Log Buffer #70: A Carnival of the Vanities for DBAs

Nov 9, 2007 / By David Edwards

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Welcome to the 70th edition of Log Buffer, the weekly review of database blogs.

In honour of the start of cold-and-flu season, we start with an item on blob streaming. Paul McCullagh, the developer of the PBXT storage engine for MySQL, has made available his presentation on the BLOB streaming project, on his PrimeBase XT blog. From blobstreaming.org: “The Scalable BLOB Streaming infrastructure for MySQL will transform MySQL into a scalable media server capable of streaming pictures, films, MP3 files and other binary and text objects (BLOBs) directly in and out of the database.”

On the Open Sources blog, Zack Urlocker reports on an interview with MySQL’s Senior Software Architect Jim Starkey (who invented the BLOB) in Dr. Dobb’s Journal. Starkey now works on the Falcon storage engine. Zack writes, “If you’re curious about the future of database technology, Jim is one of the guys to pay attention to.”

Over at MySQL DBA – An Oracle DBA’s Journey, George Trujillo has a poll asking, What is your favorite 3rd party software to use with MySQL? “Do I use open source tools or do I use tools like BMC, Quest and Embarcadero to help me manage a heterogeneous environment? I’ve been involved in a lot of discussions on this in the last year.”

While we’re on tools, Il Corra posted a configuration for creating useful InnoDB graphs in MySQL Administrator.

And now let’s have some sequels (no pun intended) to items from last week’s edition.

Brian Kelley post the second of a series, Becoming a DBA, Part II on his blog, Databases, Infrastructure, and Security. In this part, he has some advice on choosing the DBMS platform.

Here’s the second part of InnoDB creator Heikki Tuuri’s answers to InnoDB questions, on the MySQL Performance Blog.

On Xaprb, Baron Schwartz gives us the latest on his trademark run-in with MySQL AB. His MySQL Toolkit needs a new name, and he wants our help. “MyBS” probably won’t do, but there are plenty of good suggestions already, including one from Ronald Bradford that turns it around: “My suggestion would be for MySQL the company to host and provide a incubator for MySQL community projects. So he is my vote for MySQL the company to create mysqlcommunity.com and then you can get toolkit.mysqlcommunity.com”

Baron also reports on an enhancement to the MySQL Heartbeat tool that allows it to support, of all things, PostgreSQL.

Staying with Postgres, on <depesz>, Hubert Lubaczewski hosts an exploration and discussion of encrypted passwords in the database. He endorses letting Postgres itself handle password encryption with the pgcrypto module from the contrib directory. Of course, not everyone agrees.

On mastermind’s weblog, Stefan Kaltenbrunner suggests the next step in PostgreSQL evolution: a benchfarm. “Ever since Andrew Dunstan invented the buildfarm and seeing the smashing success it had on improving the PostgreSQL development process I have been toying with the idea of doing a similar thing on the performance front.”

Moving to things Oracle, Jonathan Lewis’s Oracle Scratchpad has an item on an AWR oddity. No, not its licensing terms, it’s a discrepancy between time stats as reported by statspack and by AWR. Little details like this can make a lot of difference of course. No definite answer emerges from the discussion, but Jonathan promises to continue the investigation.

Another report of a quirk, this one from Dominic on OraStory. He has found some inconsistency in how plsql errors are handled when called in SQL.

On jbirkett’s blog, Jeremy Birkett provides a guide to installation of Oracle 10.2.0.1 client on Oracle Enterprise Linux.

Here at home, Augusto Bott followed up his popular guide to installing Oracle 11g on Ubuntu Linux 7.04 with — naturally — one for installing Oracle 11g on the latest Ubuntu Linux, 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon).

I don’t want to lean too heavily on stuff from around here, but I should mention Christo Kutrovsky’s post on recovering deleted Oracle datafiles, and its postscript on a potentially dangerous metalink note.

SQL Server guy Euan Garden gives us his survey of differences in compression between SQL Server 2005 and 2008, with links to some more in-depth material.

Bob Beauchemin asks after the whereabouts of Community Technology Preview (CTP) 5. The subject keeps coming up at various gatherings, tantalizing SQL Server DBAs with promised features such as spatial data and filestream storage, but the CTP has yet to materialize.

Bob also mentions and shares a free, standard, sample database — the Mondial database for SQL Server 2008.

In Informix news, Guy Bowerman reports on Informix Application Development the very fresh release of the IDS Developer Edition, “…a fully-featured free download of IDS 11.10.xC1D with no time-limit,” for multiple platforms.

In concert with that, the Informix Zone announces the birth of the IDS Developer Edition Wiki.

The Informix Zone also suggests that Larry is powered by Informix. Ellison, that is… of Oracle Corp. Well, it’s a bit of a stretch, but it leads nicely to the Sean McCown’s post on his, an SQL Server maven’s, visit to the Oracle Campus, or as he puts it, the Penguin Mothership.

I haven’t figured that out yet, but anyway, Sean writes, “Now what can I say about Oracle campus except it’s nothing short of cool. It’s probably one of the nicest tech campuses I’ve visited. It houses a rather large pond that I’m told used to be home to a few dolphins.” Dolphins and SQL Server people? They really like flirting with with competition, those Oracle people. However, Sean continues, “…I think I said it in my 10g review, and it holds true even more now; Oracle is actually lapping MS in ease of install. Installing 11g is so easy I could let my mother do it and not have to worry about it coming out ok. … Katmai is coming out soon and all I’ve got to say is watch out MS, Oracle’s gunning for your title.”

We’re none of us perfect, as I may have averred before, and Doug Burns is out to provide cases, with our help, in his Human Error Competition on Doug’s Oracle Blog. Filling up quite quickly, it is. Go there and read tales of accidental deletions and burstings-into-flame and all the other things we humans do when we’re trying so hard to get things right. And add your story too — you do have one, don’t you.

On One size doesn’t fit all, Chris Muir reports on the greening of Oracle. “If you’re concerned about the environment in general, you may be interested to note that Oracle is starting to show some touches of Green on their all mighty corporate Red colour scheme.” He links to some details pertaining to their operations in general and to Oracle Open World.

Yes, it has arrived, OOW. Radio Free Tooting’s Andrew Clarke has a brief look forward (and a look back at past years’ OOWs), along with some tips for OOW newbies. He also mentions some off-track offerings, such as the Un-Conference and the No-Slide Zone.

On the OTN Techblog, Justin Kestelyn discusses these last two events in addition to other Cluetrain-ish openings from Oracle that have arrived in the wake of the squabble over Oracle’s blogger-relationships a few months ago.

Eddie Awad (who I’m please to say will be doing and edition of LB in a couple weeks) shares the goods on the easy way to share Oracle OpenWorld photos with Flickr.

Chan Shapira’s excited about OOW. On I’m just a simple DBA…, she writes, Ooh! I’m going to OOW!

Don Seiler is not.

That’s it for now, thanks for reading. 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 week!

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