Tuesday Oct 16, 2012

OTN APAC Tour 2012: Bangkok, Thailand - Oct 22, 2012

Roy had done some of the South America OTN Tour 2012 dates earlier this year in Peru and Chile. And I'm looking forward to present next Monday, October 22nd, 2012, on the OTN Tour 2012 in Bangkok, Thailand. The event will be held at the Eastin Grand Hotel in Bangkok.

Register today for the OTN APAC Tour 2012 in Bangkok, Thailand!

Presentations will include:

Plus presentations  about Security, RMAN and other topics by Francisco Alvarez and others. Please find the complete agenda here.

Looking forward to meet you on Monday - CU there :-)

Monday Oct 08, 2012

OOW 2012:
Slides Download

Hm ... you might ask yourself why there are no Oracle Database 12c slides available for download, neither in the OOW 2012 content system nor on our blog (and I believe nowhere else).

Simple reason: As long as Oracle Database 12c is not released and available we are not allowed to offer slides for download. Therefore people were simply taking pictures during the 12c sessions with their phones, iPods and cameras. Roy took a nice shot:


Sorry for that - we'll make the content available as soon as Oracle Database 12c gets released.

In between you can download our OOW 2012 talk Database Upgrades on Steroids: Real Speed, Real Customers, Real Secrets as PDF (3.4MB) - but the 12c content is currently not in that PDF. But a lot of information applies to your source database and/or to any upgrade - so it still might be helpful. And unfortunately the same 12c rule applies to the slides guiding you through our Hands-On-Lab on Tuesday.

Thanks :-)

OOW 2012:
Kings of Leon & Pearl Jam - Appreciation Event

June 15, 1992 - that was actually the day when Pearl Jam played their first concert in Serenadenhof in my hometown, N├╝rnberg. Oups ... that's over 20 years ago ... ;-)

So I was so happy to get a ticket to this year's OOW 2012 appreciation event on Treasure Island. Every year it amazes me over and over again how the organizers manage it logistically to bring almost 40,000 people to and back from the island. Food was ... I would say fairly ok ... and beer (as always) is not - actually even though I'm not a beer drinker I wouldn't call it beer

Kings of Leon did start. I like them a lot and owe their 2008 album Only By Night. That was a good start to warm up the crowd.

And then Pearl Jam took over - and ... wooooooow ... they are such a great live band. First of all as far as I understood they were donating the money they've got for that gig to an NGO. And Eddie Vedder's voice is simply striking ... I had shivers running down my spine. They played a good excerpt of their +20 years career closing down with Alive at the very end. It seemed to everybody that the band had real fun playing there - and it was sooooo good. Thanks a lot to the person who did organize me a ticket :-)

Catching my bus back to my hotel area down at Fisherman's Wharf worked well - but I must have fallen asleep 5 minutes after we've left the parking lot. The next thing I did recognize was the bus driver pushing the breaks at Northpoint. What a wonderful night ...

Thursday Oct 04, 2012

OOW 2012:
Under the Bridge ;-)

Just some impressions ...


Remember SF's landmark, Golden Gate bridge? Well ...


Moon over Bay Bridge

OOW 2012:
Deutsche Messe on their SAP Database Upgades

This Sunday Andreas Ellerhoff from Deutsche Messe (German Trade Fair) did report about Deutsche Messe's SAP/Oracle database upgrades to Oracle Database 11.2 and their improvements in comparison to Oracle Database 10g. Presentation was well attended and attendees I've talked to later on gave very positive feedback.

Download the slides here as PDF (2.6MB)

Tuesday Mar 13, 2012

Oracle Open World 2012 - Call for Papers 14-MAR-2012

Wow - this year it's an early call. But yes, it's time now to submit your papers for OOW 2012. Oracle Open World 2012 will happen again in San Francisco and will run from September 30 - October 5, 2012 at the Moscone Center.

Customers and Partners are encouraged to submit their proposals until April 9, 2012 at 11:59pm PDT. You'll find more information on the OOW's 2012 Call For Papers page. We are looking forward to check out your session on database upgrades, migrations and projects. And feel free to contact us anytime :-)

-Mike

Thursday Jan 19, 2012

Fundamental Oracle flaw revealed??? Really ...?

This Infoworld article from Jan 17, 2012  Fundamental Oracle flaw revealed did alert Oracle database customers.Infoworld has raised this issue to Oracle before going public with it. Patches are included in the Jan 2012 CPU and PSU. So again, it's strongly recommended to apply the Jan 2012 PSU (or CPU if you are just asking for security fixes) to your environments.

What is the background of this issue?
Everything in an Oracle database is dependent on the SCN (System Change Number). This number is crucial to ensure read consistency. It will always be just incremented and is defined as a large 48-bit integer (281 trillion SCNs). But the SCN can jump as well - especially in cases of distributed transactions. Besides that hard limit there's also a soft limit for the SCN (see the MOS Note for more information).
Distributed Transaction

Hot backup bug
Now there's a backup bug which will increment the SCN to a much higher value once ALTER DATABASE BEGIN BACKUP gets used. We call this putting tablespaces into hot backup mode. Actually I'd assume that most people out there (at least those doing backups on a regular basis) use RMAN - and RMAN does not need to put anything into hot backup mode when creating online backups as the real downside of the hot backup mode is an increased value of log information.
Strong recommendation: Use RMAN! And you may apply patch 12371955: "High SCN growth rate from ALTER DATABASE BEGIN BACKUP in 11g" to your environment.

Combination of backup up and distributed transactions
The people who've detected this issue paint now a large Oracle database infrastructure to the wall - with many databases running distributed transactions - and a misbehaving BEGIN BACKUP routine in combination. This would elevate the SCN over and over again - on all interconnected databases - over time as the SCN will be synched over and over again - and will do huge jumps because of the backup bug.

What's the real risk?
I'm not a security expert - but I've seen many customer environments in the real world. I'd say (and skilled DBAs gotten interviewed by Infoworld and others stated similar opinions) it may be just a small risk in larger environments where many databases are connected together - and CPUs or PSUs got not applied on a regular basis. The PSU/CPU fix will prevent the SCN to be incremented in extensive jumps by several ways.
I'd completly disagree with Infoworld's prediction that databases will crash or abandon - transactions won't be executed anymore and an error will be raised. Yes, this is bad enough - true - but the database(s) will remain open.

What should you do?
Apply the January 2012 PSU or CPU and hot backup fix covered by patch 12371955. But keep in mind

  • Take the PSUs over CPUs as PSUs will contain also important non-dictionary changing fixes whereas CPUs contain security fixes only
  • You can't put a CPU on top of a previous applied PSU
  • Both CPUs and PSU are cummulative 
  • And well, you'll need Extended Support to get acces to PSUs or CPUs for Oracle Database 10.1 and 10.2 - and yes, please don't cry: We've asked you to upgrade a looooooong time ago ;-)
About

Mike Dietrich - Oracle Mike Dietrich
Senior Principal Technologist - Database Upgrade Development Group - Oracle Corporation

Based near Munich/Germany and spending plenty of time in airplanes to run either upgrade workshops or work onsite with reference customers. Acting as interlink between customers and the Upgrade Development.

Contact me either via XING or LinkedIn

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