Wednesday May 04, 2016

Are BPs. PSUs and Proactive BPs cumulative?

Are Bundle Patches (BPs) and Patch Set Updates (PSUs) cumulative?

That is a question sounding trivial to many people but actually it does get asked quite often. And sometimes I forget to mention this during the workshops - and luckily usually somebody asks the question reminding me to explain it.

Yes, Bundle Patches and Patch Set Updates (and of course Proactive Bundle Patches and Critical/Security Patch Updates (CPUs/SPUs) are all cumulative.

You'll find this mentioned in the first paragraph of MOS Note: 854428.1 - Patch Set Updates for Oracle Products:


...

Interesting note on the side:
I would have expected this important piece of information in MOS Note:1962125.1 - Oracle Database - Overview of Database Patch Delivery Methods but I couldn't find it. So it's no wonder why people ask such a trivial question ... [irony!]  
.

Two simple examples:

  • You have the October 2015 PSU applied
  • You'd like to apply the April 2016 PSU on top
    • Then you don't need the January 2016 PSU as it is included in the April 2016 PSU already
      .
  • You never applied a Procative Bundle Patch
  • You'd like to apply the April 2016 Proactive Bundle because a guy recommended it on an Oracle blog - and actually MOS notes mention it as well as highly recommended
    • You don't need to apply anything beforehand.
      The April 2016 Proactive BP has all the fixes from all previous BPs included on top of Oracle Database 12.1.0.2.0
      .

Further Information?

You'll find recent related postings on this blog here: 

 --Mike
.

Tuesday May 03, 2016

Can I apply a BP on top of a PSU? Or vice versa?

This question was in my inbox this morning raised by a customer via a colleague. 

Our feeling said:
Yes, but you'll have to deinstall the PSU first before applying the BP.

Having a feeling is one thing, knowing the truth is better. And as I have so much fun by applying PSUs and BPs back and forth since two weeks I thought "let's give it a try". So here we go ...
.

Apply a BP on top of a PSU

This is my starting point - Oracle Database 12.1.0.2 with PSU October 2015, the last state in my VBox environment since I experiment with parameters and packages at the moment.

And this is the result when trying to apply the BP from April 2016 on top: 

[CDB2] oracle@localhost:/media/sf_CTEMP/22899531/22899531/22806133
$ opatch apply
Oracle Interim Patch Installer version 12.1.0.1.10
Copyright (c) 2016, Oracle Corporation.  All rights reserved.


Oracle Home       : /u01/app/oracle/product/12.1.0.2
Central Inventory : /u01/app/oraInventory
   from           : /u01/app/oracle/product/12.1.0.2/oraInst.loc
OPatch version    : 12.1.0.1.10
OUI version       : 12.1.0.2.0
Log file location : /u01/app/oracle/product/12.1.0.2/cfgtoollogs/opatch/opatch2016-05-03_10-26-37AM_1.log

Verifying environment and performing prerequisite checks...

Conflicts/Supersets for each patch are:

Sub-Patch : 20243804

        Bug Conflict with Sub-Patch 21359755
        Conflicting bugs are:
        18966843, 19468991, 19032777, 19587324

[..]


Following patches have conflicts: [   21359755   22806133 ]
Refer to My Oracle Support Note 1299688.1 for instructions on resolving patch conflicts.

UtilSession failed: Patch 21359755 is a composite patch which could not be rollback.

Log file location: /u01/app/oracle/product/12.1.0.2/cfgtoollogs/opatch/opatch2016-05-03_10-26-37AM_1.log

OPatch failed with error code 73


Ok, our suspicion was correct.

There are a lot of conflicts - I have to remove the PSU first. And of course the recommended conflict check would have given me the same result. Furthermore I think I have read this a while back in one of the central notes about PSUs and BPs in MOS as well.
.

Removing the PSU from October 2015 first

Removing a PSU or BP is very simple and straight forward (and well described in the ReadMe.html coming coming with the patch).

[CDB2] oracle@localhost:/media/sf_CTEMP/21359755/21359755
$ opatch rollback -id 21359755
Oracle Interim Patch Installer version 12.1.0.1.10
Copyright (c) 2016, Oracle Corporation.  All rights reserved.

Oracle Home       : /u01/app/oracle/product/12.1.0.2
Central Inventory : /u01/app/oraInventory
   from           : /u01/app/oracle/product/12.1.0.2/oraInst.loc
OPatch version    : 12.1.0.1.10
OUI version       : 12.1.0.2.0

Log file location : /u01/app/oracle/product/12.1.0.2/cfgtoollogs/opatch/21359755_May_03_2016_10_41_54/rollback2016-05-03_10-41-54AM_1.log

Patches will be rolled back in the following order:
   21359755   20831110   20299023   19769480
The following patch(es) will be rolled back: 21359755  20831110  20299023  19769480
Sub-patches of a composite series are being rolled back. The system will be returned to a state where all subpatches are rolled back.

[..]

Please shutdown Oracle instances running out of this ORACLE_HOME on the local system.
(Oracle Home = '/u01/app/oracle/product/12.1.0.2')

Is the local system ready for patching? [y|n]
y

User Responded with: Y
Rolling back patch 21359755...

[..]

RollbackSession removing interim patch '19769480' from inventory Log file location: /u01/app/oracle/product/12.1.0.2/cfgtoollogs/opatch/21359755_May_03_2016_10_41_54/rollback2016-05-03_10-41-54AM_1.log OPatch succeeded.

Apply the BP from April 2016

I don't want to repeat myself as I wrote already about this positive experience a few days ago:

Oracle Database BP April 2016 applied successfully (Apr 21, 2016)
https://blogs.oracle.com/UPGRADE/entry/oracle_database_bp_april16_applied

Further Information?

You'll find recent related postings on this blog here:

--Mike

Friday Apr 29, 2016

Upgrade to Oracle Database 12c: We don't insist :-)

It's so funny - for years I discuss with customers minimal downtime upgrade strategies back and forth, up and down. I saw DBAs really hunting to save a few seconds potential downtime - and I always take this serious as there is usually a real reason behind that. Just to learn a few days later by repeating experience that my work Windows7 laptop goes down to apply upgrades ... and this takes looooooooong .... sometimes it takes a lengthy +30 minutes of quiet time. Whereas my OL6 VBox image applies upgrades in the background and needs a simple restart to be back in less than a minute or so.
Different strategies of course. 

For those who think I'm writing nonsense about the upgrade of my Win7 on my Lenovo x230 with 16GB of RAM, an i5-320M cpu and a 5400rpm WD spinning disk here's a screenshot taken from one of those upgrades where I sat already 15 minutes waiting ... waiting ... waiting ...

As Win7 had to configure the upgrades afterwards, once it was done with restarting I had to wait another 10 minutes for completion. And no, my laptop is not broken (not that I know) - it's 3 years old and heavily used of course. But all running fine usually ... :-) 

Anyhow ... 

Of course I discussed with a ton of people why you should upgrade now to Oracle Database 12.1.0.2 now! - and stay away from that "we go live on the 2nd release only" thinking as there's no such thing as THE 2nd release anymore.

But whatever my position on upgrades is, I can ensure that we don't discuss methods like this internally to force you to upgrade ...

MS Win10 Forced Upgrade Message

... not yet *haha* !!!
.

--Mike

PS: The picture is not a fake - you can watch the 41 seconds youtube video here :-) 
.

Thursday Apr 28, 2016

Incremental Statistics Collection in Oracle 12.1.0.2 - A True Story

Recently I came across a really interesting customer case in the UK dealing with Incremental Statistics Collection issues in regards to an upgrade to Oracle Database 12.1.0.2.

This is the follow-up blog post to: 

A while back I blogged already about Incremental Statistics collection in Oracle Database 12.1.0.2: 

And you'll find more information in our documentation and in posts by our optimizer folks:  

The Basics

The idea of Incremental Statistics Collection is simply to save time and resources when gathering statistics for partitioned tables in order to update the global stats. In Oracle Database 12c we added the very important features of: 

  • Incremental stats working now with partition exchange as well
  • "Changed" partitions won't be eligible for new stats generation until a certain stale percentage (default: 10%) has been reached - this has to be enabled and can be tweaked
    • SQL> exec DBMS_STATS.SET_DATABASE_PREFS('INCREMENTAL_STALENESS','USE_STALE_PERCENT');
    • SQL> exec DBMS_STATS.SET_DATABASE_PREFS('STALE_PERCENT','12');

Furthermore we always recommend to:  

  • Not enable incremental stats collection globally but only for specific tables. Otherwise the footprint for the synopsis on disk can grow fairly large. Biggest footprint I've seen so far was almost 1TB in size in the SYSAUX tablespace
  • Enable it mostly for range-partitioned tables where only a few partitions undergo DML changes 
    .

The Case

Actually the synopsis table in this particular case did contain "only" 300GB of data. But as the starting point was already Oracle Database 11.2.0.3 just a change from Range-Hash to List-Hash Partitioning would happen. As this happens via metadata swapping the impact should be small.

But the issue coming up after the upgrade didn't have to do with this change in partitioning layout.

Issue No.1

During the maintenance window the incremental stats job did not finish and actually this statement caused plenty of trouble:

delete from sys.wri$_optstat_synopsis$ where bo# = :tobjn and group# in (select * from table(:groups)

Not completing this statement within the 4 hours of the default maintenance window led to a rollback of the delete - and its rollback alone took 14 hours. It turned out that the delete has to happen (and complete) before the regathering of stats could start. 

I did recommend:
patch 21498770: AUTOMATIC INCREMENTAL STATISTICS JOB TAKING MORE TIME ON 12.1.0.2  (see also MOS Note:2041541.1 - Gather_Database_Stats_Job_Proc Taking More Time in 12.1.0.2 Than 11.2.0.4)

and the customer requested:
Patch 22893653: MERGE REQUEST ON TOP OF DATABASE PSU 12.1.0.2.160119 FOR BUGS 19450139 20807398
on top of their January 2016 PSU - the merge included the patch I mentioned.

Besides that another issue got discovered.

Issue No.2

The daily purge of statistics didn't really work on large synopsis as the default degree of parallelism introduced with Oracle 12c gets derived from the number of blocks on the synopsis table - bigger table means a higher parallel degree for the purge. It ended up with a PARALLEL hint of 60 - and that was counterproductive. Once a purge got started manually in serial mode or with a low DOP it completed in less than 1 minute.

With a similar trace as:

set serveroutput on;
EXEC dbms_output.enable(999999999);
EXEC dbms_stats.set_global_prefs('trace',1+4);
EXEC dbms_stats.gather_table_stats(ownname=>'&TABLE_OWNER',tabname=>'&TABLE_NAME');
EXEC dbms_stats.set_global_prefs('trace',0);

the issues could be identified as: 

Bug 21258096 - UNNECESSARY INCREMENTAL PARTITION GATHERS/HISTOGRAM REGATHERS

The customer requested another merge patch 22926433 which contains the following fixes:

19450139: KN:LNX:PERFORMANCE ISSUE WHEN RUNNING GATHER TABLE STATS WITH INCREMENTAL STATS
20807398: ORA-00600 [KGL-HASH-COLLISION] WITH FIX TO BUG 20465582
21258096: UNNECESSARY INCREMENTAL PARTITION GATHERS/HISTOGRAM REGATHERS
21498770: AUTOMATIC INCREMENTAL STATISTICS JOB TAKING MORE TIME ON 12.1.0.2

Finally the customer agreed with Support's recommendation to truncate the two synopsis tables, WRI$_OPTSTAT_SYNOPSIS_HEAD$ andWRI$_OPTSTAT_SYNOPSIS$, and regathered incremental statistics the following weekend. Of course they validated this action plan on their performance testing environment first - with the merge patch applied - and it had the desired effect and solved the issue.

Incremental statistic gathering works now as expected, the job fits into the maintenance window.

Lessons Learned

Actually Oracle Support released a very helpful and important note just a few weeks ago (too late for this customer): 

It contains not only links to the patches for the issues the customer hit here - but also a long list for Oracle 11.2.0.4 as well. 

Another MOS Note is worth to mention here: 

But these were not all issues the customer faced - so I may write up another blog post in addition within the next days.

--Mike

PS. All credits go to David Butler and Rob Dawley - thanks for your hard work, sorry for all the inconvenience - and especially thanks for writing it all together and forwarding it to me!!!

Wednesday Apr 27, 2016

Incremental Statistics Collection in Oracle 12.1.0.2 - Upgrade Pitfalls

A while back I blogged already about Incremental Statistics collection in Oracle Database 12.1.0.2: 

And you'll find more information in our documentation and in posts by our optimizer folks:  

And  you may read on this follow-up blog post about a related real world customer example ...   .

Database Upgrade

Important to know is the fact that during a database upgrade the underlying tables containing the synopsis for incremental stats collection may be reorganized. And depending on the amount of data this can take a bit.

The largest synopsis tables I have seen so far were almost 1TB of size at a financial customer in Europe. But I have seen ranges around 300GB quite often in the past months.
.

What happens during the database upgrade? 

Incremental Statistics Collection got introduced with Oracle Database 11.1.0.6 and improved from release to release. But during a database upgrade a reorganization of the synopsis table can happen.

  • Upgrade from Oracle 11.1.0.6/7 or 11.2.0.1 to Oracle 11.2.0.2/3/4:
    • Restructuring of WRI$_OPSTAT_SYNOPSIS$ to use range-hash partitioning 
    • Most data movement will happen here
    • As for the interim period two synopsis tables exist this will consume 2x the space of the synopsis table during the movement
      .

  • Upgrade from Oracle 11.2.0.2/3/4 to Oracle 12.1.0.x:
    • Restructuring of WRI$_OPSTAT_SYNOPSIS$ from range-hash partitioning to list-hash partitioning
    • There is little data movement in this case as the move happens with the help of metadata swapping
      .

Which symptoms may you see?

Actually very simple and obvious symptoms:
Phase 1 of the parallel upgrade to Oracle Database 12c takes unusually long. It should usually complete within the range of less than a few minutes. But in those cases it can take literally hours.

If that happens check your catupgrd0.log and watch out for the long running statements. It does not mean necessarily that it happens because of a huge synopsis table. For instance one of my German reference customers, DVAG had leftovers in the SYSAUX because of bugs in earlier releases they had worked with. 

But if you spot such results (quoting a colleague here):

"The table WRI$_OPTSTAT_SYNOPSIS$ has 20420 partitions, 344618 subpartitions and 921207 MB size. [..] This transformation step lasts for 6,5 hours, so the whole upgrade process duration has an important impact from this step." 

then you should be alerted. 
.

How can you check this upfront? 

We haven't included a check into the preupgrd.sql yet. But the following three queries will tell you if you may see issues when you get a larger number as result: 

  • How many tables have incremental stats on?
    SQL> select count(distinct bo#) from sys.wri$_optstat_synopsis_head$;
    .
  • How many partitions does your WRI$_OPSTATS_SYNOPSIS$ have?
    SQL> select partition_count from dba_part_tables where table_name='WRI$_OPTSTAT_SYNOPSIS$';
    .
  • How large is your synopsis table?
    SQL> select sum(bytes/(1024*1024)) "MB" from dba_segments where segment_name='WRI$_OPTSTAT_SYNOPSIS$';
    ,
  • Tables where inc stats are ON?
    SQL> select u.name "OWNER" ,o.name "TABLE_NAME" ,p.valchar
    from  sys.OPTSTAT_USER_PREFS$ p
    inner join sys.obj$ o on p.obj#=o.obj#
    inner join sys.user$ u on o.owner#=u.user#
    where p.PNAME = 'INCREMENTAL';

  • Synopsis for tables which don't exist anymore?
    SQL> select distinct h.bo# from sys.wri$_optstat_synopsis_head$ h where not exists (select 1 from sys.tab$ t where t.obj# = h.bo#);
    .

Especially a large number of tables being monitored and a size of tens and hundreds of GBs will indicate that you may have to calculate for a longer upgrade duration.

How do you cure this?

Support sometimes gives the recommendation to look for MOS Note: 1055547.1 - SYSAUX Grows Because Optimizer Stats History is Not Purged and asks for a manual purge of stats, for instance:

begin
for i in reverse 1..31
loop
dbms_stats.purge_stats(sysdate-i);
end loop;
end;
/

But this won't clean up the synopsis tables but only stats history for object statistics. And it may create some noise in your UNDO. So in any case you may better set your stats retention policy to something such as 10 days instead of the default of 31 days instead generally.

First of all you have to make sure that this patch got applied to your target already before upgrade - it will add parallel index capabilities which will speed up the rebuild a lot: 

Be aware:
Truncating WRI$_OPTSTATS_SYNOPSIS$ and WRI$_OPTSTAT_SYNOPSIS_HEAD$ is strictly not recommended. If you plan to do it the hard way please check back with Oracle Support for their approval first.
.

Further Information?

Please read on here about a real world customer example ... 

 


--Mike

Tuesday Apr 26, 2016

MOS Note 1454618.1: Quick Reference to Database PSUs, CPUs, BPs and Patchsets

Sometimes my mouse arm gets tired by clicking myself through MOS notes just to download a specific PSU or BP - and as I experiment a lot with PSUs and BPs right now I clicked a lot in the past days and nights. 

Usually I'd start with either MOS Note:161818.1 - then click on the release link (e.g. 12.1.0.x) in the left-most column, then into the Availability and Known Issues not (e.g. MOS Note:1683799.1 for Oracle Database 12.1.0.2.0) and then select the most recent patch from the list of Current Recommended Patches.

Even though we all agree that you should be ideally always on the most recent BP (or at least PSU) there may be situations where you need to access an older PSU or BP or just the CPU.
So what if you need for instance the October 2015 PSU?
This is obviously not linked from the above note.

My usual click routine guides me via the Critical Patch Updates and Security Alerts page, from there via the particular release date (e.g. October 2015) to the Database Server Version (e.g. linked from here is MOS Note:2037108.1) and then to the patch number I'm searching for.

Just learned a few days ago by accident that there's a MOS Note which I have on my favorites since then:

containing all this information - even for 8.1.7.4 patches if you still need them ;-)

After listing the base release first followed by the available patch sets it offers you the links to the PSUs, CPUs and BPs - and if you are looking for the patches containing the OJVM you'll find them by scrolling down towards the end of the note as well in a separate section. 

*** Don't get puzzled by the note's title - it lists the Bundle Patches for Windows only inside, not the general link to all BPs. Myself and a colleague left already feedback for the note owner to add the BP links (or Proactive Bundle Patch links) as well *** 

MOS Note Patches PSUs CPUs SPUs BPs

In fact a very useful MOS Note.
.

--Mike

Friday Apr 22, 2016

New PREUPGRD.SQL is available - Upgrade 12c - Apr16

It's time for a new and improved version of our team's preupgrd.sql (comes with the preupgrade package utluppkg.sql). 

The April 2016 preupgrd.sql 

Please always download and use the most recent version from:

as this version is 3 years newer than the one you'll get with a fresh install of Oracle Database 12.1.0.2

preupgrd.sql - April 2016 - MOS Note:884522.1
.

Included in the April 2016 PSU and BP as well

Great news - and very important. Once you apply the most recent April 2016 PSU or BP (recommended - please see here: April 2016 PSU/BP are here!) then you'll get the most recent version of the preupgrd.sql with utluppkg.sql as well automatically.

No need to download it separately anymore once you are on this PSU or BP.
.

--Mike

Tuesday Apr 19, 2016

RMAN Catalog Upgrade fails - ORA-02296 - error creating modify_ts_pdbinc_key_not_null

This issue got raised to my via a customer I know for quite a while - all credits go to Andy Kielhorn for digging down into that issue and solving it. 
,

Failed RMAN Catalog Upgrade from 11.2.0.4 to 12.1.0.2

The RMAN catalog upgrade:

SQL> @?/rdbms/admin/dbmsrmansys.sql

$ rman CATALOG rman/xxx@rman01

RMAN> UPGRADE CATALOG; 

RMAN> UPGRADE CATALOG;

failed with the following sequence of error messages: 

error creating modify_ts_pdbinc_key_not_null
RMAN-00571: ===========================================================
RMAN-00569: =============== ERROR MESSAGE STACK FOLLOWS ===============
RMAN-00571: ===========================================================
RMAN-06004: ORACLE error from recovery catalog database: ORA-02296: cannot enable (RMAN.) - null values found

error creating modify_tsatt_pdbinc_key_not_null
RMAN-00571: ===========================================================
RMAN-00569: =============== ERROR MESSAGE STACK FOLLOWS ===============
RMAN-00571: ===========================================================
RMAN-06004: ORACLE error from recovery catalog database: ORA-02296: cannot enable (RMAN.) - null values found

error creating modify_df_pdbinc_key_not_null
RMAN-00571: ===========================================================
RMAN-00569: =============== ERROR MESSAGE STACK FOLLOWS ===============
RMAN-00571: ===========================================================
RMAN-06004: ORACLE error from recovery catalog database: ORA-02296: cannot enable (RMAN.) - null values found

error creating modify_tf_pdb_key_not_null
RMAN-00571: ===========================================================
RMAN-00569: =============== ERROR MESSAGE STACK FOLLOWS ===============
RMAN-00571: ===========================================================
RMAN-06004: ORACLE error from recovery catalog database: ORA-02296: cannot enable (RMAN.) - null values found

error creating modify_bs_pdb_key_not_null
RMAN-00571: ===========================================================
RMAN-00569: =============== ERROR MESSAGE STACK FOLLOWS ===============
RMAN-00571: ===========================================================
RMAN-06004: ORACLE error from recovery catalog database: ORA-02296: cannot enable (RMAN.) - null values found

Andy found also these bugs in MOS - but no helpful information included:

  • Bug 20861957
    ORA-2296 DURING UPGRADE CATALOG TO 12.1,0.1 IN AN 11.2 DATABASE
  • Bug 19677999
    CATALOG SCHEMA UPGRADE TO 12.1.0.2 FAILED
.

The  Solution

There seems to be a potential inconsistency in the RMAN catalog when the PDB/CDB mechanisms get introduced. This does not necessarily happen - but it can happen.

The workaround is described in:

  • Bug 19677999 : CATALOG SCHEMA UPGRADE TO 12.1.0.2 FAILED

==> Connect to catalog schema and clear the table having null details 

delete bdf where not exists (select 1 from dbinc where dbinc.dbinc_key = bdf.dbinc_key);
delete bcf where not exists (select 1 from dbinc where dbinc.dbinc_key = bcf.dbinc_key);
commit;

==> After clearing the offending rows , upgrade catalog worked

But please use this workaround only under Oracle Support's supervision. I did document it here to ease your verification.

Andy fixed it with:

update <rmancat_owner>.dbinc set PARENT_DBINC_KEY=NULL where (DBINC_KEY) IN (SELECT DBINC_KEY  from  <rmancat_owner>..ts where pdbinc_key is null); 
commit;

but please open an SR and point Oracle Support to the bug and the potential workarounds in case you hit the issue.
.

--Mike

Thursday Apr 07, 2016

Collaborate16 - See you on Monday!

Collaborate Conference 2016

Time flies.

 I already started packing stuff for COLLABORATE16 - and I hope to see you in Las Vegas from April 10-14, 2016 :-)

These are the sessions I'll present: 

And if you'd like to discuss your topics in more detail feel free to visit me at the:

Oracle Booth #1053
Exhibit Hall - Bayside C/D, Level 1 – Mandalay Bay South Convention Center

  • Wednesday, April 13
    • 10:15 a.m. - 11:15 p.m. 
    • 12:15 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.

     CU soon!

    --Mike
    .

    Thursday Mar 31, 2016

    DROP PLUGGABLE DATABASE - things you need to know

    Directly after my DOAG (German Oracle User Group) Conference presentation about "How Single-/Multitenant will change a DBA's life" Martin Bach (Enkitec) approached me and told me about his experiences with the DROP PLUGGABLE DATABASE command and future recoverability.

    Martin discovered that once you issued the DROP PLUGGABLE DATABASE command you can't reuse a previously taken backup of this particular PDB anymore and recover the PDB into this existing CDB. I wasn't aware of this and I'm glad that Martin told me about it.

    Actually only the meta information in the controlfile or the RMAN catalog will be deleted. But archive logs and backup still persist.

    See also my blog post from Jan 9, 2015:
    Recent News about Pluggable Databases - Oracle Multitenant

    This is the error message you'll see when you try to recover a dropped pluggable database:

    RMAN> restore pluggable database pdb2drop;

    Starting restore at 01-JUN-15
    using channel ORA_DISK_1
    RMAN-00571: ===========================================================
    RMAN-00569: =============== ERROR MESSAGE STACK FOLLOWS ===============
    RMAN-00571: ===========================================================
    RMAN-03002: failure of restore command at 06/01/2015 10:10:40
    RMAN-06813: could not translate pluggable database pdb2drop

    Just a few weeks ago a colleague from German presales asked me if I know a more convenient way to restore a PDB once the magic command (DROP PLUGGABLE DATABASE) has been issued than recovering it into an auxiliary container database abd unbplug/plug it. I haven't.

    But Nik (thanks!!!) told me that he pushed a MOS Note to being published explaining how to workaround this issue: 

    MOS Note: 2034953.1
    How to Restore Dropped PDB in Multitenant

    In brief this MOS Note describes how to:

    • Create an auxiliary container database
    • Recover the backup (yes, you will have to have a backup of your container database) including this particular PDB
    • Unplug the PDB after recovery has been finished and plug it back into the original CDB

    Now some will say: Hey, that's simple and obvious. For me it wasn't ;-) That's why I write about it to remind myself of this workaround ...

    --Mike
    .



    Wednesday Mar 30, 2016

    DBUA and Read-Only Tablespaces - Things to Know II

    Related Blog Posts:



    Thanks to Rodolfo Baselli commenting on a previous blog post about the DBUA and Read-Only Tablespaces I dug a bit deeper and found out that "assuming silently" does not mean "works as intended".

    But one piece after another.

    Rodolfo commented that if he triggers the DBUA to switch all data tablespaces into read-only mode for the duration of the upgrade it will be still him to create the correct backup, the DBUA won't do it.

    This is the option in the Oracle Database 12.1.0.2 DBUA (Database Upgrade Assiatant):

    DBUA - Tablespaces in Read Only Mode

    I did silently assume that the DBUA will choose the correct backup strategy automatically when it offers (enabled by default) to create an Offline Backup on the Recovery Options screen a while later in the same dialogue.

    Backup Strategy DBUA

    But in fact it doesn't.

    When you choose the default, "Create a New Offline RMAN Backup" it will create a full offline RMAN  backup to the desired location - but not an partial offline backup as intended by the optional trigger to have the tablespaces in read-only mode during upgrade to allow a fast and simple restore without the need for a recovery. Please note that I would recommend this option generally only in cases where the database is on purpose in norarchivelog mode or where the RTO (Recovery Time Objective) is met only by restoring a partial offline backup.

    What are your options now?

    If you switch on the Read-Only option on purpose you'll have to choose "I have my own backup and restore strategy" and do the partial offline backup by yourself - before you start the DBUA.

    Personally I'd consider this option as not useful when used within the DBUA right now. We have discussed this internally, it may work correctly in a future patch set for the upcoming next release of the database therefore no offense to anybody. It's just important to know that you'll have to do the partial offline backup by yourself at the moment.
    .

    --Mike

    Wednesday Mar 09, 2016

    OUGN Conference - On the boat again

    OUGN Spring Conference 2016

    Last year influenza took me down and out just a couple of days before my planned departure for the famous OUGN Spring Conference. But this year (so far) I'm still happy and healthy and on my way towards beautiful Oslo. I'm really looking forward to this year's OUGN Spring Conference which will happen again on the boat departing from Oslo and sailing over to Kiel - and then returning back.

    In case you plan to visit my talks and demos:

    • Thursday, 10-March-2016 - 14:00-14:45h - Parliament 1+2
      How Oracle Single Tenant will change a DBA's life
      .
    • Friday, 11-March-2016 - 10:30-11:15h - Parliament 1+2
      Oracle Database Upgrade: Live and Uncensored
      .

    Looking forward to this wonderful event with so many good talks and presentations and such a great group of people. And thanks to the organizers of OUGN!

    --Mike

    .

    Tuesday Mar 08, 2016

    Parameter Recommendations for Oracle Database 12c - Part II


    Best Practice Hint

    Time for a new round on Parameter Recommendations for Oracle Database 12.1.0.2. The focus of this blog post settles on very well known parameters with interesting behavior. This can be a behavior change or simply something we'd like to point out. And even if you still work on Oracle Database 11g some of the below recommendations may apply to your environment as well.

    Preface

    Again, please be advised - the following parameter list is mostly based on personal experience only. Some of them are officially recommended by Oracle Support. Always use proper testing mechanisms.

    We strongly recommend Real Application Testing, especially the SQL Performance Analyzer but also Database Replay to verify the effect of any of those parameters. 
    .

    Known Parameters - Interesting Behavior

    • parallel_min_servers
      • What it does?
      • Default:
        • CPU_COUNT * PARALLEL_THREADS_PER_CPU * 2
      • Behavior Change:
        • Setting it to a value below the default will let the database ignore it.
        • In Oracle Database 11g the default was 0
        • Compare 11.2.0.4 vs 12.1.0.2 on the same box:
          • 11g:
            SQL> show parameter parallel_min_servers
            NAME                  TYPE     VALUE
            --------------------- -------- ------
            parallel_min_servers  integer  0

          • 12c:
            SQL> show parameter parallel_min_servers
            NAME                  TYPE     VALUE
            --------------------- -------- ------
            parallel_min_servers  integer  8
      • Explanation:

    • job_queue_processes
      • What it does?
        • See the Oracle Documentation - value specifies the maximum number of job slaves to be created to execute jobs started by either DBMS_JOBS or DBMS_SCHEDULER
      • Default:
        • 1000
      • Recommendation:
        • Set it to a rough equivalent of 2 * CPU cores
      • Explantion:
        • In Oracle Database 12c we introduced the automatic stats gathering during CTAS and IAS (into an empty table only) operations. This can potentially lead to too many jobs doing the stats gathering. Furthermore issues can happen due to the default of concurrent stats gathering.
          Therefore a limitation of this parameter seems to be a good idea. 
        • Be aware when switching it to 0 - this will block all recompilation attempts. Furthermore generally no jobs can be executed anymore with  DBMS_JOBS or DBMS_SCHEDULER.
        • Multitenant behavior change:
          In 12.1.0.1, job_queue_process was a Container Database (CDB) modifiable parameter (ie. at a global level). However, in 12.1.0.2, the job_queue_process parameter is not CDB modifiable; instead it's PDB modifiable which means each PDB can have its own job_queue_process value.  
      • More Information:
      • Annotation:
        I've had an email exchange with Stefan Köhler about the stats behavior for CTAS. As I couldn't myself reproduce the behavior we say at two customer with job_queue_processes=1000 and an heavy CTAS activity (which could be remedied by setting JQP to a lower value) I would put a question mark behind my above statement.

        .
        .
    • recyclebin
      • What it does?
        • See the Oracle Documentation - controls whether the Flashback Drop capability is turned on or off. If the parameter is set to OFF, then dropped tables do not go into the recycle bin. If this parameter is set to ON, then dropped tables go into the recycle bin and can be recovered.
      • Default:
        • ON
      • Recommendation:
        • If the recyclebin is ON (the default) in your environment then empty it at least once per week. Create a default job in all your environments emptying the recycle bin every Sunday morning at 3am for instance:
          SQL> purge DBA_RECYCLEBIN;
      • Explantion:
        • The recycle bin is on in every database by default since Oracle 10g. The danger is that it may not be emptied but especially on developer databases many objects may be created and dropped again. As a result the dropped objects and its dependents still stay in the database until the space needs to be reclaimed. That means, they exist in the data dictionary as well, for instance in TAB$. Their name is different now starting with "BIN$..." instead of "EMP" - but they will blow up your dictionary. And emptying it not often enough may introduce a performance dip to your system as the cleanup of many objects can be quite resource intense
        • Check your current recycle bins:
          SQL > SHOW RECYCLEBIN;
          ORIGINAL NAME RECYCLEBIN NAME              OBJECT TYPE DROP TIME
          ------------- ---------------------------- ----------- -------------------
          TEST_RBIN     BIN$2e51YTaSK8TL/mPy+FuA==$0 TABLE       2010-05-27:15:23:45
          TEST_RBIN     BIN$5dF60S3GSEOSSYREaqCg==$0 TABLE       2010-05-27:15:23:43
          TEST_RBIN     BIN$JHCDN9YwQRXjXGOJcCIg==$0 TABLE       2010-05-27:15:23:42
      • More Information:
    .
    .

    • deferred_segment_creation
      • What it does?
        • See the Oracle Documentation - set to the default (TRUE), then segments for tables and their dependent objects (LOBs, indexes) will not be created until the first row is inserted into the table
      • Default:
        • TRUE
      • Recommendation:
        • Set it to FALSE unless you plan to create a larger number of tables/indexes knowing that you won't populate many of them.
      • Explantion/Risk:
        • If my understanding is correct this parameter got introduced with Oracle Database 11.2 in order to save space when applications such as EBS, Siebel or SAP create tons of tables and indexes which never may get used as you don't work with the matching module of the software
        • The risk can be that certain query check DBA_SEGMENTS and/or DBA_EXTENTS - and if there's no segment allocated you won't find an indication about the existence of the object in there - but it actually exists. Furthermore we have seen issues with Data Pump workers getting contention, and some other things. 
      • More Information:
        • The documentation has become now pretty conservative as well since Oracle 11.2.0.4 and I'll second that:
          Before creating a set of tables, if it is known that a significant number of them will not be populated, then consider setting this parameter to true. This saves disk space and minimizes install time.
          ..
     --Mike

    Friday Mar 04, 2016

    Parameter Recommendations for Oracle Database 12c - Part I

    Best Practice Hint

     A few weeks ago we've published some parameter recommendations including several underscores but based on an internal discussion (still ongoing) we decided to remove this entry and split up the tasks. The optimizer team will take over parts of it and I'll post an update as soon as something is published.

    .

    Preface

    Please be advised - the following parameter list is mostly based on personal experience only. Some of them are officially recommended by Oracle Support. Always use proper testing mechanisms.

    We strongly recommend SQL Performance Analyzer to verify the effect of any of those parameters. 
    .

    How to read this blog post?

    Never ever blindly set any underscore or hidden parameters because "somebody said" or "somebody wrote on a blog" (including this blog!) or "because our country has the best tuning experts worldwide" ... Only trust Oracle Support if it's written into a MOS Note or an official Oracle White Paper or if you work with a particular support or consulting engineer for quite a long time who understands your environment.
    .

    Important Parameter Settings

      • _kks_obsolete_dump_threshold
        • What it does?
          • Introduced in Oracle 12.1.0.2 as an enhancement  to improve cursor sharing diagnostics by dumping information about an obsolete parent cursor and its child cursors after the parent cursor has been obsoleted N times. 
        • Problem:
          • Trace files can grow like giant mushrooms due to cursor invalidations
        • Solution:
        • Patches:
          • Fix included in DBBP 12.1.0.2.160216
          • Fix on-top of 12.1.0.2.13DBEngSysandDBIM
          • Since Feb 13, 2016 there's a one-off available but on Linux only - and only on top of a fresh 12.1.0.2 
        • Remarks:
          • The underlying cursor sharing problem needs to be investigated - always
            If you have cursor sharing issues you may set this parameter higher therefore not every invalidation causes a dump, then investigate and solve the issue, and finally switch the parameter to 0 once the issue is taken care of. 
            Please be aware that switching the parameter to 0 will lead to a lack of diagnostics information in case of cursor invalidations.


      • _use_single_log_writer
      • memory_target
        • What it does?
        • Problem:
          • Unexpected failing database upgrades with settings of  memory_target < 1GB where equal settings ofsga_target and pga_aggregate_target didn't cause issues 
          • It prevents the important use of HugePages
        • Solution:
          • Avoid memory_target by any chance
          • Better use sga_target and pga_aggregate_target instead


      • pga_aggregate_limit

      Essential MOS Notes for Oracle Database 12.1.0.2

      --Mike
      .

      Tuesday Mar 01, 2016

      Differences between Automatic Statistics Gathering job and GATHER_SCHEMA_STATS

      Recently a customer raised a question whether there are differences between the Automatic Statistics Gathering job and a manual creation of stats via the GATHER_SCHEMA_STATS procedure.

      The results in performance were quite interesting. Performance after an upgrade from Oracle Database 11.2.0.3 to Oracle Database 11.2.0.4 was not good when the automatic stats job got used. But performance changed significantly to the better when schema stats were created with the downside of taking more resources during the gathering.

      Is the Automatic Stats Gathering job enabled?

      That question can be answered quite easily. There's a very good MOS Note:1233203.1 - FAQ: Automatic Statistics Collection displaying this query:

      SELECT CLIENT_NAME, STATUS FROM DBA_AUTOTASK_CLIENT WHERE CLIENT_NAME='auto optimizer stats collection';

      The MOS Note has also the code to enable (or disable) the job.
      .

      Which parameters/settings are used?

      That question is a bit more tricky as the Note says: "The automatic statistics-gathering job uses the default parameter values for the DBMS_STATS procedures". But how do I display them?

      The following script will display the parameters being used during the Automatic Statistics Gathering:

      SET ECHO OFF
      SET TERMOUT ON
      SET SERVEROUTPUT ON
      SET TIMING OFF
      DECLARE
         v1  varchar2(100);
         v2  varchar2(100);
         v3  varchar2(100);
         v4  varchar2(100);
         v5  varchar2(100);
         v6  varchar2(100);
         v7  varchar2(100);
         v8  varchar2(100);
         v9  varchar2(100);
         v10 varchar2(100);        
      BEGIN
         dbms_output.put_line('Automatic Stats Gathering Job - Parameters');
         dbms_output.put_line('==========================================');
         v1 := dbms_stats.get_prefs('AUTOSTATS_TARGET');
         dbms_output.put_line(' AUTOSTATS_TARGET:  ' || v1);
         v2 := dbms_stats.get_prefs('CASCADE');
         dbms_output.put_line(' CASCADE:           ' || v2);
         v3 := dbms_stats.get_prefs('DEGREE');
         dbms_output.put_line(' DEGREE:            ' || v3);
         v4 := dbms_stats.get_prefs('ESTIMATE_PERCENT');
         dbms_output.put_line(' ESTIMATE_PERCENT:  ' || v4);
         v5 := dbms_stats.get_prefs('METHOD_OPT');
         dbms_output.put_line(' METHOD_OPT:        ' || v5);
         v6 := dbms_stats.get_prefs('NO_INVALIDATE');
         dbms_output.put_line(' NO_INVALIDATE:     ' || v6);
         v7 := dbms_stats.get_prefs('GRANULARITY');
         dbms_output.put_line(' GRANULARITY:       ' || v7);
         v8 := dbms_stats.get_prefs('PUBLISH');
         dbms_output.put_line(' PUBLISH:           ' || v8);
         v9 := dbms_stats.get_prefs('INCREMENTAL');
         dbms_output.put_line(' INCREMENTAL:       ' || v9);
         v10:= dbms_stats.get_prefs('STALE_PERCENT');
         dbms_output.put_line(' STALE_PERCENT:     ' || v10);
      END;
      /

      The settings of the DBMS_STATS.GATHER_SCHEMA_STATS procedure are documented:
      https://docs.oracle.com/database/121/ARPLS/d_stats.htm#ARPLS68577 

      When you compare the two you'll see that the settings/defaults are identical. 
      .

      But what is the difference between these two?

      Both activities use the same parameters. So the stats will look the same - IF they get created. The real difference between the Automatic Statistics Gathering job and a manual invocation of GATHER_SCHEMA_STATS is that the latter will refresh ALL statistics whereas the Automatic Statistics Gathering job will refresh only statistics on objects where statistics are missing or marked as STALE.

      The same behavior appears when you compare the recommendation to gather dictionary statistics before the upgrade by using DBMS_STATS.GATHER_DICTIONARY_STATS versus a DBMS_STATS.GATHER_SCHMEA_STATS('SYS')call. The latter will refresh all statistics whereas the first one will take less resources but refresh only STALE and missing statistics.
      .

      A simple example

      This script is kept as simple as possible.

      • It creates a test user
      • It creates two tables within this user - tablespace USERS
      • It inserts and updates information in the two tables
      • It flushes the monitoring information (how many DMLs got run?) out
      • It gathers stats on only one table to verify that STALE is working as intended
      • It kicks off the automatic stats gathering job
      • It kicks off the schema stats gathering call
      • It compares results before/after in the stats history table 

      set timing on
      set serverout on
      set echo on
      set termout on
      column table_name Format a5
      column owner      Format a6
      column stale_stats Format a4
      column last_analyzed Format a15
      column sample_size format 9999999
      drop user test1 cascade;
      create user test1 identified by test1;
      grant connect, resource, dba to test1;
      alter user test1 default tablespace USERS;
      create table TEST1.TAB1 as select * from dba_objects where rownum<50001;
      exec dbms_stats.gather_table_stats('TEST1','TAB1');
      create table TEST1.TAB2 as select * from dba_objects where rownum<50001;
      exec dbms_stats.gather_table_stats('TEST1','TAB2');
      insert into TEST1.TAB1 select * from dba_objects where rownum<50001;
      commit;
      insert into TEST1.TAB2 select * from dba_objects where rownum<50001;
      commit;
      insert into TEST1.TAB2 select * from dba_objects where rownum<50001;
      commit;
      update TEST1.TAB1 set object_id=object_id+0;
      commit;
      update TEST1.TAB2 set object_id=object_id+1;
      commit;
      exec DBMS_STATS.FLUSH_DATABASE_MONITORING_INFO;
      select table_name,owner,stale_stats,to_char(last_analyzed,'DD-MON HH24:MI:SS') LAST_ANALYZED,SAMPLE_SIZE from dba_tab_statistics where table_name in ('TAB1','TAB2');
      exec DBMS_STATS.GATHER_TABLE_STATS('TEST1','TAB1');
      select table_name,owner,stale_stats,to_char(last_analyzed,'DD-MON HH24:MI:SS') LAST_ANALYZED,SAMPLE_SIZE from dba_tab_statistics where table_name in ('TAB1','TAB2');
      exec DBMS_AUTO_TASK_IMMEDIATE.GATHER_OPTIMIZER_STATS;
      pause Wait a bit - then press return ...
      select table_name,owner,stale_stats,to_char(last_analyzed,'DD-MON HH24:MI:SS') LAST_ANALYZED,SAMPLE_SIZE from dba_tab_statistics where table_name in ('TAB1','TAB2');
      exec dbms_stats.gather_schema_stats('TEST1');
      select table_name,owner,stale_stats,to_char(last_analyzed,'DD-MON HH24:MI:SS') LAST_ANALYZED,SAMPLE_SIZE from dba_tab_statistics where table_name in ('TAB1','TAB2');
      prompt End ...

      .

      The results

      exec
      DBMS_STATS.
      FLUSH_DATABASE_MONITORING_INFO;
      TABLE OWNER  STAL LAST_ANALYZED   SAMPLE_SIZE
      ----- ------ ---- --------------- -----------
      TAB1  TEST1  YES  29-FEB 22:37:07       50000
      TAB2  TEST1  YES  29-FEB 22:37:07       50000

      exec
      DBMS_STATS.
      GATHER_TABLE_STATS('TEST1','TAB1');
      TABLE OWNER  STAL LAST_ANALYZED   SAMPLE_SIZE
      ----- ------ ---- --------------- -----------
      TAB1  TEST1  NO   29-FEB 22:37:12      100000
      TAB2  TEST1  YES  29-FEB 22:37:07       50000

      exec
      DBMS_AUTO_TASK_IMMEDIATE.
      GATHER_OPTIMIZER_STATS;

      TABLE OWNER  STAL LAST_ANALYZED   SAMPLE_SIZE
      ----- ------ ---- --------------- -----------
      TAB1  TEST1  NO   29-FEB 22:37:12      100000
      TAB2  TEST1  NO   29-FEB 22:37:13      150000

      exec
      dbms_stats.
      gather_schema_stats('TEST1');

      TABLE OWNER  STAL LAST_ANALYZED   SAMPLE_SIZE
      ----- ------ ---- --------------- -----------
      TAB1  TEST1  NO   29-FEB 22:37:43      100000
      TAB2  TEST1  NO   29-FEB 22:37:43      150000

      The results can be interpreted this way:

      • The sample size of 50k is based on the first activity during the CTAS
      • Once table TAB1 gets analyzed the sample size is now correct - and the time stamp got updated - statistics on TAB2 are still marked STALE of course as the underlying table has changed by more than 10%
      • The Automatic Statistics Gathering job will refresh only stats for objects where stats are missing or marked STALE - in this example here TAB2. Table TAB1's statistics remain unchanged.
      • When the GATHER_SCHEMA_STATS job gets invoked it will refresh all statistics - regardless if they were STALE or not. 

      This is the behavior the customer who raised the question about differences in these two ways to create statistics may have seen. The GATHER_SCHEMA_STATS job took longer and consumed more resources as it will refresh all statistics regardless of the STALE attribute.

      And it's hard to figure out why the refresh of statistics created in a previous release may have led to suboptimal performance, especially as we talk about a patch set upgrade - and not a full release upgrade. Thanks to Wissem El Khlifi who twittered the following annotations I forgot to mention:

      • The Automatic Statistics Gathering job prioritizes objects with NO statistics over objects with STALE statistics
      • The Automatic Statistics Gathering job may get interrupted or skip objects leaving them with NO statistics gathered. You can force this by locking statistics - so the Auto job will skip those completely

      You'll find more information about the Automatic Statistics Gathering job here:

      And another strange finding ...

      When I played with this example in 12c I encountered the strange behavior of the GATHER_OPTIMIZER_STATS call taking exactly 10 minutes unti it returns to the command prompt.

      First I thought this is a Multitenant only issue. But I realized quickly: this happens in non-CDB databases in Oracle 12c as well. And when searching the bug database I came across the following unpublished bug:

      • Bug 14840737
        DBMS_AUTO_TASK_IMMEDIATE.GATHER_OPTIMIZER_STATS RETURNS INCORRECTLY

      which got logged in Oct 2012 and describes this exact behavior. I kick off the job - it will update the stats pretty soon after - but still take 10 minutes to return control to the command prompt. It is supposed to be fixed in a future release of Oracle Database ... 

       

      --Mike 

      Monday Feb 15, 2016

      Upgrade Workshop on March 2, 2016 in Switzerland

      Grüezi alle miteinand!

      There are just a few seats open for the Upgrade / Migrate /Consolidate to Oracle Database 12c workshop on March 2, 2016 in Zürich in Switzerland open. If you would like to attend but haven't registered yet, please use this link to sign up:

      Workshop language will be German, slides will be in English.

      Looking forward to meet you there!

      --Mike 

      Wednesday Feb 03, 2016

      DBUA and Read-Only Tablespaces - Things to Know - I

      Related Blog Posts:


      Some people prefer the manual upgrade on the command line, others prefer the graphical tool Database Upgrade Assistant (DBUA).

      DBUA and Read-Only Tablespaces 

      The DBUA offers you an option of setting your non-Oracle tablespaces read-only during the upgrade.

      DBUA Read Only 1

      What the option doesn't tell you is the purpose - and the use case when to "click" it on.

      Partial Offline Backup 

      The option of having data tablespaces which don't belong to the Oracle supplied components is simply to do an offline backup and - in case of a failing upgrade - restore quickly. You'll find this in our big slide deck under "Fallback Strategies - Partial Offline Backup". We have used this method in several scenarios:

      • Large telco systems where the time to restore/recover the entire database would have taken hours or days
      • DWHs where the database is large and intentionally operated in NOARCHIVELOG mode
      • Standard Edition databases where Guaranteed Restore Points in combination with FLASHBACK DATABASE are not available

      FLASHBACK DATABASE is my all-time favorite as it is simple, fast and easy to use. You'll set a Guaranteed Restore Point - and in case of failure during the upgrade you'll flashback. Just don't forget to drop the restore point later when you don't need it anymore. Otherwise your FRA will run out of space the sooner or later. The only real caveat in this case is the fact that you can't change COMPATIBLE

      When setting data tablespaces read-only the idea is to offline backup the "heart" of the database consisting of all files belonging to SYSTEM, SYSAUX and UNDO tablespaces plus the redologs plus the controlfiles. The tricky part: you'll have to backup also all other repository tablespaces. Those can exist for instance when the database has seen several upgrades already and started its life maybe in the Oracle 8i or 9i days. So you may see also XDB, DRSYS and ODM. You'll have to leave them in read-write as well during the upgrade and backup the files offline beforehand.


      The Customer Case

      The real tricky part is something Marvin hit and commented on the upgrade blog:

      I am upgrading from 11.2.0.3 to 12.1.0.2. During the DBUA setup screens, I checked "Set User Tablespaces to Read Only During the Upgrade". It just seemed like the right thing to do. All of my tablespaces were ONLINE. All tablespace files were autoextendable. During the upgrade I got this error.

      Context component upgrade error
      ORA-01647 tablespace xxxxx is read-only.
      Cannot allocate space in it.

      There was plenty of space. I re-ran without the box checked and it ran ok. Just curious if anyone else has seen this.

      The read-only option in DBUA has an issue - it does not detect all repository tablespaces right now.

      DBUA Upgrade - Read Only Tablespaces

      Marvin and I exchanged some mails and from the DBUA logs I could see what happened:

      [AWT-EventQueue-0] [ 2016-01-28 11:07:03.768 CST ] [ProgressPane$RunNextProgressItem.run:1151]  Progress Item passedCONTEXT

      [AWT-EventQueue-0] [ 2016-01-28 11:07:03.768 CST ] [ProgressPane$RunNextProgressItem.run:1151]  Progress Item passedCONTEXT

      [AWT-EventQueue-0] [ 2016-01-28 11:07:03.768 CST ] [ProgressPane$RunNextProgressItem.run:1151]  Progress Item passedCONTEXT

      [AWT-EventQueue-0] [ 2016-01-28 11:07:03.781 CST ] [ProgressPane$RunNextProgressItem.run:1154]  progress to next step CONTEXT

      [Thread-364] [ 2016-01-28 11:07:43.758 CST ] [BasicStep.handleNonIgnorableError:479]  oracle.sysman.assistants.util.InteractiveMessageHandler@5bd44e0b:messageHandler

      [Thread-364] [ 2016-01-28 11:07:43.759 CST ] [BasicStep.handleNonIgnorableError:480]  CONTEXT component upgrade error:

      ORA-01647: tablespace 'WCI_OCS' is read-only, cannot allocate space in it

      :msg

      [Thread-364] [ 2016-01-28 11:15:42.179 CST ] [SummarizableStep$StepSummary.addDetail:783]  Adding detail: CONTEXT component upgrade error:

      ORA-01647: tablespace 'WCI_OCS' is read-only, cannot allocate space in it

      The repository of TEXT (or CONTEXT) is not in SYSAUX as it would be the default but in another tablespace. And this tablespace obviously was set to read-only as DBUA did not discover this tablespace as a repository but a regular user data tablespace. Bang!!!

      Simple workaround:
      Run the upgrade without the Read-Only Option. And this worked out fine. 

      You can create the TEXT component by yourself and decide in which tablespace it should be created:

      SQL> connect SYS/password as SYSDBA
      SQL> spool text_install.txt
      SQL> @?/ctx/admin/catctx.sql change_on_install SYSAUX TEMP NOLOCK

      Thanks to my team mates Cindy, Hector and Byron

      Yesterday I forwarded the email to our Upgrade Team and I received three replies within minutes explaining:

      • The query the DBUA uses is not as sophisticated as you would think:
        select tablespace_name from dba_tablespaces where contents != 'UNDO' and contents != 'TEMPORARY' and status = 'ONLINE' and tablespace_name != 'SYSTEM' and tablespace_name != 'SYSAUX' and tablespace_name != (select PROPERTY_VALUE from database_properties where PROPERTY_NAME = 'DEFAULT_PERMANENT_TABLESPACE') 

      • We have proposed a improved query already

      • It should be included in a future release of the database 


      Summary

      The option having data tablespaces read-only during an upgrade is meant for a fast fallback in case of an failure during an upgrade. But your first option should always be a Guaranteed Restore Point instead. If you still need the read-only solution than please be careful as you may have repositories in non-standard tablespaces. DBA_USER's DEFAULT_TABLESPACE column may give you an indication - but you should also check DBA_SEGMENTS. And I personally would use this option in conjunction with a command line approach.

      --Mike

      Tuesday Feb 02, 2016

      How to find out if a PSU has been applied? DBMS_QOPATCH

      pflaster.jpgSince we change the PSU and BP patch numbering from Oracle Database 12.1.0.2.PSU6 to 12,1,0,2,160119 it is almost impossible to distinguish from the patch name only if you have applied a PSU or a BP.

      But:
      In Oracle Database 12c there's a package available which is very useful to query plenty of information about patches from within the database: DBMS_QOPATCH.

      Here are a few helpful examples which I created by checking in our DBaaS Cloud database.

      Which patches have been applied (or rolled back)?

      SQL> set serverout on

      SQL> exec dbms_qopatch.get_sqlpatch_status;

      Patch Id : 20415564
              Action : APPLY
              Action Time : 24-JUN-2015 06:19:23
              Description : Database PSU 12.1.0.2.3, Oracle JavaVM Component (Apr2015)
              Logfile : /u01/app/oracle/cfgtoollogs/sqlpatch/20415564/18617752/
                        20415564_apply_ORCL_CDBRO
      OT_2015Jun24_06_18_09.log
              Status : SUCCESS

      Patch Id : 20299023
              Action : APPLY
              Action Time : 24-JUN-2015 06:19:23
              Description : Database Patch Set Update : 12.1.0.2.3 (20299023)
              Logfile : /u01/app/oracle/cfgtoollogs/sqlpatch/20299023/18703022/
                        20299023_apply_ORCL_CDBRO
      OT_2015Jun24_06_18_11.log
              Status : SUCCESS

      Patch Id : 20848415
              Action : APPLY
              Action Time : 24-JUN-2015 06:19:23
              Description :
              Logfile : /u01/app/oracle/cfgtoollogs/sqlpatch/20848415/18918227/
                        20848415_apply_ORCL_CDBRO
      OT_2015Jun24_06_18_15.log
              Status : SUCCESS

      Patch Id : 20848415
              Action : ROLLBACK
              Action Time : 24-JUN-2015 06:52:31
              Description :
              Logfile : /u01/app/oracle/cfgtoollogs/sqlpatch/20848415/18918227/
                        20848415_rollback_ORCL_CD
      BROOT_2015Jun24_06_52_29.log
              Status : SUCCESS

      Patch Id : 20618595
              Action : APPLY
              Action Time : 24-JUN-2015 13:52:13
              Description :
              Logfile : /u01/app/oracle/cfgtoollogs/sqlpatch/20618595/18956621/
                        20618595_apply_ORCL_CDBRO
      OT_2015Jun24_13_52_12.log
              Status : SUCCESS

      Patch Id : 20618595
              Action : ROLLBACK
              Action Time : 24-JUN-2015 14:37:11
              Description :
              Logfile : /u01/app/oracle/cfgtoollogs/sqlpatch/20618595/18956621/
                        20618595_rollback_ORCL_CD
      BROOT_2015Jun24_14_37_10.log
              Status : SUCCESS

      Patch Id : 20415564
              Action : ROLLBACK
              Action Time : 27-JAN-2016 17:43:18
              Description : Database PSU 12.1.0.2.3, Oracle JavaVM Component (Apr2015)
              Logfile : /u01/app/oracle/cfgtoollogs/sqlpatch/20415564/18617752/
                        20415564_rollback_MIKEDB_
      CDBROOT_2016Jan27_17_42_16.log
              Status : SUCCESS

      Patch Id : 21555660
              Action : APPLY
              Action Time : 27-JAN-2016 17:43:18
              Description : Database PSU 12.1.0.2.5, Oracle JavaVM Component (Oct2015)
              Logfile : /u01/app/oracle/cfgtoollogs/sqlpatch/21555660/19361790/
                        21555660_apply_MIKEDB_CDB
      ROOT_2016Jan27_17_42_17.log
              Status : SUCCESS

      Patch Id : 21359755
              Action : APPLY
              Action Time : 27-JAN-2016 17:43:18
              Description : Database Patch Set Update : 12.1.0.2.5 (21359755)
              Logfile : /u01/app/oracle/cfgtoollogs/sqlpatch/21359755/19194568/
                        21359755_apply_MIKEDB_CDB
      ROOT_2016Jan27_17_42_18.log
              Status : SUCCESS

      Patch Id : 21962590
              Action : APPLY
              Action Time : 27-JAN-2016 17:43:18
              Description :
              Logfile : /u01/app/oracle/cfgtoollogs/sqlpatch/21962590/19426224/
                        21962590_apply_MIKEDB_CDB
      ROOT_2016Jan27_17_42_21.log
              Status : SUCCESS

      PL/SQL procedure successfully completed.
      .

      Where's my home and inventory?

      SQL> set pagesize 0

      SQL> set long 1000000 

      SQL> select xmltransform(dbms_qopatch.get_opatch_install_info, dbms_qopatch.get_opatch_xslt) "Home and Inventory" from dual;

      Home and Inventory
      -------------------------------------------------------------

      Oracle Home     : /u01/app/oracle/product/12.1.0/dbhome_1
      Inventory    
          : 
      /u01/app/oraInventory


      Has a specific patch been applied?

      Lets check for the latest PSU. 

      SQL> select xmltransform(dbms_qopatch.is_patch_installed('21359755'), dbms_qopatch.get_opatch_xslt) "Patch installed?" from dual;

      Patch installed?
      -------------------------------------------------------

      Patch Information:
               21359755:   applied on 2015-10-22T21:48:17Z

      .

      What's tracked in my inventory?

      The equivalent of opatch lsinventory -detail ...

      SQL> select xmltransform(dbms_qopatch.get_opatch_lsinventory, dbms_qopatch.get_opatch_xslt) from dual; 

      Oracle Querayable Patch Interface 1.0
      ----------------------------------------------------------------
      Oracle Home       : /u01/app/oracle/product/12.1.0/dbhome_1
      Inventory         : /u01/app/oraInventory
      ----------------------------------------------------------------

      Installed Top-level Products (1):
                                          12.1.0.2.0
      Installed Products ( 135)
                                     ...

      .

      Additional Information and Patches

      If you need more helpful examples you may check this excellent blog post by Simon Pane (Pythian):

      And credits to Martin Berger for sending me this important information:

      Just in case there are multiple DBs running from the same O_H, and someone      
      queries dbms_qopatch.get_opatch_lsinventory automated from all DBs (as in       
      automated monitoring/reporting scripts) I'd recommend Patch 20599273 -          
      otherwise there might be strange XM errors due to race conditions. 

      .

      --Mike 

      Monday Feb 01, 2016

      New PREUPGRD.SQL is available for Upgrades to 12c

      üreupgrd.sql

      As of today a new version of our upgrade tool preupgrd.sql (including the package utluppkg.sql) for upgrades to Oracle Database 12.1.0.2 is available as download from MOS:

      Download it and exchange the existing preupgrd.sql and utluppkg.sql in your current Oracle 12.1.0.2 ?/rdbms/admin directory.

      --Mike

      Thursday Jan 28, 2016

      TDE is wonderful - Journey to the Cloud V

      DBaaS Oracle Cloud

       What happened so far on my Journey to the Cloud?

      Today's journey:
      Learn about TDE (Transparent Data Encryption) and other secrets

      What I really really love about my job: Every day I learn something new.

      But sometimes learning can be frustrating at the beginning. And so it was for Roy and myself in the past days when we explored the use of TDE (Transparent Data Encryption) in our DBaaS Cloud environments. But many thanks to Brian Spendolini for his continuous 24x7 support :-)

      Never heard of Transparent Data Encryption before? Then please read on here. It's usually part of ASO (Advanced Security Option) but it is included in the cloud offering. 

      But first of all before taking care on TDE and PDBs I tried to deploy a new DBaaS VM ...
      .

      PDB names can't contain underscores?

      Well, one learning experience is that initially you can't create a PDB in the DBaaS environment with an underscore in the name. I wanted to name my PDB in my new env simply "TDE_PDB1" (8 characters, all should be fine) - but received this nice message:

      Don't worry if you don't speak German - it basically says that it can't be longer than 8 characters (ok, I knew that), must begin with a character (mine does of course) and can only contain characters and number (eh?? no underscores???). Hm ...?!?

      Ok, I'll name mine "TDEPDB1".

      Of course outside this page you can create PDBs containing an underscore:

      SQL> create pluggable database PDB_MIKE admin user mike identified by mike
        2  file_name_convert=('/oradata/CDB2/pdbseed', '/oradata/CDB2/pdb_mike');

      Pluggable database created
      .

      That's what happens when application logic tries to superseed database logic.
      .

      (Almost) undocumented parameter: encrypt_new_tablespace

      Thanks to Robert Pastijn for telling me about this hidden secret. A new parameter which is not in the regular database deployment but only in the cloud.

      encrypt_new_tablespaces

      First check in MOS:

      Interesting.

      So let's check with Google.
      And here it is: 7 hits, for example:

      Controlling Default Tablespace Encryption

      The ENCRYPT_NEW_TABLESPACES initialization parameter controls default encryption of new tablespaces. In Database as a Service databases, this parameter is set to CLOUD_ONLY.

      Value
      Description

      ALWAYS

      Any tablespace created will be transparently encrypted with the AES128 algorithm unless a different algorithm is specified on the ENCRYPTION clause.

      CLOUD_ONLY

      Tablespaces created in a Database Cloud Service database will be transparently encrypted with the AES128 algorithm unless a different algorithm is specified on the ENCRYPTION clause. For non-Database Cloud Service databases, tablespaces will only be encrypted if the ENCRYPTION clause is specified. This is the default value.

      DDL

      Tablespaces are not transparently encrypted and are only encrypted if the ENCRYPTION clause is specified.

      What I found really scary is the fact that I couldn't find it in my spfile/pfile. You can alter it with an "alter system" command but you can't remove it.

      The idea behind this is great as tablespaces should be encrypted, especially when they reside in a cloud environment. TDE is a very useful feature. And this mechanism exists regardless of your edition, whether you have Standard Edition or Enterprise Edition in any sort of flavor in the DBaaS Cloud.

      A new tablespace will be encrypted by default:

      SQL> CREATE TABLESPACE TS_MIKE DATAFILE 'ts_mike01.dbf' SIZE 10M;

      Then check:

      SQL> select TABLESPACE_NAME, ENCRYPTED from DBA_TABLESPACES;

      But we'll see later if this adds some constraints to our efforts to migrate a database for testing purposes into the DBaaS cloud environment.
      .

      Is there anything encrypted yet?

      Quick check after setting:

      SQL> alter system set exclude_seed_cdb_view=FALSE scope=both;

      I tried to find out if any of the tablespaces are encrypted.

      SQL> select tablespace_name, encrypted, con_id from CDB_TABLESPACES order by 3;

      TABLESPACE_NAME                ENC     CON_ID
      ------------------------------ --- ----------
      SYSTEM                         NO           1
      USERS                          NO           1
      SYSAUX                         NO           1
      UNDOTBS1                       NO           1
      TEMP                           NO           1

      SYSTEM                         NO           2
      USERS                          NO           2
      TEMP                           NO           2
      SYSAUX                         NO           2

      EXAMPLE                        NO           3
      USERS                          NO           3
      TEMP                           NO           3
      SYSAUX                         NO           3
      APEX_1701140435539813          NO           3
      SYSTEM                         NO           3

      15 rows selected.

      Looks good.  Nothing encrypted yet.
      .

      How does the new parameter ENCRYPT_NEW_TABLESPACES effect operation?

      Ok, lets try.

      SQL> show parameter ENCRYPT_NEW_TABLESPACES

      NAME                                 TYPE        VALUE
      ------------------------------------ ----------- ---------------
      encrypt_new_tablespaces              string      CLOUD_ONLY

      And further down the road ...

      SQL> alter session set container=pdb1;

      SQL> create tablespace MIKE_PLAYS_WITH_TDE datafile '/u02/app/oracle/oradata/MIKEDB/PDB1/mike_plays_with_tde.dbf' size 10M;

      Tablespace created.

      SQL> select tablespace_name, encrypted, con_id from CDB_TABLESPACES order by 3;

      TABLESPACE_NAME                ENC     CON_ID
      ------------------------------ --- ----------
      SYSTEM                         NO           3
      SYSAUX                         NO           3
      TEMP                           NO           3
      USERS                          NO           3
      EXAMPLE                        NO           3
      APEX_1701140435539813          NO           3
      MIKE_PLAYS_WITH_TDE            YES          3

      7 rows selected.

      Ah ... so my new tablespace is encrypted. Not bad ... so far TDE has no influence. I can create objects in this tablespace, query them etc. It is not disturbing at all. Good.
      .

      How does this key thing work in the DBaaS Cloud?

      The documentation in above WP tells us this:

      Managing the Software Keystore and Master Encryption Key

      Tablespace encryption uses a two-tiered, key-based architecture to transparently encrypt (and decrypt) tablespaces. The master encryption key is stored in an external security module (software keystore). This master encryption key is used to encrypt the tablespace encryption key, which in turn is used to encrypt and decrypt data in the tablespace.

      When the Database as a Service instance is created, a local auto-login software keystore is created. The keystore is local to the compute node and is protected by a system-generated password. The auto-login software keystore is automatically opened when accessed.

      You can change (rotate) the master encryption key by using the tde rotate masterkey  subcommand of the dbaascli  utility. When you execute this subcommand you will be prompted for the keystore password. Enter the password specified when the service instance was created.
      .

      Creating a new PDB

      That's easy, isn't it?

      SQL> alter session set container=cdb$root;

      Session altered.

      SQL> create pluggable database pdb2 admin user mike identified by mike;

      Pluggable database created.

      SQL> alter pluggable database pdb2 open;

      Pluggable database altered.

      SQL> select tablespace_name, encrypted, con_id from CDB_TABLESPACES order by 3;

      TABLESPACE_NAME                ENC     CON_ID
      ------------------------------ --- ----------
      SYSTEM                         NO           4
      SYSAUX                         NO           4
      TEMP                           NO           4
      USERS                          NO           4

      SQL> select file_name from dba_data_files;

      FILE_NAME
      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      /u02/app/oracle/oradata/MIKEDB/2A6680A0D990285DE053BA32C40AED53/datafile/o1_mf_s
      ystem_cbn8fo1s_.dbf

      /u02/app/oracle/oradata/MIKEDB/2A6680A0D990285DE053BA32C40AED53/datafile/o1_mf_s
      ysaux_cbn8fo20_.dbf

      /u02/app/oracle/oradata/MIKEDB/2A6680A0D990285DE053BA32C40AED53/datafile/o1_mf_u
      sers_cbn8fo27_.dbf

      Ah, bad thing. As I neither used the file_name_convert option nor changed the PDB_FILE_NAME_CONVERT initialization parameter my new PDB files get created in the "root" path of the CDB. I don't want this. But isn't there this cool new feature called ONLINE MOVE OF DATAFILES in Oracle Database 12c? Ok, it's an EE feature but let me try this after checking the current OMF file names in DBA_DATA_FILES and DBA_TEMP_FILES:

      SQL> !mkdir /u02/app/oracle/oradata/MIKEDB/PDB2

      SQL> ALTER DATABASE MOVE DATAFILE '/u02/app/oracle/oradata/MIKEDB/2A6680A0D990285DE053BA32C40AED53/datafile/o1_mf_system_cbn8fo1s_.dbf' TO '/u02/app/oracle/oradata/MIKEDB/PDB2/system01.dbf';

      SQL> ALTER DATABASE MOVE DATAFILE '/u02/app/oracle/oradata/MIKEDB/2A6680A0D990285DE053BA32C40AED53/datafile/o1_mf_sysaux_cbn8fo20_.dbf' TO '/u02/app/oracle/oradata/MIKEDB/PDB2/sysaux01.dbf';

      SQL> ALTER DATABASE MOVE DATAFILE '/u02/app/oracle/oradata/MIKEDB/2A6680A0D990285DE053BA32C40AED53/datafile/o1_mf_users_cbn8fo27_.dbf' TO '/u02/app/oracle/oradata/MIKEDB/PDB2/users01.dbf';

      Be prepared:
      This will create a 1:1 copy of the file in the designated location and synch afterwards. It may take a minute per file.

      And moving the TEMP tablespace(s) file(s) will fail.

      SQL> ALTER DATABASE MOVE DATAFILE '/u02/app/oracle/oradata/MIKEDB/2A6680A0D990285DE053BA32C40AED53/datafile/o1_mf_temp_cbn8fo25_.dbf' TO '/u02/app/oracle/oradata/MIKEDB/PDB2/temp01.dbf';

      *
      ERROR at line 1:
      ORA-01516: nonexistent log file, data file, or temporary file
      "/u02/app/oracle/oradata/MIKEDB/2A6680A0D990285DE053BA32C40AED53/datafile/o1_mf_temp_cbn8fo25_.dbf"

      The temporary tablespace will have to be dropped and recreated. But not a big deal. 

      Check;

      SQL> select file_name from dba_data_files;

      FILE_NAME
      -----------------------------------------------------
      /u02/app/oracle/oradata/MIKEDB/PDB2/sysaux01.dbf
      /u02/app/oracle/oradata/MIKEDB/PDB2/users01.dbf
      /u02/app/oracle/oradata/MIKEDB/PDB2/system01.dbf

      Let me fix this so I don't hit this pitfall again:

      SQL> alter system set pdb_file_name_convert='/u02/app/oracle/oradata/MIKEDB/pdbseed','/u02/app/oracle/oradata/MIKEDBPDB2';

      Final verification:

      SQL> select name, value from v$system_parameter where con_id=4;

      NAME                   VALUE
      ---------------------- ----------------------------------
      resource_manager_plan
      pdb_file_name_convert  /u02/app/oracle/oradata/MIKEDB/pdbseed, /u02/app/oracle/oradata/MIKEDBPDB2


      Now the fun part starts ... ORA-28374: typed master key not found in wallet

      Remember this command from above in my PDB1? It run fine. But now it fails in PDB2.

      SQL> create tablespace MIKE_PLAYS_WITH_TDE datafile '/u02/app/oracle/oradata/MIKEDB/PDB2/mike_plays_with_tde.dbf' size 10M;

      create tablespace MIKE_PLAYS_WITH_TDE datafile '/u02/app/oracle/oradata/MIKEDB/PDB2/mike_plays_with_tde.dbf' size 10M
      *
      ERROR at line 1:
      ORA-28374: typed master key not found in wallet

      Voodoo in the database? I'm worried - especially as Roy had the same issue days before. But why did the command pass through without issues before in PDB1 - and now it doesn't in PDB2? Is it because the PDB1 is precreated - and my PDB2 is not?

      Kinda strange, isn't it?
      So connecting back to my PDB1 and trying again: 

      SQL> alter session set container=pdb1;

      Session altered.

      SQL> create tablespace MIKE_STILL_PLAYS_WITH_TDE datafile '/u02/app/oracle/oradata/MIKEDB/PDB1/mike_still_plays_with_tde.dbf' size 10M;

      Tablespace created.

      Ok, now I'm worried.
      What is the difference between the precreated PDB1 and my new PDB2?
      .

      Why do I get an ORA-28374 in my fresh PDB2?

      When we compare the wallet status in both PDBs we'll recognize the difference:

      PDB1:

      SQL> select wrl_type, wallet_type, status from v$encryption_wallet;

      WRL_TYPE        WALLET_TYPE          STATUS
      --------------- -------------------- -----------------------
      FILE            AUTOLOGIN            OPEN

      PDB2:

      SQL> select wrl_type, wallet_type, status from v$encryption_wallet;

      WRL_TYPE        WALLET_TYPE          STATUS
      --------------- -------------------- -----------------------
      FILE            AUTOLOGIN            OPEN_NO_MASTER_KEY

      .
      Now thanks to Brian Spendolini I have a working solution. But I'm not convinced that this is an obvious path ...
      Remember? I just would like to create a tablespace in my new (own, non-precreated) PDB. That's all ... 

      SQL> alter session set container=cdb$root;

      SQL> administer key management set keystore close;

      keystore altered.

      SQL> administer key management set keystore open identified by <your-sysadmin-pw> container=all;

      keystore altered.

      SQL> alter session set container=pdb2;

      Session altered.

      SQL> SELECT WRL_PARAMETER,STATUS,WALLET_TYPE FROM V$ENCRYPTION_WALLET;

      WRL_PARAMETER                             STATUS             WALLET_TYPE
      ----------------------------------------- ------------------ -----------
      /u01/app/oracle/admin/MIKEDB/tde_wallet/  OPEN_NO_MASTER_KEY PASSWORD

      SQL>  ADMINISTER KEY MANAGEMENT SET KEY USING TAG  "tde_dbaas" identified by <your-sysadmin-pw>  WITH BACKUP USING "tde_dbaas_bkup"; 

      keystore altered.

      SQL> SELECT WRL_PARAMETER,STATUS,WALLET_TYPE FROM V$ENCRYPTION_WALLET;

      WRL_PARAMETER                             STATUS   WALLET_TYPE
      ----------------------------------------- -------- -----------
      /u01/app/oracle/admin/MIKEDB/tde_wallet/  OPEN     PASSWORD

      And finally ... 

      SQL> create tablespace MIKE_STILL_PLAYS_WITH_TDE datafile '/u02/app/oracle/oradata/MIKEDB/PDB2/mike_still_plays_with_tde.dbf' size 10M;

      Tablespace created.

      Wow!!!

      That was not straight forward at all. Maybe it all happens due to my almost non-existing knowledge about TDE.

      Ah ... and let me say that I find the missing uppercase letter with all keystore altered. echo messages quite disturbing. But this is a generic one and non-critical of course ...

      --Mike
      .

      PS: Read on about Seth Miller's experience here on Seth's blog:
      http://sethmiller.org/oracle-2/oracle-public-cloud-ora-28374-typed-master-key-not-found-in-wallet/ 




      Wednesday Jan 20, 2016

      Oracle January 2016 CPU PSU BP available now - BE AWARE OF CHANGES IN PATCH NUMBERING

      Last night the PSUs and BPs for January 2016 have been made available for download on support.oracle.com.

      Oracle Critical Patch Update Advisory - January 2016

      http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/topics/security/cpujan2016-2367955.html 

      It contains 248 security fixes across all products and platforms. And of course important non-security fixes - and that's why we recommend to apply the PSUs (or the BPs in case you are on Exadata or an Oracle In-Memory user) as soon as possible. 

      Change in Patch Numbering

      Please be aware that as of November 2015 there's been a change in patch numbering introduced which most of you may not be aware of. A database PSU was named 12.1.0.2.5 before (or I used to call it 12.1.0.2.PSU5 before to make clear that a PSU and not a BP has been applied). But the new notation will change the 5th digit to a 6-digit-number to include the date. See MOS Note:2061926.1 for details.

      Example:

      • Before: Oracle Database 12c PSU October 2015 ... 12.1.0.2.5
      • Now: Oracle Database 12c PSU January 2016 ... 12.1.0.2.160119 

      More Information? 

      --Mike

      Tuesday Jan 19, 2016

      Clean up APEX - Journey to the Cloud IV

      DBaaS Oracle Cloud

      What happened so far on my Journey to the Cloud?

      Today's journey: Cleanup APEX removal leftovers 

      When you read my "Patch" blog post from Dec 22, 2015 you'll see that I was left with an incomplete Oracle Application Express (APEX) removal situation. Something looked really strange and didn't work as expected and documented. 

      But thanks to Jason Straub and Joel Kallman, my APEX colleagues, The solution below got provided by Jason. And let me say upfront that it's not APEX's fault ;-) Somebody has mixed up stuff in the current DBaaS deployment and thus the correct scripts to remove things in the right order are simply missing.

      How to remove Oracle APEX from the DBaaS Cloud's CDB$ROOT

      1. Download APEX 4.2.0.6 and PDBSS 2.0 (Multitenant Self Service Provisioning Application):
        http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/developer-tools/apex/application-express/apex-archive-42-1885734.html
        http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/database/multitenant/downloads/multitenant-pdbss-2016324.html

        Actually if you have removed PDBSS already as I did in my "Patch" blog post from Dec 22, 2015 you don't have to download, unzip and execute the PDBSS removal script again.


      2. Copy the zip files to the Cloud environment

        scp -i ./yourCloudKey /media/sf_CTEMP/Download/apex_4.2.6_en.zip oracle@<your_cloud_IP>:/home/oracle

        Enter passphrase for key './yourCloudKey':

        apex_4.2.6_en.zip              100%   82MB 116.9KB/s   11:58

        Repeat the same with PDBSS in case you didn't remove it already.


      3. Connect to your Cloud environment and unzip both files.

        sh -i ./yourCloudKey oracle@<your_cloud_IP>

        cd
        unzip apex_4.2.6_en.zip


        Repeat the same with PDBSS in case you didn't remove it already.


      4. Remove PDBSS by using your unzipped archive

        cd /home/oracle/pdbss
        sqlplus / as sysdba
        SQL> @pdbss_remove.sql


      5. Remove APEX 5 by using the existing default installation
        (this is the part I did already in my previous blog post from Dec 22)

        cd $ORACLE_HOME/apex
        sqlplus / as sysdba
        SQL> @apxremov.sql 



      6. Remove APEX 4.2 parts by using your unzipped archive
        (this is the part I didn't do yet)

        cd /home/oracle/apex
        sqlplus / as sysdba
        SQL> @apxremov_con.sql


      7. Drop the DBaaS Monitor common users

        As the DBaaS Monitor is based on APEX as well removing APEX will "kill" the DBaaS Monitor as well. So in oder to have a proper working environment you must drop the common users for DBaaS Monitor as well. Otherwise you'll receive ORA-959 synch errors in PDB_PLUG_IN_VIOLATIONS whenever you deploy a new PDB and - even worse - the PDB won't open unrestricted.

        SQL> drop user C##DBAAS_BACKUP cascade;
        SQL> drop user C##DBAAS_MONITOR cascade;


      8. Finally recompilation and check for invalid objects

        sqlplus / as sysdba
        SQL> @?/rdbms/admin/utlrp.sql

        SQL> select object_name, owner from dba_objects where status='INVALID';
        no rows selected


      9. Now you are free to install APEX 5.0 in the PDBs of your choice.

        As theres's a PDB1 already I will create APEX inside this PDB first.

        cd $ORACLE_HOME/apex
        sqlplus / as sysdba
        SQL> alter session set container=pdb1;
        SQL> create tablespace APEX5 datafile '
        /u02/app/oracle/oradata/CDB1/PDB1/apex5_01.dbf' size 100M autoextend ON next 1M;


        Be aware: PDB_FILE_NAME_CONVERT is not set. And your database is not in ASM. Therefore avoiding the data file path and name will let you end up with a file named after OMF standards in:
        /u02/app/oracle/oradata/CDB1/26A65D56D16F21A1E05336036A0A1AD8/datafile/o1_mf_apex5_c9wg9kly_.dbf

        Create APEX 5.0 in PDB1, change the admin password, create the APEX listener and REST service and unlock the public user:

        SQL> @apexins.sql APEX5 APEX5 TEMP /i/
        SQL> @apxchpwd.sql


        Be aware about the password requirements:

        --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Password does not conform to this site's password complexity rules.
        * Password must contain at least 6 characters.
        * Password must contain at least one numeric character (0123456789).
        * Password must contain at least one punctuation character
        (!"#$%&()``*+,-/:;?_).
        * Password must contain at least one upper-case alphabetic character.
        * Password must not contain username.
        --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


        SQL> @apex_rest_config.sql
        SQL> alter user APEX_PUBLIC_USER identified by SecretPWD account unlock;

      Let me add that it is possible to have different APEX versions in different PDBs. The only thing which you'll need to really really take care on is the images directory and the different apex homes.

      That's it ... and in a future cloud deployment the extra step to remove APEX 4.2 shouldn't be necessary anymore. 

      --Mike

      Thursday Jan 14, 2016

      VBox 5.0.10/12 issues with PERL and Seg Faults - UPDATE

      A bit more than two months ago I did hear from several people having issues with our Hands-On Lab environment. And it became clear that only those who use Oracle Virtual Box 5 see such errors. 

      Then I read Danny Bryant's blog post (thanks to Deiby Gomez for pointing me to it) about similar issues and a potential solution yesterday:

      And interestingly one of my colleagues, our PL/SQL product manager Bryn Llewellyn started an email thread and a test internally yesterday as well. The issue seem to occur only on newer versions of Apple's MacBooks.
      .

      Potential Root Cause

      The PERL issues seem to happen only on specific new Intel CPUs with a so called 4th level cache.

      The current assumption is that Intel CPUs with Iris Pro graphics are affected. Iris Pro means eDRAM (embedded DRAM) which is reported as 4th level cache in CPUID. We have confirmed that Crystal Well and Broadwell CPUs with Iris Pro are affected. It is likely that the Xeon E3-1200 v4 family is also affected.

      It seems to be that there's a bug in the perl binary. It links against ancient code from the Intel compiler suite doing optimizations according to the CPU features. Very recent Intel CPUs have 4 cache descriptors.

      People who encountered this used Virtual Box VBox 5.0.x - and it passes this information to the guest. This leads to a problem within the perl code. You won't see it on VBox 4.3 as this version does not pass the information to the guest. 

      But actually it seems that this issue is independent of Virtual Box or any other virtualization software. It simply happens in this case as many people use VBox on Macs - and some Macs are equipped with this new CPU model. But people run Oracle in VBox environments and therefore see the issue as soon as they upgraded to VBox 5.0.x.
      .

      Potential Solutions

      If you are using Oracle in VBox there are actually two solutions:

      • Revert to VBox 4.3 as this won't get you in trouble
        This problem was not triggered on VBox 4.3.x because this version did not  pass the full CPUID cache line information to the guest.
        .
      • Run this sequence of commands in VBox 5.0 to tweak the CPUID bits passed to the guest:
        .
        VBoxManage setextradata VM_NAME "VBoxInternal/CPUM/HostCPUID/Cache/Leaf" "0x4"
        VBoxManage setextradata VM_NAME "VBoxInternal/CPUM/HostCPUID/Cache/SubLeaf" "0x4"
        VBoxManage setextradata VM_NAME "VBoxInternal/CPUM/HostCPUID/Cache/eax"  "0"
        VBoxManage setextradata VM_NAME "VBoxInternal/CPUM/HostCPUID/Cache/ebx" "0" 
        VBoxManage setextradata VM_NAME "VBoxInternal/CPUM/HostCPUID/Cache/ecx" "0" 
        VBoxManage setextradata VM_NAME "VBoxInternal/CPUM/HostCPUID/Cache/edx"  "0"
        VBoxManage setextradata VM_NAME "VBoxInternal/CPUM/HostCPUID/Cache/SubLeafMask" "0xffffffff" 

        • Of course you'll need to replace VM_NAME by the name of your VM
          .

      If the error happens on a bare metal machine meaning it happens not inside a virtual image but on a native environment then the only chance you'll have (to my knowledge right now) is to exchange the PERL before doing really something such as running root.sh or rootupgrade.sh in your Grid Infrastructure installation or before using the DBCA or the catctl.pl tool to create or upgrade a database.

      In this case please refer to the blog post of Laurent Leturgez:

      Issues with Oracle PERL causing segmentation faults:

      http://laurent-leturgez.com/2015/05/26/oracle-12c-vmware-fusion-and-the-perl-binarys-segmentation-fault

      .

      Further Information

      This issues is currently tracked internally as bug 22539814: ERRORS INSTALLING GRID INFRASTRUCTURE 12.1.0.2 ON INTEL CPUS WITH 4 CACHE LEVEL.

      So far we have not seen reports by people encountering this in a native environment but only by people using VBox 5.0.x or Parallels or VMware on a very modern version of Apple hardware.

      .
      --Mike 



      Wednesday Jan 13, 2016

      Have an Excellent Start into 2016!!!

      Roy and I and the entire Database Upgrade Team would like to wish you a very good start into 2016!!!

      And thanks for your confidence in our work in the past year(s). The Upgrade Your Database - NOW! Blog had over 440,000 hits in 2015 which is quite a surprise as neither Roy nor I do update the blog full time. But the many mails and comments we consistently get demonstrate your interest. 

      Upgrade Your Database - NOW! Statistics 2015

      We will continue to report about things related to upgrades and migrations and performance and testing and the cloud and ... and ... and regarding Oracle Database 12c in 2016 - I promise :-)

      Thanks for your support and all the helpful emails and comments.
      We learn a lot from you folks out there!!!

      Have a great start into 2016! 

      --Mike 

      Monday Jan 11, 2016

      New Webcast "Why Upgrade to Oracle 12c" available

      In December 2015 I did a recording for a webcast about "Why Upgrade to Oracle Database 12c" refreshing the content from a few months back.

      Webcast "Why Upgrade to Oracle Database 12c"

      Oracle's latest generation of database technology, Oracle Database 12.1.0.2, has some impressive new features. It offers great potential for a fast upgrade, simple migrations and consolidation, making more efficient use of hardware and delivering major improvements in management efficiency.

      Join our webcast on Upgrading to Oracle Database 12c and you will learn:

      • Why you still need to upgrade to Oracle Database 12.1.0.2
      • How to ensure that your applications are ready for Oracle Database 12c
      • How to evaluate and test all enhancements of the upgrade process plus other new features
      • Best practices to upgrade and migrate successfully 

      If you would like to watch it please access the webcast via this link: 

      And please excuse the suboptimal audio quality - there were some technical difficulties to work around.

      --Mike 

      About

      Mike Dietrich - Oracle Mike Dietrich
      Master Product Manager - Database Upgrade & Migrations - Oracle

      Based in Germany. Interlink between customers/partners and the Upgrade Development. Running workshops between Arctic and Antartica. Assisting customers in their reference projects onsite and remotely. Connect via:

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