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!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Oracle 12c Installation on Oracle Linux 6

Dear readers, I decided to finally get around to installing Oracle 12c (12.1.0) on Oracle Linux 6 today. One key difference is the increased disk space requirements from 11g to 12c for the basic database configuration. I recall that 11gR2 requires almost 4GB of disk storage space. Now, for a basic enterprise installation with Oracle 12c, you need at least 6.4Gb of disk space!

Pre-requisites for Oracle Linux 6 with Oracle 12c

Oracle Linux 6 requirements are available online from Oracle documentation. To simplify package and OS dependency requirements, you can deploy the Oracle Linux 6 RPM available from Oracle called oracle-rdbms-server-12cR1-preinstall

Wim Coekerts has a good write up on this:

Here is the basic screen shot of the storage requirements for 12c:

Like the previous setup screens for 11gR2 we have choice of desktop versus server class database system with Oracle so I will not bore you with these details.

Now we have the new choice to configure the database and also the new multi-tenant feature called pluggable database

One difference in the configuration lies instead of using the Oracle Enterprise Manager (OEM) console, Oracle 12c installer now asks you if you wish to use the new Oracle 12c Cloud Control. Since for sake of first setup with 12c, we are not using this option, we ignore it.

Now we are off to the races for the actual installation for 12c:

At the end, run the usual scripts that are called out for under root user.

We verify the status of the newly created Oracle 12c database:

The new Oracle 12c management console has a host of new features as shown below that we will explore in future posts:

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Software Defined Networks (SDN)

One hot topic that I would like to discuss today is that of software defined networks (SDN) in respect to Oracle and other database platforms. Key vendors that provide core technologies around this area are provided by VMware, Redhat, and Oracle. First let us cover the basics of SDN.

VMware Software Defined Network

From VMware approach, the new vCloud Director suite provides the tools to implement an end to end software defined network and virtualized ecosystem along with robust technologies such as VMware vCenter and VMware vSphere. According to VMware the Software Data Center:

The Software-Defined Data Center: Operating Principles

Rather than mask the inherent rigidity of specialized hardware under a tangle of scripts, the Software-Defined Data center leapfrogs these constraints to change the way all data center services are delivered.

As implemented in VMware’s vCloud Suite, the virtualization principles of abstraction, pooling and automation are applied to compute, storage, networking, security, and availability. This creates the Virtual Data Center, a new construct that aggregates these software-defined services and enables intelligent, policy-based provisioning, automation, and monitoring. APIs and other connectors provide seamless extensibility to third-party platforms and public cloud services.

Below is the architecture for vCloud environment for SDN:

Taken together, these capabilities comprise VMware Cloud Infrastructure, the virtualized infrastructure at the heart of the Software-Defined Data Center. As highly capable as it is, this “engine” is not sufficient on its own. It must be fully managed, which encompasses everything from delivering access to the right services with the right approvals to ensuring the performance, compliance and efficiency of your private cloud.

These management capabilities—delivered via VMware Cloud Management—are specifically designed to provide deep insight into cloud infrastructure performance, while enabling services to be provisioned and accessed in any available cloud.

For many companies, the Software-Defined Data Center will coexist in a heterogeneous environment with multiple hypervisors, hardware from different vendors, and various public cloud services. You can abstract away this complexity by extending VMware Cloud Management beyond your vSphere-enabled Software-Defined Data Center—to impose uniform governance, control, access and self-service over your entire heterogeneous, hybrid cloud environment.

Cloud Service Provisioning: Automate the provisioning of infrastructure and applications within the Software-Defined Data Center, and beyond it across multiple clouds and platforms. Cloud Operations Management: Manage the health, risk, efficiency and compliance of your infrastructure and applications. Cloud Business Management: Govern and manage cloud services as a critical element of running IT like a business.

Oracle Software Defined Network

Oracle has a different approach to software defined networking and virtualized data centers that is more application focused along the core suite of applications that run Oracle database and Oracle systems.

Below is an overview of the approach for SDN taken by Oracle:

Last but not least, completely integrated systems that merge SDN with hardware, storage, compute and network converged infrastructure are now on the market and provide turn key solutions to large customers who require a quick time to market data center such as that provided by VCE ( via the vBlock platform. A good overview of the vBlock is available below:

Until next time

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Oracle 12c New Features and Release

Oracle 12c has been released this month and this is the biggest news since Oracle 11g came out some time back.

Below are some new features:

Oracle cloning

Oracle PDB

Oracle RAC and ASM enhancements

Oracle security enhancements

Oracle 12c New Features

As an Oracle RAC expert, the deployment features for Oracle 12c RAC and ASM are quite exciting and should make highly available scalable clusters with the new Flex cluster more fun and powerful for large enterprise data centers. Per the 12c new features for Flex RAC clusters:

"Oracle Flex Cluster is a new Oracle Clusterware based topology utilizing two types of cluster nodes: Hub Nodes and Leaf Nodes. Hub Nodes represent traditional nodes, tightly coupled using network and storage. Leaf Nodes are a new type of node that runs a lighter weight stack and does not require direct shared storage connectivity."

I also like the new 12c policy based approach to database and RAC deployments:

"Oracle Grid Infrastructure allows running multiple applications in one cluster. Using a policy-based approach, the workload introduced by these applications can be allocated across the cluster using a policy set. In addition, a policy set enables different policies to be applied to the cluster over time as required. Policy sets can be defined using a web-based interface or a command-line interface.

Hosting various workloads in the same cluster helps to consolidate the workloads into a shared infrastructure that provides high availability and scalability. Using a centralized policy-based approach allows for dynamic resource reallocation and prioritization as the demand changes."

Stay tuned for exciting new developments as I test out the many new 12c features from Oracle. Oracle has truly raised the bar once again for enterprise database and application technology! Bravo!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Oracle RAC Timezone woes and solution

Recently had a timezone issue with an Oracle 11gR2 RAC cluster. Even though I had set the host time and date, for some reason it did not get propagated to the Oracle RAC configuration.

There are couple of ways to set timezone for an Oracle 11.2 RAC cluster. First is the easy way by using srvctl commands:

srvctl setenv database -d -T =

srvctl setenv database -d racdb -T TZ=US/Eastern

In the first case, if this did not work, we need to edit a configuration file called s_crsconfig_{racnodename}_env.txt located under the $GRID_HOME/crs/install directory.

Here is my example for the edits performed of the above file on both RAC nodes, using first node as sample:

[root@racnode1$ vi /oracle/11.2.0/grid/crs/install/s_crsconfig_racnode1_env.txt

### This file can be used to modify the NLS_LANG environment variable, which determines the charset to be used for messages.

### For example, a new charset can be configured by setting NLS_LANG=JAPANESE_JAPAN.UTF8

### Do not modify this file except to change NLS_LANG, or under the direction of Oracle Support Services





Restart the Oracle 11.2 Clusterware services and database and run srvctl to confirm setting changes.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Migrating single instance Oracle 11g database to Oracle 11gR2 RAC and ASM

Recently over the past few years, I've been involved with customer engagements to migrate legacy single instance environmnents to Oracle 11gR2 RAC and ASM. In this post, I will detail out the high level steps on how to perform this for ERP environments with SAP and Oracle.

I will spend a few blog posts on this topic due to the complex nature of migrating from single instance to Oracle RAC.

1. Migrate single instance Oracle non-ASM to Oracle 11gR2 RAC and ASM

2. Migrate single instance Oracle ASM to Oracle 11gR2 RAC.

SAP ECC 7.x now allows you to directly install Oracle ASM in the new Oracle 11gR2 Grid infrastructure environment. This means that you can build and configure your Oracle 11gR2 ASM disks and provision them without having to first migrate with RMAN from single instance Oracle to ASM.

Case 1: Migrate single instance Oracle non-ASM to Oracle 11gR2 RAC and ASM

The steps to migrate Oracle single instance to Oracle 11gR2 RAC are as follows:

1. Install Oracle 11gR2 Grid infrastructure

2. Provision disks for ASM

3. Configure and create ASM instances

4. Use RMAN to transfer non-ASM Oracle database to ASM configuration

5. Install Oracle 11gR2 RAC database software in new ORACLE_HOME

6. Perform cluster infrastructure configuration for public, private, VIP, and SCAN requirements per Oracle 11gR2 documentation

7. Install Oracle 11gR2 RAC grid infrastructure for a cluster

8. Use rconfig to complete the migration to Oracle 11gR2 RAC

Note: for SAP with Oracle RAC, you MUST use Oracle or later release to obtain support from SAP. ASM must use a ACFS fileystem as well.

Case 2: Migrate single instance Oracle ASM to Oracle 11gR2 RAC

The steps for case 2 are as follows for an environment with Oracle single instance and ASM:

1. Install Oracle 11gR2 RAC database software in new ORACLE_HOME

2. Run the -deconfig -force script for single instance GRID_HOME with Oracle ASM

3. Install Oracle 11gR2 RAC Grid infrastructure for new GRID_HOME on cluster node hosts

4. Add ASM disks from single instance to cluster services with ASMCA utility

5. Migrate single instance with rconfig scripts

I will add details in future posts as the tasks are very complex and involved. For now, I wanted to give a high level summary since this is not well documented.

Friday, April 12, 2013

First solo flight and my quest to become a private pilot for fun!

This year I started my journey to accomplish a childhood dream of earning my private pilot license to have the freedom and skill to fly aircraft in my free time. This past week I completed my first solo flight successfully at KPAO airport in Palo Alto! It was exciting when my instructor, Gordon Reade at Sundance Flying Club stepped out after signing my logbook to solo and wished me luck before I taxi and took off from Runway 31. After the tower granted me clearance to take off, I lined up and used full throttle to rotate (Vr) at about 55kts in the Cessna 172SP aircraft (837SP) to complete my first solo flight of three takeoffs and landings in the traffic pattern over the bay at KPAO airport. It was fun and best of all I was relaxed and confident in my newly acquired skills. All three landings were smooth on touchdown and my instructor congratulated me on a solo flight well done. Now I look forward to completing my cross country flights and passing my checkride to receive my private pilot license!

NoCOUG Events for April and May 2013

As the new conference director for the Northern California Oracle User Group (NoCOUG), we have many exciting events planned for the Oracle user community. Next week, on April 16th we have a meetup for cloud computing with Oracle technology at the Hacker Dojo in Mountain View, CA: In May, we have the NoCOUG spring/summer conference planned with events for Big Data and Oracle technology. To attend this exciting conference you may sign up below and RSVP: So if you are in northern California please come learn the latest greatest things about all things Oracle.