Log Buffer #125: A Carnival of the Vanities for DBAs

Nov 28, 2008 / By David Edwards

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It’s time for another exciting installment of Log Buffer, the weekly review of database blogs.

On Prestidigitation of Oracle, Bradd Piontek gets it started with the second in a series on migration to 10g—Making the database a safer place, reviewing security-related changes in 10gR2. (Full disclosure: I should also mention that Bradd is now sitting just a few desks away from me.)

The ORACLE-BASE Blog has a dynamic duo of articles—one each on installing Oracle 11.1 and installing Fedora 10. (I’m a little late mentioning it, but this item is a fine complement to Augusto Bott’s latest article: Installing Oracle 11gR1 on Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex).

Once you have your Ibex or Fedora up and running, check out Only Four Left, where John Piwowar has some tips for clearing the Oracle environment in a Unix session.

“I see that Tom Kyte has found a nasty little bug waiting to trap a few unlucky people as they patch to 10.2.0.4, or upgrade to 11g.” So writes Jonathan Lewis in his item on the SAS bug.

Asif Momen offered dynamic sampling myths dispelled, which he introduces thus: “There are couple of myths associated with Dynamic Sampling  . . .  i) Default number of blocks sampled are 32 in Oracle 10g and ii) Tables having less than 32 blocks are not considered by the optimizer for dynamic sampling.” Dispel away, Asif!

Cary Millsap has the latest in his ongoing series, Messed-Up App of the Day. This one comes courtesy a certain American airline. Hard to imagine something messed-up coming from that quarter, I know.

Messed-up apps and DBs. Writes Sam Hughes on Things Of Interest, ” . . . by far the least plainly bigoted [objections to gay marriage] . . . are the bureaucratic ones. To be blunt, the systems aren’t set up to handle it.” The article is Gay marriage: the database engineering perspective. It’s perceptive, funny, and yes—there’s lots of comment.

In the MySQL column, the big news this week was delivered by (among others) Giuseppe Maxia on The Aquarium: the much-anticipated MySQL 5.1-GA has been released. Giuseppe has all the links.

The Fake Amelia posts about cracking the Tokutek contest with MySQL 5.1: “[Tokutek] is a company that makes a proprietary engine for MySQL. In their contest, they claim that it takes 20 days to insert 1 billion records into a InnoDB table, and that MyISAM is not even up to the task. In their example, InnoDB inserts 404 rows per second and MyISAM died after a few days of inserting 93 rows per second.  . . .  It looks farfetched to me. Surely you can do better than that.” Which Fake Amelia herself does, with help from 5.1.

Peter Zaitsev of the MySQL Performance Blog has a little contest too—a Thanksgiving challenge: How to detect replication context. (But Thanksgiving was more than a month ago!) Unlike Totutek, Peter doesn’t offer a Starbucks gift card as a prize, but on the other hand, he doesn’t offer a Starbucks gift card as a prize.

Another new offering is the MySQL Query Analyzer. It’s been well reviewed by MySQL bloggers. Baron Schwartz of xaprb has covered it himself, but now he posits an alternative to the MySQL Query Analyzer, based on the Percona patchset and mysqlsla, and tabulates the similarities and differences in the capabilities of the two approaches.

Arjen Lentz responded by asking his readers what they want by way of instrumentation inside MySQL.

Mark Leith also had something to say about MySQL Query Analyzer vs. Percona’s patches: “Everybody [is] saying that this functionality should be implemented in the server, or that the better way to do this is to use these patches . . .  Well guess what people – what does that give you, other than some more details on you queries? More I/O. What’s bad on a database server? More I/O.”

A couple technical posts. Kristian Nielsen contributed his analysis of selecting rows holding group-wise maximum of a field.

Stewart Smith offers his and Brian Aker’s illustration of vertical scaling. MySQL-HA indeed!

In the land of SQL Server, Kalen Delaney poses a question to his audience: What happens when you change a column in an index from a key column to an included column? (Again, no Starbucks gift card.)

Linchi Shea published Finding Disk Partition Offsets Made Easy with a downloadable executable designed to mitigate the performance cost of disk misalignment.

Thinking outside the box has an SQL recipe for finding streaks in data—as in, winning or losing streaks. Must be a Maple Leafs fan.

Michelle Ufford, the SQL Fool, offers an upgraded version of her T-SQL to implement a replication monitor.

On Microsoft BI, Derek Comingore has a much-needed item, Business Intelligence Explained for the DBA—“BI explained in 10 Minutes,” as he puts it.

Last, since I always like to close on a light-hearted item, here’s Jason Massie with part-two of The Death of the DBA. Have fun with that!

If I’ve missed any blogs you’ve enjoyed from this last week, please add them to the comments. And don’t forget to get in touch with me if you’d like to publish an edition of Log Buffer on your own weblog.

Till next time!

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