ORAchk replaces EXAchks and RACcheck

In Database tuning, DBA, Oracle utilities on June 21, 2014 at 12:48

The new tool from Oracle ORAchk includes EXAchks and RACcheck functionality and replaces the older tools. It is no longer just a database tool but also runs health check on E-Business Suite Financials, Enterprise Manager Cloud Control repository, GoldenGate and Sun Systems.


Going memory lane, have a look at how Statspack compares with BSTAT/ESTAT. Well, those days are long over. DBAs used to have their own scripts, ran their own healthchecks but some special scripts can still shed some more light on the system health.

One such example is Tanel Poder’s Exadata Snapper.

For details on the ORAchk tool, how to download it, what’s new in ORAchk, read MOS Note 1268927.2. If you do not have access to MOS, here are 2 blog posts that describe the tool quite well:

1. ORAchk Health Checks for the Oracle Stack (including Solaris) by Gerry Haskins

2. ORAchk Health Checks For The Oracle Stack by Levi Pereira

Here is how System Health Score is calculated:


I would recommend glancing first at the ORAchk Known Issues before starting using the tool: MOS 1509746.1

Note that ORAchk’s requirements are as follows:

Supported Platforms:
Linux x86-64* (Enterprise Linux, RedHat and SuSE 9, SuSE 10 and SuSE 11)
Oracle Solaris SPARC (Solaris 10 and 11)
Oracle Solaris x86-64 (Solaris 10 and 11)
AIX **

* 32-bit platforms not supported, no planned support for Linux Itanium
**Requires BASH Shell 3.2 or higher to be installed

Supported Oracle Releases:

Still, no Windows…

And, do not aim at a 100% score, you will not get it easily. Points get deducted if you have more than 1 instance on the server:

WARNING OS: Multiple RDBMS instances discovered, observe database consolidation best practices

According to the tool, there is a “risk for shared resource contention leading for instability, performance degradation or scalability problems”. Then it says: “if the database consolidation best practices have already been reviewed and observed then this message can be ignored”.

Not to mention that you might run the report twice in a row and get a different score.

But there is more: ORAchk Collection Manager is a companion application to ORAchk, RACcheck and Exachk. When having lots of systems, auditing them with ORAchk might be a tedious piece of work. ORAchk has long had the ability to upload the results of its audit checks into a database automatically at run time.

However, it was up to us to create a custom front-end to that data for reporting purposes and trend analysis. Now, with ORAchk Collection Manager, Oracle provides this Application Express application to be used as a dashboard in which they can track their ORAchk, RACcheck and Exachk collection data in one easy to use interface.

Download the ORAchk Collection Manager and go through the ORAchk Collection Manager Users Guide for more details.

Cross-Platform Transportable Database and Oracle Engineered Systems

In Consolidation, DBA, Exadata, Oracle database, RMAN, SuperCluster on May 25, 2014 at 15:25

Cross-platform transportable database is not the same thing as transportable tablespace. When performing x-platform transportable database we copy the entire database, including the SYSTEM and SYSAUX tablespaces from one platform to another. The usual containment checks are no longer needed and because the SYSTEM tablespace is also being copied, no metadata datapump export/import step is required. But cross-platform transportable database can only be performed between platforms that have the same endian format.


When consolidating a large number of databases onto Exadata or SuperCluster, the work has to be automated as much as possible. When the source and the target platform share the same endian (see the 2 endian group below), then the best option is to use the transportable database method.

Otherwise, there are 3 options:

1. Create a new database on the EXA platform manually, and transport the needed tablespaces from the source database using the Cross Platform Transportable Tablespace method.
2. If downtime during the upgrade is an issue, Cross Platform Incremental Backup is an extremely good option. You can Refresh Standby Databases using the method.
3. Use the new Full Transportable Export/Import method. Note that full transportable export is available starting while full transportable import is available starting


DBAs should consider the following points before the migrations:

- Some parts of the database cannot be transported directly: redo log files and control files from the source database are not transported. New control files and redo log files are created for the new database during the transport process (alter database backup controlfile to trace resetlogs;), and an OPEN RESETLOGS is performed once the new database is created.

- BFILEs are not transported. RMAN provides a list of objects using the BFILE datatype in the output for the CONVERT DATABASE command, but users must copy the BFILEs themselves and fix their locations on the destination database. Execute DBMS_TDB.CHECK_EXTERNAL in order to identify any external tables, directories or BFILEs.

- Tempfiles belonging to locally managed temporary tablespaces are not transported. The temporary tablespace will be re-created on the target platform when the transport script is run. After opening with resetlogs, run alter tablespace TEMP add tempfile…

- External tables and directories are not transported. RMAN provides a list of affected objects as part of the output of the CONVERT DATABASE command, but users must redefine these on the destination platform. Run select DIRECTORY_NAME, DIRECTORY_PATH from DBA_DIRECTORIES and ensure that the same paths are available on the target system.

- Password files are not transported. If a password file was used with the source database, the output of CONVERT DATABASE includes a list of all usernames and their associated privileges. Create a new password file on the destination database using this information.

- When all is done, run UTLIRP and UTLRP.

For SAP users, check Note 105047 – Support for Oracle functions in the SAP environment:

86. Transportable Tablespaces: the implicit use is supported in the BRSPACE function “-f dbcreate” (Note748434) and the “Tablespace Point in Time Recovery” function of BRRECOVER. Explicit use as part of system copying is tolerated.

87. Transportable database: Can be used (Note 1367451).

And finally, here is some more information on how to migrate your databases to Oracle Engineered Systems:

1. Exadata MAA Best Practices Series Session 6: Migrating to Exadata

2. Exadata MAA Best Practices Migrating Oracle Databases

3. Oracle’s SPARC M5-32 and SPARC M6-32 Servers: Domaining Best Practices


No. 1 Happiest Job for 2014: Database Administrator

In DBA on April 14, 2014 at 20:11

Recently, Forbes Magazine published the happiest and unhappiest jobs in 2014.


The list comes from an analysis of 25,000 reviews by the site’s users, collected over the past year. The reviews included 7,800 different job titles.

Why does database administrator rank as the No. 1 happiest job, and what exactly does the work entail? Here’s the Bureau of Labor Statistics description of the job: “Database administrators (DBAs) use specialized software to store and organize data, such as financial information and customer shipping records. They make sure that data are available to users and are secure from unauthorized access.”

I am not sure that the happiness with the job is directly related to storing and organizing the data. According to the article all this may not sound too exciting, but according to the BLS, the job is reasonably well-compensated with a mean annual wage of $79,000 and the demand for DBAs is on the rise.


The BLS predicts the field will grow by 15% between 2012 and 2022. The job has become more popular as DBAs’ roles have changed, with technology moving to the center of what many businesses do. “Because of their importance inside organizations, they can be the key driver of success.” In the survey, DBAs gave especially high marks for the quality of their daily tasks and for job control.

For students, here are some programs to consider.

Read more about the DBA profession:

1. Dentist or DBA?
2. DBA skills are among the Top 10 IT skills for 2014

And now, here is some fun stuff about 12c, believe it or not!


Shouldn’t SQL queries return the same results regardless of the hint?


A recent search on LinkedIn jobs shows almost 2000 positions for DBAs, the keyword is “Database Administrator”:



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