Collaborate 09: Don’t miss these sessions

Collaborate 09 starts on Sunday, May 3 (a few days from now!) in Orlando. I’ve been offline for several weeks (more on that later), but will be returning to the world of computers and technology in full force in Orlando. I’ve had a few inquiries about whether or not I’ll be at Collaborate, so I thought I’d resurrect my blog with a post about where I’ll be and some of the highlights I see at Collaborate 09.

First, where I’ll be presenting:

  • Monday, 10:45-11:45am, #301, “Avoiding Common RAC Problems”
  • Tuesday, 9:45am-12pm, #332, “Installing RAC From The Ground Up”
  • Wednesday, 9:45-10:45am, #121, “Troubleshooting Oracle Clusterware”

I’m also currently the President of the Oracle RAC Special Interest Group (RAC SIG). The RAC SIG is hosting several great sessions (I’m moderating a couple of these panels) at Collaborate 09 as well:

  • Sunday, 6-7:30pm, IOUG/SIG Welcome Reception (each SIG will have representatives there–this is open to all IOUG attendees)
  • Monday, 8-9am, RAC SIG Orientation
  • Tuesday, 12:15-1:15pm, RAC SIG Birds of a Feather
  • Tuesday, 4:30-5:30pm, RAC SIG Expert Panel
  • Wednesday, 4:30-5:30pm, RAC SIG Customer Panel (not in online scheduler at the moment, check again later)
  • Thursday, 8:30am-12pm, RAC Attack (University Session – Additional fee required)

The RAC SIG has also assembled this list of RAC-related sessions at Collaborate 09 to help you plan your conference agenda.

Be sure to set up your personal agenda using the agenda builder and add these sessions to your agenda. I think that if you have these in your agenda and details (like date or room assignments) change, you’ll be notified via email (not sure, but I think that’s how it works).

Also, you can follow @IOUG on Twitter (follow me too if you’d like) and that will help you find where the action is during the event next week. It’s going to be a great event and I look forward to seeing you there!

ADV: RAC Attack Hands-on Event at Collaborate09

The RAC SIG, Oracle and IOUG are thrilled to present the hands-on event dubbed “RAC Attack!” at Collaborate09 in Orlando, FL. It is a half-day University Session in the IOUG Forum scheduled for the morning of Thursday, May 7th.

Each participant will have their own private RAC cluster to use. You’ll be able to install a new cluster, test session failover, perform backup and recovery and just about anything else you’d like to try (time permitting). The session will have lab outlines with very specific instructions that cater to beginners. Advanced users are welcome to test anything they like. If you try something that doesn’t work, we have mechanisms in place to help “reset” your cluster in 15 minutes and let you continue working and testing.

Here’s the official conference abstract for the session:

“Whether you’re new to or familiar with Real Application Clusters (RAC), you do not want to miss the IOUG RAC Attack! hands-on lab. The hands-on lab will cover: cluster installation prerequisites on Linux, installing Oracle clusterware, installing Oracle RDBMS, creating RAC database, failure testing and backup/recovery testing.

Also, you’ll have a chance to interact with some RAC experts from IOUG, Oracle and the RAC SIG, as they’ll be available to help you as you navigate the hands-on exercises. These volunteers are sharing their knowledge to help you be successful with your learning experience. This opportunity doesn’t come along often, so don’t miss a chance to pick the brains of our experts!”

There are still seats available for this event, but there is a limit, so don’t delay. It is an additional cost above the Collaborate09 conference registration, but I think you’ll find it to be packed with knowledge and experts to help you get the hands-on experience you need to grow and succeed with Oracle RAC. The session will be staffed with Oracle, IOUG and RAC SIG experts ready to help you and answer questions about RAC and clustering. Don’t miss out!

If you’ve already registered, you can add on the University Session by contacting IOUG. If you haven’t registered yet, there is still time left–sign up now!

Congratulations New Oracle ACE, Jeremy Schneider!

I’ll be the first to offer a large congratulations to Jeremy Schneider on being the most recent appointment to the Oracle ACE program. He certainly deserves it (I nominated him, so I suppose I would think so) and I continue to look for great things to come.

Jeremy is the main creator of the IOUG RAC Attack! event that was held for the first time back in August 2008. He (with help from others) will also be putting it on as a half-day session at Collaborate 09. It’s a University Seminar on Thursday morning. All hands-on, all RAC, all the time. I’m looking forward to the event (I’m volunteering as a staffer). You should sign up now before it’s full! I can almost guarantee you’ll learn something.

Besides his work on this hands on lab/class for RAC, Jeremy has many other community contributions. His blog is full of excellent technical bits that always seem to come from a significant amount of research. He contributes occasionally to the Oracle-L mailing list. He also contributed some code to OCFS (v1) several years ago, so you can guess he understands a thing or two about programming and Linux, too.

His ACE Profile isn’t posted yet, but look for it to arrive soon. In the meantime, read some of the good stuff he wrote on his blog and look for him (and me too) at Collaborate in early May!

Congratulations, Jeremy!

Start Database Services automatically after instance startup

Those of us that have dealt with RAC environments for a while are familiar with the behavior of Oracle Services in an Oracle Cluster. Services are an essential component for managing workload in a RAC environment. If you’re not defining any non-default services in your RAC database, you’re making a mistake. To learn more about services, I strongly recommend reading the definitive whitepaper by Jeremy Schneider on the topic.

In an Oracle RAC cluster, services can be started, stopped, and relocated from one instance to another. However, if you have multiple services for your database, then it becomes difficult to start them at a cold start. Due to dependencies in Oracle Clusterware, Continue reading “Start Database Services automatically after instance startup”

Hotsos Symposium 2009, I’ll be there!

Blink and 3 weeks goes by and I forgot to blog any new updates!

I’ve got a few new entries that will be coming along after my last 2 weeks being up to my eyeballs in Oracle Application Server 10.1.3, but that will wait. The exciting news is:

I’m going to present at Hotsos Symposium 2009! I’m especially excited because I’ve wanted to attend this event ever since they held the first one, but just haven’t been able to get there. This time, I decided to try my luck at submitting a session proposal and I got lucky. I’m on the very distinguished speaker list and will be presenting “Avoiding Common RAC Issues” sometime during the March 8-12, 2009 event.

For those that have attended this event before, I know it’s somewhat unique, so if you have tips for a first-time attendee (and presenter), please drop them in comments or drop me a line via email or whatever. I hope that you can attend–I’m honored to be among the absolutely stellar speaker lineup and am really more excited about attending other sessions than I am about presenting my own! See you in Irving, TX!

IOUG SELECT Journal articles on RAC

Here’s a good reason to become an IOUG member or, if you already are a member, a good reason to dig out that username/password to the IOUG website. The most recent issue of the IOUG publication SELECT Journal contains several great articles (if I do say so myself) about Oracle RAC.

I contributed one article titled “RAC For Beginners: The Basics” and also helped identify the other contributors to help give the issue a significant focus on RAC. It was a great coincidence that the issue came out just before the RAC Attack! event we held in early August. Each attendee at that event received a copy of the issue as part of their event registration.

You’ll need your IOUG login in order to read the articles, but you can at least browse the article titles on the SELECT Journal website without logging in. If you aren’t an IOUG member, you should consider joining–SELECT Journal is just one of many member benefits.

For potential authors reading this entry, SELECT Journal contributing authors do receive some nice gifts like an exclusive embroidered shirt and other goodies in addition to the 15 minutes of fame (actually 3 months since it’s a quarterly publication!). Hope you enjoy the article and if you have suggestions for improving it, please let me know directly via email.

Also, don’t forget to check out the Oracle RAC SIG website and sign up for membership there to access our document library of more great articles like the ones featured in SELECT.

IOUG RAC Attack!, Event Summary

As one of the organizers of the IOUG RAC Attack! event, I may have a slightly partial viewpoint, but I think the event overall went very well. The hands-on lab was especially popular and I think participants in the hands-on lab all got to learn at least a few new things. If you’ve been to Oracle Education training classes like I have, you know how it seems like you sometimes have to spend 5 days in training to get 1.5 days’ worth of material. With the hands-on lab at RAC Attack!, we provided guided exercises to demonstrate certain features and/or processes, but the whole day was more like “structured playtime” than particular labs that had to be completed. Continue reading “IOUG RAC Attack!, Event Summary”

IOUG RAC Attack!, Day 1 complete

Many of you have (hopefully) heard of the IOUG RAC Attack! event taking place yesterday and today in Chicago. We had a great first day yesterday with many great technical sessions and the first-day lab guinea pigs didn’t find many bugs or issues in completing the lab exercises and tests. Overall, the format is working out pretty well, though I think many people had a tough time choosing what technical sessions they were willing to miss in order to attend the hands on lab.

For any of the RAC Attack! attendees, please (really, please–like right now before you forget) drop me a line with your feedback and/or leave it here in comments. I am growing more and more confident that we’ll repeat this event at some point in the future. Plus, it’s highly likely that the hands on lab portion will be repeated at the Collaborate09 conference in Orlando in May, 2009 as well (sorry, no website up for it yet). Stay tuned for more details! So, if you didn’t get enough hands on lab time or have coworkers, peers or buddies that couldn’t make it to Chicago, there will be more opportunities for them to participate in the future. I hope Tuesday goes as well as Monday or better and I think it will!

My train is about to arrive in Chicago, so I’ll look forward to seeing today’s lab victims participants shortly!

IOUG RAC Attack! Register Now!

The Oracle RAC SIG and the IOUG are co-sponsoring the IOUG “RAC Attack” event and if you haven’t yet heard about it, you might want to check it out. The event runs for 2 days, August 4-5, in downtown Chicago and will bring together some excellent presenters as well as the opportunity for hands-on experiences via the hands-on labs that run throughout the event. See the RAC Attack web page for more details on the event.

As one of the RAC SIG board members, I’ve been involved with the planning and development of this event over the last 9 months and I think it’s going to be one of the best opportunities to get focused, high-quality education on RAC available today. Plus, you’ll get the chance to network with a group of people that are focused on RAC and it’s uses.

Of course, I’ll be there, so if you do make it to the event, please be sure to say hello. I’ll likely spend much of my time in the hands-on lab (when I’m not presenting my technical session) helping those that need it to build their cluster, test backup and recovery or exercise some new features.

Hope to see you there!

TNS Listener Configuration for Oracle RAC

I’ve been to more than one RAC customer site and seen several different ways to misconfigure the listeners for a RAC cluster. This post describes how I usually configure the listeners and their associated instance parameters normally. This really has nothing to do with TAF or connection load balancing, those those features may not work as expected unless the underlying configuration is performed properly.

First, some background on how these items work is necessary. The TNS listener (tnslsnr process on *nix) process listens on a specific network address for connection requests to one of the services from one of the database instances that it services. When requested, it either spawns a server process (dedicated server environment) and connects the user to that process or forwards the connection request to a dispatcher (shared server environment) for service to the database service requested. Alternatively, if the listener knows of more than one instance providing the requested service, it may direct the client to an alternate listener (usually on a different node) that will service the request. Continue reading “TNS Listener Configuration for Oracle RAC”