically, the future directions are "XaaS" when X is any of "hardware, platform, network, software, database, application [mail, website, WLS deployment platform, sales force, financials, database, etc.]" and 'aaS' is "as a Service". 

And Oracle is playing there - with OracleVM, Oracle Linux, Oracle Enterprise Manager, Oracle WebLogic Service VM templates, Oracle Database VM templates, Oracle Database PDBs, Oracle APEX, Oracle ADF deployment, and so on.

The core infrastructure is growing up.   See Kai's blog kyuoracleblog.wordpress.com and Wim's blog at https://blogs.oracle.com/virtualization/

Also watch for DB as a Service ... buy DB instance, database, schema and/or table on demand.

This an much much more is discussed in teh IOUG Cloud SIG


Separate note - a big shout-out to my dear friend Todd Trichler.  Todd used to be the face of Oracle Linux and OracleVM to the user community.
Categories: DBA Blogs

ACE Director Briefing - Friday afternoon

Hans Forbrich - Fri, 2013-09-20 18:44
David Peake discussed Apex and highlighted a few things:

  1. First place to look at Performance issues: check your SQL
  2. Since Apex (by default) is in the 12c seed and the root containers, plugging in a new container can be a challenge
  3. Self-service http://apex.oracle.com/vote to help prioritize new features
  4. Apex Listener does support multiple PDBs with configuration
Look at the Apex OTN site for information.

By the way - http://apex.oracle.com (which now runs on an ExaData X2-2) gives out Apex Workspaces on demand.  Great way to get access to a SQL environment to study for Oracle certification.


The next session was all about Oracle's Cloud initiatives.  You are aware that Oracle is 'in the cloud', right?  Well, they are, and it ain't just Cirrus.


Now, an ExaLogic session ... "a network optimized system for the mid tier"for speed daemons. Economics shine because you generally can *significantly* reduce the number of server cores to accomplish the same work load.  It can run vanilla Linux or Solaris applications, as well as Exalogics-aware [WebLogic Server] applications.

Keywords to look up, during and after Open World:  Nimbula; Open Stack;


and ...


Time to head to the Hilton!  Bring me a beer!!!
Categories: DBA Blogs

ACE Director's Briefing - Friday morning

Hans Forbrich - Fri, 2013-09-20 14:46
Started out with the Database discussion, and got a heads up to listen to Larry's keynote on Sunday for some very interesting announcements for [near] future directions and reviews of accomplishments. 

Jeremy Ashley and his team showed some very interesting changes to the ADF visual toolbox and the directions for Fusion Applications UI management. 

Wim talked about upcoming UEK changes, pending upgrades of OVM for x86 and some enhancements coming for OVM for Sparc. 

Reminder - Oracle VM for x86 download from eDelivery is 3.2.3,  However, you can get OVM 3.2.4 from Support (patch ID 16410428, note 1565283.1) and today they released 3.2.6 (patch ID 16815542) which updates to a more recent XEN release.

Oracle Virtual Compute Appliance, recently announced, looks quite interesting with it's plug-n-play configuration, completely pre-cabled (with a rack-to-rack cable to extend to 2 more racks), including Infiniband based Oracle Virtual Network, and 'one hour power to VM' configuration - need to look at this.  Basically we are looking at an OVM Manager with a pre-built server pool.  Plug-n-play!  I see a major play possible in Canada.

The internal IT team discussed the Oracle Global IT infrastructure, and their 'Single Global E-Business' database on a 4-node RAC cluster.  Significant savings that work into the business case justification.

And ... WebCenter Portal, WebCenter Content and WebCenter Sites are heavily updated, especially to understand and interact with [NDA].  Some interesting use cases that will be discussed, especially in advanced integrated search.  There are some very interesting UI and tooling changes.  People who are into WebCenter need to check the Demo Grounds during Open World.

Categories: DBA Blogs

Multi-tenant Database notes

Hans Forbrich - Fri, 2013-09-20 11:52
We are in the ACE Director briefing on Friday morning with Penny Avril and people from her team.  Good to see her again!

There are some VERY interesting things coming up - look for the announcements in Larry's keynote on Sunday, and various presentations throughout the week.


We did discuss the Multi-tenant database.  One thing was clarified about the licensing, and this is actually written in the Licensing document at http://www.oracle.com/pls/db121/homepage

As of 12cR1, you have 3 modes to install the database:

- Pre-12c mode - 1 (or more) instance for one database;
- Single tenant - available for SE1, SE, EE and PE at no additional charge*
- Multi-tenant - available as an extra-cost option for EE only

* First entry in the table at http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E16655_01/license.121/e17614/editions.htm states:

"Extra cost option for up to 252 pluggable databases. The multitenant architecture with one pluggable database (single tenant) is available in all editions."

While somewhat ambiguous, we did get confirmation that "available in all editions" means no additional fee for 1 tenant.  

(As always - final word is only from Oracle ... "I read it on the internet" is never a good legal defense.)


Update:  APEX is installed by default into the Seed PDB, and the Root PDB.  That can be changed - it can be removed from the Seed, and it can be removed from the Root.  This gives several potential configurations.

(Note to self: check on the impact of removing, specifically re: EM Express.)

If installing a PDB, especially importing from an 11gR2, there could be a challenge. 
Categories: DBA Blogs

ACE Director Briefing - Thursday Morning

Hans Forbrich - Thu, 2013-09-19 15:06
ACE Director Briefings have started.

Pretty good attendance - about 75-80 of us from around the world.   Great time renewing old acquaintances and friendships, and meeting new ACE Directors.

We've had a very interesting morning of briefings.  Today is the day for Fusion Middleware and Cloud discussions.  So far we've heard about

- WebLogic Server, Coherence
- BI and EPM
- SOA suite, BPEL, Service Bus, and integration
- ... As A Service

There will be a lot of interesting announcements at Open World this year, but so far they've reminded us that we are under NDA for the details.

During the BI session, I was reminded that the new BI Suite Sample for is available in VM form at http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/middleware/bi-foundation/obiee-samples-167534.html
Categories: DBA Blogs

Oracle Open World - the final stretch

Hans Forbrich - Thu, 2013-09-19 09:20
This is the 'week before' Oracle Open World.  The final stretch on the way to announcements, social and business networking, too much activity, sore feet ...

I arrived on Sunday to deliver the Oracle University "Oracle VM Administration: Oracle VM Server for x86" (2nd Ed) course, based on OracleVM 3.2.  I have to say this is one of the best tech courses in the Oracle course catalog - rates right up there with the "Oracle 11g: RAC and Grid Infrastructure Administration Accelerated".  Interestingly, two attendees were from Sweden - this gave them a chance to arrive early and adjust to the time zone.

In my spare time, I got 3 machines ready to loan out during RAC Attack at Open World.  Check out http://www.racattack.org

Arrived at Sofitel yesterday (Wednesday) in the early evening.  Already met up with a number of ACE Directors - Edward Roske, Cary Milsap, Mark Rittmann, Alex Gorbachev, Marcus Eisling, Arup Nanda, and many more ... Tanel Poder is in the booth next to me having breakfast.

In 10 minutes, I'm off to the ACE Director's briefing.  More as time goes on.
Categories: DBA Blogs

RAC Attack at Oracle Open World

Hans Forbrich - Sun, 2013-09-15 20:53
This year, one of my main Open World activities will be to participate as a RAC Attack Ninja.

RAC Attack is a program initiated by Jeremy Schneider, Dan Norris and Parto Jalili at the IOUG Collaborate 2008 conference as a result of a classroom full of unattended PCs (long story, great ending)

Quoting from the RAC Attack web site at http://racattack.org :

"RAC Attack is a free curriculum and platform for hands-on learning labs related to Oracle RAC (cluster database). We believe that the best way to learn about RAC is with a lot of hands-on experience."

This year the RAC Attack team - we call ourselves RAC Attack Ninjas - will be hosting a campground in the OTN Lounge on Tuesday and Wednesday from 10-2.

People who have their own laptop can download the Oracle VirtualBox (http://virtualbox.org), Oracle Linux (https://edelivery.oracle.com/linux) and Oracle Database 12c for Linux (http://download.oracle.com) and we will help them install Oracle Database 12c and a 2-node RAC cluster.

This year, Exit Certified (Oracle University partner who provides a lot of RAC training) and DELL (Oracle partner who sells a lot of hardware used with RAC) have sponsored some equipment for people who want to attend, but don't want to use their own laptops.

If you are interested in learning more about RAC, maybe installing it on your laptop, then come along to the RAC Attack sessions during OOW. Get more details from the Facebook page for each of the two days.
There is also a Google+ page.

If you are coming to install RAC, you might want to read through this.

Categories: DBA Blogs

Countdown to Oracle Open World

Hans Forbrich - Sun, 2013-09-15 20:38
Oracle Open World - the annual festival during which Oracle employees, pundits, reporters, supporters, and customers try to overwhelm San Francisco with bodies, information, and just general fun - is about to begin. 

My itinerary, generally speaking (as I usually allow a lot of flexibility):

1) I'm already in San Francisco - teaching the Oracle University course on OracleVM until Wednesday. 

On Wednesday evening, I'll be heading to the Sofitel where many of the ACE Directors meet up before the ACED Briefing.

That's when we get to see Vikki and Lillian, the wonderful ladies who herd the cats known as Oracle ACEs. 

2) ACE Director Briefing, Thursday and Friday

In the years since I was fortunate enough to be selected a ACE Director, I have tried to attend all the ACE Director Briefings - presentations by Oracle management and product management to let us know (under NDA) what is coming up.  Of course, with the NDA, we are not allowed to talk about anything until Larry spills the beans, but at least we will have had a chance to mull things over before the beans do get spilled. 

Since Tim Hall can not be at the briefing this year, a number of us ACEDs will be blogging extra, trying to keep him up to date without violating the NDA. 

3) RAC Attack pre-meeting on Sunday, and possibly another on Saturday.

4) Kickoff on Sunday

Things officially start on Sunday with the various user group and specialty sessions, which inevitablyt have a great amount of info, followed by The Kickoff.  If things hold true to previous years, Larry will throw the gauntlet and give us a glimpse of what new announcements will be made and why we should listen.

5) ACE Dinner on Sunday

One of the ACE highlights at OOW it the ACE Dinner on Sunday evening.  I enjoy catching up with my fellow ACEs from around the world, and meeting the new faces who joined the ranks.

6) Monday-Thursday is going to be filled to the brim with all sorts of activities, traveling to and fro, and blogging about it.

7) RAC Attack

I'll be at RAC Attack both Tuesday and Wednesday.  Facebook pages at

8) Enterprise Manager CAB on Friday

I've been very fortunate to be selected as a Customer Advisory Board attendee for the Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control.  This is an opportunity to provide feedback to the inner circle of the product team, as well as to learn about future directions of products.

Most products, and even major features, have CABs.  I encourage all customers to consider getting involved.

Categories: DBA Blogs

Tightening Security with SELECT ANY DICTIONARY in Oracle 12c

alt.oracle - Thu, 2013-09-12 08:37
Developers and users sometimes request the SELECT ANY DICTIONARY system privilege to enable them to view various data dictionary tables.  This may be fine for querying DBA_TABLES, etc, but the Oracle data dictionary contains a LOT of information.  Some of the views/tables are compromising from a security standpoint.  One of Oracle’s legendary gaffs in version 9i displayed cleartext passwords for database links in SYS.LINK$.  Yikes.  In version 12c, Oracle has locked down this type of access even further.  Here’s an example from version 11g.

SQL> create user altdotoracle identified by altdotoracle;

User created.

SQL> grant create session, select any dictionary to altdotoracle;

Grant succeeded.

SQL> conn altdotoracle/altdotoracle

SQL> select name, password from sys.user$ where password is not null;

NAME                           PASSWORD
------------------------------ ------------------------------
SYS                            AAJ125C9483Q017
SYSTEM                         W45825DFFFD37SE
OUTLN                          WW24Z1N6A8ED2E1
ALTDOTORACLE                   73NH15SG3Q2364W

Armed with these password hashes, password cracking tools can be used to compare these values to common dictionary passwords.  When a match is found on a non-complex password, your password is cracked.  (Don’t wear yourself out trying to crack the hashes above, I obfuscated them)  SELECT ANY DICTIONARY no longer allows access to dictionary objects like USER$, ENC$ and DEFAULT_PWD$. Let’s try it.

Connected to:
Oracle Database 12c Enterprise Edition Release - 64bit Production
With the Partitioning, OLAP, Advanced Analytics and Real Application Testing options

SQL> create user altdotoracle identified by altdotoracle;

User created.

SQL> grant create session, select any dictionary to altdotoracle;

Grant succeeded.

SQL> conn altdotoracle/altdotoracle

SQL> select name, password from sys.user$ where password is not null;
select name, password from sys.user$ where password is not null
ERROR at line 1:
ORA-01031: insufficient privileges

SQL> select * from sys.enc$;
select * from sys.enc$
ERROR at line 1:
ORA-01031: insufficient privileges

SQL> select * from sys.default_pwd$;
select * from sys.default_pwd$
ERROR at line 1:
ORA-01031: insufficient privileges
Categories: DBA Blogs

Oracle Open World - coming up

Hans Forbrich - Wed, 2013-09-04 14:39
Just in case you didn't know ;-)

Oracle Open World, and Oracle Java One are just around the corner.  For more information, look at http://www.oracle.com/index.html

I'll be available at the RAC Attack on both Tuesday and Wednesday.  Come on over, with your own laptop (or use one of ours) and install a complete, operational, RAC sandbox.  http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/RAC_Attack_-_Oracle_Cluster_Database_at_Home
Categories: DBA Blogs

Data Pump 12c – Pumping Data with the LOGTIME Parameter

alt.oracle - Tue, 2013-08-27 09:38
Since its release, Oracle Data Pump has been a worthy successor to the traditional exp/imp tools.  However, one area lacking with Data Pump has been something as simple as the ability to identify how long each step of a Data Pump job actually takes.  The log will show start time at the top of the log and end time at the bottom, but the time of execution for each step is a mystery.  Oracle 12c solves this problem with the LOGTIME parameter, which adds a timestamp to the execution of each step of the Data Pump job.  Here’s what it looks like without the parameter.

/home/oracle:test1:expdp altdotoracle/altdotoracle \
> directory=data_pump_dir dumpfile=expdp.dmp \
> tables=employee

Export: Release - Production on Tue Aug 13 09:32:38 2013

Copyright (c) 1982, 2013, Oracle and/or its affiliates.  All rights reserved.

Connected to: Oracle Database 12c Enterprise Edition Release - 64bit Production
With the Partitioning, OLAP, Advanced Analytics and Real Application Testing options
Starting "ALTDOTORACLE"."SYS_EXPORT_TABLE_01":  altdotoracle/******** directory=data_pump_dir dumpfile=expdp.dmp tables=employee
Estimate in progress using BLOCKS method...
Processing object type TABLE_EXPORT/TABLE/TABLE_DATA
Total estimation using BLOCKS method: 64 KB
Processing object type TABLE_EXPORT/TABLE/TABLE
. . exported "ALTDOTORACLE"."EMPLOYEE"                   10.93 KB      16 rows
Master table "ALTDOTORACLE"."SYS_EXPORT_TABLE_01" successfully loaded/unloaded
Dump file set for ALTDOTORACLE.SYS_EXPORT_TABLE_01 is:
Job "ALTDOTORACLE"."SYS_EXPORT_TABLE_01" successfully completed at Tue Aug 13 09:32:51 2013 elapsed 0 00:00:11

With the LOGTIME parameter, each step is prefixed with a timestamp, indicating the start time for each event that is processed.

/home/oracle:test1:expdp altdotoracle/altdotoracle \
> directory=data_pump_dir dumpfile=expdp.dmp \
> tables=employee LOGTIME=ALL

Export: Release - Production on Tue Aug 13 09:34:54 2013

Copyright (c) 1982, 2013, Oracle and/or its affiliates.  All rights reserved.

Connected to: Oracle Database 12c Enterprise Edition Release - 64bit Production
With the Partitioning, OLAP, Advanced Analytics and Real Application Testing options
13-AUG-13 09:34:56.757: Starting "ALTDOTORACLE"."SYS_EXPORT_TABLE_01":  altdotoracle/******** directory=data_pump_dir dumpfile=expdp.dmp tables=employee LOGTIME=ALL
13-AUG-13 09:34:57.019: Estimate in progress using BLOCKS method...
13-AUG-13 09:34:57.364: Processing object type TABLE_EXPORT/TABLE/TABLE_DATA
13-AUG-13 09:34:57.396: Total estimation using BLOCKS method: 64 KB
13-AUG-13 09:34:57.742: Processing object type TABLE_EXPORT/TABLE/TABLE
13-AUG-13 09:34:57.894: Processing object type TABLE_EXPORT/TABLE/STATISTICS/TABLE_STATISTICS
13-AUG-13 09:34:57.964: Processing object type TABLE_EXPORT/TABLE/STATISTICS/MARKER
13-AUG-13 09:35:04.853: . . exported "ALTDOTORACLE"."EMPLOYEE"   10.93 KB      16 rows
13-AUG-13 09:35:05.123: Master table "ALTDOTORACLE"."SYS_EXPORT_TABLE_01" successfully loaded/unloaded
13-AUG-13 09:35:05.127: ******************************************************************************
13-AUG-13 09:35:05.128: Dump file set for ALTDOTORACLE.SYS_EXPORT_TABLE_01 is:
13-AUG-13 09:35:05.131:   /oracle/base/admin/test1/dpdump/expdp.dmp
13-AUG-13 09:35:05.134: Job "ALTDOTORACLE"."SYS_EXPORT_TABLE_01" successfully completed at Tue Aug 13 09:35:05 2013 elapsed 0 00:00:09

The parameter works similarly with Data Pump Import.  Note that, although it is documented, the LOGTIME parameter is not described when you do a expdp help=y or impdp help=y command.

Categories: DBA Blogs

RMAN 12c – More SQL without ‘sql’

alt.oracle - Mon, 2013-08-12 19:03
Up until version 12c, the RMAN command line parser was capable of parsing certain DML and DDL statements.  To do this, we use the “sql” command from the RMAN command line, like this.

11gHost> rman

Recovery Manager: Release - Production on Wed Aug 7 15:29:19 2013
Copyright (c) 1982, 2009, Oracle and/or its affiliates.  All rights reserved.

RMAN> connect target
connected to target database: TEST2 (DBID=1111111111)

RMAN> sql 'create table altdotoracle (col1 number)';
sql statement: create table altdotoracle (col1 number)

RMAN> sql 'insert into altdotoracle values (1)';
sql statement: insert into altdotoracle values (1)

However, one operation we could not do was SELECT.  The RMAN parser lacked the facility to return arrays of data to the screen.  This shouldn’t be surprising, considering that RMAN is intended to be used to run backup and restore operations.

RMAN> sql 'select * from altdotoracle';
sql statement: select * from altdotoracle

The statement does not error, but no data is returned.  Now, in version 12c, we get two new benefits in this area.  First, we no longer need to use the ‘sql’ command.  For example…

12cHost> rman

Recovery Manager: Release - Production on Wed Aug 7 15:35:27 2013
Copyright (c) 1982, 2013, Oracle and/or its affiliates.  All rights reserved.

RMAN> connect target
connected to target database: TEST1 (DBID=1212121212)

RMAN> create table altdotoracle (col1 number);
Statement processed

RMAN> insert into altdotoracle values (1);
Statement processed

Additionally, the RMAN parser in 12c allows us to run SELECT commands, as well as DESCRIBE commands.

RMAN> select * from altdotoracle;


RMAN> describe altdotoracle

 Name                                      Null?    Type
 ----------------------------------------- -------- ----------------------------
 COL1                                               NUMBER

The ability to use the ‘sql’ RMAN command is still supported for backward compatibility.  A simple thing, but useful!
Categories: DBA Blogs

Oracle 12c - Out With the Grid, In With the Cloud

alt.oracle - Wed, 2013-08-07 15:52
So Oracle database 12c is out now.  The cloud (and hence the “c”) is hanging over us.  At least we don’t have to hear about “the grid” anymore.  New versions of Oracle are funny things – as DBAs, we’re kinda excited about the possibilities, but then reality sets in and we realize that our company isn’t going to upgrade for a long time.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing – some of us have experienced the pain of the “release 1’s” that have come out in recent years.  There are generally early adopters and then everyone else.  Over the course of my time as a DBA, I’ve swung from wanting to be on “the bleeding edge” to saying “we’re not upgrading until the terminal release!”  Reality is somewhere in the middle – every release probably has something useful to us.  Inevitably, what I see is that new versions come out and DBAs don’t get familiar with the new features.  Let’s be honest – so many features seem oriented towards selling something that we miss the good ones.  But understanding a new feature set can be extremely useful.  I’m not promising anything, but 12c could have that one new thing that could make your life so much easier that you eventually can’t live without it.  Who could really deny the importance of stuff like ASM and the AWR that came with version 10g?  Of course, reading through the actual new features documentation can be about as pleasant as giving yourself a root canal.  So, since I’ve combed through some of the docs, I wanted to spare you the pain and give you some of the good stuff.  Over the next few posts, we’ll take a look at some new features in 12c – I think they could be useful, so maybe you will too.  All of the meat and none of the fat!
Categories: DBA Blogs

Personal Edition for Linux - 11gR2 and 12c

Hans Forbrich - Tue, 2013-08-06 12:13
See MOS Note "How to Install Oracle Database Personal Edition on Linux?" (Doc ID 1574396.1)
Thank you Oracle.
Categories: DBA Blogs

My book: Oracle Database 12c Backup and Recovery Survival Guide

Oracle NZ - Mon, 2013-08-05 18:15

It was a long journey of hard work and team work that now has finished, as a result you will find my book Oracle Database 12c Backup and Recovery Survival Guide that I wrote with the help of my good friend Aman Sharma.

I would also take this opportunity to recognize the great work done by many good friends involved in the technical review of the book:

  • Tom Kyte
  • Arup Nanda
  • Robert Freeman
  • Laurent Schneider
  • Gokhan Atil
  • Wissem El Khlifi
  • Bjorn Naessens
  • Alessandro Parisi

Thank you so much my friends for all comments, suggestions, corrections and support during this long journey!

You can pre-order the book here: http://www.packtpub.com/oracle-database-12c-backup-recovery-survival-guide/book


Here is some information about the book:

The three main responsibilities of a successful DBA are to ensure the availability, recoverability, and performance of any database. To ensure the recoverability of any database, a DBA needs to have a strong backup and recovery skills set. Every DBA is always looking for a reference book that will help them to solve any possible backup and recovery situation that they can come across in their professional life.

Oracle Database 12c Backup and Recovery Survival Guide has the unique advantage to be a reference to all Oracle backup and recovery options available, making it essential for any DBA in the world. If you are new to Oracle Database, this book will introduce you to the fantastic world of backup and recovery that is vital to your success. If you are an experienced DBA, this book will become a reference guide and will also help you to learn some possible new skills, or give you some new ideas you were never aware about. It will also help you to easily find the solution to some of the most well known problems you could find during your career as a DBA. This book contains useful screenshots, scripts, and examples that you will find more than useful.

Most of the books currently available in the market concentrate only on the RMAN utility to backup and recovery. This book will be an exception to the rule and will become a must-have reference, allowing you to design a real and complete backup and recovery strategy. It covers the most important topics on Oracle database such as backup strategies, Nologging operations, new features in 12c, user managed backups and recoveries, RMAN (including reporting, catalog management, troubleshooting, and performance tuning), advanced data pump, Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c and SQL Developer.

“Oracle Database 12c Backup and Recovery Survival Guide” contains everything a DBA needs to know to keep data safe and recoverable, using real-life scenarios.



Copyright © OracleNZ by Francisco Munoz Alvarez [My book: Oracle Database 12c Backup and Recovery Survival Guide], All Right Reserved. 2016.
Categories: DBA Blogs

Oracle Database 12c - notes 1

Hans Forbrich - Sat, 2013-07-06 21:02
I now have a functional Oracle Database 12c Lab environment which consists of a bunch of x86_64 computers networked together.  (And some that are still pending, for the RAC exercise.)


  1x AMD-based homegrown computer running OpenFiler 2.99 as iSCSI server

Monitoring and Support (licenses includes with Database):
  1x Oracle Linux 5u6 for OEM 12c Cloud Control
   - DB 11gR2
   - OEM
   - Cloud Control agent pushed to all machines BEFORE any additional s/w set up

  1x Oracle Linux 5u8 for Oracle Internet Directory
  - DB 11gR2,
  - RCU
  - WebLogic Server 10.3.6
  - Oracle Identity Management Suite selected for OID
  - all targets displaying on Cloud Control

Test Machine 1
  - Oracle Linux 5u8, 48GB RAM
  - Standalone Grid installed for ASM
  - ASM
  - 1x DB EE Container using ASM with 1 Pluggable DB 
  - 1x DB EE Container using File System with 1 Pluggable DB
  - all targets displaying on Cloud Control

Test Machine 2
  - Oracle Linux 5u8, 4GB RAM
  - 1x DB EE Container using File System with 1 Pluggable DB
  - all targets displaying on Cloud Control and EM Express

Test Machine 3
  - Oracle Linux 6u3, 4GB RAM
  - 1x DB SE Container using File System with 1 Pluggable DB
  - 1x DB EE non-Container using File System
  - all targets displaying on Cloud Control and EM Express

(Still to come:
   Test machine 4 will host GSM.
   Test machines 5-7 will have OVM and RAC 12c.


     84 Targets in OEM Cloud Control, all showing Green!

Initial Notes: 
  1. I needed to upgrade to OEM 12c Cloud Control as did not have the plugins to monitor Database 12c (production release). 
  2. Standard Edition supports 1 (one) pluggable database, if you chose the container architecture.
  3. Selecting both Cloud Control AND EM-Express during DBCA screws up EM-Express
    1. You need to install using EM-Express ONLY and discover manually with CC later.
  4. Separation of duty configuration works - almost correctly.

Categories: DBA Blogs


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