RE: DBA Job Functions

From: Mark W. Farnham <>
Date: Thu, 1 Mar 2018 10:22:25 -0500
Message-ID: <001b01d3b171$1b202a70$51607f50$>

There is really quite a good laundry list on Oracle ScratchPad of things to check when “nothing changed.” Sometimes a quick look at the list yields a quick “Oh, that’s what happened” experience.  

And of course profiling some particular session that is slower than expected is the effective way to be sure what is wrong. Whether that leads to an obvious fix or not is another issue, but at least you won’t find yourself working on things that are definitely NOT the problem.  


From: [] On Behalf Of Sheehan, Jeremy Sent: Thursday, March 01, 2018 9:02 AM
To:; Cc:
Subject: RE: DBA Job Functions  

I agree 100% with this. Many times it is related to a change in execution plans. In those situations I will go ahead, troubleshoot, and fix. More often than not (in my situations), it is lazy application support teams that don’t want to begin troubleshooting on their end first. Most of the time (with the applications that I support), when application teams come to me the database is sitting mostly idle or with little to know more activity than it would normally have.      

From: [] On Behalf Of Dominic Brooks Sent: Thursday, March 1, 2018 2:40 AM
Subject: Re: DBA Job Functions  

Many sudden “database is slow” incidents, in my experience, are SQL plan changes.  

I qualify these as database problems. Even though the data model and the way the SQL is written etc may be contributory factors and then we get into DBA semantics - “well it’s not an infrastructure DBA problem, it’s an application DBA problem”.  

Experience also shows that it is rarely the network and rarely the storage, etc. Sometimes it is.

Sent from my iPhone

On 1 Mar 2018, at 03:52, Mladen Gogala <> wrote:

Jeremy, it never is a database problem. You can always blame network. Try as they may, network engineers can never prove their innocence. If an application is slow, it's always the network. Application service can't reach the database and you can always show "waiting for more data from the client" wait events to prove that your network is slow. The next in line are system administrators. Is that app server swapping? How much CPU is it using? The art of being a good DBA involves knowing how to find the appropriate culprit.

Joking aside, it really never is a database problem. What is slow is always an application, not the database. Database is just storage, nothing else. It's not the garage it's slow. When I was a DBA, I once got the following complaint: "the database is slow in the northern half of the sales room, but is fast in the southern half". This intrigued me so much that I accepted the claim that "the database is slow". What ended up being the problem was the router. The router for the northern part of the room was plugged in the router port that was blinking red.

You always start troubleshooting from the application. That is the lesson from the Cary Millsap's book. It's simply incredible how long it takes for that simple and obvious message to sink in.  

On 02/28/2018 02:58 PM, Sheehan, Jeremy wrote:

HAHAHAHA! #truth  

Perhaps proving that it isn’t a database problem can be added to the list?  

From: Jared Still [] Sent: Wednesday, February 28, 2018 2:52 PM To: Sheehan, Jeremy <> <> Cc: oracle-l-freelist <> <> Subject: Re: DBA Job Functions  

CAUTION - EXTERNAL EMAIL   Also included: everything the DBA cannot get someone else to do.  

Jared Still
Certifiable Oracle DBA and Part Time Perl Evangelist

Principal Consultant at Pythian

Pythian Blog <>

Github: <>  

On Tue, Feb 20, 2018 at 11:18 AM, Sheehan, Jeremy <> wrote:

Hello Guru’s,  

My boss is asking me to compile a list of typical job functions for a DBA. I came up with a brief list, but would like to hear any other recommendations that you might have. What he said was, “We don’t want to go into great detail, but not be too vague either. Somewhere between the 10,000ft and 1,000ft view.  

Agile Work


Change Deployment

Database Design

Database Install


DR Activities (testing/maintenance)


Performance Tuning/Monitoring

Scripting DB/Host

Solution Design


Thanks in advance,  



Mladen Gogala
Database Consultant
Tel: (347) 321-1217

-- Received on Thu Mar 01 2018 - 16:22:25 CET

Original text of this message