Newsletters Archive - 2005

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  Update! - Oracle RAC 10g Release 2 / FireWire / RHEL4 U2 — (20-December-2005)

In October, I released the article "Building an Inexpensive Oracle RAC 10g Release 2 
on Linux - (RHEL 4.2)". When this article was originally published, 
it was required to download and install both a new Linux kernel, 
(e.g. the Oracle Technet Supplied 2.6.9-11.0.0.10.3.EL #1 Linux kernel), and the 
supporting FireWire modules. As of November 2005, oss.oracle.com now provides 
compiled FireWire modules for the 2.6.9-22.EL and 2.6.9-22.0.1.EL Linux kernels. 
Installing a new Linux kernel is no longer required. You will only need to 
install and configure the supporting FireWire modules!

For access to the updated article, please navigate to:

http://www.idevelopment.info/data/Oracle/DBA_tips/Oracle10gRAC/CLUSTER_10.shtml

----------------------------
Jeffrey M. Hunter
Sr. Database Administrator
jhunter@idevelopment.info
http://www.idevelopment.info
----------------------------


  Oracle Programming with Perl DBI / DBD — (21-November-2005)

For anyone considering writing Perl to access an Oracle database, the following 
article should provide useful to anyone wishing to install and configure DBI and 
DBD:Oracle on the UNIX platform:

http://www.idevelopment.info/data/Oracle/DBA_tips/Programming/PROGRAMMING_2.shtml

Complete instructions for downloading, installing and configuring 
DBI / DBD:Oracle are include along with a sample Perl script that includes many 
of the common interfaces used to access the Oracle database.

----------------------------
Jeffrey M. Hunter
Sr. Database Administrator
jhunter@idevelopment.info
http://www.idevelopment.info
----------------------------


  Connecting to SQL Server 2000 from Linux using Perl DBI — (11-November-2005)

DBAs and system administrator have long relied on scripting to automate complex 
and tedious tasks. For most administrators, the choice is Perl. Given the fact 
that Perl is open source, available on almost all O/S platforms and extremely 
modular, many popular modules have been developed to extend the language. 

DBAs for example, have enjoyed the ease of scripting database functions using 
the "Database independent interface for Perl" or better known as DBI. Using DBI 
to access popular database like Oracle and MySQL is straightforward. Simply 
install the corresponding DBD database driver module for your database (i.e. 
Oracle, MySQL) and write your scripts to the DBI interface. But what about 
Microsoft SQL Server 2000? If you were to take a quick glance at the available 
DBD modules at CPAN.org, you will notice that one does not exist for SQL Server!

This is not a problem if your scripts are already running on a Windows platform.
You can simply use DBD::ADO. But what about us Linux users?

Well, this is where the DBD::Sybase driver module and FreeTDS come in. I 
provide a detailed explanation and steps to use in order to access Microsoft 
SQL Server 2000 from the Linux platform using Perl DBI. 

For access to the article, please navigate to:

http://www.idevelopment.info/data/MSSQL/DBA_tips/Programming/PROG_2.shtml

----------------------------
Jeffrey M. Hunter
Sr. Database Administrator
jhunter@idevelopment.info
http://www.idevelopment.info
----------------------------


  Oracle Announces Free Database - (Oracle Database 10g XE) — (02-November-2005)

(*) Introduction

Oracle recently announced Oracle 10g Express Edition (XE) - 
a small footprint database that's free to download, develop, 
deploy, and distribute.

The latest Oracle Press Release can be found at:

http://www.oracle.com/corporate/press/2005_oct/103105_databasexe_finalsite.html

(*) Download

Oracle Database XE is currently in beta and is available for both Linux x86 
and Windows.

http://www.oracle.com/technology/software/products/database/xe/index.html

(*) Support

Users can register with Oracle Technology Network (OTN) to receive free access 
to an online support forum hosted and monitored by Oracle experts. Tom Kyte 
provides users advice, best practices, and troubleshooting information for 
Oracle Database XE.

Forum registration is possible only by downloading and installing Oracle 
Database XE (currently in Beta release; production release scheduled for late 
2005). After installation, click on the "Registration" link from the Database 
homepage.

(*) Further Reading

You can read much more about Oracle Database 10g Express Edition by visiting:

http://www.oracle.com/technology/products/database/xe/index.html

----------------------------
Jeffrey M. Hunter
Sr. Database Administrator
jhunter@idevelopment.info
http://www.idevelopment.info
----------------------------


  Oracle RAC 10g Release 2 / FireWire / RHEL4 U2 — (06-October-2005)

By popular demand, I recently posted an update to my article for installing and 
configuring Oracle RAC 10g Release 2 on Linux using FireWire as the shared 
storage. This type of configuration allows DBAs to setup an inexpensive 
Oracle RAC 10g Release 2 environment for testing purposes. (I stress the fact that this 
configuration is to be used for testing purposes only and is not supported by 
Oracle, myself, or any of the vendors contained in the article!)

The article was written with RHEL4 U2 in mind, but I used CentOS 4.2 as this is 
a free clone of the actual RHEL4 U2 product (compiled from the actual RHEL source 
code). I also make use of Oracle Cluster File System Release 2 (OCFS2) and 
ASMLib 2.0. 

For access to the article, please navigate to:

http://www.idevelopment.info/data/Oracle/DBA_tips/Oracle10gRAC/CLUSTER_10.shtml

----------------------------
Jeffrey M. Hunter
Sr. Database Administrator
jhunter@idevelopment.info
http://www.idevelopment.info
----------------------------


  Scripting Email in Windows — (16-September-2005)

If you are a DBA working in a Microsoft Windows environment, it is not uncommon 
for the need to send (and sometimes) receive email from within your scripts. 
Many solutions exist for UNIX, but in Windows, your options are limited - until 
now.

Two command-line utilities - "Blat" and "Getmail for Windows" have been 
available for several years and can really make life easy when the requirement 
to send (and receive) email exists in Windows.

I recently put together two articles that can assist those who need to get 
familiar with setting up the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) server for 
Windows and another dedicated to getting started with Blat and Getmail for 
Windows.

Configuring SMTP on Windows

Sending and Receiving Email in Windows From Scripts

----------------------------
Jeffrey M. Hunter
Sr. Database Administrator
jhunter@idevelopment.info
http://www.idevelopment.info
----------------------------


  August 2005 Update — (04-August-2005)

This newsletter includes the following topics:

  *) Removing a Node from an Oracle10g RAC Cluster - (RHEL 3)
  *) Manually Creating an ASM Instance
  *) How to use Files in place of Real Disk Devices for ASM in
     - Linux
     - Solaris
     - Windows
  *) Adding / Dropping Disks From a ASM Disk Group
  *) ASM SQL Scripts


-------------------------------------------------------------
Removing a Node from an Oracle10g RAC Cluster - (RHEL 3)
-------------------------------------------------------------

Any DBA working with Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC) 
should know how to effectively add and remove nodes from a 
clustered database environment. In March 2005, I provided an 
article that details the steps required to add a node to an 
already running cluster. This month, I provide a follow up 
article that documents how to remove a node. The article is 
located at:

http://www.idevelopment.info/data/Oracle/DBA_tips/Oracle10gRAC/CLUSTER_22.shtml


-------------------------------------------------------------
Manually Creating an ASM Instance
-------------------------------------------------------------

If you are a DBA working with ASM you may be familiar with 
how to use the Oracle Database Configuration Assistant (DBCA) 
to create an ASM instance. I provide an article that documents 
the steps to manually create and configure an ASM instance. 
This article is located at:

http://www.idevelopment.info/data/Oracle/DBA_tips/Automatic_Storage_Management/ASM_10.shtml


-------------------------------------------------------------
How to use Files in place of Real Disk Devices for ASM
-------------------------------------------------------------

Are you a DBA who wants to become familiar with ASM but 
doesn't have the bank account for a fully equipped SCSI disk 
array? Well, in July I wrote several articles that offer an 
alternative to creating ASM disk groups on real RAW disks. 
These articles demonstrate how the DBA can use blank padded 
files in place of real disk devices for use by ASM. Although 
this will never be a supported configuration in production, 
it does give the DBA the ability to become familiar with 
this ASM features. I have articles that demonstrate how to 
configure this for Windows, Linux, and Solaris: 

Windows
-------
http://www.idevelopment.info/data/Oracle/DBA_tips/Automatic_Storage_Management/ASM_22.shtml

Linux
-----
http://www.idevelopment.info/data/Oracle/DBA_tips/Automatic_Storage_Management/ASM_20.shtml

Solaris
-------
http://www.idevelopment.info/data/Oracle/DBA_tips/Automatic_Storage_Management/ASM_21.shtml


-------------------------------------------------------------
Adding / Dropping Disks From a ASM Disk Group
-------------------------------------------------------------

As the title indicates, this article provides the steps the 
DBA would take to effectively add and remove disk from an 
ASM disk group. Naviage to: 

http://www.idevelopment.info/data/Oracle/DBA_tips/Automatic_Storage_Management/ASM_12.shtml


-------------------------------------------------------------
ASM SQL Scripts
-------------------------------------------------------------

As always, I continue to update the Oracle DBA Scripts 
section of my website to include SQL scripts that enable the 
DBA to manage and monitor the Oracle database environment. 
Now available are a set of scripts that can be used to view 
all metadata available to manage ASM. From the topics menu 
of my website (http://www.idevelopment.info), navigate to 
Oracle | DBA Scripts.

----------------------------
Jeffrey M. Hunter
Sr. Database Administrator
jhunter@idevelopment.info
http://www.idevelopment.info
----------------------------


  May 2005 Update — (24-May-2005)

This newsletter includes the following topics:

  *) How to Recreate the Database Control Repository - (Oracle10g)
  *) Adding a Node to an Oracle10g RAC Cluster - (RHEL 3) 
  *) New Statspack SQL Scripts for Oracle10g
  *) Search and Replace with REPLACE Function



-------------------------------------------------------------
How to Recreate the Database Control Repository - (Oracle10g)
-------------------------------------------------------------

If you have ever been in the situation where you needed to re-create the EM 
Database Control Repository, a new article on my site provides a step-by-step 
approach to achieve this. This article can be located at 
http://www.idevelopment.info/ and from the Topics menu navigate to 
"Oracle" -> "DBA Tips" -> "Enterprise Manager" -> "How to Recreate the Database 
Control Repository - (Oracle10g)".


-------------------------------------------------------------
Adding a Node to an Oracle10g RAC Cluster - (RHEL 3)
-------------------------------------------------------------

I completed a new article that describes how to add a new node to an 
existing 10g RAC configuration. This article uses an existing two-node 
RAC configuration and describes how to add another Linux node (using RHEL 3) 
to a shared FireWire drive. The article can be located at 
http://www.idevelopment.info/ and from the Topics menu navigate to 
"Oracle" -> "DBA Tips" -> "Oracle10g RAC" -> 
"Adding a Node to an Oracle10g RAC Cluster - (RHEL 3)".


-------------------------------------------------------------
New Statspack SQL Scripts for Oracle10g
-------------------------------------------------------------

I recently updated all scripts within the Statspack section 
of the "Oracle DBA Scripts" page to work with Oracle10g. These scripts 
can be found at http://www.idevelopment.info/ and from the Topics menu navigate 
to "Oracle" -> "DBA Scripts" -> "Statspack".


-------------------------------------------------------------
Search and Replace with REPLACE Function
-------------------------------------------------------------

Did you know that is possible to replace string content 
using the build-in REPLACE function in Oracle? 

In the following example, I want to replace all occurances of 
"http://secure." with "https://secure." within 
the table "company_config": 

    UPDATE company_config
    SET company_url = REPLACE(company_url, 'http://secure.', 'https://secure.')
    WHERE company_url like 'http://secure.%';

----------------------------
Jeffrey M. Hunter
Sr. Database Administrator
jhunter@idevelopment.info
http://www.idevelopment.info
----------------------------


  April 2005 Update — (15-April-2005)

This newsletter includes the following topics:

  *) New Oracle DBA Scripts
  *) Killing Runaway Oracle Processes on Windows with OraKill
  *) Installing Oracle10g on Solaris 9


-------------------------------------------------------------
New Oracle DBA Scripts
-------------------------------------------------------------


During the month of March, I introduced several new sections to the Oracle DBA 
Scripts page. Some of the new sections include "Automatic Storage Management - 
(ASM)", "Oracle Wait Interface - (OWI)", and "Workspace Manager". Note that the 
ASM scripts require you be logged into the actual ASM instance (i.e. +ASM). 

These new sections and many other helpful Oracle DBA scripts can be found by 
going to http://www.idevelopment.info/ and from the Topics menu navigate to 
"Oracle" -> "DBA Scripts". Follow the directions in the README.txt 
for configuring your system.


-------------------------------------------------------------
Killing Runaway Oracle Processes on Windows with OraKill
-------------------------------------------------------------

A new article on the site provides details on how to kill runaway Oracle 
processes in Microsoft Windows using the orakill.exe command-line utility. The 
OraKill utility is included with the Oracle database on all Windows platforms. 
It allows the DBA to kill an Oracle session directly from an MS-DOS 
command-line without requiring any login connection to the database. 

This article can be found on the site by navigating to 
"Oracle" -> "DBA Tips" -> "Microsoft Windows" or by using the link 
http://www.idevelopment.info/data/Oracle/DBA_tips/Microsoft_Windows/WINDOWS_1.shtml.


-------------------------------------------------------------
Installing Oracle10g on Solaris 9
-------------------------------------------------------------

Another new article to the site that is gathering a lot of attention is a 
detailed guide on installing Oracle10g on the Solaris 9 Operating Environment. 
This newest article provides the necessary steps to install and configure 
Oracle10g using a SCSI disk array (on a single channel with 6 disks) using 
Automatic Storage Management (ASM). 

This article can be found on the site by navigating to
"Oracle" -> "DBA Tips" -> "Unix" or by using the link 
http://www.idevelopment.info/data/Oracle/DBA_tips/Unix/UNIX_32.shtml.

----------------------------
Jeffrey M. Hunter
Sr. Database Administrator
jhunter@idevelopment.info
http://www.idevelopment.info
----------------------------


  New Windows VBS and Jscript Examples — (23-March-2005)

I added a new section to the site dedicated to scripting examples in the Microsoft
Windows environment using VBScript and JScript. With most of the scripts, 
I provide an implementation in both scripting languages. To access this section of
the site, use the Topics menu (left) and navigate to "Programming | Windows 
Scripting". If you are new to Windows Scripting Host (WSH), take a look
at the "Templates" section and view the files "Template.js" and "Template.vbs".

----------------------------
Jeffrey M. Hunter
Sr. Database Administrator
jhunter@idevelopment.info
http://www.idevelopment.info
----------------------------


  Build Your Own Oracle RAC 10g Cluster on Linux and FireWire — (14-March-2005)

My latest article featured on OTN documents how to set up and configure an Oracle 
RAC 10g development cluster for less than US$1,800. This test configuration 
consists of two nodes (running Linux RHEL 3) with shared access to an IEEE1394 
(FireWire) hard drive. All physical database files will be configured with ASM 
while the two shared files required by CRS (Oracle Cluster Registry and CRS 
Voting Disk) will be hosted on Oracle Clustered File System (OCFS V1).

This guide does not work (yet) for the latest Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 release 
(Linux kernel 2.6). Although Oracle's Linux Development Team provides a stable 
(patched) precompiled 2.6-compatible kernel available for use with FireWire, a 
stable release of OCFS version 2 (which is required for the 2.6 kernel) is not yet 
available. When that release becomes available, I will be update this guide to 
support RHEL4.

To access this document, navigate to:

http://www.oracle.com/technology/pub/articles/hunter_rac10g.html

----------------------------
Jeffrey M. Hunter
Sr. Database Administrator
jhunter@idevelopment.info
http://www.idevelopment.info
----------------------------