Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Oracle 12c RAC and Flex ASM Overview

Dear Readers,

In preparation for upcoming Oracle Open World 2014 and BGOUG 2014 (Bulgarian User Oracle Group) conferences, I will write a series of tips and tricks for new Oracle 12c RAC and ASM features. Today I would like to review the new Oracle 12c RAC Flexible ASM feature. For our discussion as a reference point you can source details in the useful My Oracle Support ( note FAQ: Oracle Flex ASM 12c / 12.1 (Doc ID 1573137.1)

Which contains a wealth of detailed information for the setup and configuration of an Oracle 12c Flex ASM environment. So, what is Oracle 12c Flex ASM you might be asking? Well it is a new method for managing clustered storage within Oracle 12c RAC environments. In the past releases of Oracle RAC and ASM prior to 12c, one had to build individual ASM instances on each cluster node for an Oracle RAC configuration. If any single node failed, the surviving RAC nodes would take control in a quorum event managed by Oracle cluster ware. However, there were some performance and availability issues with that architecture. To remediate the weak points of the Oracle RAC and ASM environment, Oracle development re-architected the model for ASM. By allowing shared control of ASM within a cluster via a single ASM instance, flex ASM was born. Oracle provides a good architecture diagram below for the design.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Why you Need Delphix for Oracle E-Business

Dear readers,

As I mentioned in my last post, I've been working with an exciting technology called Delphix
for database and ERP applications recently.

With Delphix you can reduce the pain points involved with performing a traditional recovery operation for Oracle and other database platforms. Now when it comes to large ERP systems such as SAP and Oracle E-Business Suite, the challenge of backup and recovery and well as system and application refresh operations and traditional ERP cloning with Oracle EBS have been costly and slow operations that require staff resources and expensive downtime that can take days or even weeks to perform for a single ERP environment.

For example, at my last ERP customer, I performed a complete refresh for Oracle R12 (12.1.1) on RHEL Linux platform and just to refresh production to DEV and QA took me several days. If you make a mistake or hit a bug during a refresh, upgrade or clone for Oracle EBS, it delays the process even further. The Delphix app data support is powerful technology indeed.

Nowadays, application DBAs are swamped with supporting up to hundreds of database environments and large ERP configurations with little time or resources to complete the refresh, upgrade, clone or migration. Enter Delphix to the rescue.

With the AppData feature for ERP systems available for both SAP and Oracle EBS, you can reduce the window for refresh and clones to minutes or a day for MULTIPLE environments versus days or weeks! So Delphix really accelerates the process.

The following video shows the various use cases to reduce ERP complexity for enterprises. Today I want to show you an example of how simple and fast it really is to refresh an Oracle R12 EBS environment. First you configure your data sources or dsources for both the EBS app tier and database tier:

Once you also provision the dbtier then you are ready to run the clone or refresh operation.

The next step would have you enter the details for your apptier and dbtier environments including $INST_TOP and $APPL_TOP settings and host/target mappings.

 One nice feature of Delphix is that you can run custom scripts before and after a refresh or clone operation using hooks as part of the configuration.

Once these are set you can have Delphix run the clone or refresh quickly.

A nice use case video here shows a live demo of using Delphix to reduce time for clone/refresh operations.

In the next few postings on Oracle and Delphix, I will show you how to take advantage of the cool new masking data feature that will help you fulfill security compliance issues such as Sarbanes-Oxley and HIPAA. I sure wish that I had Delphix at my disposal several years back when I was cloning and refreshing large Oracle EBS environments it would have saved me hours of frustration and not having to work weekends to complete these refreshes and clones!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Delphix An exciting new way of managing your data

Dear Readers,

 Recently I have been working with an exciting technology called Delphix.

What is Delphix you might ask? Well Delphix is a data virtualization appliance that provides you with the ability to quickly clone, refresh and provision virtualized copies of database and application environments in record time compared to traditional copy, clone and refresh operations for Oracle and SQL Server as well as for SAP and Oracle EBS application ERP systems.

 In addition we can summarize the key benefits of Delphix:

  •  Storage savings by creating virtualized database copies using the dedup and compression benefits inherent in Delphix
  • Migration to the cloud for physical to virtual (P2V) environments
  •  Reduction in CapEx and OpEx costs for the time to refresh, clone and migrate applications and large databases with Delphix. I have seen Delphix take a 12TB database and clone it in minutes versus the typical RMAN clone operation that has taken hours or even days. With constraints on resources in term of available DBA staff and time limits to complete these crucial tasks, Delphix really is a key driver to project completion success on time and under budget.
A good overview of Delphix virtualization for data is provided here

 Furthermore, Delphix provides you with an easy to use GUI graphical rich environment to perform these tasks as shown below.

Delphix uses the concept of data sources or dsources to configure the environment for cloning, refresh and P2V operations. The end product is called a virtual database or VDB which is a virtualized copy of the database as shown below.

Think of a VDB as a perfect virtualized copy of your database that looks, breathes and functions just like a physical copy.

Except for new key benefits such as:

  • Storage savings 

so you don't need to constantly ask storage administrators for new disk space and can show your CFO how much money Delphix saves your company on not having to purchase expensive new disks every six months.

  • Backup and Recovery Advantages

Key backup and recovery features such as rewind to recover from human data failures such as a dropped table. Performing a traditional Oracle or SQL Server backup and recovery operation is quite painful at 2am compared to the simplicity of point and click features in Delphix!

I will cover more of these exciting features in future blog posts about Delphix. Suffice it to say, you really owe it to yourself to try Delphix and see what it can do for you.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

I am now a pilot!

Dear readers,

Last week, I passed my private pilot oral exam and flight test called a checkride and now have my private pilot license!

The checkride was challenging and intense but I had a great experience and learned a lot about myself and from the awesome examiner in Santa Rosa.

Here is a picture of me after passing my checkride with my awesome instructor:

I was able to fly from Palo Alto to Sacramento and then on to Oroville to visit family and friends for this year's Thanksgiving dinner and to avoid the nasty holiday traffic on the freeway! As I soared to over 5000 feet, I could see the massive traffic on the ground and smiled that I was able to bypass this. Flying into Oroville was fun and a very nice large airport for a very small town of less than 50,000 people.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Big Data Interview with OTN from Oracle Open World 2013

Below is my interview with the Oracle Technology Network on Big Data from this year's Oracle OpenWorld conference:

Big Data Interview at Oracle Open World

Friday, October 11, 2013

OOW 2013 Review

Dear readers,

This year was quite an exciting yet different OOW 2013 conference. Before the conference, I attended the Oracle ACE Director briefing with Oracle product management to learn the inside scoop before the show for new products. We then had a nice dinner thanks to the Oracle ACE program at the Walt Disney Museum.

At the museum, I had the opportunity to view many cool things from Walt Disney's lifetime of achievement as the father of animation.

At the start of the Oracle Openworld 2013 conference, the big announcements were that for the new 12c in memory database as well as the Oracle Public cloud.

To me the in memory database functions of Oracle 12c are the most exciting and even the bus at SF had them too!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Oracle 12c New Feature: How to backup pluggable databases

Oracle 12c introduced the new multi-tenant feature called Pluggable Databases (PDB). We will show how to take a backup of the pluggable database components in this post.

Setup for RMAN with Oracle 12c

In order to use the Oracle 12c Recovery Manager (RMAN) utility for pluggable database backups, you need to first enable archivelog mode.

Once archivelog mode is enabled, we can take a backup of the pluggable database

Now we can verify that the backup image is available from RMAN for our pluggable database

Backup for root component of Oracle 12c Pluggable Databases

In a nutshell, an Oracle 12c PDB consists of two parts: a root component and a seed component that includes the data. Earlier we performed a full database backup of the entire pluggable database but let us say that we just want to backup the root itself. We can do so with the RMAN command BACKUP DATABASE ROOT as shown in the following example:

Now let us verify the root backup for our PDB with Oracle 12c:

Stay tuned when we visit how to restore pluggable databases with RMAN and Oracle 12c!