Log Buffer #121: A Carnival of the Vanities for DBAs

Oct 31, 2008 / By Keith Murphy

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This week gives me a chance to get back into something I love to do—write. For those who don’t know, my name is Keith Murphy and I am a MySQL DBA at the Pythian Group. In addition, I have the privilege of being the editor of the MySQL Magazine, a quarterly  magazine for those who use MySQL on a daily basis, either as a DBA or a developer. The sixth issue was just released last week and is available for download now. But enough about me! Let’s see what you all had to say this week.

Beginning with the world of MySQL.

Monty Taylor kicks things off, bringing us news of the ability to use the innodb plugin with Drizzle. I just think its great how the Drizzle development is moving along so rapidly. My thanks to everyone involved.  Monty also puts out a call to help defray the cost of the purchase of the drizzle.org domain name.

There have been several posts this week on virtualization of MySQL Server. I point you to a colleague at Pythian, Sheeri Cabral, who wrote about some of the benefits our customers have already experienced while using virtualized servers. While virtualized servers are not a panacea, they definitely have a place in the DBA’s environment. If you don’t work with any currently, you will be doing so down the road.

The OpenSQL “unconference” is coming! The date is Nov 14 -16 in Charlottesville, Virginia, USA. Details and registration information are available here. Speaking of conferences, the MySQL Users Conference, which is in April in Santa Clara, CA, USA has extended its deadline for topic proposals.

Baron has a great post on naming conventions for your schema.

In the how-to department, Falko Timme has a good tutorial on how to set up GreenSQL to protect your databases from SQL Injection attacks. Finally, Johan Andersson has a good introductory blog post on optimizing queries for a NDB cluster, and a post on how you can get the Cluster Sandbox tool for testing the MySQL Cluster.

The Oracle world had sad news this week. Carl Backstrom, who was an Oracle employee and APEX developer, was killed early Sunday morning in a car accident in Nevada. Many people have written their thoughts about this, and I give you the links in no particular order:

http://joelkallman.blogspot.com/2008/10/carl-backstrom.html
http://tonguc.wordpress.com/2008/10/28/we-lost-carl/
http://www.liberidu.com/blog/?p=576
http://fuadarshad.blogspot.com/2008/10/rip-carlback.html
http://www.oraclenerd.com/2008/10/carl-backstrom.html
http://spendolini.blogspot.com/2008/10/carl-backstrom-tragic-loss.html

This week brings us the introduction of a new beta version (4.0 beta 7) of TVD$XTAT, Christian Antognini’s freeware  tool for working with raw SQL trace files.

Even though the Exadata server was introduced some time ago it is still generating comment in the Oracle users community. Greg Rahn from the Oracle Real-World Performance Group at Oracle had some thoughts about some recent comparisons between the Exadata servers and EMS  arrays.

An interesting observation comes from Robert Hodges about building highly reliable database systems (not just for Oracle!).

Marc Billette brings some interesting information about how you can monitor the amount of time it takes Oracle to apply logs. Jason Arneil has some very noteworthy work showing how performing an online rebalance of ASM can affect your system with I/O saturation. Richard Foote has some very in-depth details for those who want to know what is going on with indexes and how indexes can become fragmented even when deletions of the index are not occurring.

Looking to automate your Oracle installations more? Take a look at Jeremy’s idea for a project to automate the install patch process.

The world of SQL Server brings us a lot of news this week.

Tony Rogerson shows a simple method of creating an HTML table with table data from query results. All done in SQL! Another nifty coding idea to add to your arsenal is given by the SSIS Junkie where he talks about nesting variables to calculate values.

SQLServerpedia reports that Windows Server 2008 will only be offered in a  64-bit version. This should simplify the life of some SQL Server DBAs! New functionality for SQL Server 2008 was written about by Paul Randal with the re(addition) of minimally-logged inserts for bulk data loads. And finally, and maybe most important, Paul also blogs about something near and dear to my heart: backups and the recovery process.

Anyone who quotes Eric Raymond immediately gets high marks in my book. Ken Downs, The Database Programmer, does just that in his great post about the assertion that people make (erroneously, I believe) that code is data. Ken, your post made my week!

Continuing the coding examples, the Patron Saint of Lost Yaks writes about using bayesian estimates for averages.

PostgreSQL

The Postgres online journal was busy this week. They have a good post on why sometimes indexes aren’t used. Also, the journal has a good second part of an article on how to write Postgres functions.

Selena writes a nice summary of happenings at the Google Summer of Code Mentor Summit. And a trick or treat from Depesz who bring us a trick on how to set a field based on the sort order.

Informix

For those working with Informix, Guy Bowerman has written a good book review of Administering Informix Dynamic Server.

DB2

The DB2 DBAs had a conference this week—the IOD (Information on Demand) conference. Several people have blogged about it. Willie Favero shared his thoughts on IOD here.

Here’s what Beth Breidenbach had to say about Monday at IOD, and Adam Gartenberg wrote about Tuesday at the conference.

That’s all. Thanks for your attention, and I’ll see you again soon.

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