Log Buffer #145: A Carnival of the Vanities for DBAs

May 8, 2009 / By David Edwards

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Welcome to the 145th edition of Log Buffer, the weekly review of database blogs.

MySQL

Since MySQL was surely the belle of the bloggers’ ball this week—why, everyone was talking—let’s begin with it.

Baron Schwartz started something with his post examining why MySQL might not benefit from having a mother ship. Dean Ellis of niflheim responded, arguing that everyone needs the MySQL mothership. And that got Sheeri’s Cabral’s attention—she took the middle path in her post, What If, and her readers had plenty to say.

Justin Swanhart gave news and opinion in one headline: MySQL documentation team announces docs will NOT be GPLed. Boo MySQL. Boooo, adding, “I’m now totally convinced that MySQL does not understand, and will never understand the MySQL community.” In his piece on MySQL docs freedom, Arjen Lentz wrote, “I believe this is a serious concern for the product as a whole, and hope this concern will be addressed by Sun Microsystems very soon – with action.”

Yoshinori Matsunobu’s item illuminating Linux I/O scheduler queue size and MyISAM performance attracted some comment, as did the MySQL Performance Blog’s detailed review of Tokutek storage engine.

Giuseppe Maxia, the Data Charmer, was road testing too, test-driving the Spider storage engine.

Jeremy Zawodny wants to hear your thoughts on the question, is MySQL 5.1 a compelling upgrade?

Fernando Ipar looked into SOUNDEX(), triggers, and stored procedures, beginning, “ . . . If you’re storing multiple-word strings, things get a little more complicated, since they can’t be compared by their soundex.  . . .  If at a later time, you want to search for a subpart of this phrase, there’s no way for you to do this. Well, at least not directly . . . ”

On the zillablog, Robert Treat was taking a stab at 50 things to know before migrating MySQL to Oracle, and making it all the way to 29.

Oracle

Some conference stuff. Jason Arneil posts the UKOUG 2009 Annual Conference Call for Papers. The 3rd Planboard DBA Symposium was announced by Frits Hoogland.

Jonathan Lewis delivers his philosophy (the first part of it, at least). Christian Antognini says, “AMEN”.

Jared Still has updated and published his script for querying v$lock.

John Hallas offers an account of his experiences with DBMS_DATAPUMP using the API.

George Trujillo writes, “It is always important to make sure you are maintaining your skill set and marketability as an Oracle professional. In a down economy it is even more so for a DBA. So my question to you is, do you try to scale vertically or horizontally?

SQL Server

At the Home of the Scary DBA appeared something along similar lines, Database Screening Questions, picking up a thread from Brent Ozar and the SQL Batman on newbie DBA interviewing.

Bart Duncan showed how sometimes the simplest solution isn’t the best solution, specifically vis-a-vis the all-in-one search query.

DELETE FROM Where? asks Steve Kass. “For years, SQL Server has supported a (second) FROM clause in UPDATE and DELETE statements. Its behavior isn’t always deterministic, a fact Microsoft points out in the documentation.  . . .  Today, someone was surprised by the basic semantics of DELETE .. FROM. This probably happens a lot . . . ”

MS’s Bob Ward, for his part, asks, Why Should I Use Extended Events in SQL Server 2008? “You may or may not have heard of a new diagnostic technology in SQL Server 2008 called Extended Events (XEvent). I thought I would post an example of why this technology can do things nothing else we have can when you deploy SQL Server 2008.”

Paul S. Randal brings news of a performance bug: NOLOCK scans involving off-row LOB data. “Bottom line is that if you’re doing NOLOCK scans of tables involving LOB data, the performance might suck.”

Tim Ford, SQLAgentMan, wondered what it would be like if SQL Server was a musician. “SQL Server Elvis Edition – does not scale out well. Dumps are not graceful.”

Oh, speaking of which, here’s Kevin Kline reporting that Microsoft marketing throws SQL Server under the bus after some trouble with a Windows 7 Beta release.

IBM DBMSs

On the DB2PORTAL Blog, Craig Mullins offers his approaches to access path management… or The Five R’s.

Kate Dawson wants to know, are you going to IDUG?, offering links and details.

The Informix Zone has a dispatch from the IIUG Conference 2009, complete with lots of links and pictures.

Jacques Roy provides his answers to a question you might find yourself asking—Why Informix?

PostgreSQL

Andrew Dunstan announces the birth of PostgreSQL Experts Inc., a company “ . . . aimed at providing full service to PostgreSQL users, from setup to tuning to administration to application development. We have some people who are pretty well known in the PostgreSQL community, including Josh Berkus, our CEO, and David Wheeler and David Fetter, as well as your humble blogger . . . ”. Congratulations, guys, have a cigar!

Andrew also examines materialised views for large joins. He writes, “Postgres doesn’t have builtin support for materialised views (yet). But they are pretty easy to set up.”

Firebird

It’s time to nominate Firebird for CCA 2009, SourceForge’s Community Choice Awards, says Firebird News. Firebird is nominated for Best Project, Best Tool or Utility for Developers, and Best Project for the Enterprise.

On Free Database: The Relational Databases Blog appears an embedded Firebird database overview. It begins, “I was looking for a small and powerful database in order to fulfill the requirements of my last project. Because the database will be running locally I took the decision to use an embedded database. After a few searches over the Internet and some embedded database comparison reviews, I found Firebird which is actually a powerful but unknown (yet) relational database system.”

On Compas Pascal, Lars Dybdahl makes some observations on the real-life latency of a Firebird server.

Before we say goodbye, let’s go back to MySQL. Amidst all of the chatter and controversy, Gary Pendergast wishes to remind us that MySQL is People! And to illustrate that point, he throws himself from an airplane. The connection isn’t too clear to me, but I do hope MySQL has a parachute that works just as well.

As always, I invite you to mention your favourite DB blogs from this week in the comments. Until next time!

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