What should our DBA know?
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Thread: What should our DBA know?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    What should our DBA know?



    My company recently had an assessment performed on our Oracle DB, and quite a few recommendations were passed back to us. As someone who knows very, very little about Oracle, I'm trying to assess whether or not these statements are as dire as they sound. (We do have an Oracle DBA, and it's not me ). Obviously, with a single DBA, this isn't a huge system, but I'm not sure what metrics to give here for reference.

    It seems that there has not been a regular performance analysis of database automated workload repository and diagnostics monitor. No daily checklist of monitoring and management activities. Mostly reactive care, rather than proactive.

    Tests done during this assessment showed that there was a pattern of virtual memory being exhausted. This was not discovered prior to the assessment.

    The File System IO was not set to direct IO in the initialization parameter file.

    Installed release is 10gR2, which means we are 7 releases behind, and have missed over 25 Critical Patch Updates.

    So - are these signs of a distracted/overburdened DBA? Does this sound like a normal system? Any thoughts you guys may have would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
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    no, seems ok

    10gr2 is not 7 releases behind, its 2 - 11g r2 has only just been released so you are only really once release behind and 10g r2 is very stable so no shame there

    25 critical updates? are they for bugs which affect you, if not why fix what isnt broken?

    direct io is fine - if you need it

    first point sounds a bit off, but a lot of people dont use AWR.

    So the real question is, is your database at risk - for that you would need to get proper external experts in to assess your business needs vs what you have

    not an easy answer

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Many thanks. Sometimes it's hard to know if someone is trying to sell their services by creating an artificial need, or if they are giving you the straight scoop. Will continue to investigate. Thanks!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
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    Hi

    Every quarter oracle releases CPU patches which contain bug fixes and secirity patches aslo i think you should apply the cpu patches no ?

    its like running windows without running the security patches that microsoft releases.

    regards

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by hrishy View Post
    Hi

    Every quarter oracle releases CPU patches which contain bug fixes and secirity patches aslo i think you should apply the cpu patches no ?

    its like running windows without running the security patches that microsoft releases.

    regards
    blindly applying them is as bad as not applying them

    work out what they do for you - what the risk is and do what the best outcome is

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
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    Hi Davey23uk

    Most fo the customers i have been to do tend to apply the CPU patches even though they might not have been hit by bugs .

    The common answer seems to be twofold.
    Paranoidism
    SOX requirements (America) or as a part of Audit requirements.

    I would love to hear what others think of these view point .

    regards

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
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    I agree with Hrishy.

    Both of my clients in US tend to apply CPU patches to fulfill the SOX requirements. Of course with due testing in dev, test, and qa environments before applying in production.

    Thanks,
    Vijay Tummala

    Try hard to get what you like OR you will be forced to like what you get.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    I have to agree with both Dave and hrishy.

    On one hand, blindly applying patches is the best way to keep awakening bugs; on the other hand different regulations force DBA to apply CPU patches - at least in the U.S.
    Pablo (Paul) Berzukov

    Author of Understanding Database Administration available at amazon and other bookstores.

    Disclaimer: Advice is provided to the best of my knowledge but no implicit or explicit warranties are provided. Since the advisor explicitly encourages testing any and all suggestions on a test non-production environment advisor should not held liable or responsible for any actions taken based on the given advice.

  9. #9
    There is also the fact that any bug related TAR opened with Oracle on a non-fully-patched DB is almost guaranteed to result in a patch-first-and-try-again answer.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhmartin View Post
    There is also the fact that any bug related TAR opened with Oracle on a non-fully-patched DB is almost guaranteed to result in a patch-first-and-try-again answer.
    yeah... and once you do that the next answer from Oracle support would be "upgrade"
    Pablo (Paul) Berzukov

    Author of Understanding Database Administration available at amazon and other bookstores.

    Disclaimer: Advice is provided to the best of my knowledge but no implicit or explicit warranties are provided. Since the advisor explicitly encourages testing any and all suggestions on a test non-production environment advisor should not held liable or responsible for any actions taken based on the given advice.

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