Cloud Control : Some minor issues (fixed)


em-12cSince the upgrade to Cloud Control, we’ve been having a couple of issues, mostly around EMCLI.

Some of our databases use Service Guard, so you don’t know which node they are running on. Rather than having an agent per package, we have one on each node. One of my colleagues wrote a little script to check which node the instance is running on, and relocate it if it has moved. This is done using EMCLI and was working fine before the move to Since the upgrade it’s been rather erratic. It would work for a while, then fail. After watching for a while I noticed a couple of things.

EMCLI calls to the OMS that sent SQL were intermittently killing in the Agent on the Cloud Control server itself. It seemed to cause Out Of Memory errors. The heap size for the agent on the CC server was set to something like 1860M. Changing it to 2048M seemed to fix that issue. The setting is in the “agent_inst/sysman/config/” file. We now have this.

agentJavaDefines=-Xmx2048M -XX:MaxPermSize=128M

Note. The agents on the monitored servers have a tiny heap size. Nothing like this bad-boy. :)

After running OK for a few days, we started to get the following type of errors from EMCLI.

$ emcli sync
Error: Session expired. Run emcli login to establish a session.

We fixed this by running the “setup” command again.

emcli setup -username=sysman -password="MyPassword" -url=""

Since then, EMCLI has seemed to behave itself.

Note. As part of the upgrade, we downloaded the latest EMCLI jar file from the server and did the setup, so this part was working fine for a while. Not sure why it started to screw up…

Anyway, all seems fine now. I’m guessing if we weren’t using EMCLI, we would never have had a problem in the first place.



VirtualBox, Oracle 12c and Macs


Just a quick comment about something I noticed while rebuilding a test VM on my Mac. There is a long lead up to this, so bear with me…


I use VirtualBox on three different host operating systems.

Mac : My main desktop is a Mac, so most of my tests are done using Oracle 12c on Oracle Linux 6 or 7, running under VirtualBox. Most of the VMs I use are quite old, but I keep the DB and OS patched, and you know I religiously update VirtualBox. :) The point is, I rarely do fresh installations on Mac.

Linux : My big(gish) server runs Oracle Linux 6 as the host OS. If I’m doing a RAC installation, I tend to do it on this server as it is fast and has lots of separate spindles. Once again, all the database installations on this machine are done using VirtualBox VMs.

Windows 7 : At work I use Windows 7 for my desktop. I tend to test most things locally, before doing them for real. As a result, I’m often using the Oracle DB, on Oracle Linux 6 or 7, running under VirtualBox.

If you follow the blog, you will know I’ve recently released some new RAC articles. All those were done on an Oracle Linux 6 host, using VirtualBox to fire up the VMs. Everything worked fine. For one of the RAC articles, I connected to work and did a run through on my Windows PC. It worked fine, if a little slow.

So fresh installations of Oracle 12c ( worked fine on Oracle Linux 7, running under VirtualBox 5.0.4 on both a Linux and Windows host OS.

Getting to the point

The other day I started a rebuild (from scratch) of a test VM on the Mac and I ran into a few problems with the database installation and the DBCA. I added a note about them here. The interesting thing is, I used the same ISO for the Oracle Linux installation, the same zips for the Oracle DB installation and the same version of VirtualBox (5.0.4). The only difference between this and the other installations I’ve done recently is this one was using a Mac as the host. The installation and DBCA issues only happen when the host machine is a MAC.

I did a little Googling around and it seems some other people have noticed this and pointed to the switch from VirtualBox 4 to 5 as when it started. I guess I didn’t see this before as I’ve just been upgrading the existing VMs, not installing new ones.

Just thought it was worth mentioning, as other Mac users may be following my installation articles and thinking they don’t work. :)



PS. I have no idea why the Mac spin of VirtualBox causes this. I’m just a user. :)

PPS. This is not VirtualBox hate. I love it! :)

Oracle Database Developer Choice Awards : Spread the Love!


You’ve probably already heard about the Oracle Database Developer Choice Awards, Steven Feuerstein wrote about them here, but this is just a quick reminder to get your votes in.

This year there are five categories to vote for:

I am always a little nervous about “popularity contests”, but I would suggest you look through the finalists for each category and vote for someone if they have made an impact on you personally. IMHO it shouldn’t be a, “vote for your mate”, thing.

You’ve got until 15th October to get your votes in! :)



Oracle 12c RAC on Oracle Linux 6 and 7 using NFS


linux-tuxFollowing on from the last post, I’ve brought my NFS RAC stuff up to date also.

I noticed I had not done a RAC install using NFS on Oracle Linux 6, so I threw that in for good measure too. :)

Just as a little history to this… I was doing the desktop Oracle RAC thing (using VMware then VirtualBox) for a while, when I started reading some blog posts by Kevin Closson about NFS. At the time, NFS filers were considered the poor relation to SANs, which was obvious or they wouldn’t be so cheap in comparison right? In those articles Kevin pointed out that most people’s systems at the time probably weren’t capable of maxing out a decent filer if it were set up correctly. Since NFS is a cluster file system, that got me thinking I should try RAC on it to see how easy it was. That was in the Oracle 10g days. How time flies when you are having fun… :)



SANGAM15 – See you there!


I mentioned my Oracle OpenWorld 2015 trip in a previous post. Yesterday evening I picked up my passport with my lovely new India visa in it!

The talks are written. The flights are booked. The hotel is booked. I have a visa. So that’s me sorted for SANGAM15 in November! :)

It’s going to be a rather hectic few days. I fly out, do the 2 day conference, then fly straight home. It looks like I will be in aeroplanes and airports longer than I will actually be in India. :)

If you are coming along to the conference, be sure to come and say hello. :)



OTN Tour of Latin America 2015 : It’s a Wrap!



I just realised I didn’t write a closing post for the OTN Tour of Latin America 2015, so here goes.

Here are the links to all the posts I wrote during the two weeks that related to the main body of the tour.

Here are the links to the posts I wrote during the little trip to Machu Picchu.

Overall it was a really fun tour. Ignoring my illness at Machu Picchu, I think I coped a lot better with it than I have the previous couple of tours, which was good news.

Big thanks to the organisers and attendees at all the events. I hope to see you all again soon! Thanks also to the ACE Program for giving me the opportunity to fly the flag! I must also say a thank you to my fellow speakers for putting up with me for all that time. I know I can be hard work, so you are all deserving of an “I survived a tour with Tim”, badge, if one existed. :)

Sorry for the delay in writing this post! See you soon!



Cloud Control : It’s production upgrade day…


cloudI mentioned a couple of months ago I was planning to upgrade our production Enterprise Manager Cloud Control installation from to Well, today was the day. I held back a while because I knew I would be out of the country for a while on the Latin America tour and I didn’t want to make a big change before I ran away. :)

So today I pretty much did exactly what was in my upgrade article and everything went well. I upgraded the OMS and the local agent and I’ll run like that for a couple of days before I start pushing out the agent updates to the monitored hosts.

Happy days!

If you are interested, you can see some of my Cloud Control articles here.



YouTube Cameos : My Channel Needs You!


I’ve spent the last couple of months uploading videos to my YouTube channel.

At the start of each technical video, I introduce myself by saying something like, “Hi. It’s Tim from oracle-base”, and I use a video clip of someone from the Oracle community saying, “.com”,  to finish off the website name. I then put links to their blog, twitter, website etc in the description box. It’s just something fun and stupid to lighten the tone of the videos and to give a shout out to people in the community. :)

If you take a look at the clips, you’ll see they vary a lot. Some are simple and straight, just filmed on a webcam or phone. Others are a little more elaborate, like the one filmed under water. Some come with some funny outtakes I put at the end of the video. :)

Here’s a montage of all the clips I’ve used so far.

If you want to be included in one of the videos, send a clip of yourself saying “.com” to me (tim (at) along with your blog and twitter URLs and I’ll include it in a future clip.

I don’t mind you using some casual company branding, like wearing the t-shirt, but this is really about community, so don’t send me a McDonalds advert! :) Any user group clips, like the one I got from Auckland are great too.

I try to use them on a first-come-first-served basis, so get in early before I start gathering clips at OpenWorld. :)



Update: Whoops! I missed out my crazy uncle Martin Widlake. You can see his clip here.

Oracle OpenWorld : It’s just around the corner…


The total insanity that is Oracle OpenWorld 2015 is just around the corner. I’ve got my flights and hotels booked, so I think I’m good to go!

The first couple of days will be ACE Director briefings. The big announcement this year will be the Oracle Games Cloud (#OGC), but as a beta program participant I’m under NDA so I’m not allowed to talk about it. It will be interesting to see what else is coming down the pipeline. I expect lots of hardware refreshes and standard stuff like that, but there is always something unexpected that makes you sit back…

Of course, the main event of the ACED briefing will be me gathering 100+ “dot com” YouTube cameos. Dress to impress and perfect diction please… :)

As far as presentations go:

  • Optimizing SQL for Performance and Maintainability—a Panel Discussion [CON8415] Moscone South Room 309 16:15 – 17:00 : I’ve been invited to join this panel session. I’m the token dumb-ass to help you relate to panel. My job is to nod, like I know what people are talking about and occasionally scratch myself. :)
  • More Than Another 12 on Oracle Database 12c [UGF3190] Moscone South Room 306 time 13:30 – 15:15: UKOUG are using their two user group sessions to host another multi-speaker extravaganza. I was involved in this last year, but submitted my entry too late to get in this year. There are so many good EMEA presenters! My slot will be called “12 Oracle 12c Data Pump enhancements in 7 minutes!” :)

Apart from these events, there are always loads of things to get involved in, so it’s going to be a busy few days!

If you are new to the OpenWorld experience, I suggest you check out Jeff Smith’s post called, How to Survive, no, Thrive at Oracle Open World. Making the most of OOW is a skill. It’s a pity if you get to the end of the event and feel like you missed out. Preparation is the key! :)

For those who are lucky enough to be going, I’ll see you there soon. If you can’t make it, many of the headlines will be streamed live and you have a blogsphere that will keep you updated on the fun bits!