Thursday, June 28

Dell teaming with Oracle Enterprise Linux?

Just noticed that Dell change the "Red Hat Enterprise Linux" label on their support website to just "Enterprise Linux".
Is this the first step for Dell embracing Oracle Enterprise Linux?

Sunday, June 24

Sun 2002 flashback

We've been doing some shuffling around of hardware at work and I've recommissioned some old Sun hardware for a new QA environment.
Oh the memories I have of old Sun kit :)
The most exciting thing I've installed is a Sun v480 connected to a T3 brick. That combo was pretty much the industry standard Oracle solution when I had my first job in "real" systems administration and it was probably one of the first the real mid-range installs I did (not counting ageing 420r/450's).
To be honest, it's a match made in heaven. A quad cpu v480 with a t3 brick (or two) kicked out some real performance numbers in it's day. The v480 is probably one of the nicest boxes to work with (considering age and all), the boards are easy to fit, the RSC is awesome, it's simply rock solid. Running Solaris 8 of course (we still have *lots* of clients on Solaris 8 (with Solaris 10 gaining ground)).

The T3 array is pretty cool, but it brings back the frustrations everyone had with early low-end SANs. The limitation to two disk RAID volumes with very limited zoning and slicing. But hey, it's pretty old and is still pretty fast.

Now if I only could figure out how to get rid of that darn Sun E250 we still have running Sybase 12.5.4, it just works to well so far.

Thursday, June 14

Reclaiming LOB space in Oracle

Reclaiming space in Oracle can sometimes be a bit of a "problem", not really a problem it just works in a funny way. It's a quite common question I get and users are usually happy with a manual alter table table_name shrink space compact;, but what do we do for lobs?
We need a manual reclaim for the lob column.

A little demo:
(spinner1)oracle@spinner[~/lob_test]$ rsqlplus hlinden/hlinden

SQL*Plus: Release - Production on Thu Jun 14 12:19:02 2007

Copyright (c) 1982, 2005, Oracle. All Rights Reserved.

Connected to:
Oracle Database 10g Enterprise Edition Release - 64bit Production
With the Partitioning, OLAP and Data Mining options

-- Create a table and sequence to play with
HLINDEN@spinner1> create table lob_test (id number, data blob);

Table created.

HLINDEN@spinner1> create sequence lob_test_seq;

Sequence created.

-- Load 50 rows with 1.5Mb blobs (see code bellow)
HLINDEN@spinner1> @lobload

PL/SQL procedure successfully completed.

-- Find out what our lob segment is called
HLINDEN@spinner1> select object_name,object_type from user_objects where
2 created>sysdate-interval '5' minute and object_type='LOB';

------------------------------ -------------------
SYS_LOB0000199575C00002$$ LOB

-- Display the current size of the lob segment
HLINDEN@spinner1> select round(sum(bytes)/1024/1024) Mb from user_segments where


-- Ok, let's delete those blobs and see what the size is after
HLINDEN@spinner1> delete from lob_test purge;

50 rows deleted.

HLINDEN@spinner1> select round(sum(bytes)/1024/1024) Mb from user_segments where


-- Still 75Mb, hm, perhaps it recycled if we insert more data?

HLINDEN@spinner1> @lobload

PL/SQL procedure successfully completed.

HLINDEN@spinner1> select round(sum(bytes)/1024/1024) Mb from user_segments where


-- Nope, not recycled. We need to issue a shrink command to free up the
-- space immediately

HLINDEN@spinner1> delete from lob_test;

50 rows deleted.

HLINDEN@spinner1> alter table lob_test modify lob (data) (shrink space);

Table altered.

HLINDEN@spinner1> select round(sum(bytes)/1024/1024) Mb from user_segments where

-- All gone!
My simple blob loading code:
src_file BFILE := bfilename('TMP', 'data.dat');
dst_file BLOB;
cur_id NUMBER(10);
FOR i IN 1..50
INSERT INTO lob_test(id,data) VALUES(lob_test_seq.nextval,empty_blob())
RETURNING id into cur_id;
-- lock record
SELECT data INTO dst_file FROM lob_test WHERE id=cur_id FOR UPDATE;

dbms_lob.fileopen(src_file, dbms_lob.file_readonly);
lgh_file := dbms_lob.getlength(src_file);
dbms_lob.loadfromfile(dst_file, src_file, lgh_file);

Tuesday, June 12

Oracle 11g - one month to go

Yep, exciting times. July 11th, lots of new cool stuff.

Read about a couple of new things in Insider .

If you're lucky enough to be in New York, sign up for the launch event!

Sunday, June 10

New blade enclosure from Sun

Ever since Andy Bechtolsheim returned to Sun pretty much everything on the Sun x64 server line meet all expectations and then some. Sure, there has been the slight ethernet chipset problem, but generally the AMD kit has really kicked ass
Though some people where surprised to see first (new) blade offering from Sun, the 8000 series. A 4-socket blade offering when most of the market moved away from larger blade enclosures and focused on 2-socket systems. The 8000 still made good sense for larger customers like financial institutions and telcos. Server consolidation on a large level.

Now the other day Sun released a second (third actually, the 8000 comes in two models) blade offering. The 6000 series. It's a fairly basic 10U enclosure, 10 blade slots and the classic Ethernet modules. Not very exciting at first glance, I have to admit. Sounds like the PowerEdge 1955 box but not with the same high density (Dell can do 10 blades in 7U).
The thing cool about the 6000 enclosure is that it is not a Blade enclosure in the classic sense, it's not "stripped down computers in a box". It's actually 10 high capacity servers. It enclosure offers the same expandability as normal 1U servers.
All blade modules are dual socket, can take up to 16 DIMMS, four 2.5" SAS drives and even two PCI-e slots. That's right, normal PCI-e slots, no more proprietary on board FC-AL or Infiniband modules. Just slot in a couple of standard c-PCIe cards and off you go. No more opening up the blade to install modules.
Another new feature is a hardware RAID controller on-board (for good and bad indeed).
The whole enclosure is based around industry standards and open solutions.

In addition to all this cool stuff the real winner here is the selection of blades.
Sun offers no less than 3 blade types.
The t6300 UltraSPARC T1 blade,
the x6220 AMD blade and
the x6250 Intel Xeon blade
It's the first Intel Xeon (including quad-core procs) offering from Sun, with many more to come.

Watch Andy talk about the new box here.