RDA: Files for the Masses!

Courtesy of Ken Walker.

Taking a trip with my friend Billy is an interesting experience.  Billy drives a pickup truck and he tends to keep a LOT of stuff packed in the back.  He likes to say, “I need one of everything, and a spare in case it breaks.”  Some say he carries way too much in the back of his rig, but he does seem to be prepared for almost anything! 

Mass Preparedness His preparedness was put to the test this last winter as we were towing some snow-mobiles up to Northern Minnesota in a trailer behind his truck.  During the trek, the trailer broke down and we found ourselves staring at a loose wheel, with a shredded tire, in the middle of the night, on a lonely trail road about 100 miles from anywhere.  No problem.  In short order, Billy produced an electrical generator (to power the flood light, and the impact wrench, of course), a hydraulic jack, a wheel-bearing replacement kit, and a new trailer wheel, with a tire already mounted on it!  We were back on the road in less than half an hour!

Some of life’s issues are much less “difficult” to be sure, but some require quite a measure of care and for those, it is good to be prepared.  Sometimes, the extra time spent early on in the process can mean the difference between minutes and hours, or even “days,” when it comes time to resolve a tricky problem.

Oracle is working hard to better prepare their engineers to solve problems for their customers.  Oracle is a global company, so when an engineer is assigned a new issue, it is common for them to seek assistance from engineers who might specialize in other products, or in other locations, or who work different time shifts.  When a Service Request (SR) is seen and worked by a team of engineers, work slows (or stops) when one engineer needs to see a particular file that isn’t already uploaded and linked to the SR (or that isn’t in the back of Billy’s truck)!

The Remote Diagnostic Assistant (RDA) was developed by Oracle to attempt to “pack the truck” with every file an engineer may need to diagnose and resolve an SR going forward.  It is important to understand, that RDA is still experiencing a few “growing pains.”  The configuration files that might be required to work a problem for one product may be different than the suite of files required for a different Oracle product.  Therefore, some configuration will need to be done for RDA to do its job properly.  While Oracle is definitely enhancing the RDA product to make it “smarter” and easier for customers to use, it may require a little bit of attention to help it run successfully so that it gathers all of the necessary files properly. 

Would you rather give an engineer a problem to solve, with a truck full of data up front?  Or would you rather give him a problem, and then make yourself available 24/7 to “cherry-pick” whatever “file of the moment” he would need?  When care is taken, RDA will assemble just about anything and everything an engineer (or team of engineers) would need to attack the problem, without them having to come back over and over again for many more files.

I can’t imagine where we would have been, had Billy not stocked his truck with all of that equipment.  I suppose we’d have had to spend the night somewhere (probably in the truck), and then drive to a service station (or several) to get help…

For more information on how you can use RDA, see Get Proactive with Fusion Middleware : Resolve SRs Faster! Use Remote Diagnostic Agent (Doc ID 1498376.1)

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