Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My blog has a new look...

I've updated the template on my blog, so it has a bit of a new look. I'll be playing around with it a bit to make it look better soon! Hope you like the changes!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

It's been a while! Transportable Database

So, I'm working on a University session for Collaborate-09 in Orlando next week and I came across this little RMAN feature that I have not written about. So I thought I'd share it with you.

It's called Transportable Database. It's really an off-shoot of Transportable tablespaces except now you can move the whole database kit-and-kabootle over to a brand-new database on any supported Oracle platform. Transportable database is supported by RMAN. This is a new feature starting in Oracle Database 10g Release 2.

The steps to move the database between platforms is pretty straight forward:

1. Verify the prerequisites
2. Identify any external files and directories with DBMS_TDB.CHECK_EXTERNAL.
3. Shutdown (consistent) and restart the source database in READ ONLY mode.
4. Use DBMS_TDB.CHECK_DB to make sure the database is ready to be transported.
5. Run the RMAN convert database command.
6. Copy the converted files to the target database. Note that this implies that you will need 2x the storage on the source database for the converted files.
7. Copy the parameter file to the target database.
8. Adjust configuration files as required (parameter, listener.ora, tnsnames, etc).
9. Fire up the new database!

This can make for a much quicker and easier migration between platforms than the old IMPDP/EXPDP method!!

We are working on the 11g edition of the RMAN book ... look for it soon!

Monday, April 20, 2009

How many licks does it take...?

The Oracle 11g OCP exam Beta is kind of making me think of the old cartoon where the kid asks around "How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop". The idea is that it takes a LOT of licks, and that nobody could ever really be that patient. In the end, an Owl takes a few licks and CHOMPS on the thing, insisting that it only takes so many licks. Here is the video of the commercial.

You might ask, what does this have to do with Oracle? Well, it has something to do with the Oracle 11g OCP exam (1Z0-053) that has been in beta for a looong time. We are talking ages! If you look on Oracle's Beta web site it says that the dates for the exam are: April 12, 2008 to June 30, 2009..... I don't remember a beta taking so long!!

I'm presenting a University Semenar at Collaborate on the 11g OCP exam called the 11g OCP Exam Cram. When I submitted the abstract for the semenar, I figured that the beta would be over. But nooooo.... Of course the topic areas will probably remain the same, but I just think it's silly to have a beta exam that runs over a year.

When I wrote my new OCP Exam Preperation book for this test, I figured it would be out of beta by the time the book went to press. Not So!!

Wonder if they are waiting for something big with that June date.... hmmmmmmmm.....

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Where in the world is Robert?

I'm in Santiago, Chile this week for a meeting of the CLOUG (http://www.cloug.org/1.html). This is one of the things I love most about speaking... getting to go places I've never been before. I've never been south of the equator, so I'm looking forward to seeing a whole new set of stars tonight. Francisco Munoz wrote me and asked if I would attend.... So far this has been a wonderful trip. I'm in a very nice hotel with a great patio all to myself... just my luck that I get wonderful accommodations and I'm all by myself.

Today is a recover day for me. I've already managed to make trouble by blowing a fuse in my hotel room when I tried to plug something in. I thought I had the voltage thing worked out, but apparently not. Anyway... after a whiff of ozone and a call to maintenance, they got right up and fixed my problem and educated me on Chilean electricity.

The airport here in Santiago is very modern and having traveled internationally a bit, I find it to be one of the easiest to traverse for incomming travelers. I don't speak spanish, but thus far that has been no issue. I had a representitive of one of the airport cab companies pretty much accost me right out of customs, but he was quite nice and honestly, very helpful. The Cabbie (need to find out what they really call them here) was quite nice, telling me the names of the different places as we passed them and trying to teach me some elementry spanish. I know a little spanish but certanly not enough to be conversant. The poor man just didn't seem to realize that I'm language ... whats the word, hampered... constrained... basicly I don't learn languages well at all (just ask Lisa!!). He was trying to talk to me in some basic Spanish... I figured out his family lives in New Orleans (I knew the word for family, but didn't get New Orleans for a while). It took me a while before I realized he was asking me if I was from California. He didn't know exactly where Utah was, but he seemed to understand when I said Next to California (well, not really, but close enough).

So, here I am in Chile.... I'm looking forward to meeting Oracle professionals here and talking to them about RMAN!!!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

10g RAC Bug

So, we ran into a nasty bug last night. We are running 10g (various releases) RAC on 3 or 4 node clusters. In this particular configuration we had a 4 node cluster, with an instance for this database on each node. 2 instances were active, two were configured but not running.

DBA went to make redo log adjustments (adding a new group) and database crashed. There is a bug in 10g (and apparently 11g) with respect to this kind of configuration. If you are running an active/passive kind of RAC configuration, you will want to read up on the bug. Be very careful making any online redo log changes if you are running in such an environment.

Metalink bug number is 6786022 and it's public. We understand patch is in QA to correct. There is also an event you can set to avoid the problem. See the bug on Metalink for more information.

So, check out the bug and make sure your system is not vulnerable.
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