Log Buffer #182, A Carnival of the Vanities for DBAs

Mar 12, 2010 / By Sheeri Cabral

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This is the 182nd edition of Log Buffer, the weekly review of database blogs. Make sure to read the whole edition so you do not miss where to submit your SQL limerick!

This week started out with me posting about International Women’s Day, and has me personally attending Confoo (Montreal) which is an excellent conference I hope to return to next year. I learned a lot from confoo, especially the blending nosql and sql session I attended.

This week was also the Hotsos Symposium. Doug’s Oracle Blog has a series of posts about Hotsos. If all this talk about conferences has gotten you excited, Joshua Drake notes that 14 days and the hotel is almost full for postgresql conference east which is March 25th-28th in Philadelphia. And the Oracle database insider notes that the Oracle OpenWorld call for papers is now open.

According to Susan Visser this week (ending tomorrow) is also read an e-book week. So if you have not already done so, read an e-book! She links a coupon for an e-book in the post.

Craig Mullins notes that the mainframe is a good career choice in Mainframes: The Safe IT Career Choice. He notes that the mainframe is still not dead:

People having been predicting the death of the mainframe since the advent of client/server in the late 1980s. That is more than 20 years! Think of all the things that have died in that timespan while the mainframe keeps on chugging away: IBM’s PC business, Circuit City, Koogle peanut butter, public pay phones, Johnny Cash… the list is endless.

In other career-related news, Antonio Cangiano is looking for [2] top-notch student hackers for a 16-month internship at IBM in Toronto starting in May. All the details, including how to apply, are in Cangiano’s blog post.

Willie Favero wants to know how you “solve the batch dilemma” for issues like “shrinking your batch window, designing your batch to play nicely with … OLTP” in how’s your batch workload doing? Perhaps Favero should read the updated batch best practices posted by Anthony Shorten.

Bryan Smith surveys a more personal question by asking if you go both ways and “manage both DB2 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows and DB2 for z/OS” in don’t ask, don’t tell, bi-platform DBAs. This week’s Log Buffer editor admits to being a tri-platform DBA — she has tried many platforms, and in fact, many databases (MySQL, Oracle, DB2, SQL Server, Sybase, Postgres and Ingres)!

Hari Prasanna Srinivasan promotes a patching survey in Oracle really wants to hear from you! Patching Survey.

Henrik Loeser explains what a deadlock and a hot spot are by using a real life analogy taken from a police report in deadlock and hot spot in real life.

Jamie Thomson asks why do you abbreviate schema names?. Shlomi Noach tries to solve the issue that “there is no consistent convention as for how to write [about table aliases in] an SQL query” in proper sql table alias use conventions. Noach also gives us a tip: faster than truncate.

Leons Petrazickis reminds us that “rulesets are chains” and it is important to have your rulesets in the proper order in iptables firewall pitfall.

Anyone interested in the history of MySQL AB will be informed after reading Dries Buytaert’s article.
Gavin Towey shares his software that helps centrally manage 120 MySQL servers in qsh.pl: distributed query tool For those who want to learn more about column-oriented databases, particularly in MySQL, Robin Schumacher of the InfiniDB blog announces that there is a MySQL University session recording on MySQL column databases now available. MySQL join-fu expert Jay Pipes has moved his blog to www.joinfu.com and starts with An SQL Puzzle and of course a follow up on the sql puzzle.

Ivan Zoratti is happy that finally, slides posted for the MySQL DW breakfast. Venu Anuganti gives you tips on one of the most common MySQL frustrations: optimizing subqueries in how to improve subqueries derived tables performance. Justin Swanhart posts the way in which he Gets Linux performance information from your MySQL database without shell access and emulates a ‘top’ CPU summary using /proc/stat and MySQL using the same method.

The Oracle Apps blog has an introduction to Oracle user productivity kit (UPK). Even though in this editor’s opinion the article is very sales-pitchy, it has valuable information, and does indeed live up to its promise:

UPK is a software tool that can capture all the steps in a system process. It records every keystroke, every click of the mouse, each menu option chosen and each button pressed. All this is done in the UPK Recorder by going through the transaction and pressing “printscreen” after every user action. From this, without any further effort from the developer, UPK builds a number of valuable outputs.

Allen White gives a great tip on how to optimize queries in keep your data clean.

Mike Dietrich reminds you to remove “old” parameters and events from your init.ora when upgrading, “as keeping them will definitely slow down the database performance in the new release.” He shows evidence of slowness when this is not done. Dietrich also shows how you can be gathering workload statistics “to give the optimizer some good knowledge about how powerful your IO-system might be”, especially “a few days after upgrading to the new release…while a real workload is running.”

Brian Aker shows the exciting features coming soon in Drizzle in Drizzle, Cherry, Roadmap for our Next Release.

Maybe you are thinking of migrating, not upgrading…..The O’Reilly Radar shows how to asses an Oracle to MySQL migration in MySQL migration and risk management. Actually, that article interviews Ronald Bradford on the subject — Bradford has been prolific lately, updating free my.cnf advice series and “Don’t Assume”: MySQL for the Oracle DBA series. Nick Quarmby also talks about migrating Oracle, but not to a new database, just to a new platform, in his primer on migrating Oracle Applications to new platforms. And the big news comes from Carlos of dataprix that Twitter will migrate from MySQL to Cassandra DB.

Paul S. Randal explains his way of benchmarking: 1 Tb table population on SQL Server.

Pete Finnigan shares his slides from a webinar on how to secure oracle, and Denis Pilipchuk shares his approaches for discovering security vulnerabilities in software applications.

Jeff Davis shares his thoughts about scalability and the relational model. Robert Treat responds actually, the relational model doesn’t scale and Baron Schwartz counters with NoSQL doesn’t mean non-relational.

Buck Woody explains “whenever you want to know something about SQL Server’s configuration, whether that’s the Instance itself or a database, you have a few options” — and of course what those options are — in system variables, stored procedures or functions for meta data.

This week’s T-SQL Tuesday topic was I/O. There are many links to great blog posts in the comments; three random posts I chose to highlight: Michael Zilberstein talks about IO capacity planning, while Kalen Delaney talks about using STATISTICS IO in I/O, you know, and Merrill Aldrich chimes in with information on real world SSD’s. Aldrich also begs folks not to waste resources and make more work for developers and DBAs in dear ISV, you’re keeping me awake nights with your VARCHAR() dates.

And we end with a bit of fin: Paul Nielsen wants us all to have a bit of fun; he has posted an SQL limerick and asks readers to create there own in there once was in Dublin a query.

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