Posts by Marc Fielding

Exadata storage server software 11.2.1.3.1 released

As of this afternoon, version 11.2.1.3.1 of Oracle’s Exadata storage server software, is out in the wild. This is the first publicly available version of the 11.2.1.3 branch, a major release including a full OS image with an update to Oracle Enterprise Linux 5.5. A number of bugs causing cell server crashes and hangs have been fixed, including 9472035, 9870117, and 9722560.

Oracle feature request #94739: CTAS optimizer statistics

en creating an index, Oracle versions 10g and above automatically compute optimizer statistics. And even before that, 9i had a COMPUTE STATISTICS clause to accomplish the same thing. Not only does it save the time and effort of running DBMS_STATS, but it also saves the disk I/O involved in such an operation, since all rows are available in the course of index creation.

Exadata TPC Benchmarks

I’m not aware of any TPC results for Exadata V2. However a TPC-C test was run in late 2009 using a Sun F5100 flash array on Sun T5540 servers, setting a record for the benchmark that still stands. The Oracle wiki has a great overview of the various benchmarks and what they actually measure.

Exadata BP5 Patching Issues

We’re in the process of applying Exadata Bundle Patch 5, and ran into an issue I wanted to share.The system didn’t have a XDB user, and likely because of this, the two “alter package” commands invalidated the dbms_metadata objects. The subsequent recompilations all failed. On advice from Oracle support, we ended up backing out the patch and re-applying without running these “alter package” commands, and confirmed that DBMS_METADATA works fine. So if you don’t have XDB installed, skip the “alter package” commands. I hope the README is updated soon.

Making the Most of Exadata

My article Making the Most of Oracle Exadata in the August 2010 issue of the NoCOUG Journal has come out. It covers Exadata’s feature set, and then dives deeper, discussing how to make the best use of its capabilities. For those of you not subscribers of the print edition, it’s also available electronically.

Implementing Exadata Webinar

I’ll be giving a webinar about Exadata implementation, where I’ll be talking about Exadata features and how best to use them. I’ll also be sharing some lessons learned from my own implementation experience. The webinar will be on Wednesday August 11 at high noon eastern time. Note that this is a change from the previous date.

A grand tour of Oracle Exadata, Part 2

After covering hardware components of Sun Oracle Database Machine in part 1, our grand tour continues with a look at the software side. With the prominent exceptions of the Exadata storage server software and the Oracle database itself, the software stack is based on well-known and widely used open source products.

Exadata’s Best Kept Secret: Storage Indexes

Although many electrons have been expended discussing Exadata’s features, storage indexes tend to figure last, with a vague mention of row elimination in heavily clustered data. Even Oracle’s Exadata software user guide devotes barely half a page to them. Unlike the better known smart scanning features though, storage indexes have an important advantage: rather than offloading workload to storage cells, they eliminate the need to do the I/O at all. Here are some sample statistics taken from an actual production system:

Oracle’s January 2010 Critical Patch Update is out

Oracle has just released their January installment of their critical patch update (CPU). Vulnerability CVE-2010-0071 is particularly critical, with a CVSS score of 10, the highest possible. It’s a remotely-exploitable listener vulnerability that’s particularly severe on Windows platforms. Full details are on Oracle’s security site.

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