Oracle Database 11g – Underground Advice for Database Administrators

Oracle Database 11g – Underground Advice for Database Administrators
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Table of Contents
Sample Chapters


  • A comprehensive handbook aimed at reducing the day-to-day struggle of Oracle 11g Database newcomers
  • Real-world reflections from an experienced DBA—what novice DBAs should really know
  • Implement Oracle's Maximum Availability Architecture with expert guidance
  • Extensive information on providing high availability for Grid Control

Book Details

Language : English
Paperback : 348 pages [ 235mm x 191mm ]
Release Date : April 2010
ISBN : 1849680000
ISBN 13 : 9781849680004
Author(s) : April C. Sims
Topics and Technologies : All Books, Enterprise Products and Platforms, Oracle Database, Enterprise, Oracle

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: When to Step Away from the Keyboard
Chapter 2: Maintaining Oracle Standards
Chapter 3: Tracking the Bits and Bytes
Chapter 4: Achieving Maximum Uptime
Chapter 5: Data Guard and Flashback
Chapter 6: Extended RMAN
Chapter 7: Migrating to 11g: A Step-Ordered Approach
Chapter 8: 11g Tuning Tools
  • Chapter 1: When to Step Away from the Keyboard
    • Protecting and defending
    • Choosing your tools
      • Graphic-based, command-line Oracle tools and usage
    • Staying away from dinosaurs
    • Insisting on help
    • What does a DBA do all day?
      • Prioritizing tasks—daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly
    • SLAs: Why isn't the database down anymore?
    • Avoiding major blunders
    • Summary
  • Oracle's Optimal Flexible Architecture (OFA)
    • 11g differences in the OFA standard
      • XWINDOWS and GUI displays
  • Automating day-to-day tasks
    • OS cron utility executing a scheduled task on a Unix server
    • OEM Console plus the Intelligent Agent
  • 11g Diagnosability Framework
    • Advisors and checkers
      • Missing temp file resolution
  • Environmental variables and scripting
    • Guidelines for scripting
      • Separating the configuration file
      • Separating the variable part of the script into its own configuration file
      • Don't hardcode values; reference a configuration file and password file at runtime
      • Putting variables at the top of the script with curly braces
      • Moving functions to a centralized file to be reused
      • Validating the use of the script
      • Using SQL to generate code
      • Helpful Unix commands
  • Reducing operating system differences with common tools
  • Configuration management, release management, and change control
    • Configuration management
      • Using OCM in disconnected mode with masking
      • Mass deployment utility
    • Release management
      • DBA issues with patching
      • Applying a patch without integrating MOS with OCM
      • Using the new patch plan functionality with OCM installed and uploaded to MOS
      • Change control
  • Where, when, and who to call for help
    • My Oracle Support
    • Documentation library
  • Summary
  • Chapter 3: Tracking the Bits and Bytes
    • Dump block
      • Demonstration of data travel path
        • Location of trace files
        • Running dump block SQL statements
        • Identifying files and blocks
        • Tracking the SCN through trace files
    • Oracle's RDBMS Log Miner utility
      • Turn on archivelog mode
      • Add supplemental logging
        • Identification key logging
        • Table-level supplemental logging
    • Flash(back) Recovery Area (FRA)
    • Automatic Undo Management (AUM)
      • Identifying data in undo segments by flashing back to timestamp
    • When to use Log Miner
      • Identifying the data needed to restore
        • SCN, timestamp, or log sequence number
        • Pseudo column ORA_ROWSCN
        • Flashback Transaction Query and Backout
      • Enabling flashback logs
        • Flashback Table
        • Flashback Transaction Query with pseudo columns
        • Flashback Transaction Backout
      • Using strings to remove binary components
    • Summary
  • Chapter 4: Achieving Maximum Uptime
    • Maximum Availability Architecture (MAA)
      • Downtime—planned or unplanned
        • MAA with commodity hardware: Case study
    • Optimizing Oracle Database High Availability
      • To archive or not to archive, you pick the mode
        • Multiple archive destinations
        • Moving the archive destination in an emergency
        • Using a different disk device or disk mount
        • Monitoring all hard drive space and Archivelog space
      • Database compatibility parameter with spfile, pfile management
      • Dealing with storage—RAID, SAME, ASM, and OMF
        • RAID—Redundant Arrays of Inexpensive Disks
        • SAME—Stripe and Mirror Everything
        • ASM—Automatic Storage Management
      • Mirrored files—control files and online redo logs
      • Autoextending data files
      • Auditing, log files, and max dump file size
        • What is currently being audited?
        • Auditing Session Activity
        • Other logs to monitor
      • Data dictionary healthcheck
      • SQL*Net hardening, tuning, and troubleshooting
        • Troubleshooting
        • What can go wrong?
    • Grid Control High Availability and Disaster Recovery
      • Recommended installation for GC
        • Why should I install a separate database?
        • Cookbook for silent install and configuring later
        • Migrating GC repositories
        • Transportable tablespace migrations
      • Keeping the repository highly available
      • Repository backups, restores, or imports
      • MAA—repository on a physical standby database
      • OMS and agents' high availability
        • Cloning Management agents
      • GC at a very large site
    • Summary
  • Chapter 5: Data Guard and Flashback
    • Physical, snapshot, and logical standbys
      • Physical standby database
      • Snapshot standby database
      • Logical standby database
      • Commodity hardware and mixed environments
      • What is Data Guard broker?
        • What controls the Data Guard broker?
      • Which tool is best?
        • Start with the default configuration—maximum performance
      • Utilizing multiple standby sites
      • Protection modes and real-time apply
        • Maximum performance (default)
        • Maximum performance recommendations
        • Maximum availability
        • Maximum availability recommendations
        • Maximum protection and recommendations
      • Database states
      • Manual failover with physical standby
      • Manual failover with DGMGRL
      • Flashback and guaranteed restore points
      • Possible testing/recovery scenarios for Flashback and Data Guard
      • Lost-write detection using a physical standby database
        • Corruption, patch reversal, upgrades, or testing scenarios
        • Reinstate failed primary scenario
        • Troubleshooting the logical standby
        • Options for resolving errors that stop the SQL Apply process
        • How to skip a single transaction
      • Active Data Guard and RMAN
      • Other Data Guard notes and features
    • Summary
  • Chapter 6: Extended RMAN
    • Recovery goals determine backup configuration
    • Backup types and the default configuration
      • Backup incremental levels
      • Full backup
      • Logical backup
      • Oracle's suggested backup: What is missing?
        • Controlfiles—an important part of backup and recovery
      • How often should backups occur?
        • Default configuration details
    • Oracle's recommended backup strategy
      • Issues with incremental merge backups
    • Restore and recovery comparison
      • Recommendations for Incremental Merge backup
      • Calculating the FRA disk space needed
    • Catalog versus controlfile RMAN recordkeeping and retention policies
      • RMAN stored script and substitution variables
    • Retention policies: Recovery window or redundancy?
      • Not needed (OBSOLETE) versus not found (EXPIRED)
      • What if I want to keep certain backups?
  • Corruption detection
    • Physical corruption
    • Logical corruption
      • Commands and utilities that detect corruption
      • Which utility should be used?
      • What should I do if corruption is detected?
  • Data Recovery Adviser
  • What does RMAN backup, restore, and recover?
    • Possible interruptions to the recovery process
  • What doesn't RMAN backup, restore, and recover?
    • Online redo: Key to consistency
    • User-managed backups
  • What do I do before starting a restore and recovery?
    • Find the most recent controlfile backup
  • Simplified recovery through resetlogs
  • RMAN cloning and standbys—physical, snapshot, or logical
    • Clones, DBIDs, and incarnations
    • Creating a cloned database
    • Post-cloning tasks
    • Creating a standby database
      • Physical standby
      • Scheduled maintenance/cataloging of archivelogs
      • Rolling forward a standby using incremental
      • Rolling incremental for monthly updates to data warehouses
    • The DBMS_BACKUP_RESTORE package
  • Summary
  • Chapter 7: Migrating to 11g: A Step-Ordered Approach
    • Oracle net services
    • Client compatibility (SQL*Net, JDBC, ODBC)
    • RMAN binary, virtual/catalog, and database
    • Grid Control—database repository and agents
    • ASM, CFS, and RDBMS within an Oracle Grid infrastructure
    • Recommended order of migration
    • Installation of major versions, maintenance releases, and patches
      • Release installation
      • PatchSet installation—cloned ORACLE_HOME
    • Database upgrade methods
      • How long does the database upgrade take?
      • Database Upgrade Assistant (DBUA)
    • RMAN
      • Using RMAN as part of a manual upgrade process
        • Downgrading with RMAN
    • Transportable Tablespaces (TTS)
      • Preparatory steps for TTS migrations
      • Using TTS for upgrades
      • TTS cookbook
      • Recreating an unrecoverable database with TTS
      • Using TTS to add skipped read-only tablespaces during duplication
      • Using TTS to merge two ASM databases into one
      • Sharing read-only tablespaces between different databases with TTS
      • Cross-platform migrations with a transportable database
      • Physical and/or snapshot standbys
        • Failing back to original version
      • Transient logical standby: Rolling upgrades with minimal downtime
      • Export/import or data pump migration
      • Character set selection—UTF8
    • Post-11g upgrade tasks
    • Summary
  • Monitoring hidden or underlying problems
    • Proactive monitoring
    • Automatic Diagnostic Database Monitor (ADDM)
    • Automatic Workload Repository
    • Active Session History (ASH)
    • SQL Advisors
  • Reactive diagnostic and tracing tools
  • Bind peeking and Adaptive Cursor Sharing
  • Gathering statistics
    • Comparing statistics
    • Restoring statistics history
    • Knowing what needs to be tuned
    • Tuning a single query
  • SQL Plan Management (SPM)
    • SQL Management Base
    • Tracing and diagnostic events
      • What is an event ?
      • When should I set an event?
      • What are the different event levels?
    • Specific Trace events for performance problems
    • Interpreting the resulting Event Trace file
  • Upgrading the Optimizer
    • Capturing and backing up execution plans and statistics
    • SQL Tuning Sets
    • Stored Outlines
    • Capturing and backing up Optimizer Statistics
    • Upgrade the database to 11g
    • Capturing new execution plans and new statistics
    • Evolving or verifying new plans that execute better than the 10g versions
  • Summary

April C. Sims

April Sims is currently the Database Administrator at Southern Utah University and an Oracle Certified Professional: 8i, 9i, and 10g with a master's degree in Business Administration from the University of Texas at Dallas. Involved as a volunteer with the Independent Oracle Users Group for over 7 years, April is currently a Contributing Editor for the IOUG "SELECT" Journal. April is an annual presenter at Oracle OpenWorld, IOUG COLLABORATE, and numerous regional Oracle-related conferences.

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Submit Errata

Please let us know if you have found any errors not listed on this list by completing our errata submission form. Our editors will check them and add them to this list. Thank you.


- 1 submitted: last submission 27 Feb 2014

Errata type: Typo | Page number: 28

The last Paragraph of the section "XWindows and GUI displays" uses "PUTTY".

The correct usage is "PuTTY".


Errata type : Typo | Page number: 61

"PUTTY" used in the information box under "Change control" section. The correct usage is PuTTY


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What you will learn from this book


  • The mechanics and essentials of the database at the block level and tracking the System Change Number
  • Reducing or eliminating downtime for the primary database using DATA GUARD and FLASHBACK in tandem
  • Enterprise implementations of RMAN with DATA GUARD, Transportable Tablespaces, and the new Data Recovery Advisor
  • Using both GUI tools and command-line utilities
  • Migrating to the latest release of 11g using the Step-Ordered Approach
  • A solid foundation designed to reduce future maintenance
  • Implementing Maximum Availability Architecture with commodity hardware
  • Many of the common mistakes and failures of common implementations
  • Solving forecasting, performance, and tuning issues with the low cost tools available

In Detail

Today DBAs are expected to deploy and manage large databases with quality service and little to no downtime. The DBA's main focus is on increasing productivity and eliminating idle redundancy throughout the enterprise. However, there is no magic set of best practices or hard and fast rules that DBAs need to follow, and this can make life difficult. But if DBAs follow some basic approaches and best practices, tasks can be performed more efficiently and effectively.

This survival guide offers previously unwritten underground advice for DBAs. The author provides extensive information to illuminate where you fit in, and runs through many of the tasks that you need to be watchful of, extensively covering solutions to the most common problems encountered by newcomers to the world of Oracle databases.

The book will quickly introduce you to your job responsibilities, as well as the skills, and abilities needed to be successful as a DBA. It will show you how to overcome common problems and proactively prevent disasters by implementing distributed grid computing—scalable and robust—with the ability to redeploy or rearchitect when business needs change. Reduce downtime across your enterprise by standardizing hardware, software, tools, utilities, commands, and architectural components.

This book will also help you in situations where you need to install Oracle Database 11g or migrate to new hardware making it compliant with a Maximum Availability Architecture. By the end of this book you will have learned a lot and gained confidence in your abilities. You will be armed with knowledge as to which tools are best used to accomplish tasks while proactively moving towards an automated environment.

An example-oriented guide to optimize a DBA's performance on 11g databases


This book is designed to cover the problems that novice DBAs particularly struggle with. This handbook covers a minimal amount of theoretical information before showing you how to overcome common problems through the use of real-life examples. It covers both Oracle 11g R1 and 11g R2 in examples, with material applicable to all versions of Oracle.

Who this book is for

This book is for you if you find yourself in charge of an Oracle database. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed. Whether you are a single employee or the DBA manager of several employees, whether you are taking over an existing position or taking up a newly created one – this book is designed to be a sanity check. If you need guidance for migrating to 11g or implementing Oracle's Maximum Availability Architecture, you will find this book very helpful.

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