April 2005

The Specialist
Database News You Can Use
A monthly newsletter for Oracle usersApril 2005
From Database Specialists
Expert onsite and remote DBA services
for your Oracle databases
Tel: 415-344-0500 • Toll-Free: 1-888-648-0500

Ask DB Specialists: Standby Databases Without Data Guard

You’re invited to submit your Oracle-related questions to us at askdbspecialists04@dbspecialists.com. Include your name and telephone number in your email. If your question is answered in The Specialist next month, you will receive a free copy of our Oracle Wait Events reference poster. (US shipping addresses only).

This month’s question comes to us from Eric in San Francisco: Data Guard lets you “gracefully” switch over to a standby database with no data loss. We have a standby database, but we aren’t using Data Guard. Is it possible to have a graceful switchover without using Data Guard?

Brian Keating of the Database Specialists team responds: Switching a standby database into the primary role without losing data is called a “graceful switchover” in the Data Guard documentation. When a graceful switchover is performed properly, the standby and primary databases can swap roles without losing data and with no need to rebuild the standby database from scratch. Using graceful switchovers, you can switch your standby database into the primary role so that your regular primary server can undergo maintenance, and then you can switch back when the maintenance is complete.

The good news is that you do not need to use Data Guard in order to perform graceful switchovers. I have written a detailed paper that describes the procedures to perform graceful switchovers and switchbacks of hot standby databases in Oracle environments that are not using Data Guard. I use the term “graceful” to mean failovers that do not require databases to be opened with the RESETLOGS option—and as a result, graceful switchbacks do not require the primary database to be rebuilt. (That is, they do not require the standby database’s datafiles to be copied to the primary server.)

You can read my paper at http://dbspecialists.wpengine.com/presentations.html#graceful_failover.

Oracle 10g Wait Events: Don’t Miss Our New White Paper

The Database Specialists team has written some very popular white papers on using the wait event interface for performance management. The wait event interface has continued to be an invaluable tool for DBAs as it offers both breadth and depth in the information it provides to aid in troubleshooting and boosting system performance.

Don’t miss our newly-published white paper titled, “Wait Event Enhancements in Oracle 10g.” In this paper, authors Terry Sutton and Roger Schrag demonstrate and discuss 12 new features in Oracle 10g that will be of interest to DBAs who use wait event methodologies. This paper is designed for DBAs who have experience using the wait event facility in Oracle 9i or earlier and want to learn what has changed in Oracle 10g. Download the paper at http://dbspecialists.wpengine.com/presentations.html#wait_events_10g.

(Those new to this area of Oracle technology might want to first read Terry and Roger’s paper entitled, “Interpreting Wait Events to Boost System Performance” available for free download at http://dbspecialists.wpengine.com/presentations.html#wait_events.) It includes lots of real-life examples of how we used wait events in our consulting practice.

Terry and Roger will be discussing wait events in Oracle 10g at a presentation at the International Oracle Users Group (IOUG) conference next month. The event is scheduled for May 1-5, 2005 at the Walt Disney Swan and Dolphin Hotel in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

Database Specialists Celebrates Tenth Anniversary

The Database Specialists team celebrates its tenth anniversary this year. Since our start in 1995, we’ve focused on providing the highest level of Oracle database consulting and production database support.

Over the years, we’ve provided full-time onsite consulting and diversified our service portfolio to include short-term performance tuning services and a remote database administration service which provides a valuable, flexible alternative for clients who want full Oracle outsourcing or a complement to their own staff. In honor of our tenth anniversary, here’s a quick list of ten ways we might be able to assist you:

Ten Ways Database Specialists Can Help You

  1. Upgrades to Oracle 10g or 9i
  2. Database performance optimization
  3. SQL tuning
  4. Capacity planning
  5. 24/7 production support
  6. Database health checks
  7. Backup and recovery audits and implementations
  8. Security audits
  9. General database administration
  10. Database design

Just give us a call at 888-648-0500 or send an email to info@dbspecialists.com.

Oracle Security

If you need to do some research on the subject of Oracle security, check out Pete Finnigan’s website. You’ll find a compilation of dozens of white papers, articles and presentations on database security and Oracle security in particular. Pete has written quite a few papers himself, including a 57-page white paper titled, “Exploiting and Protecting Oracle.” You’ll find his paper and lots more at http://www.petefinnigan.com/orasec.htm.

In addition, you might want to check out S.C.O.R.E. which stands for “Security Consensus Operational Readiness Evaluation. S.C.O.R.E. is “Dedicated to providing community consensus, minimum standard of procedures, and checklists for overall infrastructure security. On this site, you’ll find a detailed checklist on Oracle database security issues, and Pete Finnigan is the Team Leader for this checklist.

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