Log Buffer #124: A Carnival of the Vanities for DBAs

Nov 21, 2008 / By David Edwards

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This is the 124th edition of Log Buffer, the weekly review of database blogs. Welcome.

Here’s what the Oracle blogosphere had to offer. On Oracle and more, Amardeep Sidhu announces the birth of the North India Oracle Users Group. Not too far away, on the AskDba.org Weblog gets the word out about a seminar by Tom Kyte on 18th December in Bangalore, arranged by the All India Oracle User Group.

Vivek Sharma examined Library Cache Latch Contention and Scalability to answer the question, “Why is Library Cache Latch Contention referred to as a ‘Severe Scalability Issue’?”

Marco Gralike discusses the value of setting an “impossible” password for SYS — even when you can use LOCK.

Greg Rahn of Structured Data explained the use of a preprocessor for external tables. He writes, “Before External Tables existed in the Oracle database, loading from flat files was done via SQL*Loader. One option that some used was to have a compressed text file and load it with SQL*Loader via a named pipe. This allowed one not to have to extract the file, which could be several times the size of the compressed file. As of 11.1.0.7, a similar feature is now available for External Tables . . . ”

On Oracle Corp’s Oracle Certification blog, Paul Sorensen debuts a new booklet called “Performing an Oracle DBA 1.0 to DBA 2.0 Upgrade”: “The knowledge required by the typical Oracle DBA has increased, requiring additional skills and in some cases job responsibilities. Oracle Certified Masters Joel Goodman and Harald van Breederode discuss this shift in DBA skills in this 10-page PDF booklet . . . ”

In the MySQL world, David Holoboff of MySQL Hints was thinking along similar lines, albeit more informally (I doubt the Oracle booklet has a picture of Wayne and Garth). David offers his top 10 list for developers, programmers working with MySQL. That the list is 14-items long probably says something about DBAs’ opinon of developers.

code.openark.org’s Shlomi Noach also was in the business of setting developers’ heads straight (and those of others besides) with his common wrong data types compilation.

Domas Mituzas returned from a talk on Solaris’s ZFS with a verdict on its use with MySQL: ZFS and MySQL … not yet. He says, “Putting InnoDB on top of ZFS after some high-school-like variable replacement ends up ‘putting InnoDB on top of InnoDB’.” But, he continues, “. . . what if MyISAM suddenly started using all the ZFS capabilities[?]”

Martin ‘MC’ Brown of MCslp Coalface was also staring into Solaris, and he reports on feeding query analyzer from DTrace, using functionality on its way in MySQL 6.0.

/dev/random, by the way, offers its first impressions of MySQL Query Analyzer, as does Mark Callaghan: Query Analyzer rocks.

Florian Haas’s blog brought us the announcement that DRBD+ is going open source. Good news for HA on MySQL.

Meanwhile on The Scale-Out Blog, Robert Hodges announced the Tungsten Replicator Beta for MySQL: “Pluggable open source replication has arrived . . .  This release is the next step in bringing advanced data replication capabilities to open source and has many improvements and bug fixes. It also (finally) has complete documentation.”

OpenSQL Camp took place in the week gone by. A lot of bloggers were there and reported back with very good things to say about it. I couldn’t cover them all, so here’s Jeff Stoner with his impressions of OpenSQLCamp. Nutshell: “If you missed it, you missed out.”

There was conference action in SQL Server-land too. Aaron Bertrand gives his summary of the PASS Keynote, by Ted Kummert, Corporate VP, Data and Storage Platform Division at Microsoft, which covered the success of PASS itself, the take-up of 2008, and something called Kilimanjaro.

Aaron also gave his reasons for upgrading to SQL Server 2008. Jason Massie outdid Aaron by three with his 10 reasons to upgrade. Denis Gobo came in with a sloid showing—eight reasons for upgrading.

Joseph Sack contributed to the discussion with his six failover clustering benefits realized from migrating to SQL Server 2008.

Onto the technical stuff. Matt Warren of The Wayward WebLog has a well liked continuation of a series on building a LINQ IQueryable provider.

Jonathan Kehayias, The Rambling DBA, began a series of his own . . .  The Database Transaction Log – Part 1: Managing Size.

In a more DBMS-neutral frame of mind, Jonathan also wants his readers’ opinions on the question, can a DBA function without rights to the Server OS?.

And that is all. If you enjoy Log Buffer, please contribute your favourite blog posts, or better yet, welcome your colleagues to your own blog by publishing one yourself. Read the Log Buffer homepage, and send me an email.

See you next week!

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