Hanging with Jonathan Lewis at Oracle Open World 12 San Francisco

Hanging with Tom Kyte and Malenie Caffrey at AUSOUG Perth

Oracle with 20:20 Foresight Perth Australia was awesome

Perth is far from everywhere, but not far from the Oracle technologies. Passion, knowledge, and urge to share the experience, skills, tips and knowledge brought people from across the planet to gather under one roof and learn, educate and network under the banner of Oracle with 20:20 Foresight.

The event was organized by the Australian Oracle User Group with many other sponsors and exhibitors and was a explosion of innovation. Where there is Oracle on this planet, Pythian is there, rest assured. We presented three papers during this mega conference in West of Australia. Yury Velikanov presented on Direct NFS, (more...)

Speaking at OTN Expert+ Conference @NUCES/FAST Lahore

Following is the detail of the event from the FAST NU website:

Oracle Technology Network (OTN) Expert+ Conference for the Oracle Community @NUCES/FAST Lahore

Oracle Technology Network (OTN) Presents:

Attend4FREE! - 5 Hours of Expert+ Speakers & Sessions!

Oct 16, 2012 5pm - 10pm Pakistan Time

100% LIVE: Attend Physically OR Virtually - @NUCES/FAST Lahore

100% FREE - Attend virtually by clicking on the link shown below:


Presented by Oracle Technology Network (OTN), Organized by BrainSurface & hosted at the prestigious National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences (FAST-NU), this is a DO-NOT-MISS event where some of (more...)

Exadata Flash Cache WriteBack

With the announcement Exadata X3, Oracle has introduced a new feature called “FlashCache Writeback” to allow writes to cell Flash Cache (aka Exadata Smart FlashCache) in WriteBack mode. Earlier with WriteThrough mode, writes were not written to FlashCache, instead they were written directly to cell disks. Exadata software used to decide whether to cache these writes back into FlashCache or not. In WriteBack mode, writes are written to cell FlashCache and acknowledgement is given back to calling process as soon as data is written to flashcache. Exadata Server software de-stages the dirty writes in flashcache to spinning disks in the (more...)

Speaking at Oracle Open World 2012 in San Fransico

When Oracle opens the world, it stays opened. Like every year, the climax of all things Oracle will be showcased in the elegant and bustling American city of San Fransisco. My session on Exadata patching will be there and its details are as follows:

=== Session Details ===

Smooth as Silk Oracle Exadata Patching CON6588 Conference Session Fahd Mirza Chughtai Thursday October 4, 2012, 11:15 – 12:15 Moscone West – Rm 3024 The more components a system has, the more challenging its maintenance becomes. Oracle Exadata marries storage with computation through a fast reliable network, and patching all of these seem daunting. (more...)

Exadata Smart Flash Logging–Outliers

In my last post, I looked at the effect of the Exadata smart flash logging.  Overall,  there seemed to be a slight negative effect on median redo log sync times.  This chart (slightly different from the last post because of different load and configuration of the system), shows how there’s a “hump” of redo log syncs that take slightly longer when the flash logging is enabled:


But of course, the flash logging feature was designed to improve performance not of the “average” redo log sync, but of the “outliers”. 

In my tests, I had 40 concurrent (more...)

Updating to Exadata

Just a quick note about change in the way the compute nodes are patched starting from version For earlier versions Oracle provided the minimal pack for patching the compute nodes. Starting with version Oracle has discontinued the minimal pack and the updates to compute nodes are done via Unbreakable Linux Network (ULN).

Now there are three ways to update the compute nodes:

1) You have internet access on the Compute nodes. In this case you can download patch 13741363, complete the one time setup and start the update.

2) (more...)

Oracle Exadata 11g Certified Implementation Specialist in Australia

I have been working with Exadata systems for the last two years and have loved every moment of it. Pythian's challenging and learning environment makes it a great experience. I thought of checking my Exadata know-how by attempting the Exadata certification, and thankfully passed it and became Oracle Exadata 11g Certified Implementation Specialist.

Yes quite a mouthful title, but nonetheless a good one. 

I will be writing another post as how to become an Exadata certified professional without using Exadata soon. 

Speaking at Enkitec Extreme Exadata Expo

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 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.

Creating ASM diskgroups on Exadata with ASMCA

I recently had the chance to create some diskgroups on an Exadata box outside the standard installation procedure, while this is not necessarily Exadata specific, I thought the technique of using ASMCA silently on the command line to create the diskgroups was sufficiently novel for a short blog posting. If for nothing else but to remind myself on how to do this in future.

This example uses the disks presented from a quarter rack exadata system and creates a diskgroup called DATA01:

asmca -silent -createDiskGroup -diskGroupName 'DATA01' -diskList o/,o/,
o/,o/192.168. (more...)

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.


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


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...)