Archive for the ‘Oracle Engineered Systems’ Category

Oracle Exadata Cloud Machine Q&A

In Cloud, Database options, DBA, Exadata, IaaS, Oracle database, Oracle Engineered Systems on March 28, 2017 at 07:25

“The computer industry is the only industry that is more fashion-driven than women’s fashion.” Larry Ellison

Amazon have no on-premise presence, it is cloud only. Microsoft have the Azure Stack but the Azure Stack Technical Preview 3 is being made available as a Proof of Concept (POC) and must not be used as a production environment and should only be used for testing, evaluation, and demonstration.

Oracle Database Exadata Public Cloud Machine, or Exadata Cloud Machine, or ExaCM in short, is a cloud-based Oracle database subscription service available on Oracle Exadata, and deployed in the customer or partner data center behind their firewall. This allows customers to subscribe to fully functional Oracle databases on Exadata, on an OPEX driven consumption model, using agile cloud-based provisioning, while the associated Exadata infrastructure is maintained by Oracle.

This blog post contains the top 10 (5 commercial and 5 technical) facts about the Exadata Cloud Machine:

1. On-premise licenses cannot be transferred to ExaCM.

2. The minimum commitment to both the ExaCM and OCM is 4 years and the minimum configuration is Eighth Rack.

3. The subscription price for Oracle Database Exadata Cloud Machine X6 Eighth Rack is $40,000 per month (= $2,500 X 16) and that includes all DB options/features, Exadata Software and OEM DB Packs.

4. Standalone products such as Oracle Secure Backup and Oracle GoldenGate are not included in the ExaCM subscription. Only the database options (such as RAC, In-Memory, Partitioning, Active Data Guard, etc.), the database OEM packs and the Exadata storage server software are included.

5. ExaCM requires Oracle Cloud Machine to deploy Exadata Cloud Control Plane (separate subscription). OCM subscription requires similar minimum term commitment as ExaCM. If a customer already has an OCM, that can be leveraged to deploy Exadata Control Plane at no extra cost. One OCM Model 288 can manage 6 ExaCM Full Racks (i.e. 24 ExaCM Quarter Racks or 12 ExaCM Half Racks). Theoretically one OCM can support a much larger number of ExaCM full racks: about 50.

6. The 1/8th rack SKU is very similar to the on-premises 1/8th rack – i.e. minimum configuration of 16 OCPUs (cores), 240 GB RAM per database server, 144 TB raw storage (42 TB usable), 19.2TB of Flash. Compared to the Quarter Rack, it ships with less RAM, disk storage and flash. Those will be field installed if the customer chooses to go for the 1/8th to Quarter Rack upgrade. Note that this 1/8th rack enables customers to have an entry level configuration that is similar to what exists in Exadata Cloud Service.

7. Hourly Online Compute Bursting is supported with ExaCM. The commercial terms are the same as in Exadata Cloud Service – i.e. 25% premium over the Metered rate, calculated on an hourly basis. Customers can scale up or down, dynamically. Bursting does not kick in automatically based on load. Bursting of OCPUs needs to be configured by customers as needed. Once customer initiates bursting, the OCPU update is done dynamically without downtime. Customers will be billed later on the hours of bursting usage. Price: $8.401 per OCPU per hour.

8. If Cloud Control Plane is down, it doesn’t affect the availability of steady state runtime operations. However, cloud-based management (e.g. selfservice UI and REST API access) will be impacted.

9. Access: the Exadata Cloud Machine compute nodes are each configured with a Virtual Machine (VM). You have root privilege for the Exadata compute node VMs, so you can load and run additional software on the Exadata compute nodes. However, you do not have administrative access to the Exadata infrastructure components, including the physical compute node hardware, network switches, power distribution units (PDUs), integrated lights-out management (ILOM) interfaces, or the Exadata Storage Servers, which are all administered by Oracle.

10. Patching and backups: you can produce a list of available patches using the exadbcpatchmulti command as follows

# /var/opt/oracle/exapatch/exadbcpatchmulti -list_patches 

When you create a database deployment on Exadata Cloud Machine, you must choose from the following automatic backup configuration options:

– Remote Storage Only: uses remote NFS storage to store periodic full (RMAN level 0) backups and daily incremental backups, with a seven day cycle between full backups and an overall retention period of thirty days.
– None: no automatic backups are configured. Automatic backups cannot be configured later if you select the None option when you create a database deployment.

Useful links:

Oracle Exadata Cloud Machine Documentation
Oracle Database Exadata Cloud Machine Data Sheet
Features and Benefits of Oracle ExaCM
Oracle Database Exadata Cloud Machine Pricing
Creating an Exadata Cloud Machine Instance
Known Issues for Oracle Exadata Cloud Machine
Oracle SVP, Juan Loaiza, describes Oracle Database Exadata Cloud Machine

13th Oracle Open World in San Francisco

In Cloud, Consolidation, DBA, OOW, Oracle Engineered Systems on August 20, 2016 at 19:57

“Why are our days numbered and not, say, lettered?” Woody Allen

Early tall-building designers, fearing a fire on the 13th floor, or fearing tenants’ superstitions about the rumor, decided to omit having a 13th floor listed on their elevator numbering. This practice became common, and eventually found its way into American mainstream culture and building design. If hotel floors are lettered, would you mind staying at floor M?

Next month, thousands of Oracle professionals will come to San Francisco where Oracle organize for the 13th time in a row, Oracle OpenWorld.

Having 13 presentation in honor of this jubilee is technically impossible but here are 3 ones that I will deliver next month in San Francisco:


1. My 13 DBA Mistakes in 13 Years [UGF1127]
Julian Dontcheff, Global Database Lead, Accenture
Sunday, Sep 18, 3:30 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. | Moscone South—102

Abstract: In this session learn about the biggest 13 mistakes in my DBA career. Lessons learned. Be careful when you press enter. Don’t do like I do, people will make fun of you.. It is sad and funny.

2. The Benefits and Simplicity of Oracle Cloud: Infrastructure as a Service [CON1126]
Julian Dontcheff, Global Database Lead, Accenture
Wednesday, Sep 21, 4:15 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. | Moscone South—309

Abstract: I will do a LIVE demo and try to create from scratch an Oracle compute instance in less than 13 minutes. Countdown stops after I am root in the virtual machine.

Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is the fastest-growing area of public cloud computing. Oracle Cloud IaaS, with built-in security and high availability, offers elastic compute, networking, and storage to help any company quickly reach both value and productivity. This presentation covers the benefits of Oracle IaaS over other cloud providers, and shows how fast and easy it is to set up IaaS services in Oracle Cloud.

3. Lift and Shift onto Oracle Database Exadata Cloud Service Using Database Consolidation Advisor [CON1125]
Julian Dontcheff, Global Database Lead, Accenture
Thursday, Sep 22, 12:00 p.m. – 12:45 p.m. | Marriott Marquis—Salon 12

Abstract: Dedicated to OEM 13c newest feature: Database Consolidation Workbench. I will give 13 database consolidation strategy tips for DBAs.

Oracle Database Exadata Cloud Service provides service instances that contain a full Oracle Database hosted on Oracle Exadata inside Oracle Cloud. This presentation is about best practices on how to migrate and consolidate Oracle databases onto Oracle Database Exadata Cloud Service. It covers the three phases—planning, migration, and validation—of Oracle’s database consolidation workbench that helps in end-to-end consolidation of databases and enables consolidation of more databases on the same Oracle Exadata system, both on premises and in the public cloud.

If you are reading this post, I welcome you to join my talks at OpenWorld. Thank you in advance. Please join also other presentation from our team: The Accenture Enkitec Group. Here are the remaining talks:

Who Wins the Oracle Database in the Cloud Bake-Off? [CON5672]
Christopher Pasternak, Managing Director, Accenture
Robby Robertson, Sr. Manager, Accenture
Richard Miners, Senior Infrastructure Principal, Accenture
Tuesday, Sep 20, 12:15 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. | Moscone South—309

Maximizing Oracle Exadata Database Machine Reliability with Oracle EXAchk [CON1142]
Andy Colvin, Infrastructure Principal Director, Accenture
Thursday, Sep 22, 10:45 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. | Moscone South—302

Interfacing Raspberry Pi with Oracle Application Express [UGF5667]
Christoph Ruepprich, Programmer / Developer, Accenture Enkitec
Sunday, Sep 18, 2:15 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. | Moscone South—304

SQLd360: SQL Tuning Diagnostics Made Easy [UGF6168]
Mauro Pagano, Infrastructure Senior Principal, Accenture Enkitec Group
Sunday, Sep 18, 2:15 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. | Moscone South—302

Oracle GoldenGate and Baseball: Five Fundamentals Before Jumping to the Cloud [UGF5120]
Bobby Curtis, Infrastructure Principal, Accenture Enkitec Group
Sunday, Sep 18, 8:00 a.m. – 8:45 a.m. | Moscone West—3022

The Best Oracle Database 12c New Features for Developers and DBAs [UGF2028]
Alex Zaballa, Senior Oracle Database Administrator, Accenture Enkitec Group
Sunday, Sep 18, 8:00 a.m. – 8:45 a.m. | Moscone West—2010

Oracle Multitenant: Customer Panel [CON6563]
Randall Wilcox, Manager / Senior Manager, SAS Institute Inc.
Michael Sorrels, Sr. VP, Database Technologies, Regions Bank
Patrick Wheeler, Senior Director, Product Management, Oracle Database, Oracle
Andy Colvin, Infrastructure Principal Director, Accenture
Wednesday, Sep 21, 1:30 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. | Moscone South—301

Leveraging Oracle Database 12c Release 2 Multitenant Features [CON3075]
Kai Yu, Senior Principal Engineer, Oracle ACE Director, Dell, Inc.
Anuj Mohan, Technical Account Manager, Data Intensity
Andy Colvin, Infrastructure Principal Director, Accenture
James Czuprynski, Strategic Solutions Architect, OnX USA LLC
Deiby Gomez Gómez Robles, Oracle Database Consultant, Nuvola, S.A.
Thursday, Sep 22, 12:00 p.m. – 12:45 p.m. | Park Central—Concordia

And here is one where several AEG ACE Directors (including me) will present their point of views on new Oracle features one after each other in just few minutes:

EOUC Database ACES Share Their Favorite Database Things: Part I [UGF2630]
Debra Lilley, VP Certus Cloud Services, Certus Solutions Consulting Services Ltd
Ralf Koelling, Senior Consultant, CGI Deutschland Ltd. & Co. KG
David Kurtz, Consultant, Accenture Enkitec Group
Sunday, Sep 18, 1:00 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. | Moscone South—102

EOUC Database ACES Share Their Favorite Database Things: Part II [UGF2632]
Debra Lilley, VP Certus Cloud Services, Certus Solutions Consulting Services Ltd
Bjoern Rost, Principal Consultant, The Pythian Group Inc.
Carl Dudley, Database Administrator, Tradba
Sunday, Sep 18, 2:15 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. | Moscone South—102


P.S. I wonder how many sessions will be delivered altogether by the Enkitec group?

The James Bond of Database Administration

In Data, DBA, Golden Gate, Oracle database, Oracle Engineered Systems on October 27, 2015 at 07:23

“Defending our systems needs to be as sexy as attacking others. There’s really only one solution: Bond.”

That is what ‘The Guardian’ wrote recently in an article entitled “The Man with the Golden Mouse: why data security needs a James Bond“.

Attending the annual Oracle ACE Director Briefing at Oracle HQ awoke up an interesting debate on the following question: What will happen in the near future with the DBA profession? Who is now the James Bond of Database Administration?


According to TechTarget, big data tools are changing data architectures in many companies. The effect on the skill sets required by database administrators may be moderate, but some new IT tricks are likely to be needed. GoldenGate is the new Streams, Exadata is the new RAC, Sharding the new Partitioning, Big Data is the new data (Texas is an exception), you name it…

Having the privilege to work throughout the years with some of the best database experts in the world has, for all it matters, proved to me that Double-O-Sevens are in fact more like Double-O-six-hundreds. Meaning that there are 100s of DBAs that qualify with no hesitation whatsoever as the James Bonds of Database Administration. I have learned so much from my ex Nokia colleagues, from my current Enkitec and Accenture colleagues. Not to mention friends from companies like eDBA, Pythian, Miracle, etc.

A DBA needs to have so many skills. Look for instance at Craig S. Mullins’ suggested 17 skills required of a DBA. Kyle Hunter’s article The evolution of the DBA and the Data Architect is clearly pointing to the emerging skillsets in the Data Revolution.

In the IT business, and in database administration in particular, it is not that important how well you know the old stuff, it is more important how fast you can learn the new things. Here are some of the tools that help every modern Oracle DBA:

Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c
Developer Tools
Oracle Application Express (APEX)
SQL Developer
Oracle JDeveloper
SQL Developer Data Modeler
And last but not least SQL*Plus®


These additional Metalink tools might be often of great help:

Diagnostic Tools Catalog – Note ID 559339.1
OS Watcher (Support Tool) – Note 301137.1
LTOM (Support Tool) – Note 352363.1
HANGFG (Support Tool) – Note 362094.1
SQLT (Support Tool) – Note 215187.1
PLSQL Profiler (Support Script) – Note 243755.1
MSRDT for the Oracle Lite Repository – Note 458350.1
Trace Analyzer TRCANLZR – Note 224270.1
ORA-600/ORA-7445 Error Look-up Tool – Note 153788.1
Statspack (causing more problems than help in 12c)

The Man with the Golden Mouse is the James Bond of Database Administration. The best DBA tools are still knowledge and experience.


New Features of Oracle NoSQL

In DBA, NoSQL, Oracle database, Oracle Engineered Systems on July 4, 2015 at 16:44

“In open source, we feel strongly that to really do something well, you have to get a lot of people involved.” Linus Torvalds

Currently, there are about 150 NoSQL databases (= Not Only SQL).

There are 5 major NoSQL data models: Collection, Columnar, Document-oriented, Graph and Key-value.

Oracle NoSQL, based on BerekelyDB (first release in 1994), was recently named by Forrester Research as a leader in the NoSQL key-value database market and Oracle NoSQL Database was called out as having strong adoption and maturity. A very good study and comparison of several NoSQL databases entitled 21 NoSQL Innovators to Look for in 2020 was written by Gary MacFadden.


Here are few examples:

Collection/Multi-model: OrientDB, FoundationDB, ArangoDB, Alchemy Database, CortexDB
Columnar: Accumulo, Cassandra, Druid, HBase, Vertica
Document-oriented: Lotus Notes, Clusterpoint, Apache CouchDB, Couchbase, HyperDex, MarkLogic, MongoDB, OrientDB, Qizx
Graph: Allegro, Neo4J, InfiniteGraph, OrientDB, Virtuoso, Stardog
Key-value: Redis, CouchDB, Oracle NoSQL Database, Dynamo, FoundationDB, HyperDex, MemcacheDB, Riak, FairCom c-treeACE, Aerospike, OrientDB, MUMPS

Lat month (June 2015), Oracle announced Oracle NoSQL Database Version 3.3.4. This release offers new security features, including User Roles and Table-level Authorization, new language interfaces for Node.js and Python, and integration with Oracle Database Mobile Server. The prior release offers Big Data SQL support, RESTful API, C Table Driver, SQL-like DDL, Apache Hive support and much more.

A good starting point in order to get deeper into the NoSQL and Big Data world is the Oracle Big Data Learning Library.

Oracle recently announced Big Data SQL for Oracle NoSQL Database. This feature will allow Oracle Database users to connect to external data repositories like Oracle NoSQL Database or Hadoop in order to fetch data from any or all of the repositories (at once) through single SQL query.

Oracle Big Data SQL is an innovation from Oracle only available on Oracle Big Data Appliance. It is a new architecture for SQL on Hadoop, seamlessly integrating data in Hadoop and NoSQL with data in Oracle Database. Using Oracle Big Data SQL one can:

• Combine data from Oracle Database, Hadoop and NoSQL in a single SQLquery
• Query and analyze data in Hadoop and NoSQL
• Integrate big data analysis into existing applications and architectures
• Extend security and access policies from Oracle Database to data in Hadoopand NoSQL
• Maximize query performance on all data using Smart Scan


The recent update to Oracle REST Data Services enables a consistent RESTful interface to Oracle Database’s relational tables, JSON document store, and also enables access to Oracle NoSQL Database tables.

I still recommend reading the excellent article by Gwen Shapira entitled Hadoop and NoSQL Mythbusting.

Here are some useful links:

NoSQL Database Administrator’s Guide
Getting Started with NoSQL Database Table API
NoSQL Database Run Book
NoSQL Database Security Guide
Oracle NoSQL Database Availability and Failover
Download Oracle NoSQL Database, Server


It is interesting to note that according to Wikipedia, is the first stable Oracle NoSQL release.

Check the DBMS popularity broken down by database model!


Oracle X5 vs BMW X5

In DBA, Exadata, Oracle Engineered Systems on February 12, 2015 at 13:48

Oracle Exadata X5 is the latest generation of Engineered Systems which can be compared to a BMW X5. The “equivalent” integrated systems of competitors fall into the category of a mid class sedan except for the price. You must be willing to pay less in order to get the double and triple performance of Exadata.


To get more details on the topic, it is worth reading CIO Angle’s Oracle declares war on EMC, VCE: “Oracle will sell its latest generation X5 Engineered Systems hardware, which is Oracle’s term for converged systems, separately from Oracle applications on Linux or Windows at a significantly lower price than market leader VCE’s comparable systems. Ellison announced list prices that are half of VCE’s discounted prices. And he said “We will negotiate. We will discount.”

Ellison also announce an all-flash array that’s part of X5 but sold as a stand-alone unit. Again, the list price is one-third of the price of what Oracle said is a comparable EMC XtremeIO array. Significantly, he did not announce a stand-alone server or network switch, although these are also X5 components. This seems to indicate that Oracle is not going after Cisco Systems, at this time.”


What is worth rather watching than reading is the following presentation by Larry Ellison: The Next Generation of Oracle Engineered Systems.


And here are some useful links:

1. Juan Loaiza – Oracle Next Generation Engineered Systems Launch – theCUBE

2. Gartner: New X5 Generation Will Bring Pricing Improvements to Oracle Exadata

3. Oracle aims to undercut competition with X5 generation of engineered systems

4. Oracle Debuting FS1 Series Flash Storage System

5. Oracle Introduces New Generation of Engineered Systems and New Pricing Strategy

6. Oracle Exadata X5 Data Sheet

7. Oracle Serer X5-2 System Architeture


Exadata X5 with the In-Memory option enabled would be M6 Gran Coupe, if it were to be car.

Oracle Zero Data Loss Recovery Appliance

In DBA, Oracle database, Oracle Engineered Systems, RMAN on October 30, 2014 at 17:57

During the early versions of Oracle, Larry Ellison was asked once if anyone ever asked for their money back. His answer was: “No, but they used to ask us for their DATA back.”


Backup and Recovery go hand-in-hand, right? It is just that before recovery, we need to restore the data under the solid assumption that there is something to restore.

From the 10 member family of Oracle Engineered Systems, the ZDLRA is in my opinion the most critical. Let me explain why including some useful information for system DBAs.


Granted we do not want to find solutions to problems we don’t have, let us look at what DBAs’ reality is today. Most problems listed below are not longer just DBA’s weekly burdens, they affect global business directly:

1. Data growth and long backup windows: system is slow and virtually unusable because of a long running backup, what are the options now: offload backups to an ADG site, use BCV splits, do not take backups at all?

2. Infinite availability: looks like people do not talk any more of four 9s or five 9s, more and more often I hear words like zero down time, infinite availability, continuous availability. An ex-colleague and friend of mine used to say: “Zero downtime exists only in power point presentations”.

3. Lack of backup validation and end-to-end visibility: according to the Oracle documentation, the main purpose of RMAN validation is to check for corrupt blocks and missing files. You can also use RMAN to determine whether backups can be restored. How often do we do that? Really!

4. Data loss and data corruption: one can write a book on this subject. I still sadly witness databases being backed up using storage replication. That is indeed a very fast way to backup corrupted data blocks!

Recovery Appliance provides the following benefits:

1. Elimination of Data Loss
2. Minimal Backup Overhead
3. Improved End-to-End Data Protection Visibility
4. Cloud-Scale Protection

Here is a sample picture of the Recovery Appliance Architecture (it is worth reading the details behind the link):


Core DBAs might be interested in the new DBMS_RA package. A DBA can use the DBMS_RA subprograms to perform all Recovery Appliance administration functions. Check the DBMS_RA Package Reference.

There 27 new views related to the ZDLRA. Check the Recovery Appliance View Reference for more details.

The database account RASYS owns the Recovery Appliance schema, which includes the RMAN recovery catalog and the DBMS_RA PL/SQL package. The RASYS user name is fixed and cannot be changed. RASYS does not have the privileges required to create database user accounts.

DBAs should know that the Zero Data Loss Recovery Appliance Backup Module is an Oracle-supplied SBT library that RMAN uses to transfer backup data over the network to the Recovery Appliance. An SBT library transfers data to and from a backup device type, either a tape device or Recovery Appliance. RMAN performs all backups to the Recovery Appliance, and all restores of complete backup sets, by means of this module.

The Recovery Appliance Backup Module must be installed in the following two locations: (1) in the ORACLE_HOME of every protected database that sends backups to a Recovery Appliance for Recovery Appliance replication environments, and (2) on every upstream Recovery Appliance that sends backups to downstream Recovery Appliances.

Another important new concept for DBAs is the protection policy one: it is a named collection of properties that you can assign to multiple protected databases. A default installation of Recovery Appliance has these 4 protection policies.

Finally, an important questions: which databases are supported? The following Oracle Database releases are:

    – Oracle Database releases 10.2 through require manual HTTPS configuration.
    – Oracle Database releases and 12.x are fully supported.

Four good links to start from:

1. Zero Data Loss Recovery Appliance Administrator’s Guide Release 12.1
2. Reinventing Database Protection
3. Data Sheet – Oracle Zero Data Loss Recovery Appliance
4. A Technical Guide to Oracle’s Recovery Appliance