RE: DBAs running

From: Mark W. Farnham <>
Date: Tue, 4 Feb 2014 09:59:22 -0500
Message-ID: <22fe01cf21b9$b0eb22e0$12c168a0$>

The old solution from Burlington Coat was based on a password envelope in the operations safe. In a lights out shop I'm not sure how to do this.
  1. A DBA (or anyone really) on the temporary root list calls operations.
  2. Ops opens the safe, verifies the identity of the caller, opens that person's password envelope and give them the sudo root password for the system(s) needed.
  3. Op notes to SA group systems given
  4. Temporary rooter logs everything done (script if possible), notifies SA group when done
  5. SA group creates new password envelope (with new passwords, having changed them) for the ops safe, reviews what was done, gives feedback to DBA
    (could be as little as "seems right and necessary, thanks for letting me

Rinse and repeat as needed. This has the nice effect that if an SA is around, you can check with them if they can do what you need RIGHT NOW, so you can skip the overhead of changing all the sudo passwords. This helps create a businesslike and mutually helpful relationship amongst SAs and DBAs
(which may be its best feature).

If memory serves this process was developed by Mike Prince, Gerry Claggett, Brad Friedman, and yours truly.


-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of Austin Hackett
Sent: Monday, February 03, 2014 12:08 PM To: oracle-l digest users
Subject: DBAs running

Hi List

If you work in a security conscious environment, I'd be keen to hear how your site handles the script.

To give you some background:

In my environment, DBAs are currently given direct root access to allow them to run However, the SA Team would like to tighten this up. If giving the DBAs direct root access isn't acceptable (not even temporarily) then two options spring to my mind:

  1. SA team run on behalf of the DBAs. Geography and logistics in my organisation are such that having an SA walk over to the DBAs desk is a realistic option. Our SAs aren't keen on this approach
  2. Give DBAs the ability to run as the root user via sudo. This, of course, means that DBAs can run anything they like by editing, so doesn't really help. Understandably our SAs don't like this approach

I am being asked to look into keeping Oracle software version specific scripts in a root-owned location (we are Linux only, so no multi-platform concerns). This would allow for secure sudo privileges. We'd need these for RDBMS, Grid Infrastructure, and Client.

However, I've explained the scripts are dynamically generated by runInstaller and have the Oracle Home path hard-coded into them. We'd need a root-owned for every distinct ORACLE_HOME path we create (some hosts have multiple homes, so there's dbhome_1, dbhome_2 etc.). Maybe there are other considerations that I'm unaware of - I don't really like to second guess what else is going on in the "closed box" of the OUI that could be host dependent.

To my mind, taking this non-standard approach is more risky than having someone run the script on our behalf, even if it risks introducing delays into the build process.

How is this handled in your organisation? Have you ever been asked to have a centralised set of scripts under root control for this reason? Have you made it work?

If anyone has some time to share their experiences, it would be much appreciated.




Received on Tue Feb 04 2014 - 15:59:22 CET

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