Hans Forbrich

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Some random thoughts about Oracle and Linux. Mainly collections and pointers to useful resources.

Full disclosure: As of July 2015, I work for Oracle as a curriculum developer.

The views expressed on this blog are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Oracle

Updated: 1 day 28 min ago

Enteprise Manager - looking at some myths

Fri, 2013-05-03 13:20
Over the years, I've encountered myths around nearly every Oracle product.  Lately the number of challenges around Enterprise Manager seem to have increased.

Blue Medora has created several Cloud Control extensions (plugins) and asked me to blog as a guest on their site.  I've decided to challenge some of the current myths.

Feel free to read my comments there at

Categories: DBA Blogs

OTN Yathra - past the 1/2 way mark

Sat, 2013-02-23 06:19
I am currently sitting in the hotel in Bangalore in India, catching my breath. We have finished 4 of the 6 cities in this tour.

I'm going to cheat tremendously and link to Lucas Jellema's blog about the tour, starting with http://technology.amis.nl/2013/01/27/otn-yathra-2013-the-six-city-oracle-tour-of-india/ as the overview.

Shamelessly linking Lucas' map of the Yathra.

I arrived in Chandigarh, Punjab on February 10, and was met by Oracle ACE and friend Aman Sharma.  The trip:  left Edmonton on Friday evening, landed London Heathrow Saturday morning, left LHR Saturday evening, arrived Delhi Sunday morning, left Delhi Sunday afternoon and into Chandigarh early evening.

On Monday and Tuesday, much to my delight, Aman showed me his home country and local community.  And I did some shopping.

Wednesday, headed back to Delhi by taxi, and prepared for the gathering and presentations.

On Friday the team gathered at the Country Inn by Carlson in Saket.  ACE Director team members are

Murali Vallath - our host and RAC ACED from India
Lucas Jellema - Development ACED, including SQL and Java
Edward Roske - BI/Hyperion ACED, presenting on Hyperion, Essbase and BI
Raj Mattamal  - Development ACED, specializing in APEX
Hans Forbrich - Infrastructure ACED, presenting on LDAP, Cloud Control and Linux

In each city we have been fortunate to have ACEs such as Aman Sharma join us to present

Saturday was the first presentation day at the FMDI (Fertilizer Marketing Development Institute) which has wonderful classroom facilities.

Sunday, a quick tour of Delhi, off to the airport to Mumbai (formerly Bombay), and settle into the Holiday Inn.

Monday, presented using the facilities of the Women's Technical Institute, and then by car off to Pune.

Since we arrived in Pune Monday evening, Tuesday was a touring day out to Mahabalshawar and the head of the Krishna river.

Wednesday we presented in Pune at the Oracle offices.

Thursday by plane to Bangalore, and

Friday presented in the Oracle offices in Bangalore.  Lucas has a fantastic half-way write-up at http://technology.amis.nl/2013/02/21/otn-yathra-2013-spreading-the-story-of-oracle-across-india-half-time/

Raj and Edward left today to return home.

Tomorrow Lucas and I will head to Hyderabad and continue this tour.
Categories: DBA Blogs

OTN Yathra

Sun, 2013-01-13 18:45
What does Yathra mean?

Yathra is a Sanskrit word which means Journey.  In the northern states of India Yathra is spelled as Yatra.

Why is this relevant?

Oracle Technology Network, and the Oracle ACE and ACE Director programs are sponsoring a 6 city OTN tour, or Yathra, in India this February. 
  • February 16 in Delhi
  • February 18 in Mumbai
  • February 20 in Pune
  • February 22 in Bangalore
  • February 25 in Hyderabad
  • February 27 in Chennai
And I'm going!  (Assuming my Visa application is approved.)  Speaker's list is
  • Speaker                           Country
  • Vinay Agrawal                  India
  • Hans Forbrich                  Canada
  • PS Janakiram                  India
  • Lucas Jellema                 Netherlands
  • Satyendra Kumar            India
  • Raj Matamall                   USA
  • Harshad Oak                   India
  • Edward Roske                 USA
  • Vijay Seghal                    India
  • Aman Sharma                 India
  • Vivek Sharma                  India
  • Ganapthy Subramanian  India
  • Murali Vallath                   India
For more details, check out 
Categories: DBA Blogs

Tom's "12 top new features"

Thu, 2012-10-04 14:14
Tom Kyte, in Moscone South Room 103, looking ahead to the new features that will come up with new version of DB (12c) when it gets released.

1) "With" clause can define PL/SQL functions

2) Improved defaults, including Default col to a sequence or "default if (on) null".  Or always use a generated as an identity (with optional sequence def info).  Or Metadata-only defaults (default on an added column). 

3) Bigger varchar2, nvarchar2, raw -up to 32K.  But follows rules like LOB, if over 4K will be out of line. (max_SQL_String_Size init param)

4) TopN and Pagenation queries using the 'OFFSET' clause + optional 'FETCH next N rows' in SELECT.  Eg: SELECT ... FROM t ORDER BY y FETCH FIRST 5 ROWS

5) Row pattern matching using the "MATCH_RECOGNIZE" clause.  Gonna take a while to get this one.

6) Partitioning improvements including ASYNC Global Index maintenance (includes new jobs to do work 'later'), cascade truncate & exchange, multi ops in a single DDL, online partition moves (no RDBMS_REDEFINITION), "interval + reference" partitioning.

7) Adaptive execution plans, which sets thresholds and allows execution plans to switch if threshold is exceeded.  (Also 'gather_plan_statistics' hint.)  Shown by 'Statistics Collector' steps in trace/tkprof.

8) Enhanced statistics. Dynamic sampling goes to 'eleven', turning it persistent.  New histograms: hybrid (for more than 254 distinct values, instead of height-balanced) and top.  Stats gathered on data loads automatically. (By the way, don't regather stats if not needed.)  Session private statistics for GTTs. 

9) UNDO for temporary objects, managed in TEMP, which eliminates REDO on the permanent UNDO. (ALTER SESSION/SYSTEM SET TEMP_UNDO_ENABLED=TRUE/FALSE)

10) Data optimization, or Information Lifecycle Management, which detects block use - hot, medium, dormant - and allows policies in table defintion (new ILM clause) to compress or archive data after time.

11) "transaction Guard' to preserve commit state, which includes TAF r/w transfer and restart for some types of transactions.

12) pluggable databases!  Implications too numerous to list right now.  Suffice it to say, huge resource improvements, huge consolidation possibilities.  Looking forward to reality.

Categories: DBA Blogs

Linux, Virtualization and roadmaps

Mon, 2012-10-01 15:12
Listening to Wim talking about the roadmap for Virtualization.

The whole idea of Cloud is transforming the IT needs. Data centers are becoming Service centers, the stack is much more integrated and customers are demanding much more scalability, availability, agility.  Hypervisors need to be aware of each other, or at least be coordinated.

Future is *Application* driven Virtualization. Use templates, self provisioning.  Create a RAC for the sake of creating a RAC is "so yesterday". 

New world:  "One throat to choke" becomes "One point of satisfaction"  (my note: Not going to be easy, but that is the way Oracle MUST move.)

OracleVM is foundation for cloud.  Stack -> Storage : Servers : VM : OS : DB : Middleware : Apps

Network virtualization - Xsigo Data Center Fabric ... new acquisition.

Desktop virt - Virtual Desktop Infrastructure; SunRay Client; Secure Global Desktop; VM Virtualbox

Desktop Virtualization

Bring your own device becoming common.  Centralize everything becomes necessary. Access from any location, from any device, BUT be *unobtrusively* secure.

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure - entire desktop is hosted on server, access from any client.  (Tarentella.)

Secure Global Desktop - individual applications are hosted on the server.

Virtual clients - software (VirtualBox) and hardware (SunRay) clients.  Virtual Desktop Client for iPad!!!

Oracle VM

For x86 and SPARC. 

x86 is Supported AND Certified for ALL Oracle s/w.  Now in Gartner's "Challenger' position for 2012 Magic Quadrant.  CPU-based license on VM, not hardware host.

x86 is Open Source and Free to download and run in production.  You can purchase optional Support, but not required.  Management via Oracle VM Manager - either GUI or CLI.  Under no circumstances manage at server under server control, because that breaks the multi-machine environment.  Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c can manage the VM Servers but does that THROUGH VM Manager.

Storage Connect allows VM Manager to manage Hitachi, Fujitsu, EMC and Oracle storage directly.

OracleVM 3.2.1 now in public beta.

Network Virtualization

Addresses network inefficiencies. 

"Overflow" - network tunneling, which will likely be an interesting technology in the future.

Oracle acquired Xsigo.Fabric director allows configuration subnetting/storage of an Infiniband 'switch'.  No VLans required - configure to get 1G/10g networks plus HBAs as required.  Very interesting.
Categories: DBA Blogs