Oracle and Linux

so with the keynote today, Oracle announced that it is supporting Red Hat and backporting bug fixes and patches to previous and older versions of the operating system. The VP of Engineering at Yahoo used a phrase that brought back memories. The term “legacy systems” to me always meant Dell and IBM hardware. Today, that means Solaris Sparc machines. With this announcement I wonder how this will change the industry. Since Red Hat makes the majority of their revenue with service and Oracle is giving away the Linux kernel, where will Red Hat make money?

The argument that Larry brought forth that patches and bug fixes go into the new kernel for new and previous kernel versions. This is an interesting concept. The ability to change your patch system from Red Hat to Oracle is amazing. To make this happen you need to go to and download the up2date rpm. This rpm is configured to go to This is a great way of getting adoption and migration of existing Red Hat customers to switch to Oracle.

This should be very interesting.

Data Guard tips and tricks

If you don’t know about Data Guard, it is something that everyone should know about. A few tips and tricks from the session

  1. network bandwidth is important. There are a bunch of tuning metrics that can be done at the TCP layer level
  2. low latency, low problems. high latency, problems start to creep in.
  3. async redo transport – no async buffer to fill up. LNS can fall behind and will go into archive log if it is too slow.
  4. gap resolution – increase the number of arch processes from 2 to 4. Also use MAX_CONNECTIONS to 2. this reduces the overall time needed to resolve a gap by transferring an archive log using multiple processes.
  5. if the gap between primary and physical gets very large, use incremental backup to speed up gap resolution. Stop redo apply process, determine the current SCN of physical, take incremental backup of primary, catalog and recovery the incremental to physical, restart redo.
  6. automate archive log management. move backups to a physical standby. use RMAN to setup the archive log retention. requires flash recovery area on all databases
  7. this is slightly different for SQL apply. For 10.1, it required a manual purge applied to archive logs. For 10R2 they are automatic. This can be disabled on 10R2 but why?


  • multiple standby configurations is not that difficult and works well. It is recommended to define standby machines on the standby just incase it becomes the primary.This does require more redo being shipped between systems.
  • switchover stops all xactions and the redo log is drained. Once the log is cleared, the switchover will happen. You can make a physical standby in a logical switchover reinitiate itself as a physical standby but this is a manual process.
  • always try to failover to your physical standby. If you must switchover to a logical, use flashback to recovery primary and process redo logs to bring it back in sync.
  • switchover should not take more than a few minutes. you can speed this up by using real time apply.
  • in 10r2, DB_ROLE_CHANGE can fire a trigger when roles change

If I want to run a report on a standby I can suspend redo apply, flash back the database to a point in time, and run the report. This will allow you to write data to the database then flush the changed when you flash it back to a restore point and turn on the redo apply.

Like I said, there is a good reason to understand Data Guard. It is a very powerful tool that allows you to offload your production server and have a live standby backup of your system.

some things never change

Ok, I haven’t exactly kept up with blogging during the conference. I just figured out how to connect with my laptop from the conference hall. I am currently sitting in the keynote address from Sun. I miss Scott McNealy as a speaker. Johnathan Schwarts is interesting but not as good as Scott. It is interesting to note that he has updated his wardrobe and is starting to look like a CEO.

“Our [Sun’s] business model is to drive change and innovation into the data center”. Interesting concept. How do you run a $26B company with this concept? Not sure about that but I guess it is how you run a $13B corporation.

“A massive global buildout is underway”. Every business is growing. On average 4% growth in GDP for countries is expected. Some grow more, some grow less. Faster, better computers are not necessarily a good thing. It takes less computer and less capital to run the same investment. It talkes about $8M for the hardware to run infrastructure for a $13B company. Some companies are growing faster than Moore’s Law because they are responding to consumers that demand interaction. Some examples are EBay, Major League Baseball, ExxonMobil. These companies need very large data centers that require significantly more horsepower. This is where Sun is targeting because the traditional customer will eventually turn to service suppliers to get servers in their offices.

Sun is focusing on four verticals. Software, servers, storage, and services. – need to look at this…..GlassFish is the name for the open source development
building a Java EE 5 application server. It is based on the source code
for Sun Java System Application Server PE 9 donated by Sun Microsystems
and TopLink persistence code donated by Oracle. The question is how does it correlate to Tomcat or the Oracle Apps server

“Solaris crossed the 6M install base. 70% of these are on x64/x86”. This begs the question of why Sparc and why Sun continues to develop these chips. The Linux variant on ubuntu now runs on Sparc so this might add some lifetime to the chipset.

“There are times when our hardware will be the most innovative, there are times that our software will be the most innovative”. This is an interesting concept. It is also a great statement because the hardware group typically lags in delivery of product while someone else leapfrogs the technology. Using this strategy is interesting.

The $1k rebate from PG&E is an interesting sales concept. This successfully focuses the fact that other vendors consume too much power. If a customer has a competitors server running in California, PG&E will give the customer $1k rebate if they replace this with a Sun server. Interesting idea. I wonder how they structured this deal and how we could potentially replicate it with Entergy or Reliant.

The new concept…. 40 foot shipping container full of Sun equipment. Project blackbox. 250 systems/container. 2 Petabytes of tape. Up and running in five minutes.  Interesting packaging. To connect it requires three phase power, network connection, and hot and cold water connections. The racks are water cooled with chillers between the sideways mounted racks and has a center walkway for servicing. This is interesting and my guess is that everyone else will start delivering this as a solution within a few years.

more later….