Martins Blog

Trying to explain complex things in simple terms

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Signed on the dotted line-Enkitec!

Posted by Martin Bach on March 20, 2013

I had to think of ‏@OyvindIsene, a great ambassador of the Norwegian Oracle User Group when I typed the heading for this post. Unlike him I have not actively been looking for new challenges but sometimes things just develop, and in my case that was a great turn of events. I am very happy to have signed on the dotted line and in a couple of weeks will join Enkitec in Europe.

How did that happen? During an Oracle conference I met Andy Colvin together with some of his colleagues during a break in the busy schedule. I already knew and respected Enkitec as a great company with lots of seriously experienced DBAs. I feel fortunate to actually know some of them already from email and other social media exchanges.

Andy and I have exchanged a few tweets in the past and I really like his blog so I was curious to meet him in person. I haven’t yet had the opportunity to go and speak at an American conference so anytime someone I know from the other side of the Atlantic comes to Europe I try to meet up. I had a great time but unfortunately had to run since my talk started a few minutes later. It was quite funny actually although I’m not so sure if my presentation was up to my own expectations. The conversations I had made a lasting impression on me.

Over the cause of the next months we remained in contact, and I had the great pleasure to meet Kerry Osborne together with Andy a little later and that was when I seriously thought that I wanted to join a team I do admire. Now with all the paperwork done and dusted, and having signed I can’t wait to get started.

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments »

Lights-out management console on Supermicro boards

Posted by Martin Bach on August 2, 2012

So this is slightly off topic, as it doesn’t deal with anything directly related to Oracle, it’s more a reference to those who are using Supermicro boards like I do. The nice thing about professional hardware is that you do not need a keyboard or mouse, or even a monitor. The board I have comes with an IPMI interface, and has a KVM over IP ability. The interface can be accessed from a dedicated software or a web browser.

IPMIView

The suitable application to access your KVM is called IPMIView, and it’s available for MacOS, Linux and Windows.

Since I didn’t want to install a lot of application on my laptop I opted to install IPMIView for Linux on my Ubuntu 12.04 LTS desktop running within a virtual machine. However I couldn’t get it to install at all until I found a great source how to do so. Here are the steps:

  1. Download IPMIView from the Supermicro website: ftp://ftp.supermicro.com/utility/IPMIView
  2. Make the file executable: chmod u+x IPMIView…bin
  3. Execute the file (note it requires an X11 DISPLAY): ./IPMIView…bin

It will then open an installer wizard that guides you through the installation. Although JVM based, you don’t need to download a JRE beforehand. It comes with its own-just be sure not to use it for anything but IPMIView, it seems to be an old one: 1.6.03.

That’s it-change directory to where IPMIView has been installed and launch it. Bizarrely that fails unless you are root on my system!

To connect to your server, you obviously need a bridge network interface in your virtual machine. In VMware workstation you might have to change the bridged network definition and ensure that it is bridging to the LAN port, not WLAN as it did in my case.

If you are unsure which IP you assigned to your IPMI interface you can instruct the software to perform a scan which is quite useful. Once discovered, you can save your server(s) to the interface and connect. On initial contact, the default username is ADMIN, the default password (you are guessing it …) ADMIN in upper case.

I suggest you change the password RIGHT NOW (click on the USERS tab and do so). Here’s the one of the reasons I really like the IPMIView application:

OK it’s not that much of an advantage right now as I can easily reach under my desk but once the server is out of reach then the option to reboot is nice. Another great tool is the graphical KVM console! I can even use “virtual storage”, for example an ISO image on my laptop and present this as if it was inserted in the DVD drive. Even if there is no physical DVD drive at all :) There was a glitch with the software that prevented me from selecting installation media (I haven’t tried the Windows version of IPMIView) in the virtual media menu on my Linux VM. I could see from the manual that there should be an additional tab at the bottom, next to the KVM Console but for some reason it was greyed out. There might be a way to get it back but I didn’t explore it further-the virtual media worked with the web interface.

Web browser

This looks like the way to go: simply point your web browser to the IP address of the IPMI card and off you go! For the KVM to work you need a Java runtime on your host. To be fair, the web interface is a lot nicer than the Java client, especially since it allows you to resize the window and the UI elements will scale accordingly. When executed on Windows you finally have the opportunity to mount an ISO image to the server. A windows share (I assume Samba works as well) with the ISOs is required to boot, and it’s very simple to set up and mount.

Reference

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

OT: I want this (WordPress) theme

Posted by Martin Bach on May 15, 2012

Apologies for a completely non-technical blog item – feel free to skip!

However, if you have used a Mac SE like I have, running on System 6, then you’d love this WordPress theme I just discovered:

System 6 theme

Unfortunately I can’t use it as most of the source code I’m posting is too wide.

I can almost hear the characteristic SuperDrive noise when reading one of my floppy disks. A moment of nostalgia.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Installing OEM 12c agents in RPM format

Posted by Martin Bach on November 22, 2011

One of the questions I have always asked myself revolved around: “why doesn’t Oracle package certain software as an RPM on Linux?” Well this question has recently been answered in the form of the Oracle 12c agent. It IS possible to use an RPM based installation, although it doesn’t make 100 use of RPM. I have written this post to give you an idea what happens.

The procedure is described in the OEM 12 Cloud Control Advanced Installation and Configuration Guide, chapter 6. The process is very similar to the non-RPM based agent deployment. Let’s have a loot at it in detail.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Cloud Control, Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Simplified GNS setup for RAC 11.2.0.2 and newer

Posted by Martin Bach on November 17, 2011

One of the main problems I have seen with GNS (Grid Naming Service) installations was that you couldn’t really see if your DNS and DHCP configuration was correct until it’s been too late. This has been addressed, but it’s little known. There are a number of checks you can run before starting Oracle Universal Installer, and this post is about them.

What is the Grid Naming System?

I was initially drawn towards the GNS when it was initially released with 11.2.0.1. It is aimed at environments where the Oracle DBAs take on (yet another) piece of work, namely the DNS administration. By virtue of “subdomain delegation”, the master DNS server responsible for “example.com” hands off requests for a subdomain to this – rac.example.com – to an Oracle managed process. This was quite poorly documented initially, prompting me to figure it out myself in an earlier post: https://martincarstenbach.wordpress.com/2009/10/02/build-your-own-11-2-rac-system-part-ii-dns-dhcp-for-gns/

The problem with GNS in 11.2.0.1 was that you couldn’t really test if the DNS setup was sufficient for Oracle Installer to work, and I had a few attempts at the installation (the discussion here takes into account that I might not have been able to perform sufficient checking!)

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

Nice surprise-automatic statistics email

Posted by Martin Bach on January 2, 2011

Today I got a nice surprise email from WordPress. Seems like my blog wasn’t doing too badly last year. I would like to thank all visitors for passing by and reading my ramblings about this and that-mainly Oracle related.

Have a happy New Year all!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Content theft on my blog

Posted by Martin Bach on August 18, 2010

I have received an email today from Don Burleson who informed me that a number of my articles have mysteriously appeared on another weblog hosted by wordpress on the name of http://gjilevski.wordpress.com/.  For instance:

My post: https://martincarstenbach.wordpress.com/2010/01/21/upgrade-clusterware-10-2-to-11-2/ has reappeared as http://gjilevski.wordpress.com/2009/11/24/upgrade-oracle-crs-10-2-to-oracle-grid-11-2/. Even the host names are identical! The next one is a bit better as he managed to remove my “the-playground.de” example with “gj.com”:

http://gjilevski.wordpress.com/2009/09/25/install-oracle-11-2-rac-deploying-dns-dhcp-for-gns/ is my https://martincarstenbach.wordpress.com/2009/10/02/build-your-own-11-2-rac-system-part-ii-dns-dhcp-for-gns/ but he forgot to add the corrections I made. I recognize my DNS server, auxOEL5 :)

The story goes on.

Copy: http://gjilevski.wordpress.com/2009/09/23/install-oracle-11-2-rac-using-dns-for-scan/ from original: https://martincarstenbach.wordpress.com/2009/09/26/build-your-own-11-2-rac-system-part-i-dns/

Copy: http://gjilevski.wordpress.com/2009/10/13/adding-node-in-oracle-11g-r2-grid-infrastructure. Original: https://martincarstenbach.wordpress.com/2009/10/12/build-your-own-rac-system-part-iv-extending-grid-infrastructure/

Copy: http://gjilevski.wordpress.com/2009/10/08/archivelog-retention-policy-in-rman-11g-r2/ Original: https://martincarstenbach.wordpress.com/2009/10/08/archivelog-retention-policy-changes-in-rman-11g/

And many more. It seems my blog is replicated almost 1:1 to his.

I am very disappointed to see that someone else has to resort to such extreme measures to boost his profile. Copyright aside, this is very unprofessional and I would have expected something else. If you are interested in the whole story, have a look at http://timurakhmadeev.wordpress.com/2010/06/02/content-thief/

Oh, and it’s not only me, more established authors such as Alex Gorbachev, Mark Bobak and Alex Fatkulin are also victims of this.

So, and that’s it from me about this matter.

Almost.

Having complained to WordPress and leaving comments on my articles they mysteriously disappeared overnight. Everyone affected should do the same, and I urge you to file complaints to wordpress to have the blog removed.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

It has gone really quiet!

Posted by Martin Bach on August 4, 2010

Yes, it has, and I’m really sorry but at the moment all the blog writing has to take a lower priority. I am working very hard to finish my chapters of the upcoming  Pro Oracle Database 11g RAC on Linux, which turned out to be a lot more work than I expected. The last chapter I have to write from scratch is about ASM, and it’s again a meaty one. Luckily the first draft is complete and I sent it to Apress for review and the usual editorial work.

I so decided to quit my daytime job to focus entirely on the book, which I’d like to see released between Open World and the UKOUG conference this year.

Once completed, I intend to become a freelance Oracle database consultant, specialising on RAC (no surprises here!) and Oracle 11.2 upgrades. I am available from mid September (the first 4 weeks are already booked!) if you like-just contact me!

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

Applying PSU 11.2.0.1.1 to RDBMS home

Posted by Martin Bach on April 22, 2010

This is a quick post with some information about me deploying PSU 11.2.0.1.1 to my Oracle installation on ocfs2, RHEL 5.4 64bit. First of all it should be said that this is for the RDBMS, not Grid Infrastructure home. At the time of this writing I didn’t find any known issues, but you might want to check Note 1061294.1 Oracle Database Patch Set Update 11.2.0.1.1 Known Issues before proceeding. Also, never do this in production before having tested the patch in DEV, QA and all the other environments you might have.

I started by downloading the patch-if MOS is available, you can locate it on the patches and updates tab, simple search for oracle products. Enter 9352237 as the patch number, double-check your platform and download the zipfile. I extracted the file to /tmp/9352237.

As always, it’s a good idea to read the readme.html file. First thing to notice: OPatch 11.2 is recommended, patch 6880880. Opatch is avaialble for many versions, make sure to download the one for 11.2 and your platform. Deployment is quite simple-copy the patch file to $ORACLE_HOME and unzip it. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in 11g Release 2, Linux, Uncategorized | 12 Comments »

Co-authoring Pro Oracle RAC 11g on Linux

Posted by Martin Bach on March 30, 2010

I am very happy to announce that I have the great honor to co-author the new edition of the successful Pro Oracle Database 10g RAC on Linux: Installation, Administration, and Performance. The first edition, Pro Oracle RAC 10g on Linux was my main reference when installing, configuration and maintaining RAC on Linux (my preferred platform). It contains all the topic and a bit more I needed to properly get started with RAC and also contained some advice about things that didn’t work quite as advertised by Oracle.

I am contributing four chapters to the book, dealing with RAC architecture, RAC concepts, Workload management and an introduction. Quite a bit of work to be done, but well worth it. Maybe I’ll get into the whole authoring business a bit more :) I am hoping to continue the successful tradition of the 10g version of the book bringing some of the more exciting Oracle 11g Release 2 features into play and also provide a readable book that can be used as an introduction to the topic as well as a reference for experienced database administrators.

I signed the contract yesterday and await it to be countersigned by Apress where the book is going to be published. Once that’s done, I can crack on.

Posted in 11g Release 2, Uncategorized | 5 Comments »