16 February 2012


Here's a quick picture of me during my RMOUG 2012 presentation, giving a tour of the Oracle 11g ADR:

Thanks to Kellyn Pot'Vin for the picture!

15 February 2012

A NoCOUG to Remember

This post is long overdue, as I was supposed to blog about my appearance at NoCOUG before I left (sorry, Vanessa!). However in my efforts to rehearse and adjust my presentation, blogging about it just fell to the wayside. However now that NoCOUG 2011 Summer Conference is in the books, I'd like to take a few minutes to share my experience not only as an attendee, but also as a first-time speaker.

When I found out that NoCOUG had accepted my abstract, "Oracle 11g: Learning to Love the ADR", I was both ecstatic and terrified. This meant that I actually had to prepare the presentation and speak in front of peers. Surely they would throw me into San Francisco Bay if I didn't bring my A-game, so I set out to do just that.

Upgrading Standalone ASM to Oracle Grid Infrastructure Beware Bug 10283819!

No, this isn't a re-post of my earlier blog about bug 1233183.1. We've found a fun new bug that seems to be specific to our poor standalone ASM instances when upgrading from Oracle Grid Infrastructure to

The bug was first brought to my attention about four days after completing the Grid Infrastructure upgrade. The client system administrator (SA) noticed that the disk holding the Oracle home directories was slowly filling, at the rate of about 1Gb per day. We identifed that core dump files being created under the new GRID_HOME/log/diskmon/ directory, at the rate of about 1 every 10 minutes, each one about 8M in size. That adds up to 1152M (or just over 1Gb) per 24-hour day. Add that to the 8Gb that was being held in GRID_HOME/.patch_storage (we had to rollback the April 2010 PSU and apply the July 2010 PSU just to upgrade to, and that put a bit of a squeeze on the free disk.

The good ol' OTN forums led me to bug 10283819. The original poster there shared also that removing the old ( grid home directory and restarting diskmon services stopped the core dump creation. The poster then went to question a second issue with increased diskmon.log writing. After a solution was found for that, Oracle Support closed the bug for some reason, without ever addressing the core dump creation.

I can verify that removing the old grid home (I did a tar+bz2 first) and restarting the services did stop the core dump creation, and am pushing back to Oracle support to get the bug re-opened or a new bug filed to specifically address this. In the meantime, if you are unable or unsure about removing the old grid infrastructure home, it should be safe to have a regularly scheduled script remove the diskmon core dump directories and save you a full disk surprise late some night.

Using a Custom Timezone? Beware Oracle Grid Infrastructure!

We have a client that runs an application that, for whatever reasons, does NOT like daylight saving time. For that reason, the Oracle server is kept in Eastern Standard Time and does not change with the rest of the eastern United States when DST begins and ends every year. They accomplish this with a custom /etc/localtime file. However, they left /etc/sysconfig/clock set to "TZ=America/New_York," which would prove fateful as I shall point out. So, with the custom localtime file, the "date" command as well as selecting sysdate or systimestamp would always return the current time in Eastern Standard Time. When it is Daylight Saving Time, as it is right now, this would be one hour behind "real" time as we consider it.