Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Applied Patches View

I was testing patching in Grid Control a few weeks ago.
I found that when the Schedule Deployment Job executes, if the
patching step of the database completes, the Grid Control repository
view mgmt$applied_patches is not updated with the applied patch
immediately, but waits till the entire job completes.

If a later step fails, the entire job is marked as failed, and the
Grid Control Repository Applied Patches view is not updated,
even though the database has already been patched.

Instead of this, I felt, the Grid Control Repository Applied Patches
should be updated as soon as the patching step completes. Actually
it works in a different way. Let me explain.

MGMT$APPLIED_PATCHES is a view which gathers the information
from the following 4 tables in the repository:

mgmt_inv_container con,
mgmt_ecm_snapshot snap,
mgmt_inv_patch patch,
mgmt_targets tgt

The definition of the view is:

to_char(patch.id) as patch,
ecm_util.concat_col('distinct BUG_NUMBER',
'PATCH_GUID = ''' || patch.patch_guid || '''',',') as bugs,
patch.timestamp as installation_time,
tgt.target_name as host,
con.container_location as home_location,
con.container_name as home_name,
mgmt_inv_container con,
mgmt_ecm_snapshot snap,
mgmt_inv_patch patch,
mgmt_targets tgt
con.snapshot_guid = snap.snapshot_guid AND
snap.is_current = 'Y' AND
snap.snapshot_type = 'host_configuration' AND
con.container_guid = patch.container_guid AND
tgt.target_name = snap.target_name

As you can see there is a WHERE clause saying:
snap.is_current = 'Y' AND
snap.snapshot_type = 'host_configuration'.

Host configuration is manually executed at user request from
Deployment tabs or every 24 hours. If a patch is applied with
Opatch (ie. outside Grid Control at the unix or dos prompt)
then you MUST run the RefreshHostConfiguration job from
Deployments tab if you want the view updated immediately,
if not after 24 hours the info will be available.

If a patch is applied with Deployment procedures then there is
a step at the end of the DP that runs the RefreshHostConfiguration
job. If the whole DP job fails before reaching the
RefreshHostConfiguration job then of course this step
will not execute and the view will not be updated.

Thanks to the Oracle EM support team for this information.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

My profile in Peer to Peer of Oracle Magazine

For the first time, I have been profiled in the Peer to Peer Section
in Oracle Magazine of May June 2009. Here is the page. What did I talk about? Grid Control, of course!

For space reasons, the magazine had to leave out some lines from the profile,
that I am reproducing here fully:

What technology has most changed your life? Oracle grid technology, including Oracle Enterprise Manager 10g Grid Control and all the great management packs. I am an Oracle Grid Computing enthusiast: I really like the advanced capabilities of Oracle Grid Control for tasks such as patching databases in an automated schedule, setting and scheduling Oracle RMAN [Oracle Recovery Manager] backups on the fly, and issuing SQL scripts and OS commands against any database or server. Oracle Grid Control has the potential to automate a lot of tedious DBA tasks.

What would you like to see Oracle, as a company, do more of? Oracle has demonstrated technical and thought leadership since its inception in 1977, the year of Star Wars. The most recent example of innovative technology is the announcement that we can use Oracle Grid Control to back up our databases directly to the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, thus negating the requirement for tape drives and offline storage of backups. My request would just be to keep up the technical and thought leadership. That’s what all Oracle DBAs appreciate.

What green practices do you use in your DBA work? I don’t print anything—I keep everything as electonic copies. Recently my office moved locations, and I was the only one to have a clean, green desk. All I had to move was my laptop and phone. The others were astonished.

Do you have a favorite vacation spot? There is no country as beautiful as India. I love the countryside, the undulating hills, and the villages. This is life at its most spiritual and simplest. The ocean shores of India are also very beautiful, and I love to visit these sandy beaches. I also like to vacation in Udwada in Gujarat, which is a pilgrimage spot for our ancient Zoroastrian religion. There’s a holy fire there that’s been burning for more than 1200 years.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Scripts Guru shows Database control

I just attended my fellow ACE Director Tanel Poder's 2-day "Celebrity" seminar in Singapore and I can say it is definitely one of the best troubleshooting and performance tuning seminars I have ever attended. Tanel has a unique "out of the box" approach to Oracle tuning in his extensive use of Unix-level utilities. His scripts are also amazing. I would definitely recommend his seminar to anyone else.

By the way Tanel recently became the second ACE Director in Singapore based on my recommendation of his community work to Oracle. It couldnt have happened to a more deserving person.

Everyone calls him the "Scripts Guru" since he has a script for almost anything (and even remembers all the names of his scripts, well almost always!). But what was amazing was that even this scripts Guru showed, right at the end of the seminar, that he was impressed with Database Control 11g! In particular, he demonstrated's use of Real Time Sql monitoring using DBMS_SQLTUNE.REPORT_SQL_MONITOR. This actually shows, in Enterprise Manager Database Control, where a SQL statement is in its execution plan AT THE SAME TIME the sql statement is executing! This requires the license of the Diagnostic and Tuning Packs. For more detail, have a look at this blog entry.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Oracle's Dev2DBA Newsletter of April 2009

Oracle's Dev2DBA Newsletter of April 2009 features in this issue:
"One Console to Rule Them All" - Oracle Enterprise Manager 10g Grid Control Release 5". In this newsletter, Justin Kestelyn, Editor-in-Chief, OTN, mentions:

"From admins of the Oracle stack, Oracle Enterprise Manager 10g Grid Control Release 5 is receiving the warmest welcome. With a new slate of database- and application-lifecycle management capabilities - including new support for Oracle WebLogic Server, Oracle Coherence, and Oracle VM - Release 5 takes cost-saving IT stack management to a new level."

This newsletter also mentions my article on Grid Control:

"Tech Article: Oracle Enterprise Manager Grid Control Architecture for Very Large Sites
Need to guarantee high scalability for Enterprise Manager Grid Control? This architecture, described by Oracle ACE Director Porus Homi Havewala based on real-world experiences, may be for you."

New EM Blog

I recently found a new EM Blog which was started in December 2008 by Oracle.
This would be the second blog dedicated solely to EM and we welcome it.
It has a lot of good information about the new Release 5 of EM10g:


Please visit the blog and see for yourself.

New EM Newsletter

You can now sign up to receive the new Enterprise Manager newsletter from Oracle.
Sign in to your OTN account, and click on "Account" at the top of the screen.
Then select the new EM newsletter which shows up in the "Opt-in to Oracle Communications" list as follows:

Oracle Enterprise Manager - News, reviews, and information on Oracle's solutions for managing, monitoring, and optimizing the full range of Oracle products including quality assurance, end-user experience monitoring, SOA runtime governance, complete IT service management, and more.


Opinions expressed in this blog are entirely the opinions of the writers of this blog, and do not reflect the position of Oracle corporation. No responsiblity will be taken for any resulting effects if any of the instructions or notes in the blog are followed. It is at the reader's own risk and liability.

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