EM Cloud Control 12c : The 24 Hour DBA

I think I’ve lived through all the ages of Enterprise Manager. I used the Java console version back in the days when admitting you used it got you excommunicated from the church of DBA. I lived through the difficult birth of the web-based Grid Control. I’ve been there since the start of Cloud Control. I’ll no doubt be there when it is renamed to Big Data Cloud Pixie Dust Manager (As A Service).

I was walking from the pool to work this morning, checking my emails on my phone and it struck me (not for the first time) that I’m pretty much a 24 hour DBA these days. I’m not paid to be on call, I’m just a 9-5 guy, but all my Cloud Control notifications come through to my phone and tablet. I know when backups have completed (or failed). I know when a Tnsping takes too long. I know when we have storage issues. I know all this because Cloud Control tells me.

Now you might look on this as a bad thing, but being the control freak I am, I prefer to get a message on a Sunday telling me something is broken, hop on the computer and fix it there and then, rather than coming in on Monday to a complete sh*t-storm of users complaining. I’m not paid to do it, but that’s the way I roll.

While walking down memory lane I was thinking about all the scripting I used to do to check all this stuff. Endless amounts of shell scripts to check services and backups etc. I don’t do hardly any of that these days. Cloud Control handles all that.

We are a pretty small Oracle shop, but I think life would be a whole lot more difficult without Cloud Control. I’ve mentioned this a number of times, but it’s worth saying again… If you have more than a handful of Oracle databases, you really should be using Cloud Control these days. It’s as simple as that.

Just in case you are wondering, this is how our infrastructure looks this morning… 🙂




Oracle 11gR2 and 12cR1 on Oracle Linux 7

I did a quick update of my Oracle installation articles on Oracle Linux 7. The last time I ran through them was with the beta version OL7 and before the release of

The installation process of on the production release of Oracle Linux 7 hasn’t changed since the beta. The installation of on Oracle Linux 7 is a lot neater than the installation. It’s totally problem free for a basic installation.

You can see the articles here.

There is a bold warning on the top of both articles reminding you that the database is not supported on Oracle Linux 7 yet! Please don’t do anything “real” with it until the support is official.

Note. I left the fix-it notes for the installation at the bottom of the 12c article, but now is available from OTN there is really no need for someone to be installing other than for reference I guess.





Remote Cloning of PDBs and Non-CDBs (

I mentioned in a previous post that I would be revisiting some of my existing multitenant articles to include some of the features introduced in the patch. Here’s one of them.

Not only have Oracle fixed the bug in that prevented the remote cloning, but they’ve also added the ability to clone directly from non-CDB style instances, giving you another option for migrating from non-CDBs to PDBs. Pretty darn cool if you ask me! 🙂

Some more stuff will be amended over the coming days. If the changes result in some major rewrites I’ll probably blog about them. If not, I’ll just slip them into the articles and make a reference to the fact the specific feature was introduced in…



Oracle Licensing : It’s Your Responsibility to Comply

This little moan was inspired by some posts by Kevin Closson.

Kevin is awesome (I love you Kevin!), but I don’t happen to agree with him in this specific case*. Having said that, I do understand where he is coming from.

Earlier in the year my current employer had an Oracle license audit, which I wrote about here. I must admit I was quite nervous going into it. Oracle licensing is a tricky business and Oracle tend to ship a lot of functionality out-of-the-box, so it is easy for people to use things “by accident”. Having said that, Oracle do provide tools (DBMS_FEATURE_USAGE_STATISTICS) and documentation (Feature Availability by Edition) to help you keep track of things. You can also speak to Oracle License Management Services.

So now to the point of this moan and the title of this post. In my opinion, a DBA should have a basic awareness of licensing. I’m not talking about a profound knowledge of the licensing manual. I just mean a rough idea about database editions and options and how to find out what options you are using.

I think there are two distinct issues here:

  1. Some database options have an on/off switch and are turned off by default (like the In-Memory Column Store). If your DBA turns one of these on “by accident”, they should be fired. They are an idiot. Simple as that!
  2. Other database options are turned on by default, or even mandatory, but you are not breaking your licensing unless you use them. It’s very easy for a DBA or developer to copy something from a website or a MOS note and accidentally breach the license agreement. I have a lot of sympathy for people who fall into this trap. Anyone who was around in the early 10g days, when AWR, ADDM and ASH were first introduced, will remember the massive stink that caused. Click on the wrong page in EM or query the wrong DBA view and you’re in trouble. This was just plain wrong!

Anyway, enough of this moaning. I would be interested to know other people’s opinions though!



* So it turns out Kevin was correct in so far as the feature does get tracked as being used, but this is down to a bug. Presumably when that bug gets patched it will flush this usage and everything will be back to normal.

In-Memory Column Store and More

It was inevitable that I would have to have a play with the In-Memory Column Store.

It’s just a functional look. I have no idea about performance at the moment, although I should be starting a proof of concept in the next couple of weeks for one of our internal systems, so it will be interesting to see how it holds up. 🙂

Another thing that has come out of this release is the Full Database Cache Mode. That’s nothing to do with the In-Memory Column Store, but I can definitely see us using this on some of our stuff!

Finally, I’ve done a quick write up of the Smart Flash Cache stuff for my OCP exam notes.

It’s been out since, so I’m not sure why it is considered worthy of inclusion in the 12c DBA exam.

There have been a lot of changes to the multitenant option, so I’m probably going to spend some time amending/rewriting those articles to take on board the new stuff. From what I can see so far, the stuff they’ve added has certainly plugged a lot of “holes” in that option. Looks good so far!



Oracle Linux 7 Released

With all the excitement around the release of Oracle Database 12.1.02, it’s easy to forget that there is other stuff going on as well.

I’ve just noticed that Oracle have announced the release of Oracle Linux 7. You can download it now from eDelivery.

Just remember, it takes quite a while to get products certified on this stuff, so although I’ve already tried installations on the beta versions, I would not install any Oracle products on this stuff “for real” until the official certification is announced for each product.



Oracle Database 12c Release 1 ( Patch Released

I just read this post by Dirk Nachbar, saying that is now available from edelivery.oracle.com. I’ve downloaded it, so the rest of the world is now allowed to start their downloads. 🙂

I assume it will be available from MOS also at some point.



PS. It will allegedly be made available on OTN at some point in the future.

Site Maintenance Complete!

It looks like the site maintenance is complete and from my perspective the DNS changes have gone through.

If you go to the homepage and see a message called “Site Maintenance” in the “Site News” section, it means you are being directed to the new server. If you don’t see that it means you are still being directed to the old server and you won’t be able to read this. 🙂

I guess it will take a few hours for the DNS changes to propagate. Last time I moved the site it took a couple of days to complete for everyone.



Planned Maintenance This Weekend!

Just a quick heads-up to you folks…

On Saturday I’ll be transferring my website and blog to a new server. It’s with the same hosting company, so hopefully the DNS changes will not be too drastic.

The site is already in place on the new box and it seems to be working fine, so on Saturday morning I will do a backup of the MySQL databases and transfer them to the new machine, then initiate the DNS change.

The last time I did this, which was between different hosting companies, there were some issues in some geographical regions for a couple of days, but most people were seeing the site as normal within about an hour.

Note. If you happen to post on the forum or comment on a blog post during Saturday, it might be lost depending on the timing. Also, my email address my go wonky for a little while…

Fingers crossed… 🙂