Statspack Analyzer – Intelligent analysis of Oracle Statspack and AWR reports

After spending a couple days picking through Oracle statspack reports for clues on what could be causing some database latency I finally got the chance to try out the new, free Statspack Analyzer from Texas Memory Systems, Inc. and Burleson Consulting.

StatspackAnalyzer.com is a FREE SITE provided to the Oracle community by sponsor companies including Texas Memory Systems, Inc. and Burleson Consulting.

Our shared goal is that the advice provided by this website evolves as community feedback indicates that the heuristics should be updated. If you like what you see, please let us know. If you don’t like what you see, please tell us what you would do to improve the site and which if any decision rules should be updated.

Just paste your whole statspack or AWR report into the analyzer and it will do the heavy lifting and give you custom recommendations on what areas you can possibly tune to increase performance. I had the chance to run several reports through the analyzer this week and it came up with many of the same conclusions I did in a fraction of the time.

Tools like this aren’t about to replace the DBA but rather help take the edge off intensive tasks like tuning. Check out the sample report to get a better idea of what the analyzer output looks like, or better yet try it out! After all, it’s free!

oracle, database, dba, database administrator, database tuning, sql

Jumping on the Linux Bandwagon

In an interesting chain reaction Oracle and Microsoft have both recently committed to supporting Linux distributions.

Recently Oracle announced they will offer RedHat Linux support at very competitive rates. Beyond offering some healthy competition for RedHat support Oracle’s commitment also makes Oracle on Linux a single vendor solution for software support.

Microsoft was not far behind in announcing a partnership with Novel for Suse Linux sales support.

Only time will tell what this will do to the Unix/Unix-like OS market but it’s sure to shake things up in the short term.

linux, unix, microsoft, redhat, system administration, oracle, database administration, dba, sysadmin

Security Wire Weekly Podcast Interview

Security Wire WeeklyEarlier this week I was invited to join Bill Brenner, a Senior News Writer at SearchSecurity.com to discuss Oracle security and the new CPU bulletin on the Security Wire Weekly podcast.

It is a fairly short interview, but if you want to hear some of my opinions on the current state of Oracle security, check it out.

You can also check out the list of all the Information Security podcasts from SearchSecurity.com.

podcast, interview, oracle, dba, security

Interview with SearchSecurity.com

Earlier this week I was solicited for an interview with Bill Brenner, Senior News Writer for SearcSecurity.com on the topic of Oracle patches and their new Critical Patch Update bulletins.

Bill interviewed several DBAs and got some interesting opinions on Oracle’s patching procedures.

Jon Emmons, an Oracle database consultant and keeper of a blog called Life After Coffee, which focuses on Oracle security and other topics, said he also found the bulletin changes helpful.

“Perhaps the most valuable new feature in the CPU bulletin is the executive summaries,” Emmons said in an email interview. “These bulleted lists give a great high-level summary. At one point or another we’ve all had to explain to our boss why we need to apply these patches and now Oracle has given us the words to do it with.”

The full article, which came out yesterday, highlights mixed opinions on Oracle’s patching procedure and “improved” CPU bulletin.

oracle, patch, database, dba, database administration, rdbms, security, database security

How to Advance in your Field

Don Burleson has recently posted an interesting article on How to become an Oracle Guru.

He stresses that hard work and keeping an eye out for new opportunities are key, and they are. From my experience I would add one more thing to that:

Make a point to fully understand everything you do. Sure, you may know what the oracle listener does and how to start and stop it, but if you don’t understand it you won’t be able to troubleshoot it. You may know when to apply a bitmapped index, but do you know why?

This depth of knowledge is what has set me apart from other IT professionals I’ve worked with. It speeds development and troubleshooting and time after time has made me the go-to guy when people have questions.

How do you get to this technological point of enlightenment? Start at the bottom. I took several computer science classes as an undergraduate. They weren’t at a top university, hell I didn’t even get good grades in most of them, but I was there every day listening to understand. Even just an introductory computer science course, if you’ve never had one, can fill in some background on how searches, queues, logic, hardware and software all work.

After college I worked as a Solaris administrator. That gave me a strong foundation in UNIX and since I displayed a good understanding of UNIX, less than a year after becomming a sys-admin I was slated to become a DBA as one of the companies other DBAs left.

So, now that I’ve rambled on for a bit, what was my point? If you take the time to understand every step, not just slap together a solution, you will generate solutions which are more robust. When you make mistakes you will be in a much better position to learn from them.

My only other peice of advice is resist the urge to cut corners. Do everything you do as well as you possibly can. If you need help, get it. If the project takes longer than expected, fine. Everything you put out there reflects on you as a professional. I like to say “I’d rather not do a job than do a job poorly.”

professional development, oracle, dba, information technology