Wednesday Feb 11, 2015

Cross-Site Load Balancing - Prerequisites and Steps to Be Performed

Summary of the Prerequisites and Steps to Be Performed

Let’s consider the following configuration:

Site A: Primary is replicated by Active Data Guard to Site B: Secondary

Site B: Primary is replicated by Active Data Guard to Site A: Secondary

Let's assume that we have a pdb (MY_PDB) which runs on Site A: Primary. If, for example the workload is too high on Site A: Primary and a specific SLA can not be fulfilled, we can perform the following steps in order to move MY_PDB to Site B: Primary where the SLA can be met:

1. Stop MY_PDB on Site A: Primary and Site B: Secondary(Log files will continue to apply in MOUNT DB Mode)

2. Unplug MY_PDB from Site A: Primary

3. Copy XML manifest to the other site – Site B: Primary

4. Setup aliases on Site B: Primary and Site A: Secondary

5. Ensure media recovery (MRP) is running on the Site A: Secondary

6. Plugin MY_PDB on Site B: Primary

7. Check MY_PDB was replicated on Site A: Secondary

8. Open MY_PDB on Site B: Primary

9. Open MY_PDB (Read Only) on Site A: Secondary (if Active DG is running)

10. Drop MY_PDB on Site A: Primary (keep Datafiles)

These steps show that load balancing across sites is possible using a combination of Oracle Multitenant and Oracle Data Guard. When coupled with the flexibility offered by Oracle Real Application Clusters for local site management, it is an excellent example of the level agility and flexibility that enable a full-featured Database as a Service deployment.

Monday Dec 08, 2014

RHP Use Cases Series: Switch an active database to a Patched Working Copy


      - Prerequisite: The working copy has already been patched using oPatch

I. Preparation

Action 1: Preview the already patched Oracle Home (see Interim patches installed line). This working copy (my_wk1) will be used in further commands.

Action Description

Check done through Query workingcopy command

Executed on (Server / Client)



Check characteristics of my_wk1 to validate that it is the patched Oracle Home

Action 2: Confirm that our database (mydb) is a different working copy than the patched version above, namely, wrkghc2.

Action description

Check with Query workingcopy command

Executed on (Server / Client)



Confirm that mydb is referencing the non-patched working copy wrkghc2 (note that mydb is one of three databases using the unpatched working copy; later we will switch mydb to the patched home but leave the other two unchanged).

Action 3: [Optional] Check if DB is up and running

Action description

Use srvctl status command to check DB status

The RHP move database command is the same whether the DB is running or not (behind the scenes, if running, RHP will stop the instance in rolling fashion as the default)

Executed on (Server / Client)



Check on client whether DB is running

Action 4: Find out how to use move command:

Action Description

Check move command’s parameters (use -h option)

Executed on (Server / Client)



Find out how to use move command

II. Execution

Action: Switch DB from current home to the patched one:

Action Description

Execute move command

Executed on (Server / Client)



Switch the mydb DB from initial unpatched working copy (wrkghc2) to the patched working copy (my_wk1)

Several steps performed by the RHP command:

- Switch database from unpatched working copy (wrkghc2) to the patched one (my_wk1)

- Identify a patch is available for mydb to be applied

    -Apply the patch

Note the mention about patches applied. This is produced by the Datapatch command provided by Patch Team

III. Results Validation

Action 1: Check configuration information of mydb to validate that the DB is located in the patched home

Action Description

Validation done through srvctl config command

Executed on (Server / Client)



Check configuration information for the mydb DB in order to validate that the DB is located in the patched home

Action 2: Check status information of mydb to validate that the DB is up and running

Action Description

Validation done through srvctl status command

Executed on (Server / Client)



Check status information for the mydb DB in order to validate that the DB is up and running after the patch was applied. We want to avoid the risk that after the patch the DB does not properly work. If this happens we will take corrective actions.

Steps Comparison Table

If there are m Cluster environments, each Cluster with n databases, then in a pre-RHP approach we have to apply the patch, Cluster by Cluster, for each DB in the cluster.


RHP Provisioning

For each of the clusters:

One move command: per Cluster for all Databases in that Cluster

- Patch DB1

- Patch DB2

- Patch DBn

Tuesday Sep 30, 2014

Oracle Database Learning Steam Video - DBaaS Service Catalog

I recently had the good fortune to record a video on Service Catalogs for Oracle University's Oracle Database Learning Streams series. The video is roughly 30 minutes long and covers the basics of catalog and service definitions, and introduces our standardized service offerings for Oracle DBaaS in a private database cloud.

The video is one of many which you can view in its entirety simply by registering with Oracle University.

All the Database Streams videos are located here.

Wednesday Sep 10, 2014

A new guide to Database as a Service

A new two-part "workbook" is now available to guide your journey to delivering a private database cloud.  Insights from IDC, e-DBA, KPN and the State of Texas provide real-life counsel from seasoned experts at the forefront of the industry's shift to cloud.

Transforming Your IT Environment with a Database Cloud Delivering Database as a Service to Your Organization

Enjoy the read and if you have follow-up questions or comments, you know where to find me ...

Friday Sep 05, 2014

New whitepaper: Database as a Service Reaches New Heights of Efficiency

An IDC research vice president, senior Oracle product managers and a solution provider's technology director explain how Database as a Service Reaches New Heights of Efficiency by leveraging the latest technologies in Oracle Database 12c. 

Thursday Aug 28, 2014

Focus On Documents for DBaaS topics at Oracle OpenWorld 2014

The speaking sessions and hands-on-labs for this year's Oracle OpenWorld are now scheduled, and a good way to find the items you're interested in is to check the FODs that cover your areas of interest.  Two are especially relevant for Database as a Service in private clouds -

 Database as a Service


EM 12c Private Cloud and Lifecycle Management

There is some overlap between the two lists since the topics converge at several private database cloud requirements.  But make sure to check both so you don't miss anything that can help you in your journey to cloud.

Wednesday Jul 23, 2014

Rapid Home Provisioning Simplifies Oracle Database Estate Management

Provisioning, patching and upgrading databases across an enterprise is often performed individually on each database in the estate.  As the estate grows, this becomes a time-consuming and error-prone activity. 

Rapid Home Provisioning, one of the many new features and improvements in the just-released version of Oracle Database, addresses this problem by simplifying and streamlining database maintenance.  With RHP, you create a single standard Oracle home by applying a new patch level once. This reference home can then be used to rapidly deploy new databases and to easily update hundreds to thousands of existing databases with a single command, without the need to apply the patches to each.  Optimizations for networking and storage use make this a very fast and efficient solution.

Learn more in the Clusterware Administration and Deployment Guide and in the OOW 2014 speaking session.

Wednesday Jun 18, 2014

A Thought Experiment Showing the Value of Separating the Business and Technical Catalogs

One common error when creating a business catalog is to expose the underlying technologies that should be mentioned only in the technical catalog.  For IT professionals whose day-to-day lingo is based on products and features, this is an understandable mistake.  And from their perspective, perhaps not at all noteworthy.

Imagine a large enterprise's business catalog which covers all the different types of workloads and storage models the enterprise deploys - OLTP, Data Warehouse, batch and real-time analytics, structured and semi-structured data -- so far so good.  Now suppose that the business catalog exposes the database and analytic engines delivering each type of data source.  This might look OK if the expected vendors and products appear in the appropriate slots.   But what happens when a vendor takes a big leap forward and is now the new best choice to deliver a given service?  Once IT is ready to make that shift in their delivery model, they will need to update the business catalog accordingly.   This is typically not the kind of the change consumers are eager to see.  Instead, they should only see the lower costs and higher SLAs that IT can now provide - without being led to worry about the changes behind the scenes.

This is exactly the scenario that a product-centric business catalog might be facing soon, thanks to some upcoming releases at Oracle, namely, Oracle Database In-Memory and the Big Data Breakthrough.  And the innovation won't end there.  So make sure your business catalog takes the future in to account with the right structure (and of course the right products to support the business services!)

Sunday May 18, 2014

IOUG Webcast recording posted: How to Create a Service Catalog for DBaaS

In case you missed the 6 May 2014 webcast sponsored by the IOUG, you can now view the recorded webinar.

If you have any problems viewing the webcast in Firefox, give IE a try - that worked best for me.

Comments?  Questions?  Leave a note here on the blog, or on the IOUG Cloud SIG forum!

Tuesday Apr 22, 2014

IOUG Cloud Computing SIG Techcast: Database as a Service (DBaaS): How to Create a Database Cloud Service Catalog

Please join us on Tuesday 6 May 2014 at 10:00 am PT for an IOUG-sponsored webcast on Service Catalogs for Oracle Database deployments.  Our audience is anyone interested in providing Oracle Database as a service to their consumers.

A good service catalog is essential for IT service delivery.  We will give an overview of service catalogs, and explain what makes a good catalog in general, and specifically for DBaaS.

We will then present a standardized set of service offerings for Oracle DBaaS which providers can use as-is, or tailor to their needs.  Our goal is for providers to leverage these details to jumpstart their DBaaS initiatives on the right path.

Register here ... and watch for the replay if you're not able to join live.

Monday Apr 21, 2014

Oracle Database Appliance - it's not for SMBs only

Several of the Oracle Database Appliance's key attributes - easy to deploy and maintain, small footprint, pay-as-you-grow pricing - are natural fits for small and medium businesses seeking to provide database consolidation and database as a service solutions.  This is reflected in several customer success stories.  But Oracle Database Appliance is of great value to large enterprises also.  Find out more from Walgreens on Tuesday, April 22nd at 11:00 am PT.

 If you miss the event or wish to hear recording from other customers, visit the Customer Reference Forum Replays page.

Monday Dec 30, 2013

New Year's Resolution: learn more about Oracle Database 12c

 Interested in learning more about Oracle Database 12c's Multitenant option?  Here's a great opportunity to help kick off the new year:

Independent Oracle Users Group (IOUG) Oracle EM Techcast: DBA Best Practices for Performance Tuning in a Pluggable World

Thursday, 9 January 2014, 10 am PT

In Oracle Database 12c, a container database (CDB) can host up to 252 pluggable databases (PDBs).  This presentation look at the performance aspects of this deployment option:

• Best practices for DBAs
• Tuning and configuration tips
• New features

Featured Speaker: Julian Dontcheff(*), Head of Database Management & Exadata Lead for EALA (Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America), Accenture
*Oracle Certified Master and an Oracle ACE Director

Sunday Dec 08, 2013

Why DBaaS will be one of 2014's technology headliners

As you settle in to some holiday reading and prepare for 2014, a recent blog and several blogs it connects to will be of interest.  Check out this OracleVoice blog on  "Why Database As A Service (DBaaS) Will Be The Breakaway Technology of 2014".

From the entry's introduction:

"Database as a Service (DBaaS) is arguably the next big thing in IT. Indeed, the market analysis firm 451 Research projects an astounding 86% cumulative annual growth rate, with annual revenues from DBaaS providers rising from $150 million in 2012 to $1.8 billion by 2016."

 The  article explores the benefits of DBaaS and some of the key enabling technologies, such as Oracle Multitenant, which promises to be a game-changer as Oracle Database 12c adoption rises.

Thursday Oct 31, 2013

Online DBaaS Forum available on-demand

Problem: you missed the October 21 on-line forum on how to design, deploy and deliver Oracle Database in a private cloud.

Solution: watch any of the segments on-demand simply by clicking here.

If only all of life's difficulties could be handled so easily ...

Friday Oct 18, 2013

Service Catalogs for Database as a Service

At the end of last month, I had the opportunity to present a speaking session at Oracle OpenWorld: Database as a Service: Creating a Database Cloud Service Catalog.  The session was well-attended which would have surprised me several months ago when I started researching this topic.  At that time, I thought of service catalogs as something trivial which could be explained in a few simple slides.  But while looking at all the different options and approaches available, I came to learn that designing a succinct and effective catalog is not a trivial task, and mistakes can lead to confusion and unintended side effects.  And when the room filled up, my new point of view was confirmed.

In case you missed the session, or were able to attend but would like more details, I've posted a white paper that covers the topics from the session, and more.  We start with an overview of the components of a service catalog:

service catalog overview

And then look at several customer case studies of service catalogs for DBaaS.  Synthesizing those examples, we summarize the main options for defining the service categories and their levels.  We end with a template for defining Bronze | Silver | Gold service tiers for Oracle Database Services.

The paper is now available here - watch for updates as we work to expand some sections and incorporate readers' feedback (hint - that includes your feedback).

Visit our OTN page for additional Database Cloud collateral.


The Database Cloud Architecture Team at Oracle develops and documents best practices for designing and delivering database consolidation and database-as-a-service projects.


« March 2015