Log Buffer #28: A Carnival of the Vanities for DBAs

Jan 19, 2007 / By David Edwards

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Welcome to the 28th edition of Log Buffer, the weekly review of database blogs. It was a busy week in the blogs, but then, it always is.

Let’s start with some open source software (OSS) items. Stephen Walli published two far-looking “thought experiments” on Once More unto The Breach. In the first, entitled Microsoft and MySQL: A Thought Experiment, Stephen argues that Microsoft could gain a great deal by doing open source software properly, using the approaches of MySQL AB as its model. Step 1? “Start by releasing the source code for SQL Server.”

Moving to another giant’s OSS movements, The OpenForce.com looks at Oracle Linux Redux: “(When) Oracle and Red Hat announced their most recent earnings, Oracle’s stock went down and Red Hat’s went up.” This piece, and several others to which it links, state that, at least in the opening game, Red Hat is ahead.

Take a hint from Pythian’s Raj Thukral, if you will. His hint covers hinting to counter slow backups in Oracle 10.2.0.2.

On his Oracle Scratchpad, Jonathan Lewis writes about hinting for optimization of plans and paths: “Ultimately there are a few dozen hints which exist but are not documented and a few dozen that exist but are not documented properly, and the list keeps growing – so it can be hard to figure out exactly how to force a particular execution plan to appear…”

There were some more outbreaks of the DBA-vs-developer (non-)controversy this week. Gary Myers of Igor’s Oracle Lab mentions them, and writes Developer or DBA, in which he (a developer) states that he does not really know what DBAs actually do, except that he imagines it involving taking emergency phonecalls in the dead of night. This is right, isn’t it?

Confessions of an IT Hitman’s Dratz wants to do some point-counterpoint blogging with other bloggers on the DBA-vs-developer thing, and on some other topics too: “Oracle vs. XXX … Management vs. Staff … Senior vs. Junior.” This promises to be well worth reading.

Perhaps, as Steve Karam, The Oracle Alchemist suggests in The Great Divide – DBAs and Developers, all the mutal misgivings arise from the fact that the two camps are often separated — by office storeys, continents, oceans, etc. — and, like parallel lines, never meet.

Turning to PostgreSQL stuff, Magnus Hagander’s PostgreSQL blog shares some news about Postgres being adopted by the government of New Zealand, and on Database Soup, Josh Berkus has some coverage of upcoming conferences dealing at least partly with PostgreSQL.

Apropos which, Gavin Sherry’s blog has a summary of the PostgreSQL miniconf at linux.conf.au.

It’s Oracle Critical Patch Update (CPU) time again, and of course, there has been some blogging about it.

The Oracle Security Blog has Integrigy’s initial thoughts: “On the surface, the pre-announcement looked pretty bad with the highest CVSS base score being 7.0 for the database, Enterprise Manager, and E-Business Suite. However, the worst database vulnerabilities are exclusively in the Oracle HTTP Server, which is an optional component for the database.”

Pete Finnigan’s Oracle security weblog links to an analysis of the CPU.

This is probably a good place to mention again the change in Daylight Savings Time coming this spring to the US and Canada. On the OTN TechBlog, Justin Kestelyn writes, “(You) may not know that this change can wreak havoc on your (Oracle) systems unless you prepare them for the change,” and offers a couple links to resources on dealing with this.

Several bloggers had announcements to make. Lenz Grimmer’s blog announced that mylvmbackup 0.4 has been released. It is described as, “a tool to perform consistent backups of a MySQL server’s tables using Linux LVM snapshots.”

Zmanda’s blog announced a Webinar on Backing up your MySQL server remotely over the internet using their ZRM for MySQL product.

HackMySQL.com News is tossing mysqlsla v1.4 out there. “mysqlsla analyzes general, slow, and raw MySQL statement logs.”

Martin Brambley introduces his Oracle Menu, “a shell script that provides a menu to automate and simplify oracle administration.”

datori.blog published their tool for producing HTML documentation for a database schema in DB2 UDB. This is a lot nicer to look at than typical web representations of tables, isn’t it?

There’s a DB2 podcast, as Susan Visser points out on Build your Skill on DB2. It’s called Voice of the DB2 Community. The current episode covers the health and stability of DB2 9. Sheeri Kritzer, The MySQL She-BA, has the lastest episode of her OurSQL podcast up, this one, the first of a two-part series on MySQL’s new and much talked-about Falcon storage engine.

In another two-parter, (itself part of a number of threaded and linked blog entries) Nuno Suoto of DBAs-R-Us wrote no moore (part 2). He takes a lesson from the Dewey Decimal System in imagining the future of database design and access where storage, and the databases, are extremely large.

Peter Scott responded on Pete-s random notes with his thoughts on extremely large databases and searching the unstructured. He says, “Maybe (Extremely Large Databases) are not the way to go for unstructured data or data that needs extensive analysis. Perhaps the way to go here is through database federation…”

And Pythian’s Alex Gorbachev had his say: “(The) answers delivered by the databases of the future will resemble ‘slow’ or ‘fast’ or ‘very fast’, instead of ‘159.4567 km/hour’.”

I’d also like to add that illustrious Oracle guy (and Log Buffer alumnus) Doug Burns arrived here in Ottawa last week to work at Pythian, and as Doug’s Oracle blog demonstrates, he is starting to fit in just fine, having already conducted his first experiments with poutine, hockey, and bitter, cold weather. We’re going to introduce him to free medical care next week, following our initiation ceremony. Ouch!

That’s all for now. If you’d like to edit and publish an edition of Log Buffer yourself, please read the Log Buffer homepage and follow the easy instructions therein. It’s good fun, and an excellent way to transform your blog into the celebrated, must–read destination for DBAs everywhere!

One Response to “Log Buffer #28: A Carnival of the Vanities for DBAs”

  • Doug Burns says:

    >> There were some more outbreaks of the DBA-vs-developer (non-)controversy this week.

    You’re just trying to cause trouble, aren’t you? ;-)

    I had that blog in my Inbox all week, wondering if I’d respond, but I wouldn’t want to be repetitive!

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