Little things worth knowing: Is there a penalty in establishing a connection to Oracle using the MAA connection string? Part 2

In the very lengthy previous post about the MAA connect string I wanted to explain the use of the MAA connection string as promoted by Oracle. I deliberately kept the first part simple: both primary and standby cluster were up, and although the database was operating in the primary role on what I called standby cluster (again it’s probably not a good idea to include the intended role in the infrastructure names) there was no (more...)

Little things worth knowing: Is there a penalty in establishing a connection to Oracle using the MAA connection string?

Sorry for the long title!

I had a question during my session about “advanced RAC programming features” during the last Paris Oracle Meetup about the MAA connection string. I showed an example taken from the Appication Continuity White Paper ( Someone from the audience asked me if I had experienced any problems with it, such as very slow connection timeouts. I haven’t, but wanted to double-check anyway. This is a (more...)

Little things worth knowing: what does opatchauto actually do?

I recently applied system patch 20132450 to my installation on a 2 node RAC system on Oracle Linux 7.1. While ensuring that OPatch is the latest version available I came across an interesting command line option in opatchauto. It is called “-generateSteps”.

[oracle@rac12sby1 ~]$ $ORACLE_HOME/OPatch/opatchauto apply -help
OPatch Automation Tool
Copyright (c) 2015, Oracle Corporation.  All rights reserved.

    Apply a System Patch to Oracle Home. User specified the  (more...)

Little things worth knowing: direct path inserts and referential integrity

This is another post to remind myself that Oracle evolves, and what I thought I knew might no longer be relevant. So double-checking instead of assuming should become a habit!

Today’s example: direct path inserts. I seemed to remember from Oracle 9i that a direct path insert ignores referential integrity. This is still confirmed in the 9i Release 2 Concepts Guide, chapter 19 “Direct Path Insert”. Quoting from there:

During direct-path INSERT operations, Oracle appends (more...)

Little things worth knowing: exp/imp vs expdp and impdp for HCC in Exadata

Do you know the difference between exp/imp and expdp/impdp when it comes to importing HCC compressed data in Exadata?

If not, then follow me through two examples. This is on but applies to all database releases you can have on Exadata. The task at hand is to export a table (which happens to be non-partitioned and HCC compressed for query high) and import it into a different user’s (more...)

Public appearances 2015

I think I’ll create this as a sticky post as soon as I found out how this works in WordPress :) This is going to be a list of my public appearances in 2015.

Upcoming Events

Paris Oracle Meetup

The next time I’ll be speaking publicly is on April 15 in Paris at the Paris Oracle Meetup. Many thanks go to @Ycolin and @BertrandDrouvot for inviting me to my first ever presentation in France! I am very (more...)

Understanding enhancements to block cleanouts in Exadata part 2

In part 1 of the series I tried to explain (probably a bit too verbose when it came to session statistics) what the effect is of delayed block cleanout and buffered I/O. In the final example the “dirty” blocks on disk have been cleaned out in the buffer cache, greatly reducing the amount of work to be done when reading them.

Catching up with now, and direct path reads. You probably noticed that the migration (more...)

Understanding enhancements to block cleanouts in Exadata part 1

Travel time is writing time and I have the perfect setting for a techie post. Actually I got quite excited about the subject causing the article to get a bit longer than initially anticipated. In this part you can read about block cleanouts when using buffered I/O. The next part will show how this works using direct path reads and Smart Scans.

The article ultimately aims at describing the enhancements Exadata brings to the table (more...)

What happens in ASM if usable_file_mb is negative and you lose a failgroup

Having read the excellent post “Demystifying ASM REQUIRED_MIRROR_FREE_MB and USABLE_FILE_MB” again by Harald von Breederode I wanted to see what happens if you create a setup where your usable_file_mb is negative and you actually have to rebalance after a fatal failgroup error. I am using on Oracle Linux 6.6/UEK3 in a KVM in case anyone is interested. I/O times aren’t stellar on that environment. It’s Oracle Restart, (more...)

How to resolve the text behind v$views?

This is a common problem I have and I never write it down (except now). For example, today I wanted to know what the valid parameters for _serial_direct_read were:

SQL> select * from v$parameter_valid_values where name ='_serial_direct_read';

no rows selected

OK so if Oracle doesn’t tell me then maybe I can work it out? Getting the view_text has worked in the past:

SQL> select view_name, text_vc from dba_views where view_name like '%PARAMETER_VALID_VALUES'

VIEW_NAME                          TEXT_VC
----------------------------------  (more...)