Exadata Hybrid Columnar Compression

The basic idea behind the Exadata Hybrid Columnar Compression (hereby referred as EHCC) is to reprise the benefits of column based storage while sustaining to the fundamental row based storage principle of Oracle database. Oftentimes  the databases following column based storage claim that comparatively they needs less IO to retrieve (more...)

ASM AU Size And LMT AUTOALLOCATE

When using Locally Managed Tablespaces (LMT) with variable, system managed extent sizes (AUTOALLOCATE) and data files residing in ASM the Allocation Unit (AU) size can make a significant difference to the algorithm that searches for free extents.The corresponding free extent search algorithm when searching for free extents >= the AU size seems to only search for free extents on AU boundaries in order to avoid I/O splitting.Furthermore the algorithm seems to (more...)

Exadata Smart Scan Projection Limitation

Here is an interesting limitation to Exadata Smart Scans - if more than 254 columns from a table (not HCC compressed, more on that in moment) need to be projected, Smart Scans for that particular segment will be disabled and Exadata will fall back to conventional I/O. This means that the number of columns in the projection clause can make a significant difference to performance, since only Smart Scans allow taking advantage of offloading and (more...)

Slides and Offline Recording of my NYOUG Webinar

I have announced my webinar on Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance for Exadata Backup & Recovery in NYOUG DBA webinar series. You can download webinar slides and voice recod from NYOUG web site


NYOUG SIG Webinar: Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance for Exadata Backup & Recovery

In Friday December 14, 2012 at 12:00 PM -1:00 PM EDT I will be giving a webinar for NYOUG SIG with the following abstract
When it comes to the backup and recovery infrastructure of the Exadata Database Machine, conventional solutions often have only limited performance to keep up with Exadata throughput, whereas Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance can be configured as a very fast, capable, and easy-to-manage backup and recovery solution for any Exadata environment. In this session Husnu Sensoy will describe some of the configuration possibilities of the ZFS Storage Appliance to create a flexible backup and recovery environment for Exadata, (more...)

Scripted Collection of OS Watcher Files on Exadata

Uncategorized
| Nov 2, 2012
I’ve been working a lot with graphing DB and OS metrics in R. I find it especially useful in Exadata POVs (proof of value) to gather and graph the oswatcher vmstat files for the compute nodes and iostat for the cells. For an example, take a look at this graph (PDF, 168 KB) of what [...]

Hanging with Jonathan Lewis at Oracle Open World 12 San Francisco


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...)

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:

image

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 11.2.3.1.1

Just a quick note about change in the way the compute nodes are patched starting from version 11.2.3.1.1. For earlier versions Oracle provided the minimal pack for patching the compute nodes. Starting with version 11.2.3.1.1 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...)

Speaking at Enkitec Extreme Exadata Expo

Uncategorized
| 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...)

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...)