Oracle Database 12c Virtual RAC Installation on Oracle Linux 6

I finally got my server problems sorted out yesterday, so I was able to do a 12c virtual RAC installation. You can see what I did here:

The setup is pretty much the same as the 11gR2 setup. So there’s no real drama at all.

With the basic installation articles out of the way I can start having a play with the functionality.

I’ve now got 12c running under VirtualBox on my server (Oracle Linux), desktop (Fedora 18), laptop (OS X) and desktop at work (Windows 7). If I can just get it running on my Nexus 4 and Nexus 7… 🙂




My Plans for Oracle 12c RAC Thwarted…

My initial batch of 12c installations resulted in these two articles.

Judging by my web stats, they’ve proved very popular. According to Google Analytics, there are 3-4 active visitors on them pretty much 24×7.

My progress from there has been thwarted somewhat by technical issues. The server I normally use for my Virtual RAC installations is being a little funky at the moment. Rather than mess about I figured I would just reinstall the base OS. Initially it was running Fedora 18, but I decided to go for Oracle Linux instead. This server is used entirely for running VirtualBox VMs, so stability is more important than being bleeding edge. My desktop is still Fedora though.

The Oracle Linux install was fine. The 6.4 spin of Oracle Linux detected all my hardware, including the RAID stuff, and it installed with no worries. The problem is getting all the VMs back on to it from my backups. It’s taking an age! 🙂

Hopefully tonight, or tomorrow I can get back on the case with the 12c RAC installation. Yury from Pythian has already done a run through, which you can see here. There doesn’t seem to be much difference to the infrastructure setup compared 11gR2 RAC, which is good.



I love Cloud Control 12c, but the job management is really annoying!

Cloud Control 12c is a great product. Yes, it is suffering from bloat, but generally it is a really great tool. I’m always encouraging people to ditch the DBControl and switch to Cloud Control!

Having said that, one area that annoys the hell out of me is the job management, which feels really clumsy. I started to write this post, then felt a bit guilty because I hadn’t actually bothered to raise an enhancement request, so that’s what I’ve just done!

My main gripes are the following.

  • Editing Jobs: You can edit some parameters of jobs, but not all. This is really frustrating and often means you have to delete and recreate a job in order to make a minor change.
  • Create Like: There is still no support for “Create Like” of a database backup job. Most of our jobs are database backup jobs, so this omission is quite annoying.
  • Run Now: There is no “Run Now” type of functionality on the scheduled jobs. You either have to create a new one-off job (with out Create Like), or alter the schedule, then remember to alter it back once the job has finished. A “Run Now” option that doesn’t affect the normal schedule would be really handy.
  • Backup Destination: If you use “CONFIGURE CHANNEL DEVICE TYPE DISK FORMAT ‘/path/to/backup/%U’;” from RMAN, or use the Backup Settings screen in Cloud Control, which does the same thing, the path used for the backup works fine. If on the other hand you use the “Over Default Settings” option while creating the database backup job, the settings seem to be completely ignored. This should either work, or be removed as an option because it catches me out all the time!

OK, the last one is a bug, not an enhancement request, but I thought I would throw that into the mix anyway. 🙂

We are in the process of upgrading and moving databases at the moment, so amending the backup jobs is a big thing for us. Yesterday afternoon, evening and night was littered with a chorus of expletives in relation to Cloud Control job management, which gave me the activation energy to post this rant. 🙂

Note. Even as I rant, I am still convinced centralising your jobs in Cloud Control is a good thing!



Update: My enhancement request is being split into three separate SRs and they are being put forward to the development team as formal enhancement requests. Fingers crossed they will get implemented.

The fourth point is a “problem between keyboard and chair”. I misunderstood what this feature was supposed to do. My bad. 🙂

World War Z…

I saw World War Z at the cinema last night.

I enjoyed watching this film, but it doesn’t really bring anything new to the table. Let’s break it down:

  • It has zombies. Well that’s not new.
  • These zombies are fast. OK, but that’s been done before, like in 20 Days Later.
  • These zombies scream really loud. Yep. See my previous point.
  • It is gritty, rather than having an overly-Hollywood feel. See previous 2 points.
  • It’s got a bit of disaster porn in it. Yes, but most zombie films do. This one probably had a higher budget though, which is why it looks less cartoon-like.
  • It has Brad Pitt in it. Yes, but it doesn’t have Milla Yovovich in it, or zombie dogs.
  • It doesn’t have much blood in it. Well, depending on your stomach, this is either a good thing or a bad thing. It is certainly not a gorefest. The zombies want to bite non-infected humans, but it’s more about making more zombies than ripping humans apart and eating them. I don’t remember any of them saying, “Braaaaiiinsss”, or anything like that.
  • It’s a little “sciencey”. Well yeah, but it doesn’t really explore that. It’s handled in much the same lame-ass way I Am Legend did it.

So now I’ve lowered your expectations, I think you are in a position to go and enjoy it.

There are some genuinely tense moments. I found myself clenching my fists on numerous occasions. The swarming zombie scenes are really cool. You’ve seen pretty much all of them in the trailer, but they look great on the big screen. Like all disaster movies, it’s a little depressing at times, but overall I thought it was worth the price of admission*.



* Watching it on a Friday night cost me £6.75. I should probably have waited for Tuesday night and watched it for £3, then it would have been really good value for money. 🙂


VirtualBox 4.2.14 Released…

Oracle VirtualBox 4.2.14 has been released. The downloads and changelog are in the usual places.

Happy upgrading!



PS. You can start your downloads, now mine is complete. 🙂

PPS. I got the Mac download, but it looks like the others haven’t made it on to the mirrors yet. 🙂

PPPS. The other downloads are available now too. 🙂

Man of Steel

I’ve just got back from watching Man of Steel at the cinema.

I went into this film with extremely low expectations. For people of my age, this is the third time round for this story, so I expected to be pretty bored from a plot perspective.

I’m going to split the film into three parts.

  1. The first part of the story concerned the birth of Kal-El and him getting sent to earth. I expected this to be really dull and a bit annoying because of Russell Crowe’s presence. Actually is turned out to be completely brilliant. If the whole film had been similar to this first section it would probably have been the greatest Sci-Fi movie I had ever seen. If all you do is go in, watch this first sequence then leave, you will have had your money’s worth, especially since it was only £3 to get in on Tuesday night. 🙂
  2. The second part involved Kal-El growing up and becoming Superman. I also expected this to be a little dull, but actually is was really neat. They approached this part of the story in a different way to the previous films. It worked really well and I actually felt myself starting to care about the lead character.
  3. The third part of the film was just disaster porn. I found it really dull and generic. In parts it felt like a rip-off of the last fight scene in The Matrix Revolutions, mixed in with anything Michael Bay has ever done. I found myself hoping everyone would just hurry up and die so I could go home. Sometimes I find this stuff mildly amusing, but most of the time I just zone out and wonder what I am going to get to eat on the way home…

On my way out I was listening to a few conversations. One woman said, “The acting was terrible and I am so bored with seeing buildings get blown up!” I heard a group of guys talking in the car park and their conversation distilled down to, “He just didn’t do anything for the last half of the film!”

As it stands, I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected, but after a fantastic start it degenerated into mediocrity.



Compiling Oracle Forms against functions using the 11g Function Result Cache…

I came across a rather annoying little bug yesterday…

One of the guys was trying to compile an Oracle Form on the app server and got this message.

*** ASSERT at file pdw1.c, line 4061
PSDGON missing. Can't get object number
Source Location = XNSPC0P99_2013_06_12_17_44_38__AB[71, 7]

Uncle Google pointed me in the direction of this MOS Note [ID 1276725.1].

It turns out it is a problem with the client, which happens to be the version that ships with Forms and Reports Services. The Forms compilation fails when the form references a database function that uses the Function Result Cache in 11g.

I didn’t fancy applying the patch last night, so I just commented out the RESULT CACHE clause in the packaged function, compiled the form, then put the RESULT CACHE clause back in. Job’s a good’un!

This morning I’ve followed the MOS note and applied the patch in out Dev environment and it seems to have fixed the issue.

Just so I don’t forget about this, I’ve also added a mention of it in my ever-growing Oracle Forms and Reports Services 11gR2 Configuration Notes article.



Update: See Gert’s comment below for his post on the subject 2.5 years ago. 🙂

After Earth…

Just got back from watching After Earth. The cinema was packed. Quite a surprise for a Tuesday evening.

You know pretty much know what to expect once you’ve watched the trailer, although there are a couple of scenes in there that are taken out of context. The premise is, a father and son are brought closer together by adversity. That adversity happens to be crash landing on Earth, the planet they left because we screwed it up.

I’m not really sure what accent Will Smith was trying to do in parts of the film. There were a couple of times when I though he was doing a bad British accent. Then others when it sounded almost like southern USA. Certainly nothing like I’ve heard before and certainly not consistent, unless that’s how they talk on the planet he comes from. Jaden was equally weak in that respect, but if Russell Crowe can’t tell the difference between an Irish and Nottingham accent, what hope does a kid have of getting it right?

It’s a family affair. Staring Jaden Smith and Will Smith. Story by Will Smith. Produced by Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith. Willow and Trey Smith must feel well left out. 🙂

If I hadn’t read the credits, I wouldn’t have realised M. Night Shyamalan was involved. It didn’t really feel like one of his films. None of the angles he tends to go for. I guess he had his Stuart Little and The Last Airbender hat on when doing this film. OK, there were a few grisly things that would shock younger kids, but nothing too intense.

At 100 minutes, it’s a pretty short film by today’s standards, but I think it would have been a mistake to stretch it out. It’s a bit cheesey in parts, but on the whole I thought it was OK. I wouldn’t demand you go and see it, but provided you can ignore bad accents, it’s not the worst thing you will ever see. I heard a couple of girls talking on the way out and they said the first 30 minutes was boring, but then is was “all right”. I think that’s a little unfair, but that’s life!



PS. If you are reading this Mr Crowe, when I watched your Robin Hood remake, the first thing I said was, why the XXXX have they made Robin Hood Irish? Being a Midlander, I can tell you now, the only people who talk like that in the Midlands are Irish people. 🙂

Hyperion (Dan Simmons)…

Hyperion is the first in the Hyperion Cantos series by Dan Simmons.

What a great Sci-Fi book! A group of seven travellers are on a pilgrimage to Hyperion. Six of the seven tell the stories of how they came to be there, with the sixth story kind-of linking things together. There is no real conclusion to the story as the next book carries on the story from the point the first one ends. It was definitely written as a series!

The timeline jumps around quite a bit through the book, but in a good way. It’s not done in a confusing way.

Definitely worth a look for any Sci-Fi readers out there.



PS. I put the authors name in the title, for fear of confusing people into thinking this was about work. 🙂