Jun 17

Mind your spaces

I am trying to export a database, everything except for a single table. I need to send a copy of the database to the vendor, but they don’t need a table that takes up %90 of the space in the database due to it storing a massive number of BLOBs and CLOBs

This should be really simple

That syntax looks correct to me! Maybe I copy/pasted in a special character or something…. I type out the full command by hand and get the same error. I am stumped!


I worked the googles on the internet machine, and see a bunch of examples that look pretty much identical to mine. Then I notice it. I have a space after the “IN” key word.

Thwarted by spaces again! It seems trival, and kind of incorrect since the “IN” in a sql statement needs that space there.

Jun 08

Windows 10 – When You Can’t Be Trusted

Unfortunately some things require windows. Old interfaces that ensure you are running IE6, old proprietary administration software, and other things I don’t use on a daily basis. Windows 10 is one of the most frustrating versions of windows I have ever run. It pretty much assumes you are too stupid to have any idea what you are doing. I just spend an hour fighting with it to let me download a file that builds boot disks. It decided it wasn’t safe. I don’t know what that means since I have been using this product for years! In fact Edge assumes you are so stupid, I can’t get on most websites because it doesn’t assume they are safe! It also doesn’t think it is safe for me to install chrome! How anyone could use the pile of crap for day to day work baffles me. I am glad my work laptop is still Windows 7, where I can get a virus if I am stupid, but doesn’t try to baby proof everything!

Jun 08

Rushing = Stupid Mistakes

I am currently being asked to refresh a database. The end users are pissed because they asked for the database to be refreshed at noon yesterday, this was the first they had asked for it, and they were doing “really important things” and by 3pm were pissed that I hadn’t responded to them, let alone completed the work. The thing was, I took a vacation. I took a whole two days off to spend some time with my girlfriend and wasn’t checking my email. Never mind that we have a whole team of DBAs that can refresh a database, they had emailed me. What they should have done was open a proper ticket, and someone would have helped out even though they hadn’t planned and were now in a panic.

So After escalating it to their boss because I wasn’t providing them with “good service”, who in turn talked to my boss, who informed him how they had dropped the ball, and I would deal with it today, that they were being completely unprofessional. (My boss is a good guy, and sticks up for me).

So here is the technical part of this post. Ever DBA has cloned a database, thousands and thousands of databases, but when you are rushing you can make stupid errors. I just fought this error for 20 minutes

This should have been a no brainier, but in my rush I wasn’t fully paying attention to the error.

I was just issuing the command

My defaults for RMAN are using sbt ie tape, so for some reason the tape channels were being loaded. This causes an error. The solution is simple and should have been fairly immediate, just allocate disk channels.

Even simple things become very hard when you are rushing.

Jun 02


I run mainly on Macs, which means OS X. Unfortunately that means I don’t have access to the GUI of vmware. As of 6.0 U2, vmware has a very slick web UI built into it. Just look at the following article, all I had to do was ssh to my ESXi server and run:


Web Interface for ESXi without vCenter

Mar 29

ASM du -s

one of my biggest complaints about ASM is the lack of the ability to do the equivalent of “du -hs *” to view the size of all the directories. I found a little piece of shell script that does just this. It is extremely slow but it is very helpful!

Just change the first argment “dg=RECO” to the actual disc group you want to examine.

Mar 08

HOTSOS In Texas!

I am currently in Texas at the HOTSOS Symposium. I look forward to this conference every year. There are some brilliant people here, and it is a great place to learn new things. Kerry Osborn did a great live presentation yesterday, can’t wait to get home and try some of this stuff out. Also saw a great presentation by Tanel Poder.

The food down here is amazing too! We went to the Gas Monkey Bar and Grill last night and the food was amazing. I love traveling for work. I mean it is more fun to travel just for fun, but when I can learn something new, and have someone else pickup the majority of the cost, that is pretty amazing!

Feb 08


Currently I am changing passwords in several hundred databases, not that uncommon of a task for any DBA. Unfortunately it is time to rotate the dbsnmp password. Usually I would log into OEM after changing the password and manually update the password in the monitoring configuration for each and every database. This is fine if there are only a few passwords, but a huge pain when you are dealing with hundreds. The documentation oracle provides isn’t completely clear [1592390.1], at least it wasn’t to me at first.

First I would connect to the database as the sys user and change the password for dbsnmp

Then you connect to EM through emcli and update the monitoring credentials. For this post lets assume my Oracle RAC cluster has the name “MyRAC” which contains two nodes “MyRAC1” and “MyRAC2”. We don’t really need to know the individual instance names since the dbsnmp user is shared between both nodes.

Connect to the repository

Now you can change the password via emcli

Where I ran into trouble was the last argument, if you look at the monitoring configuration page for a database, it becomes clear what is being asked for


The role is the same role you would select on the monitoring setup page, Normal or SYSDBA.

The syntax is slightly different if you are doing a single instance, but basically the same idea

So I am going to modify the change password proceedure to spool out these commands and just run them against OEM when I have completed changing the passwords on the databases.

Dec 07


I would just like to point out that I am a guy, and not a very pretty one! Sexy DBA refers to the job, and the technology not myself! I would be one of the ugliest women alive! I am 6’6″, bald, and have a beard!

Being a DBA is very far from sexy. It was supposed to be ironic, I guess that wasn’t completely clear!


Nov 17

Where Are My Nodes?

I should mention the current setup is a 4 node RAC database with a dataguard managed standby comprised of a 3 node RAC database cluster. The current database version is

While writing a shell script today, I needed to know from connecting to a database in a cluster what all the related nodes were. This isn’t a big deal, I could simply query gv$instance to pull a list of the host names, and the associated instances.

But what about the standby nodes? I can query v$archive_dest_status

Ok, great, that is the name of my standby database cluster, but there are three nodes! I want to see what is going where! I could use dgmgrl,

So that gives us the databases in the standby, but parsing this out would be a pain. I just want to generate a report, and it is much easier to be able to query the database to generate my output. However I couldn’t find a place to do this!

Enter the X$DRC view. I could find very little about this view itself. With any X$ table, the view is rather cryptic, but I was able to get enough information out of it to solve my problem.

Because there isn’t a lot of information on this table I had to make some assumptions, based on the data

You can see the primary instances and their hosts listed above. To pull the standby databases out, I used the following query. I am guessing this could be made a lot cleaner, but I ran out of brain power while trying to optimize it, so here is the current query.

I now have the information I want to include in my report. You could easily modify this to get all the nodes in the primary and the standby, but I would prefer to use gv$instance to get the primary nodes.

1/14/2016 Update

I didn’t notice this until much much later, if data guard is not enabled, The query on X$DRC will fail.

I was using this to get my primary and standby nodes, and union them together, this was returning an empty set to me. I was spooling this information out to a text file to be used with a shell script, so my solution was to just break into two pieces, first spool out any RAC nodes, then check to see if there are any standby destinations enabled, and if so then spool out standby databases. This seems to work fine.

This is why it isn’t safe to use X$ tables, they aren’t documented and you may not get expected behavior out of them. I would have assumed I would just back zero rows, but that would be to assume the X$ table is like a V$ table. Not true, the X$ tables are used for reading portions of the oracle memory, mostly, but can also bull information like control file information into the memory to be read. So if the memory segment the data guard, or possibly the data guard broker filed don’t exist, this table cannot function.

To learn more about X$ tables, I suggest these three sites, they are my go to for X$ information

Tanner Poder: Oracle X$ tables – Part 1 – Where do they get their data from?

Morgan’s Library: Oracle X$ Structures

ORAFAQ: X$ Table naming structures


Sep 18

Formatting SQL in Oracle

I was looking for a way to format the output from EXPAND_SQL_TEXT and came across this post. I would really rather have something in the database that I could do this with. I would prefer not to spool anything out, but it works very well.

Just another SQL beautifier

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