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11.2.0.2: Top 10 new features for DBAs

In DBA, Oracle database on March 19, 2011 at 23:18

New features, new features.. What new can you expect from a relational database after more than 10 major versions? In fact, if we consider as different versions the three releases of 8i, the two releases of 9i, 10g and 11g and take into account that there never was version 1, we are now into Oracle version 16. Or is it version 17 as 11.2.0.2 comes as separate totally new installation with several new features? Something we have not witnessed before.

Have in mind that you will have to download about 5G of zipped files:

So, here are the Top 10 DBA features as I prefer them and as documented by Oracle. Feel free to disagree 🙂

1. The new PL/SQL package called DBMS_AUTO_SQLTUNE provides more restrictive access to the Automatic SQL Tuning feature. Which is as many know my favorite one in 11g along with EBR. With this package, access to Automatic SQL Tuning can be restricted to DBAs so that only they can change its configuration settings that effect run-time behavior of the query optimizer, such as enabling or disabling automatic SQL profile creation.

2. Edition-Based Redefinition: The EDITION attribute of a database service specifies the initial session edition for a session that is started using that service. If the program that creates a new session does not specify the initial session, then the edition name specified by the service is used. If the service does not specify the edition name, then the initial session edition is the database default edition. DBAs should work together with Developers to achieve proper implementation

3. Redundant Interconnect Usage: Oracle RAC requires a dedicated network connection between the servers of the Oracle RAC cluster. The dedicated network connection, called interconnect, is crucial for the communication in the cluster. Using redundant network connections for load balancing and for failure protection is recommended. While in previous releases, technologies like bonding or trunking had to be used to make use of redundant networks for the interconnect, Oracle Grid Infrastructure for a Cluster and Oracle RAC now provide a native way of using redundant network interfaces in order to ensure optimal communication in the cluster. Using redundant interconnects optimizes the stability, reliability, and scalability of an Oracle RAC cluster. At least that is what Oracle claim in the documentation.

4. Oracle Enterprise Manager DB Control provides support for Oracle RAC One Node databases. Additionally, support has been added in this release to Oracle Database Configuration Assistant (DBCA) to create an Oracle Real Application Clusters One Node (Oracle RAC One Node) database as part of the database creation process.

5. Control File updates can be disabled during NOLOGGING operations using DB_UNRECOVERABLE_SCN_TRACKING (set it to true or false)

6. Enhanced TRUNCATE functionality: While truncating a table or partition, you can now specify whether or not to keep any segments. Truncating a table or partition with the new extended syntax removes all segments and does not use any space until new data is inserted. All allocated space in a database can now be reclaimed by truncating tables or partitions with the new extended syntax, optimizing the space foot print of any application. Here is an example of the new syntax:

TRUNCATE TABLE emp DROP ALL STORAGE;

7. Columnar compression is now supported with Oracle Streams and XStream. This feature enables logical replication of tables compressed using Exadata Hybrid Columnar Compression. Is anyone using Streams with Exadata 🙂 ?

8. Important: the default size of the first extent of any new segment for a partitioned table is now 8M instead of 64K. The goal according to Oracle is to improve I/O performance. However, under certain circumstances, loading a table will take significantly more disk space.

9. Using binary XML with SecureFiles as the XMLType default storage: in this release, the default storage model has changed for XMLType from STORE AS CLOB to STORE AS SECURE FILE BINARY XML. This affects the storage used when an explicit STORE AS clause is not supplied when creating an XMLType table or column. Not specifying a STORE AS CLAUSE indicates that it is left to the database to determine what the optimal storage model should be.

10. Support for in-place upgrade of clients: Both in-place and out-of-place upgrades are supported for client installations. You now have the option of doing in-place client upgrades reducing the need for extra storage and simplifying the installation process.

Note that there are some interesting (underscore) parameters such as:

_DATAFILE_WRITE_ERRORS_CRASH_INSTANCE
_MEMORY_IMM_MODE_WITHOUT_AUTOSGA
_FIX_CONTROL
CURSOR_BIND_CAPTURE_DESTINATION

Beware the new tcp_ and udp_ kernel parameters for Solaris 10 in order to install 11.2.0.2.

Finally, here are the platforms for which Oracle 11.2.0.2 is available as of 19.03.2011:

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  1. […] is not just a patchset of 11gR2. It is more like 11gR3. Last month, I presented my favorite top 10 new features for DBAs. However, the new table annotation feature deserves special […]

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