Log Buffer #40: A Carnival of the Vanities for DBAs

Apr 13, 2007 / By David Edwards

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Welcome to the 40th edition of Log Buffer, the weekly review of database blogs. In celebration of this special number, LB has gone out and bought itself a sexy new sports car in which it plans to ride around with a younger, blonde blog.

The MySQL User Conference & Expo is very close, so it’s only natural that DB bloggers are rubbing their hands (and applying them to their keyboards) in anticipation.

MySQL AB’s Jay Pipes gets things started by offering the final conference session schedule in spreadsheet form. Possible highlight? Getting drunk with Eben Moglen.

Tim “Maybe We Do Need Stinking Badges” O’Reilly, one of MySQL’s foremost cheerleaders, gives his view of conference highlights, which includes Paul Tuckfield of YouTube on scaling MySQL.

(By the way, here’s a review on Slashdot by Michael J. Ross, of O’Reilly’s MySQL Pocket Reference. “(This) first edition would be of value to anyone using MySQL. In essence, MySQL Pocket Reference is neatly organized, extremely portable, and packs much valuable information into a succinct format.”)

Back to the conference, Mike Hillyer weighs in with his looking-forwards.

On Ramblings of a web guy, Brian Moon lets it be known that the Phorum team will be there, looking to meet their MySQL colleagues from around the world.

Oh, Mark Rittman got a word in edgewise about the schedule of the Oracle Applications User Group’s Collaborate’07 event. Likewise, Andrew Clarke of Radio Free Tooting mentions that the UKOUG Annual Conference web site is now open for business, and the call for papers is out.

Moving along now — Sheeri Kritzer, The She-BA, announces two (count ‘em, two!) new episodes of the OurSQL podcast this week: episode 11, a catch-up show; and episode 12, an interview with MySQL AB’s Kaj Arn about the Google Summer of Code.

Here’s Kaj’s own page on the ten accepted projects in MySQL Summer of Code.

Jonathon Coombes’s blog at Cybersite Consulting has an interesting item asking, are stored procedures still relevant? “(After) discussion everyone came to the opinion that they are used primarily for two purposes: 1. A data-level API interface. 2. For encapsulating and abstracting larger, multiple queries or transactions… Everyone agreed that the second option was still valid, although seemed to be less required now, it was the idea of using stored procedures to maintain an API interface that was intriguing.”

Here’s a useful post by Andrew Dashin on Blogging Dashin, on an SQL implementation of a Luhn algorithm that can be used for credit card number verification.

Into the metaphysics of DBA, where I am often wont to go. On Perspectives on Database Management, Craig Mullins published the fourth part of his series of DBA Proverbs. “It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers.” – James Thurber.

On oracle is not magic…, Fadi Hasweh takes up this idea, reporting on a thread on an Oracle mailing list: “‘I think one of the most important things for a DBA to know is how to learn – quickly, and just as important for long term success is to have a natural desire or drive to learn.'”

On Confessions of a database geek, Beth Breidenbach responded to that post with her top 5 list of reading materials for newbie Oracle DBAs.

Steve Karam, the Oracle Alchemist, let the cat out of the bag (or out of the steel chamber perhaps) about indeterminacy in your Oracle databases. The crux of this excellent article is the question, “How can we record a fact when important data regarding that fact may change?”

Onto matters of a more practical nature. Pete Finnigan’s Oracle security weblog ran an item introducing the Oracle Assessment Toolkit. “The kit includes a tool to get oracle versions…, a tool to enumerate users in a database without authenticating. A password brute force tool, a tool to retrieve the SID’s from the listener, a tool to guess SID’s and an example of the Jan 2006 CPU DB18 AUTH_ALTER_SESSION hack. … Worth downloading and also keeping an eye on for fixes and updates.” Pete also has some happy news on a new Oracle security apprentice of his recent acquaintance.

Scott Gruber has an item reviewing data modeling tools on Discombobulator.net. He favours Datanamic’s Dezign for Databases.

Jeremy Schneider has written a piece on the Ardent Performance Computing blog, on Oracle Linux. He likes it, not least because it automates those pesky Linux prerequisites.

Related to that, db2udb has an item reporting that Ubuntu Linux forges tighter DB2 ties. “IBM’s DB2 has long been a Linux-friendly, cross-platform database. But as of this week, there will be improved coexistence between DB2 and the latest Ubuntu 6.06 Linux release. The latest IBM database will now download and deploy easily from the Ubuntu desktop. If users want DB2, they can go to the download site, and Ubuntu automates the download and installs it.”

They also published a Youtube presentation by Jim Wankowski on performance optimization of DB2 applications.

On PSS SQL Server Engineers, Microsoft’s Bob Ward published a detailed explanation of the SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 2 (SP2) Re-release and post fixes.

K. Brian Kelley also offers some links on this subject, on his Databases, Infrastructure, and Security.

Also in the SQL Server side of things, on Database Underground, Sean McCown has some info on an episode of SSWUG TV, which features an interview with SQL experts Paul Randal and Kim Tripp.

Louis Davidson, the SQL Doctor, posted a dynamic management function query to view disk I/O pressure.

Submitted for your approval, a couple items from… The Informix Zone: a whitepaper on performance-tuning tips for IDS; and a post introducing the Cheetah resource outline, “…a compilation of all available information about IBM’s next generation data server codename Cheetah.”

That’s all for this week. As always, Log Buffer is looking for editor/publishers and story submissions. Please see the Log Buffer homepage to see how to do it. ‘Til next time!

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