Hey DBA, install/update APEX!

I recently got a question about APEX, which in itself is kind-of funny as it’s a case of the blind leading the blind, but as a result of that question it became apparent the poster was running a very old version of APEX. My first reaction was “Dude, you really need to upgrade!”. It was at that point I was hit with a line I’ve heard a lot over the years.

“Our DBA(s) won’t (more...)

Oracle #GoldenGate has arrived!

As of today, August 18, 2017, the latest release of Oracle GoldenGate 12c ( is avaliable for download! You should checkout the new Microservices Architecture!

You can find the links to download Oracle GoldenGate 12c ( at this link: http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/middleware/goldengate/downloads/index.html

This release bring many new features to Oracle Goldengate:

GoldenGate 12.3 Platform Features – All Platforms For the Oracle Database

Support for (more...)

How to Checksum Downloads

As a DBA, in your time, you will need to download files such as Oracle binaries, patches, etc.  As a rule of thumb, you should always checksum you downloads, to ensure they are free of corruption.  In my example, I needed to download:

This is the Quarterly Full Stack Download Patch for Exadata, which is 10 zip files that (more...)

How to obtain the Historical Database Total Used and Allocated Size from OEM Repository

From time to time, it’s useful to know the total allocated size of a database at OS level, how much of it has been used and what the maximum total size the database can grow to at OS level, see blog post:
How to obtain the Database Total Used, Allocated and Max Size

However, it’s also goo to know the historical size.  The below query will give you this from the Oracle Enterprise Manager (OEM) repository:


Diving Into Deep Links

I had another one of those eye-opening customer experiences recently.  I was engaged in a web conference with an Oracle customer discussing some UX extensibility features that come out of the box with HCM Cloud Applications.  During the conference, we got into a brief demonstration that included utilization of some deep links. Went over pretty well, people got excited, we had a rousing exchange on the benefits of deep linking and I was feeling pretty (more...)

How to obtain the Database Current, Total and Max Size

From time to time, it’s useful to know the total current size of a database at OS level, how much of it has been used and what the maximum total size the database can grow to at OS level.

The below query will give you this:

SELECT round(sum(used_ts_size)/1024/1024, 2) total_used_db_size_tb,
 round(sum(curr_ts_size)/1024/1024, 2) total_current_db_size_tb,
 round(sum(max_ts_size)/1024/1024, 2) total_max_allocated_db_size_tb
(SELECT df.tablespace_name, (df.bytes - sum(fs.bytes)) / (1024 * 1024) used_ts_size,
df.bytes / (1024 *  (more...)

Apex Plugin: Password Strength Estimator

I needed a simple password strength prompt for users when they need to create or change their password on my website. After a bit of Googling I found the “Low-Budget Password Strength Estimator” which is supposedly used by Dropbox, so you know it’s good :)

This simple javascript library runs entirely within the client’s browser, and when presented with a candidate password, gives a score from 0 (very poor) to 4 (very good). (more...)

Words I Don’t Use, Part 5: “Wait”

The fifth “word I do not use” is the Oracle technical term wait.

The Oracle Wait Interface

In 1991, Oracle Corporation released some of the most important software instrumentation of all time: the wait statistics that were implemented in Oracle 7.0. Here’s part of the story, in Juan Loaiza’s words, as told in Nørgaard et. al (2004), Oracle Insights: Tales of the Oak Table.
This stuff was developed because we were running a benchmark (more...)

Chart Your Course With sar

The sar (system activity reporter) is a Linux utility that actually started life long ago in System V Unix.

In spite of its ancient origins, sar is still quite useful, and has even been enhanced in recent versions of Linux.

The use of sar is not limited to root – any user can run sar and its utilities.  Most Linux systems have sar installed and enabled by default to collect sar data at 10 (more...)

Join Elimination Bug

A few years ago a bug relating to join elimination showed up in a comment to a post I’d done about the need to keep on testing and learining. The bug was visible in version and, with a script to replay it, I’d found that it had disappeared by

Today I had a reason to rediscover the script, and decided to test it against 12.2.0. (more...)

Database Smart Flash Cache on which OS (OL5, OL6, OL7)?

I got a DM from someone a couple of days ago asking me to try the Database Smart Flash Cache (DSFC) feature on a few combinations of DB version and OS version.

You are probably thinking, why bother? Both Oracle 12.1 and Oracle 12.2 are supported on a variety of Oracle Linux versions, so it works on all of them right? Wrong…

  • Oracle 12.1 : DSFC works on OL5 and OL6, but (more...)

KBHS-00600: Internal Error, Arguments [1] [kbhshtCreateDataBucket] Error During Backup To Oracle Cloud

When setting up Oracle Cloud Backup Service for first time and the Oracle Database Cloud Backup Module has been installed successfully using:
Installing the Oracle Database Cloud Backup Module

Your RMAN session will hang and eventually give the following error:

Starting backup at 2017/08/10 12:56:58 
current log archived 
RMAN-00571: =========================================================== 
RMAN-00569: =============== ERROR MESSAGE STACK FOLLOWS =============== 
RMAN-00571: =========================================================== 
RMAN-03002: failure of backup plus archivelog command at 08/10/2017 16:20:05 
ORA-19554: error allocating device, device type: SBT_TAPE,  (more...)

Latest Delphix Blog Post and Upcoming Webinars

In my latest blog post on the Delphix site, I continue my conversation with why DevOps is the next step for DBAs and how DBAs can embrace this next step in their evolution.

This is an extensive series of blog posts, (four so far) to be followed by an ebook, a podcast and two webinars.  One is to be announced soon from Oracle called, “The DBA Diaries” and (more...)

Delete Old SBT_TAPE Backups that are No Longer Available in RMAN

When in the situation of having ‘SBT_TAPE’ backups, that are still known by the catalog or control file, but the device type ‘SBT_TAPE’ is no longer available.  If you try to delete the backups you get the following error message:

RMAN> list backup summary;

List of Backups
Key TY LV S Device Type Completion Time #Pieces #Copies Compressed Tag
------- -- -- - ----------- --------------- ------- ------- ---------- ---
11208 B 0 A SBT_TAPE  (more...)

Book advice: ORACLE SQL & PL/SQL Golden Diary by Asim Chowdhury

I’ve reviewed this book recently, and I highly recommend it as it has almost all that needed to become strong Oracle developer. You can check at least the table of contents:

ORACLE SQL & PL/SQL Golden Diary: by Asim Chowdhury
New Book Demystifies Complex Cross-Version Oracle Problem Solving

Compiled by veteran computer scientist and data modeler, Asim Chowdhury, ‘ORACLE SQL & PL/SQL Golden Diary: Refactoring, Interoperability of Versions & Integration of related concepts for High (more...)

Installation of Rundeck with the Ansible plugin on Centos 7

This post shows you how to install Rundeck with the Ansible plugin on Centos 7. The installation is done with nginx as the web server and using SSL with a self signed certificate. Please read the Ansible installation script, and modify anything that should be different for your situation. You will be amazed how well readable the installation script is!

Rundeck is a web based user interface that allows you to run commands against a (more...)

How Pythian Helped Nav Canada Migrate Their Oracle Database to a Microsoft Azure SQL Database

A common concern for businesses is optimizing database speed and performance, without raising costs.

Nav Canada supports flight planning with aviation weather, aeronautical information, and online flight planning. To address a need for a more cost-efficient environment for their critical flight planning data, while optimizing performance they decided to migrate from an on-premises Oracle system to Microsoft Azure SQL Database. They turned to the database and cloud experts at Pythian to assist them.

“Pythian’s breadth (more...)

HP Systems Management vacancy

I know I do not have the right readership on this blog for a Systems Management vacancy but if any readers have colleagues who have experience using any of HP Openview, OpsBridge, HP Service Management and HP UCMDB then I have a vacancy at our Head Office in Bradford for a permanent position

Details below


Switching to a Physical Standby

[contact-form]Now that I’m back to doing more normal DBA work (see here for the reasons behind that), I’ll be posting some more how-to type posts from a DBA perspective, not necessarily an EM perspective. While I’m hoping these posts will be of interest to others, I also want to use them to keep track of just how I did different things so I can rinse and repeat as necessary. 😊

This first post will be covering (more...)

Upgrading an Amazon EC2 Delphix Target, Part IV

It’s finally time to upgrade our Linux Target!  OK, so we’re not going to upgrade the way a DBA would normally upgrade a database server when we’re working with virtualization.

So far, we’ve completed:

  • 1.  Updating our instances so that we’ll have a GUI interface if we’ll need one.
  • 2.  Installed Oracle on the Linux Source and upgraded our Dsource database to 12c


Now we’re done with (more...)