Speaking at Enkitec Extreme Exadata Expo

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| Aug 9, 2012
I’ll be speaking at the Enkitec Extreme Exadata Expo (E4), August 13-14 in Dallas Texas (you can also attend virtually). They’ve recruited some of the top names from community including keynote speaker Andrew Mendelsohn, Arup Nanda, Cary Millsap, Jonathan Lewis, Karen Morton, Maria Colgan, Kerry Osborne and Tanel Põder. I left a lot of names off the list, many of which you probably [...]

Exadata smart flash logging

Exadata storage software 11.2.2.4 introduced the Smart flash logging feature.  The intent of this is to reduce overall redo log sync times - especially outliers - by allowing the exadata flash storage to serve as a secondary destination for redo log writes.  During a redo log sync, Oracle will write to the disk and flash simultaneously and allow the redo log sync operation to complete when the first device completes. 

Jason Arneil reports some initial observations here, and Luis Moreno Campos summarized it here.

I’ve reported in the past on using SSD for (more...)

Speaking at E4!

I’ll be co-speaking with Randy Johnson (one of the authors of Expert Oracle Exadata) at E4 to share about the war stories and detail on a bunch of technical stuff on a Peoplesoft and BIEE consolidation project we had on one of our clients. See the abstract below:

Randy Johnson & Karl Arao
A PeopleSoft & OBIEE Consolidation Success Story
In today’s competitive business climate companies are under constant pressure to reduce costs without sacrificing quality. Many companies see database and server consolidation as the key to meeting this goal. Since its introduction, Exadata has become the obvious choice for (more...)

The effect of ASM redundancy/parity on read/write IOPS – SLOB test case! for Exadata and non-Exa environments

Last week I had a lengthy post at oracle-l that tackles Calibrate IO, Short Stroking, Stripe size, UEK kernel, and ASM redundancy effect on IOPS Exadata which you can read here
followed by interesting exchange of tweets with Kevin Closson here (see 06/21-22 tweets) which I was replying in between games at UnderwaterHockey US Nationals 2012 which we won the championship for the B division ;) I have my awesome photo with the medal here

This post will detail on the ASM redundancy/parity effect on IOPS… if… by changing the ASM redundancy (external, normal, and high) will it decrease the workload (more...)

Observing Exadata HCC compression changes when adding columns

This blog posting is very much a follow on from the previous entry on how data compressed with Exadata HCC compression behaves under changing table definitions. Many thanks to Greg Rahn for the comments on the previous blog entry on a simple mechanism for determining whether the compression level has changed or not.

In this blog posting we add a column to an HCC compressed table and we observe whether the number of blocks in the table changes or not.

As Greg stated in the comments on the previous blog entry, we have 3 possibilities for adding a column:

  1. add (more...)

Adding Columns and Exadata HCC compression

While everyone is aware of the issues of mixing EHCC compression and OLTP type activities, I had a customer who was interested in finding out what happens upon adding a column to a table that has EHCC compression enabled on it.

As I could not see any definitive statements in the documentation on this particular scenario I ran up some tests to see the behaviour.

First of all they are using partitioning by date range, so we create a partitioned table:

SQL: db01> create table t_part  ( 
username varchar2(30), 
user_id  number, 
created date ) 
partition by range (created) 
( partition  (more...)

IOsaturationtoolkit-v2 with Exadata IORM and AWESOME text graph

I’ve got a new version of IOsaturation toolkit which you can download here http://karlarao.wordpress.com/scripts-resources/ and it has a cool script called “smartscanloop” that shows you the Smart Scan MB/s per database across the Exadata  compute nodes.. it’s a per 2secs sample so that’s a pretty fine grained perf data and near real time text graph. Very useful for doing IORM demos and monitoring what database is currently hogging the IO resources and since it’s presented in a consolidated view you don’t have to go to each Enterprise Manager performance page and have a bunch of browser windows open.

SQL Monitor details for later tuning.

Tuning has always being good fun and something like a challenge for me.

From time to time we are being asked to find out why something did run slow while you are sleeping; answering this question is, in most cases, a challenge.

The problem:

My batch did run slow last night, can you let us know why? Or why did this query run slow? Are questions we, as DBAs, have to answer from time to time.

The solution:

Oracle has provided us with many tools to dig out information about past operations. We have EM, AWR, ASH, dba_hist_* tables, scripts (more...)

NetApp’s ExaData Backup Play Reprise

I have received a fair number of responses to my previous post on this subject (some via comments and some via email). I thought the discussion worthwhile enough to punch it up a bit more here.

Backup

As I pointed out in the previous post, EMC can easily match NetApp's play to back up ExaData with the following:

EMCBackupSolution

As Geoff Rosser so correctly pointed out, this answer is incomplete. Yes, Data Domain is an awesome Oracle backup solution. Yes, it provides incredible deduplication rates for Oracle database environments. (Thanks, dynamox.) However, it is not the only viable solution from (more...)

NetApp’s ExaData Backup Play

There has been lots of material on the web recently concerning NetApp being able to backup ExaData. The purpose of this blog is to respond to that content, and state why NetApp's offering is rather lame, and actually offers nothing new.

The items on the web produced by NetApp are easy to find. I will not increase their Google hit rate by linking to them here. Suffice it to say, Neil Gerren's blog contains the principle content to which I will respond here. There is also NetApp technical report TR 4022, a 34 page tome, which I have read thoroughly. (more...)

DML and HCC – Exadata

Hybrid Columnar Compression (HCC) is a new awesome feature in Exadata that helps in saving a lot of storage space in your environment. This whitepaper on Oracle website explains this feature in detail. Also Uwe Hesse has an excellent how to use all this post on his blog. You can see the compression levels one can achive by making use of HCC. It is very simple to use feature but one needs to be aware of few things before using HCC extensively as otherwise all your storage calculations may go weird. Here are few of the things to keep in (more...)

Is ExaData an "Appliance"

My boss, Sam Lucido, raised the following question on the Everything Oracle at EMC website:

Appliances such as microwave ovens, refrigerators, iPods, iPads and TVs are excellent examples of the ease-of-use approach. Bringing the inherently complex world of Oracle databases together with the ease-of-use approach of appliances is challenging. By definition if Oracle Exadata is an appliance then its use should be simple, require relatively little maintenance and like a refrigerator do its job which in this case is run databases at extreme performance levels. If Oracle Exadata isn’t an appliance than what is it?

I found this question (more...)

Exadata Smart Flash Logging Explained

I’ve seen some posts on the blogosphere where people attempt to explain (or should I say guess) how Exadata Smart Flash Logging works and most of them are wrong. Hopefully this post will help clear up some the misconceptions out there.

The following is an excerpt from the paper entitled “Exadata Smart Flash Cache Features and the Oracle Exadata Database Machine” that goes into technical detail on the Exadata Smart Flash Logging feature.

Smart Flash Logging works as follows. When receiving a redo log write request, Exadata will do
parallel writes to the on-disk redo logs as well (more...)

Executing sql on all Exadata nodes.

From time to time, I have to run scripts or single commands on all nodes for Exadata. This can take some time.

The problem:

We have a request from our developers to flush the shared pool on all nodes on our UAT Exadata. This is due to a bug we are still experiencing.

The solution:

This is a typical request for my team, were we have to run something on all our nodes. Flushing shared pool can be one of them.

Connecting and executing the same command 8 times, if you have a full rack, can be time-consuming and it (more...)

How to list files on a directory from Oracle Database.

Couple of days ago I had an interesting request, “How can I see the contents of nfs_dir”?

The problem:

We were using DBFS to store our exports. This was the perfect solution as the business could “see” the files on the destination folder, but it did not meet our requirements performance wise on our Exadata.

We have decided to mount NFS and performance did improve, but we had a different problem. NFS is mounted on the database server and business do not have access for security reasons and segregation of duties.

Since then, the export jobs run, but business could (more...)

ORA-16072: a minimum of one standby database destination is required

This is a quick post regarding the error on the subject. This is the second time it happens to me, so I thought I will write a bit about it.

The problem:

I am refreshing one of my UAT environments (happens to be a Full Rack Exadata) using Oracle RMAN duplicate command. Then the following happens (on both occasions).

1.- Duplicate command fails (lack of space for restoring archivelogs, or any other error). This is can be fixed quite easy.

2.- following error while trying to open the database after restore and recover has finished:

SQL> alter database  (more...)

How to transfer files from ASM to another ASM or filesystem or DBFS…

I had a requirement of transferring files from our PROD ASM to our UAT ASM as DBFS is proving to be slow.

The problem:

We are currently refreshing UAT schemas using Oracle Datapump to DBFS and then transferring those files to UAT using SCP.

DBFS does not provided us with the performance we need as datapump files are quite big. Same export onto ASM or NFS proves to be much, much faster.

We are currently testing exports to ASM, but, how to move dmp files from PROD ASM to UAT ASM?

The solution:

The answer for us is using DBMS_FILE_TRANSFER. (more...)

Archive area +RECO has -7440384 free KB remaining (Usable_file_MB is negative)

I must say, this has been a busy weekend.

We have been promoting a release to production and a guaranteed restore point was created on Friday as rollback strategy. On Sunday I was called as we started to receive alerts.

The problem:

Our monitoring system started to send emails and SNMP Traps with the following alerts:

OEM alert for Automatic Storage Management +ASM4_ssssss4: Disk group RECO has used 100% of safely usable free space. (Current Disk Group Used % of Safely Usable value: 100)
OEM alert for Automatic Storage Management +ASM2_ssssss2: Disk group RECO has used 100% of safely usable  (more...)

Exadata Administration – CellCLI

One of the big differences between Exadata and Non-Exadata systems is the necessity to administer the Exadata Storage Server.

The first time you have to configure the Server side, it has to be done through KVM (Keyboard, Video, Mouse), meaning you will need to be physically near your server. Once the initial configuration steps have been performed, we shall be able to administer the Exadata Storage Servers over the network (i.e. SSH protocol or redirect the KVM console to your desktop using the Sun Integrated Lights Out Management – ILOM – remote client).

Once you are in the server, (more...)

The Oracle Exadata: latest Business Weapon

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Sorry I’ve been having a lot of work installing, maintaining and migrating to Database Machines all over Latinamerica for the latest 10 months; that means lot of travels abroad, all of them very exciting, but the real excitement comes from my job working with this wonderful Machine.

Was on the last project when realized how important is this investment for our customers, having this big caribbean Telco installed their first Exadata and later migrated their databases meant for them dramatic performance improvements and the ability to get more up-to-date analytical information and compete (more...)