January 2009

January 2009
Stephen Covey lays out a comprehensive prescription for success in his best-selling book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. The seventh habit is “sharpen the saw,” which means “update your knowledge and skills,” among other things. In tough economic times such as we now face, it’s more important than ever to keep knowledge and skills current and relevant. Here are two ways you can sharpen the saw in 2009.

We hope you enjoy reading the Specialist newsletter. Its mission is to bring you database news you can use. In this issue Raghav Vinjamuri exposes the best keep secret of Oracle Support. Read on!

The Difference Between God and Larry Ellison 

What’s the difference between God and Larry Ellison? God doesn’t think he’s Larry Ellison!
We didn’t make that up. That’s actually on the cover of an authorized biography of Larry Ellison. Larry Ellison, of course, is the co-founder and CEO of Oracle Corporation. It’s definitely more entertaining reading than the Oracle reference manuals. Amazon readers give it four stars out of five. Sample the book yourself using Google Book Search.
The Best Kept Secret of Oracle Support

This month’s question came to us from a customer:

“We’ve built a new database server to replace the one that we currently use. What’s the best way to identify differences between the two servers, if any?”

Raghav Vinjamuri of the Database Specialists team responds:
The solution to your problem is Remote Diagnostics Assistant (RDA) which is perhaps the best kept secret of Oracle Support. Actually it’s not really a secret at all but it is not used as much as it could be. It collects information about the operating system and database environment into an HTML framework that is wonderfully easy to browse. It is therefore a valuable tool in Configuration Management. It helps in diagnosing problems and is therefore a tool in Incident Management and Problem Management. It also helps in Change Management and Release Management. Here’s what a senior customer support manager in Oracle Support has to say about the usefulness of RDA.
RDA has a “diff” feature that can identify the differences between your two servers. The diff feature analyzes two RDA collections and reports all the differences it finds. Whenever there is a problem, a good question to ask is “What changed?” If you have a previous RDA collection, you can easily compare it with a new collection and determine if the database environment has changed.
I hope this short answer helps you. Complete information on RDA can be found in Metalink note 314422.1: Remote Diagnostic Agent (RDA) 4 – Getting Started. Best of luck.
Database Specialists encourages its employees to give back to the community. Raghav Vinjamuri teaches evening and weekend courses on Oracle database administration, Linux systems programming, Linux kernel architecture, and Linux device drivers at UC Santa Cruz Extension in Cupertino, CA. Iggy Fernandez has written Beginning Oracle Database 11g Administration for IT professionals who need a solid introduction to Oracle Database. Terry Sutton and Richard Headrick are presenting Tools and Techniques for Remote Database Support and Road Warriors at the winter conference of the Northern California Oracle Users Group (NoCOUG).

The new year brings a new crop of regional and national conferences. Rocky Mountain Oracle Users Group (RMOUG) presents RMOUG Training Days 2009 on February 11 and 12 at Colorado Convention Center in Denver, CO. The Northern California Oracle Users Group (NoCOUG) will hold its winter conference featuring Tom Kyte as the keynote speaker on February 12 at the Oracle conference center in Redwood Shores, CA. Hotsos will feature the world’s top Oracle performance experts at Hotsos Symposium 2009 from March 8 to March 12 in Dallas, TX. Further down the road, the Independent Oracle Users Group (IOUG), the Oracle Applications Users Group (OAUG), and Quest International Users Group will combine forces at Collaborate 09 from May 3 to May 7 in Orlando, FL. And the Oracle Database Tools Users Group (ODTUG) will present ODTUG Kaleidoscope 2009 from June 1 to June 25 in Monterey, CA.

Call Database Specialists when you need remote DBA services or onsite support for your mission-critical Oracle database systems. Arrange a free consultation with a senior Database Specialists team member to find out how we can help increase your uptime, improve performance, minimize risk, and reduce costs. Visit our website for no-cost resources, white papers, conference presentations and handy scripts.

David Wolff
CEO, Database Specialists, Inc.

(415) 344-0500 x48

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