Log Buffer #184, A Carnival of the Vanities for DBAs

Apr 1, 2010 / By Gwen Shapira

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This is the 184th edition of Log Buffer, the weekly review of database blogs. I’ve edited a couple of Log Buffers before, but this is the first time I get to post directly to the Pythian blog. Just one of the many perks of being a Pythian employee ;)

On the Oracle front:

It is always good to start the day with a pop quiz to get the brain into gear: Charles Hooper posted a 3-part series with seemingly innocent True/False questions. He covers sorting, SQL tuning and wait events.

If you enjoyed the performance tuning quiz, you will also enjoy reading about 5 dangerous myths of SQL Performance that Iggy Fernandez reviewed in “So Many Oracle Manuals” blog.

Riyaj Shamsudeen wrote a highly detailed analysis of RAC object remastering, in his Oracle Internals blog. An important read for everyone who wonders how RAC really does its magic.

Jonathan Lewis posted another note in his non-technical but highly popular Philosophy series. This time with a joke to demonstrate an important troubleshooting principle.

Tanel Poder released a new version of his simple-yet-powerful troubleshooting tool – Snapper. Then, in the grand tradition of software development, he immediately released a bug fix.

Did you always wonder what is the difference between Session and Process? Arup Nanda explains it all.

Meanwhile, MySQL bloggers are discussing:

On High Availability MySQL blog, Mark Callaghan shows test results that demonstrate when MyISAM has great performance, and when InnoDB is a better choice.

Earlier in the week, Mark Callaghan also explains that there are several ways to be non-durable, some are worse than others.

Breaking News! RethinkDB, an SSD optimized MySQL storage engine are moving their development from C++ to Lisp, and they explain the decision in their blog.

Dathan Vance Pattishall, MySQL DBA, explains why he chose Cassandra to log every single click from 50 million monthly users, and where he ran into trouble.

On Moonspot, Brian Moon replies by explaining why he found MySQL to be a terrific solution to the same exact problem.

On MySQL Performance Blog, Aurimas Mikalauskas shows how to solve a “too many connections” issue.

MySQL Workbench Team Blog gives a sneak peak of the upcoming beta release of the MySQL Workbench.

Back in the university one of my professors commented that statistics is like driving – everyone things he’s an expert. Baron Schwartz explains that instrumentation is like sex:

My colleague, Edwin Sarmiento, filled me in with a bunch of SQL Server news:

Bob Dorr of Microsoft PSS posted his popular presentation on how SQL Server I/O works, together with the PowerPoint slide deck he used.

Tibor Karaszi distills one of the most basic yet misunderstood concept in database backups – how to restore your database to the point of disaster. This was a by-product of a couple of online discussions that clearly exposes how a lot of SQL Server DBAs misunderstood the concept.

Joe Webb demonstrates how you can dynamically add columns to every table in your database.

Pinal Dave provides spatial files for all the countries around the world that you can upload to a database for use with an application that displays spatial data, such as SQL Server Management Studio.

Jack Corbett describes how slipstreaming service packs and cumulative updates makes installing SQL Server a bit easier. Our very own Edwin Sarmiento actually wrote an article  on how to do that with SQL Server 2008 and Service Pack 2.

Finally, Microsoft released a KB article on how to schedule and automate backups of SQL Server databases in SQL
Server Express Editions
. However, backup retention and housekeeping is not covered. Edwin Sarmiento wrote a similar article about two years ago that includes  deleting old backup files based on your backup retention policies.

Some articles are relevant for every DBA:

Ada Lovelace day was on March 24 – it is a day dedicated to the achievements of women in the technology field. Pythian’s own Sheeri Cabral blogged to draw attention to less known women and their highly impressive achievements. In her words “we are indeed hiding (in plain sight!) everywhere”.

To celebrate the new month, Dave Page announces in his PostgreSQL blog that the new version of PostgreSQL will embrace the NoSQL trend and remove SQL support.

That’s all for this week.

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