Security, Forecasting Oracle Performance and Some stuff to post… soon… Reply

I’ve been busy this February “playing around/studying” on the following:

1) Oracle Security products (Advance Security Option, Database Vault, Audit Vault, Data Masking, etc. etc.). Well, every organization must guard their digital assets against any threat (external/internal) because once compromised it could lead to negative publicity, lost revenue, litigation, lost of trust.. and the list goes on.. I’m telling you, Oracle has a lot to offer (breadth of products and features, some of them are even free!) on this area and you just need to have the knowledge to stitch them..

I’ll recommend a great book on Security, I believe everyone should have this (developers, DBAs, CxOs)..!
It’s a book by David Knox which is the chief engineer in Oracle’s Information Assurance Center (IAC). The IAC is a center of expertise that works with Oracle’s customers, partners, development, and consulting to design and develop security and high-availability solutions. Having a long time hands-on practice (working on Oracle security ever since) he was able to architect and implement solutions on organizations like United States Department of Defense and CIA.. and produce a book called “Effective Oracle Database 10g Security by Design”

EffectiveOracleDatabase10gSecurityByDesign

2) The other one is Forecasting Oracle Performance… This is a book by Craig Shallahamer, a former Oracle employee, back then he’s with the System Performance Group (one of the largest and best collections of Oracle performance experts in the world) together with Cary Millsap (author of Optimizing Oracle Performance) and a few others..

Cary’s book is great, I’ve already read it and it will change the way you think about performance and tuning.. This is the only book that discusses Extended SQL trace in detail, the ins and outs and how to use it in different scenarios. This book also gave me a primer on what is Queueing Theory.. it tackles on the M/M/m Queueing Model but I felt it was more of an overview and not very detailed but at least I get the picture how useful it is..

Now presenting Craig’s work of art.. Forecasting Oracle Performance..

ForecastingOraclePerformance

If you’re an Oracle professional, and you love complexities, and you like to be challenged, and you want to see whats ahead of you (in performance), and you love math (well I’m not really good at it, my brother is).. better read this!

Honestly I have two more performance/capacity planning book which I’ll still have to figure out how am I going to use it (specifically the formulas) on some of my performance tuning activities. These are:

Guerrilla Capacity Planning: A Tactical Approach to Planning for Highly Scalable Applications and Services
Performance by Design: Computer Capacity Planning By Example

Craig’s book is focused on the complex Oracle environment..and the book has contents like the following:

  • Learn how you manage your Service Levels or how to make Service Levels by using your workload samples,
  • at what workload and utilization you’ll enter the “elbow of the curve”
  • should you acquire, more CPUs (same speed)? or just replace it with faster CPUs (same number)? or both?
  • should you acquire, more disks (same speed)? or just replace it with faster disks (same number)? or both?
  • If there would be 200% additional workload, what will be the effect on response time?.. should I buy more CPUs? manage the workload? tune the application?
  • Learn basic statistics (Sample and Population, mean & weighted average, standard deviation, skew, histogram, inferences, residual analysis, confidence level and interval).. And you’ll learn to use the statement like.. 90% OF THE TIME, THE QUERY TAKES AN AVERAGE OF 3 SECONDS PLUS OR MINUS 2 SECONDS
  • Little’s law and Kendall’s notation
  • and many more….

You might be overwhelmed, but the forecasting work done in this book has methods and is tackled in a gradual manner. Chapter by Chapter you’ll see yourself progressing and not feeling the pain of understanding something that is beyond human cognition.. :) And Craig is a very good writer, he explains it in detail with easy to understand explanations (plus humor).. If you’re worrying about math, the formulas and models (essential forecasting, forecasting with Erlang C, ratio modeling, regression analysis, queueing theory) are easy to comprehend and use, you’ll get the hang of it once you use it..

Also, I was able to submit an errata on page 68 which Craig acknowledged (see image below).

Orapub Errata

We exchanged a couple of emails, and I asked a lot of questions about Chapter 4 (Basic Forecasting Statistics).. he answered it all and he was nice.. he said he had no idea I am from the Philippines.. and there will be an upcoming self published book about Oracle Performance Firefighting… that will be a good book.. Below is a scratch pad from Craig’s firefighting class:

Oracle Performance Firefighting

3) And lastly.. are some of the stuff I’d like to post soon

  • RAC kernel upgrade
  • Converting RAC to single instance
  • Block corruption issues, and how to resolve it
  • Word size change: 32bit to 64bit on 10.2.0.4
  • RAC pseudo standby database
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