Log Buffer #35: A Carnival of the Vanities for DBAs

Mar 9, 2007 / By David Edwards

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Your common-cold-bedeviled editor tardily submits the 35th edition of Log Buffer, the weekly review of database blogs, for your perusal.

Starting with the latest about The DisaSTer™ (may or may not be real disaster), Herod T., Yet Another Oracle DBA, elaborates on his rant of last week with the provocative question, “When did oracle start being ran (sic) by a bunch of morons? … SQL Server simply looks just a little better now…” He also has a brief war story, the first I’ve seen of what I expect will be many.

Chris Foot, having patched “dozens of databases and operating systems,” offers a review of his experiences thus far. “Some of the database patching documentation (10G specifically) can be described as ‘somewhat fluid’ in nature. … (We had) to revisit several of the environments that we already patched to ensure that we didn’t have to reapply them. … Oracle’s application server was the biggest challenge.”

Sheeri Kritzer
, The MySQL She-BA, has a post on Daylight Saving Time and MySQL, with a couple quick tests you can run on your MySQL systems.

On Getting the Most out of DB2…, Willie Favero has links to three other blog posts with resources apropos the big day.

Michael Still discovered Querybane, a query killer/sniper for MySQL. He writes about that and a couple other related finds on the stillhq blog.

Eric Bergen debuts auto vertical output for the MySQL client. “My very first submitted patch to mysql is a client patch that adds –auto-vertical-output. This option compares the width of your terminal to the width of the result set and enables vertical output if it’s going to wrap.”

On the MySQL Performance Blog, Peter Zaitsev writes about the power of MySQL storage engines, which he believes is that, “they apply pressure on each other and as books says competition leads to (the) customer winning. … (This) is very interesting how it will be evolving and how more parts in MySQL will become pluggable and so hopefully more innovative tools and techniques will be developed.”

Tim O’Reilly explains why he has joined the board of directors of MySQL AB, on O’Reilly Radar: “First, MySQL has a unique position at the juncture of two of my abiding interests, open source and Web 2.0. And…MySQL (is) the ‘Intel Inside’ of the next-generation of computer applications.”

On OLAP BI IM stuff, Duncan Lamb reports on an article on Second Life’s use of MySQL to support their very popular and massive virtual world. “MySQL allows the server farms to scale horizontally, by adding large numbers of low-power servers as needed, rather than vertically, which would have required Second Life to run on a few, powerful systems…”

A quickie from Roland Bouman on O’Reilly Databases, a survey asking, stored procedures — Good or Bad?

Doug Burns is currently knee-deep in Hotsos. Nonetheless, he found a little time to post the his presentation on parallel execution time profiles on his Oracle Blog.

On his Oracle Scratchpad, Jonathan Lewis also has a very nifty multimedia presentation of his Hotsos material available, this one on, “…dissecting one query to see how much you can learn about how the optimizer works, and how you have to think when dealing with a difficult problem in SQL.”

On OptimalDBA, Daniel Fink spied a small but potentially important behaviour of Oracle Statspack snapshots, which he calls creeping snapshots: “(A) snapshot that is scheduled to run at the top of each hour may begin to be scheduled to run later and later past the hour as the snapshot begins to take more time.”

On die Seilerwerks, Don Seiler informs us of a new release of cx_Oracle, “(the) Oracle extension of choice for python…”

Reggie’s Ramblings announces the availability of MySQL Connector/Net 5.0.5, “a new version of the all-managed .NET driver for MySQL.”

On Informix Application Development, Guy Bowerman links to a tutorial on using Perl and DBI with Informix Dynamic Server.

The Informix Zone also links to some new technical papers on Cheetah, the beta version of Informix Dynamic Server.

IBM’s IDS Experts blog has a HOWTO on installing IDSAdmin, a web-based admin interface, in a Windows XAMPP environment.

Good news for those running Oracle on their Linux boxes. Sergio Leunissen reports on Oracle’s oracle-validated RPM packages for Linux: “When you install this RPM using up2date and ULN, it will automatically install all packages required by the Oracle database installer.”

On the Dizwell Blog, Howard Rogers has a piece on the relative merits of the GUI vs. the command-line. Not a new subject, but clear light to shed on it is always welcome. “(Unless) you’ve ‘paced out’ a SQL statement, feeling its logic pass under your fingertips, I don’t think you can say you know how to administer a database properly. … However, management is a different kettle of fish entirely! … What they want is visible evidence that the database is being managed. … And it’s for that reason that I wrote a standard quite a long while ago that reads, ‘This organisation will use Oracle Enteprise Manager’s Performance Overview as its primary performance tuning and assessment tool’.”

Finally, on Confessions of a database geek, a short piece by the datageekgal with an observation on time and the DBA. “That whole life/work balance thing has always been a challenge for me. I’m guessing that’s pretty common for anyone who’s been a DBA or sysadmin. Though it’s not like we work continuously, just when the system goes down, or needs patching, or is going to be under load, or is due for an upgrade, or needs a backup drill, or failover testing, or is about to be audited, or, or, or. … I hope it doesn’t take you six months to realize it when your life starts to swing out of balance.” I hope she gets some comments on this.

Time to sign off. Next week, Lisa Dobson is taking the reins (for real this time), giving my stuffy head a much-needed break. Till next time!

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