Log Buffer #131: A Carnival of the Vanities for DBAs

Jan 16, 2009 / By David Edwards

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Welcome to the 131st edition of Log Buffer, the weekly review of database blogs.

Fundamentals are always a good place to start, so let’s do that courtesy Craig Mullins of Data Management Today. Craig’s fundamental question is, what does a DBA do? A good one for blank-faced relatives and dinner-party companions.

Perhaps you’re just a little blank-faced too, a least on the subject of DB2 LUW? If so, Susan Visser of Build your Skill on DB2 shows the way forward with a compilation of introductory information about DB2 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows.

“While analyzing slow response or poor database performance, you might be curious to know where a database request spends time.  . . .  However, I doubt if anyone ever found a satisfactory answer to this question for a DB2 database.” So begins Radhesh Kumar as he sets about to fill that void with his investigation of where a DB request spends time (on DB2 Diary from Radhesh).

Troy Coleman, the DB2 Tutor, reports in his item, DB2 and Mac, Together, that IBM just released a beta version of DB2 Express-C for Mac.

Back to Craig for a moment, as he asserts that DBAs must understand application development. The converse argument is more common, so this is refreshing.

Turning to matters SQL Server . . .  Jonathan Kehayias, the Rambling DBA, who in addition to rambling, has found time to rant on applications and administrator rights. Jonathan says, “It is 2009, and I am shocked to find that applications today still show up with a requirement to be a sysadmin on SQL Server . . .  What do you do with applications like this?”

On facility9, coincidentally, Jeremiah Peschka has How I Get By Without sysadmin. ” . . . I don’t have sysadmin access on our servers, nor do I have any of the other permissions that would let me collect trace information or access the dynamic management views.  . . . [At] first I thought this would be an insurmountable task . . .  I realized that I always had the knowledge that the tools provided, so I got to work putting this knowledge to work for me.” Now you can, too.

Kendal Van Dyke shares his recipe for scripting server permissions and role assignments: “No doubt . . . you’ve had to move or copy a database from one server to another. Usually you’d use sp_help_revlogin to script out any server logins that you needed to preserve but it falls short on scripting the server permissions and role assignments associated with said logins. Here’s a script that I use to accomplish that task.”

Elsewhere, Thinking outside the box has an easy script for calculating weekday or weekend for a date.

Here on the Pythian Group Blog, Chris Presley gave his walk-through on automating database movement in SQL Server 2005.

A new Oracle blog appeared in the firmament—The Dutch Prutser’s Blog by Harald van Breederode. In one of his first items, Harald writes, “A frequently asked question by students while I am teaching DBA classes at Oracle University is: “How can I capture the SQL statements issued on my database,” and his answer lists five approaches.

Richard Foote says, “I sometimes hear suggestions along the lines of: ‘when you rebuild an index, at least you make the index as small and efficient as possible, even if it doesn’t necessarily improve performance’ or ‘when you rebuild an index, at least you’ll always save some space and storage if nothing else’. However, this of course is not necessarily the case. There are many scenarios where by rebuilding an index, you can actually make the index bigger, not smaller . . .  It all depends.” Click through for Richard’s examples demonstrating just this.

Over on Oracle related stuff, Randolf Geist has published a very through look into the limitations of histograms – rounding issues.

Francisco Munoz Alvarez has issued a call for papers for CLOUG 2009, “the first CLOUG (Chilean Oracle Users Group) National Conference at Santiago, Chile,” scheduled for April 13-14.

Over to MySQL, and a couple questions pertaining to InnoDB. The first comes from xaprb’s Baron Schwartz: What is the scalable replacement for InnoDB? — a question provoked by a statement by a Sun engineer that Sun is working on this replacement engine. Writes Baron, “Surely it’s not Falcon. MySQL and Sun have said many times Falcon isn’t meant to be an InnoDB replacement.”

On the MySQL Performance Blog, Peter Zaitsev’s question is, should you move from MyISAM to Innodb? Peter and his readers lay out the criteria he think are at play when answering this question for yourself.

Roland Bouman follows up on last week’s post from Schlomi, with his suggestions on MySQL’s sql_mode. For those of us not familiar with the controversy, Roland kindly outlines it, and then offers his opinions on the right way forward.

Back to the Pythian Blog finally—Nick Westerlund , our man in Malta (and freshly certified as a MYSQL Cluster DBA), began his series on refactoring MySQL applications.

And that is all. Please add your favourite blogs from the week gone by to the comments. And better still, publish an edition of Log Buffer yourself—send me an email, and I’ll get you started. You’ll bring some new visitors to your blog, show your command of the DBMS scene, and have some fun in the process. Lisa Dobson is down with it—she and her Oracle Newbies Blog are on-deck for next week, so look forward to that. See you then!

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