linux

fritshoogland's picture

Transactions and SCNs

It’s general knowledge that the Oracle database is ACID compliant, and that SCNs or ‘system change numbers’ are at the heart of this mechanism. This blogpost dives into the details of how the Oracle engine uses these numbers.

Oracle database version 12.1.0.2.161018
Operating system version: OL 7.2, kernel: 4.1.12-61.1.14.el7uek.x86_64 (UEK4)

Redo generation
Whenever DML is executed, redo is generated in the form of ‘change vectors’. These change vectors are copied into the redo buffer as part of the transaction, during the transaction. The function that performs this action is called ‘kcrfw_copy_cv()’. This can be derived by watching the foreground process perform memory copy into the memory area of the redo buffer.

In order to do this, you first need to find the memory area of the redo buffer. This can be done by executing ‘oradebug setmypid’ and ‘oradebug ipc’ as sysdba, and examine the resulting trace file:

fritshoogland's picture

Watching is in the eye of the beholder

Recently I was investigating the inner working of Oracle. One of the things that is fundamental to the Oracle database is the SCN (system change number). SCNs are used to synchronise changes in the database. There is one source for SCNs in every instance (kcbgscn; the global or current SCN in the fixed SGA), and there are multiple tasks for which Oracle keeps track of synchronisation using SCNs. A few of these tasks for which Oracle stores and uses SCNs to keep track of progress are on disk SCN and lwn SCN.

This blogpost is about some oddities I found when using gdb (the GNU debugger) to watch memory locations of a running Oracle database. This should not be done on a production instance, and is purely for research purposes. Only use the methods mentioned in this article if you are absolutely sure what you are doing, and/or if you are using an Oracle instance that can be crashed and can be restored.

martin.bach's picture

Little things worth knowing: when a transient ASM disk failure cannot be fixed in time

In the previous blog post I used libvirt and KVM in my lab environment to simulate a transient disk failure and how to recover from it. This post takes this example a step further: I am simulating another disk failure, but this time won’t pretend I can fix the issue and put it back. In other words, I simulate the effect of the disk_repair_time hitting zero.

Most of what I am covering here is an extension of the previous post, I’ll mention the main detail here for your benefit, but would like to invite you to revert to the previous post for more detail.

The idea is to show you the output of the ASM alert.log and result of the lost disk in the V$-views.

As with the previous post, the code examples in this one are for demonstration purposes only!

martin.bach's picture

Little things worth knowing: transient ASM disk failures in 12c

For quite some time we have been treated nicely by ASM when it comes to transient disk failures. Since 11.1 (if memory serves me right), transient failures won’t cause an ASM disk to be dropped immediately. This is good, because it can potentially save a lot of time! When a disk is dropped from an ASM disk, a rebalance operation is unavoidable. And there is more than a chance of another one following it, because ultimately you want to add the disk back to the disk group. Well, to be fair, this is only applicable for normal or high redundancy disk groups.

The feature I just described very briefly is referred to as ASM Fast Mirror Resync, and documented in the ASM Administrator’s Guide in section Administering Oracle ASM Disk Groups.

pete.sharman's picture

Installing a 12.1.0.5 agent on a Linux 5.x platform from a 13.1 OMS

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fritshoogland's picture

How much memory is truly used by my Oracle instance?

There are many posts about the amount of memory that is taken by the Oracle database executables and the database SGA and PGA. The reason for adding yet another one on this topic is a question I recently gotten, and the complexities which surrounds memory usage on modern systems. The intention for this blogpost is to show a tiny bit about page sharing of linux for private pages, then move on to shared pages, and discuss how page allocation looks like with Oracle ASMM (sga_target or manual memory).

The version of linux in this blogpost is Oracle Linux 7.2, using kernel: 4.1.12-37.6.3.el7uek.x86_64 (UEK4)
The version of the Oracle database software is 12.1.0.2.160719 (july 2016).

glennfawcett's picture

MemSQL — my next adventure

I have been working with Oracle database performance for many years now, but for me it is time to make a change.  Today I start with an exciting new and nimble company MemSQL.

MemSQL offers a new approach to real time analytics with lock-free data structures, in-memory row store, and column store.   MemSQL can perform Real-Time analysis as well as pull data from traditional EDW or Hadoop.

martin.bach's picture

Little things worth knowing: using Remote Diagnostic Agent more effectively with profiles

RDA, or the Remote Diagnostics Agent, has been around for a little while. Over the time, and with the growing number of Oracle’s acquisitions it has become, shall we say, a little more difficult to handle. It appears to me as if every one of them will have its diagnostics handled by RDA making it hard to focus on something specific, like for example the database.

I won’t go into very detail of the Remote Diagnostic Agent in this post; please make sure you read and understand the documentation on MOS and the README* files that come with it before using it.

I based this blog post on Oracle Linux 7.2 and RDA 8.12.16.6.14 in case you find this via a search engine.

Basic Usage

fritshoogland's picture

A total unattended install of linux and the Oracle database.

This is a blogpost about how I setup my test virtual machines. The seasoned sysadmin and DBA will notice that the techniques used here are perfectly usable for real production environments. The most important thing is there is no need to download or stage any software for installing the virtual machine, everything is downloaded when needed during installation. Obviously this works best when you have got reasonable bandwidth available for connecting to the internet.

The main infrastructure software components of this setup are:
Virtualbox as the virtualisation software.
Ansible as the configuration and management engine.
Vagrant as the virtualisation manager.

martin.bach's picture

OSWatcher integration in Trace File Analyzer (TFA)

Some time ago I wrote a post about using OSWatcher for system analysis. Neil Chandler (@ChandlerDBA) rightfully pointed out that although OSWatcher was cool, TFA was the way to go. TFA can include OSWatcher, but more importantly it adds a lot of value over and above what OSWatcher does.

I guess it depends on what you want to do-I still think that OSWatcher is a good starting point and enough for most problems on single instance systems. When it comes to clustered environments, TFA looks a lot more appealing though.

In this article I am taking a closer look at using TFA – which is part of the Oracle 11.2.0.4 and 12.1.0.2. TFA is automatically updated as part of the quarterly patches, which is nice because the default/base release does not seem to be working properly. Thankfully TFA can be patched outside the regular patch cycle.

What is TFA?

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