Friday Jan 11, 2013

Leverage New High Availability Checks

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Leverage New High Availability Checks In Oracle RACcheck Utility

Oracle originally designed the Oracle RACcheck as a RAC Configuration Audit tool to review important configuration settings within a Real Application Clusters (RAC). Over time, we enhanced Oracle RACcheck to cover additional areas. These include single instance (non-rac) databases, Exadata, and now high availability (HA) checks.

This article will walk you through executing the new high availability (HA) checks in the RACcheck utility and reading the new report it generates.

Executing RACcheck with high availability checks

To execute RACcheck and include HA checks, you have two options:

$ ./raccheck -r (for regular healthcheck, including the new HA best practices)
$ ./raccheck -c hacheck (for only HA best practices)

Once you execute the command, RACcheck will detect and report all instances running on your server and give you the option to run all databases or a specific database. The list of databases will include any standby databases running on the server.

First


Once the execution completes, the RACcheck utility will create a report and a zip file containing all necessary files. This zip file can submitted to support for review. The results from our RACcheck example are:

TWO

Reading the report

Now we can look more closely at our results. Remember, we used the new flag to show only the high availability (HA) checks.

The report gives a general summary followed by a high-level list of items needing attention and/or items that passed the HA checks.


THREE

For each item, you are able to click on “view” to show details on the check and the settings the check recommends. In our example, if we look more closely at the failed check:

FAIL

SQL Check The recommended minimum number of archive processes on PRIMARY DB is not set All Databases View

 

We see both the current setting and the recommended change.

FOUR

There are details on the instance, as well as a link to allow for additional information.

This is the first set of High Availability checks in the RACcheck tool, but we will add more in the future. If you have any input on these checks, suggestions on which checks we should add, or questions on the new HA checks, please join us in the discussion we created for this conversation in My Oracle Support Community within the Database Backup and Recovery Community.

Related Informations:

RACcheck - RAC Configuration Audit Tool [ID 1268927.1]
Resolve - Troubleshooting and Preventing RAC issues with RACCheck [recorded Advisor Webcast; ID 1456176.1; Archived 2012 tab; Sept 12, 2012]

The new HA checks are:

  • Check that database is running in archivelog mode
  • Check that log_archive_config is set
  • Check archive processes, log_archive_max_processes parameter, setting.
  • Check that standby redo log files are configured.
  • Check Status of the log transport services for destination
  • Checks for a current gap for destination
  • Check for at least one active RFS-Process when log transport services to a standby database are active
  • Check current status of the managed recovery process
  • Check that FAL is configured
  • Check that data guard broker is running
  • Check for any unrecoverable datafile with no backup following the nologging command
  • Check for any offline datafiles.
  • Check that controlfile autobackup is configured to ON
  • Check that control_file_record_keep_time is not set too high or too low
  • Check that archivelog deletion policy is configured
  • For RAC database, check snapshot controlfile is configured and suggest it be placed on a on a shared device
  • Check if flashback database is set to ON
  • Check that recycle bin is ON
  • When FRA is configured, check that archivelog destination is set to FRA and not directory directly

Wednesday Sep 26, 2012

Know Your Service Request Status

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To monitor a Service Request or not to monitor a Service Request... That should never be the question

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Monitoring the Service Requests you create is an essential part of the process to resolve your issue when you work with a Support Engineer.

If you monitor your Service Request, you know at all times where it is in the process, or to be more specific, you know at all times what action the Support Engineer has taken on your request and what the next step is.

When you think about it, it is rather simple... Oracle Support is working the issue, Oracle Development is working the issue, or you are. When you check on the status, you may find that the Support Engineer has a question for you or the engineer is waiting for more information to resolve the issue. If you monitor the Service Request, and respond quickly, the process keeps moving, and you’ll get your answer more quickly.

Monitoring a Service Request is easy. All you need to do is check the status codes that the Support Engineer or the system assigns to your Service Request. These status codes are not static. You will see that during the life of your Service request, it will go through a variety of status codes.

The best advice I can offer you when you monitor your Service Request is to watch the codes. If the status is not changing, or if you are not getting responses back within the agreed timeframes, you should review the action plan the Support Engineer has outlined or talk about a new action plan.

Here are the most common status codes:

Work in Progress indicates that your Support Engineer is researching and working the issue.

Development Working means that you have a code related issue and Oracle Support has submitted a bug to Development.

Please pay a particular attention to the following statuses; they indicate that the Support Engineer is waiting for a response from you:

Customer Working usually means that your Support Engineer needs you to collect additional information, needs you to try something or to apply a patch, or has more questions for you.

Solution Offered indicates that the Support Engineer has identified the problem and has provided you with a solution.

Auto-Close or Close Initiated are statuses you don’t want to see. Monitoring your Service Request helps prevent your issues from reaching these statuses. They usually indicate that the Support Engineer did not receive the requested information or action from you. This is important. If you fail to respond, the Support Engineer will attempt to contact you three times over a two-week period. If these attempts are unsuccessful, he or she will initiate the Auto-Close process.

At the end of this additional two-week period, if you have not updated the Service Request, your Service Request is considered abandoned and the Support Engineer will assign a Customer Abandoned status. A Support Engineer doesn’t like to see this status, since he or she has been working to solve your issue, but we know our customers dislike it even more, since it means their issue is not moving forward.

You can avoid delays in resolving your issue by monitoring your Service Request and acting quickly when you see the status change. Respond to the request from the engineer to answer questions, collect information, or to try the offered solution. Then the Support Engineer can continue working the issue and the Service Request keeps moving forward towards resolution.

Keep in mind that if you take an extended period of time to respond to a request or to provide the information requested, the Support Engineer cannot take the next step. You may inadvertently send an implicit message about the problem’s urgency that may not match the Service Request priority, and your need for an answer.
SupportEngineer
Help us help you. We want to get you the answer as quickly as possible so you can stay focused on your company’s objectives.

Now, back to our initial question. To monitor Service Requests or not to monitor Service Requests?

I think the answer is clear: yes, monitor your Service Request to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.

Monday Sep 10, 2012

Resolve Instructional Webcast Series

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Catch the Express—Register for an Instructional Webcast

Resolve Issue Oracle Proactive Support’s ‘Get Proactive’ message to customers underscores the benefits they’ll obtain by leveraging the Prevent, Resolve and Upgrade capabilities available across the suite of Oracle Products. Our goal in Proactive Support is to show customers how to ‘Get Proactive’ and achieve success by leveraging the latest tools, knowledge, and best practices available to manage your applications and technology more proactively. Most importantly, we want to ensure that customers are proficient in the use of these proactive capabilities.

To help you gain this proficiency, we’ve recently launched a series of instructional webcasts that we call the “Resolve Series.” This series consists of both live and on-demand webcasts, and features some of the key proactive capabilities that customers can leverage to resolve their own problems. We launched the first phase of the series in July, and focused on finding answers using the My Oracle Support portal. Among the topics covered in those sessions were best practices for searching the knowledge base, leveraging communities to find answers faster, and other proactive features of My Oracle Support

The second phase of the series is set to kick off in September. This phase will include product specific sessions designed to provide customers who use the product with the skills and knowledge required to leverage some of the most important capabilities found under the “RESOLVE” category of our proactive portfolio on My Oracle Support. These webcasts will feature Subject Matter Experts demonstrating how to use the tools and capabilities, discussing best practices, and providing answers to any questions you might have. In addition, hands-on labs will be included in some of the sessions, allowing you to practice applying what you’ve just learned.Man working

Whether you are a new customer or you’ve worked with Oracle Support for years, you’ll discover new information and techniques to help you work more efficiently and keep your systems running smoothly. Leverage this opportunity to learn best practices and get the inside track on finding answers fast by using the right tools at the right time. Make sure to take advantage of these webcasts and maximize the value you receive from your Oracle Premier Support investment.


See the full schedule of events and register for sessions.

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How? By sharing our own best practices, tips, and tricks. Get on the ‘Insider's Track.’

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