Newsletters Archive - 2009

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  Donating to iDevelopment.info — (10-December-2009)

Since 1998, iDevelopment.info has seen tremendous growth in both content and 
user base. What started out as a few articles on Oracle has expanded to 
a vast array of programming examples and guides for SQL Server, MySQL, and 
Linux. Over the past year, the average daily user visits to the site has 
increased from 1,620 (JAN 2009) to 2,061 (NOV 2009).

The success of this site has always hinged on direct involvement from the user 
community in the way of comments, suggestions, and the gracious donations from 
users who have benefited. Those donations go directly to funding hardware and 
software purchases which are used in creating guides as well as the cost of 
hosting the site (which had to be upgraded recently to support an increase of 
user bandwidth).

iDevelopment.info will remain a free site with a clear goal of providing 
solutions to Database Administration and Software Development. If you would 
like to make a donation to support the ongoing efforts and future of the site, 
please use the "Make a Donation" button from the home page:

http://www.idevelopment.info/

This will direct you to the PayPal account I have setup for funding the site. Thank you for your continued support. ---------------------------- Jeffrey M. Hunter, OCP Sr. Database Administrator jhunter@idevelopment.info http://www.idevelopment.info ----------------------------


  Two Free Oracle Whitepapers — (10-December-2009)

Two complimentary White Papers that I felt Oracle users might be interested in:

1.) Lowering Your IT Costs with Oracle Database 11g Release 2

Discover how Oracle Database 11g Release 2 options and features can help you 
reduce server and storage costs, improve query performance, and ensure 
availability during database application upgrades.

http://idevelopment.tradepub.com/free/w_orac106

2.) Using Oracle In-Memory Database Cache to Accelerate the Oracle Database

Learn how Oracle In-Memory Database Cache significantly reduces response time, 
while improving overall application throughput, by bringing data closer to the 
application, and by processing queries in an in-memory database.

http://idevelopment.tradepub.com/free/w_orac107

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


  Recover Corrupt/Missing Oracle Cluster Registry (OCR) with No Backup - (Oracle 10g) — (12-October-2009)

It happens. Not very often, but it can happen. You are faced with a corrupt or 
missing Oracle Cluster Registry (OCR) and have no backup to recover from. So, 
how can something like this occur? We know that the CRSD process is responsible 
for creating backup copies of the OCR every 4 hours from the master node in the 
CRS_home/cdata directory. These backups are meant to be used to recoverthe OCR 
from a lost or corrupt OCR file using the ocrconfig -restore command, so how 
is it possible to be in a situation where the OCR needs to be recovered and you 
have no viable backup?

Well, consider a scenario where you add a node to the cluster and before the 
next backup (before 4 hours) you find the OCR has been corrupted. You may have 
forgotten to create a logical export of the OCR before adding the new node or 
worse yet, the logical export you took is also corrupt. In either case, you are 
left with a corrupt OCR and no recent backup. Talk about a bad day! Another 
possible scenario could be a shell script that wrongly deletes all available 
backups. Talk about an even worse day.

In the event the OCR is corrupt on one node and all options to recover it have 
failed, one safe way to re-create the OCR (and consequently the voting disk) is 
to reinstall the Oracle Clusterware software. In order to accomplish this, a 
complete outage is required for the entire cluster throughout the duration of 
the re-install. The Oracle Clusterware software will need to be fully removed, 
the OCR and voting disks reformatted, all virtual IP addresses (VIPs) 
de-installed, and a complete reinstall of the Oracle Clusterware software will 
need to be performed. It should also be noted that any patches that were 
applied to the original clusterware install will need to be re-applied. As you 
can see, having a backup of the OCR and voting disk can dramatically simplify 
the recovery of your system!

A second and much more efficient method used to re-create the OCR (and 
consequently the voting disk as well) is to re-run the root.sh script from the 
primary node in the cluster. This is described in Doc ID: 399482.1 on the
My Oracle Support web site. The procedures actually call for running the 
rootdelete.sh and rootdeinstall.sh on all nodes in the cluster before running 
root.sh. In my opinion, this method is quicker and much less intrusive than 
reinstalling Oracle Clusterware and the one described in the following article: 

Recover Corrupt/Missing OCR with No Backup - (Oracle 10g)

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


  OCR File and Voting Disk Administration by Example - (Oracle 10g) — (08-October-2009)

Oracle Clusterware 10g, formerly known as Cluster Ready Services (CRS) is 
portable cluster software that allows clustering of single servers so that they 
cooperate as a single system. This infrastructure simplifies the requirement 
for an Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC) database by providing cluster 
software that is tightly integrated with the Oracle Database.

The Oracle Clusterware requires two critical clusterware components: a voting 
disk to record node membership information and the Oracle Cluster Registry 
(OCR) to record cluster configuration information. Both components play an 
extremely important role in the overall health and availability of the cluster.

The following article provides a detailed look at how to administer the OCR and 
voting disk using illustrative examples and instructions on how to create a 
robust backup and recovery strategy. It is intended for DBAs, System 
Administrators, and Support Engineers tasked with supporting an Oracle RAC 10g 
environment. The examples described in this guide were tested with Oracle RAC 
10g Release 2 (10.2.0.4) on the Linux x86 platform.

OCR File and Voting Disk Administration by Example - (Oracle 10g)

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


  Using FAN with SQL*Plus in Oracle 11g — (27-September-2009)

Starting with Oracle 11g, Fast Application Notification (FAN) can be used with 
SQL*Plus. With Oracle RAC 11g, you can specify the -F (FAILOVER) option to the 
sqlplus command. This enabled SQL*Plus to interact with the OCI failover mode 
in a Real Application Cluster (RAC) environment. In this mode, a service or 
instance failure is transparently handled with transaction status messages if 
applicable.

For an in-depth working example that describes the Fast Connection Failover 
(FCF) mechanism, please consult the following JDBC Java application:

Oracle Fast Connection Failover Example

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


  Reclaiming Unused LOB Space in Oracle — (09-September-2009)

Manually reclaiming unused space in a normal Oracle table is a fairly simple 
process and can be performed online starting with Oracle 10g R1.

What if, however, the table contains a LOB column that contains significant 
unused space? Starting with Oracle 10g R2, Oracle provides a solution that 
allows users to reclaim LOB space (LOB data and LOB index) and that is the topic 
of the following recently published article:

Reclaiming Unused LOB Space in Oracle

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


  Adding a Node to an Oracle RAC 10g Release 2 Cluster on Linux - (CentOS 5.3 / iSCSI) — (03-September-2009)

As your organization grows so too does your need for more application and 
database resources to support the company's IT systems. Oracle RAC 10g 
provides a scalable framework which allows DBA's to effortlessly extend the 
database tier to support this increased demand. As the number of users and 
transactions increase, additional Oracle instances can be added to the Oracle 
database cluster to distribute the extra load.

I recently published an extension to my article 
"Building an Inexpensive Oracle RAC 10g Release 2 on Linux - (CentOS 5.3 / iSCSI)". 
Contained in this new article are the steps required to add a single node to an 
already running and configured two-node Oracle RAC 10g Release 2 environment on 
the CentOS 32-bit (x86) platform. Although this article was written and tested 
on CentOS 5.3 Linux, it should work unchanged with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 
Update 3.

The new article can be accessed using the following link:

Add a Node to an Existing Oracle RAC 10g Release 2 Cluster on Linux - (CentOS 5.3 / iSCSI)

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


  Oracle RAC 10g Release 2 / iSCSI / CentOS 5.3 — (20-August-2009)

This week I published the latest in a series of articles on how to build an 
inexpensive Oracle RAC system. This article focuses on Oracle 10g Release 2 
(10.2.0.1.0) as well as the latest version of CentOS (version 5.3).

As with its predecessor, this article provides detailed instructions on how to 
build a two-node Oracle RAC system using low cost hardware and freely available 
software. A network storage server will be built using Openfiler 2.3 (Final) 
and iSCSI technology which will be used for all shared storage requirements. 
Powered by rPath Linux, Openfiler is a free browser-based network storage 
management utility that delivers file-based Network Attached Storage (NAS) and 
block-based Storage Area Networking (SAN) in a single framework. Openfiler 
supports CIFS, NFS, HTTP/DAV, FTP, however, I will only be making use of its
iSCSI capabilities to implement an inexpensive SAN for the shared storage 
component required by Oracle RAC 10g.

The newly updated Oracle RAC 10g / iSCSI article can be found at:

Building an Inexpensive Oracle RAC 10g Release 2 on Linux - (CentOS 5.3 / iSCSI)

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


  Installing Grid Control Management Agent (10.2.0.5) — (12-May-2009)

In a follow-up to my recently published article "Installing Grid Control 
(10.2.0.5) on RHEL 5 with 11g Database Repository", I now provide a supplement 
to this guide on how to install and configure the Grid Control Management Agent 
(10.2.0.5). This new article provides one approach (out of several available) 
used to install and configure the Oracle Management Agent (10.2.0.5) on an 
Oracle database server node running the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 operating 
system.

This guide assumes you have a working Oracle Enterprise Manager 10g Grid 
Control Release 5 environment in place and running.

The new guide can be found at:
 
Installing Grid Control Management Agent (10.2.0.5)

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


  Example JDBC Class for Oracle — (10-May-2009)

I recently created an example JDBC class that provides a convenient template 
which demonstrates some of the more helpful JDBC API calls while using an 
Oracle Database. The methods defined in this class will be used to create a 
test table in the SCOTT schema named JDBC_EXAMPLE. A set of random values will 
then be inserted into the new table and then queried back using basic JDBC 
calls. The random values being used to populate the test table will come from 
the dictionary view ALL_OBJECTS.

This class is useful in demonstrating how to fetch integers, floating-point 
numbers, strings, and dates from a result set and furthermore, how to 
manipulate and print the data from the database. The example class also 
demonstrates how to calculate the run time of queries and DML calls 
(in milliseconds), format dates, and basic exception handling.

The class concludes by dropping the test table and then logging off from the 
database.

This new Java class can be accessed from the "Java Programming Examples" page 
which includes many other example Java classes.

From the left topics menu, select "Programming  -> Java" and then from the 
"Java Programming Examples" page, scroll down to "JDBC -> JDBC Example".

You can also use the following URL to access the new Java class directly:

JdbcExample.java

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


  Installing Grid Control (10.2.0.5) on RHEL 5 with 11g Database Repository — (03-May-2009)

Installing and configuring Oracle Enterprise 10g Manager Grid Control has never 
been a straightforward task. The product itself is an overly complex and 
fragile web application with a considerable number of bugs. What makes matters 
worse is that the documentation for installing Enterprise Manager 10g Grid 
Control is truly lacking. For many, the installation will consist of scattered 
bits and pieces found on My Oracle Support and from performing numerous Google 
searches.

In an attempt to put all of the pieces together to successfully install and 
configure the latest release of Grid Control (10.2.0.5), I published a 
step-by-step instruction guide. This guide will walk the reader through setting 
up the Linux O/S, performing prerequisite tasks, downloading the required 
software, installing and patching Grid Control, configuring the newly installed 
Grid Control environment, and finally how to verify the Grid Control components 
are working properly.

The configuration will consist of the following components:

* Oracle Enterprise Manager 10g Grid Control Release 5 - (10.2.0.5)
* Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 - (CentOS 5.3)
* Using an Existing 11g Database for the Management Repository

The newly published article can be found at:

Installing Grid Control (10.2.0.5) on RHEL 5 with 11g Database Repository

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


  Applying the Oracle Database 11g Patch Set 1 (11.1.0.7.0) on Linux — (01-May-2009)

Back in January 2008, I published a comprehensive guide for installing Oracle 
Database 11g R1 on the Linux platform (RHEL 5). I recently updated this article 
to include a new section on how to download and install the most recent 
11g Database Patch Set (11.1.0.7.0).

The updated article can be found at:

Installing Oracle Database 11g Release 1 on Linux - (RHEL 5)

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


  Cleaning a Tape Drive using Oracle Secure Backup — (26-April-2009)

Oracle Secure Backup (OSB) provides a reliable, centralized tape backup 
management solution which can be used to protect file system data as well as 
Oracle Database files. For Oracle Recovery Manager (RMAN) users, the Oracle 
Secure Backup SBT interface enables you to use the RMAN to back up and restore 
Oracle Database files to and from tape. Oracle Secure Backup supports nearly 
all tape drives and tape libraries in Storage Area Network (SAN) and Small 
Computer System Interface (SCSI) environments.

Oracle Secure Backup provides the ability to perform automatic tape drive 
cleaning as well as the option to manually clean a tape drive. The following 
article provides a brief overview of the tape cleaning functionality built into 
OSB.

Cleaning a Tape Drive using Oracle Secure Backup

Expect more article in the near future on the topic of Oracle Secure Backup.
Namely installation and configuration steps in OSB as well as implementing RMAN 
backup and recovery strategies using the SBT interface of OSB.

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


  Timing Oracle RMAN Operations — (21-April-2009)

Whether running an Oracle RMAN backup or a restore job, there are times when it 
becomes necessary to estimate the RMAN operations within that job. One quick 
solution, as demonstrated in this update, is to query the timing statistics 
found in the dynamic performance view v$session_longops.

The following query provides a simple example of how to use the timing data 
found in v$session_longops and join it to v$session to estimate currently 
running RMAN operations.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

SELECT
    sid                                             sid
  , serial#                                         serial_num
  , b.opname                                        opname
  , TO_CHAR(b.start_time, 'mm/dd/yy HH24:MI:SS')    start_time
  , b.totalwork                                     totalwork
  , b.sofar                                         sofar
  , ROUND( (b.sofar/DECODE(   b.totalwork
                            , 0
                            , 0.001
                            , b.totalwork)*100),2)  pct_done
  , b.elapsed_seconds                               elapsed_seconds
  , b.time_remaining                                time_remaining
  , DECODE(   b.time_remaining
            , 0
            , TO_CHAR((b.start_time + b.elapsed_seconds/3600/24), 'mm/dd/yy HH24:MI:SS')
            , TO_CHAR((SYSDATE + b.time_remaining/3600/24), 'mm/dd/yy HH24:MI:SS')
    ) done_at
FROM
       v$session         a
  JOIN v$session_longops b USING (sid,serial#)
WHERE
      a.program LIKE 'rman%'
  AND b.opname LIKE 'RMAN%'
  AND b.opname NOT LIKE '%aggregate%'
  AND b.totalwork > 0
ORDER BY
    b.start_time
/

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This script along with a collection of other useful database management scripts 
can be found at:

http://www.idevelopment.info/cgi/ORACLE_dba_scripts.cgi

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


  Free Computer Magazines! — (20-April-2009)

IT Professionals continue to take advantage of receiving popular magazines 
online. Best of all, it's FREE! The revenue stream for magazine companies come 
from the ads placed inside the magazine as well as the subscription costs. As 
the subscriber base grows for a magazine so does the amount they can charge for 
ads which results in more money for the magazine company. In an effort to 
increase their subscriber base, magazine companies often give away 
subscriptions online.

To take advantage of this exciting opportunity, please visit the following 
address to sign up for your free subscriptions today.

http://idevelopment.tradepub.com

Just a few of the many categories include:

  --> Information Technology
  --> IT - Data Management
  --> IT - Security
  --> IT - Software & Development
  --> IT - Storage 

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


  Configuring an iSCSI Initiator on Solaris — (14-April-2009)

iSCSI technology continues to gain strength in the database community. With its 
low entry cost, simple configuration, and rapidly growing support, many 
organizations are seeking to take advantage of their high-speed IP backbone 
over that of a Fibre Channel (FC) network.

To gain a better understanding of how an Oracle database server can make use of 
an iSCSI target for storage, I put together a brief introduction on how to 
install and configure an iSCSI Target and an iSCSI Initiator on the Solaris 
platform.

The iSCSI Initiator software is a built-in package included with the Solaris 10 
Operating System. This article will also include instructions on how to 
configure an iSCSI Target using Openfiler.

The article can be found at:

Configuring an iSCSI Initiator on Solaris

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


  Configuring an iSCSI Initiator on Linux — (07-April-2009)

iSCSI technology continues to gain strength in the database community. With its 
low entry cost, simple configuration, and rapidly growing support, many 
organizations are seeking to take advantage of their high-speed IP backbone 
over that of a Fibre Channel (FC) network.

To gain a better understanding of how an Oracle database server can make use of 
an iSCSI target for storage, I put together a brief introduction on how to 
install and configure an iSCSI Target and an iSCSI Initiator (Open-iSCSI) on 
the Linux platform.

The Linux Open-iSCSI Initiator is a built-in package included with Red Hat 
Enterprise Linux 5 or later. This article will also include instructions on how 
to configure an iSCSI Target using Openfiler.

The article can be found at:

Configuring an iSCSI Initiator on Linux

Within the next several weeks, I will also publish this same article for 
configuring the iSCSI Initiator on the Solaris platform.

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