12c Threaded Execution Test

I did a quick check of some facts I’m studying about Oracle 12c and its new threaded execution mode.  I set this parameter:

alter system set THREADED_EXECUTION=true scope=spfile;

I had to connect SYS as SYSDBA with a password to get the system to bounce.

Then it had these processes only:

oracle    1854     1  0 09:17 ?        00:00:00 ora_pmon_orcl
oracle    1856     1  0 09:17 ?        00:00:00 ora_psp0_orcl
oracle    1858     1  2 09:17 ?        00:00:00 ora_vktm_orcl
oracle    1862     1  3 09:17 ?        00:00:00 ora_u004_orcl
oracle    1868     1 99 09:17 ?        00:00:17 ora_u005_orcl
oracle    1874     1  0 09:17 ?        00:00:00 ora_dbw0_orcl

This differs from some of my 12c OCP study material but agrees with the manuals.  Only pmon, psp, vktm, and dbw have dedicated processes.

Also, I found that I needed this value in the listener.ora:


I needed that value to connect using a thread.  Before I put that in it spawned a dedicated server process when I connected over the network.

Lastly, contrary to what I had read I didn’t need to set the local_listener parameter to get the new connections to use a thread:

SQL> show parameter local_listener

NAME                                 TYPE        VALUE
------------------------------------ ----------- ---------------------
local_listener                       string

- Bobby

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Finished first pass through Alapati 12c OCP upgrade book

I just finished reading Sam Alapati’s 12c OCP upgrade book for the first time and I really like it because of the content that it covered which I hadn’t discovered through my study of the Oracle manuals.  Also, it did a good job explaining some things that Oracle’s manuals left unclear.

After reading each chapter I took the end of chapter test and got between 60% and 75% of the questions right.  Next I plan to take the computer based test that was on the CD that came with the book and which covers both parts of the upgrade exam.

I did find minor errors throughout the book, but I still found it very useful especially after having already studied the same topics on my own without a study guide like this one to direct me.  The author’s insights into the test and the material it covers adds value because they guide me to the areas that I need to focus on.

- Bobby

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Used Delphix to quickly recover ten production tables

Yesterday I used Delphix to quickly recover ten production tables that had accidentally been emptied over the weekend.  We knew that at a certain time on Saturday the tables were fully populated and after that some batch processing wrecked them so we created a new virtual database which was a clone of production as of the date and time just before the problem occurred.  We could have accomplished the same task using RMAN to clone production but Delphix spun up the new copy more quickly than RMAN would have.

The source database is 5.4 terabytes and there were about 50 gigabytes of archive logs that we needed to apply to recover to the needed date and time.  It took about 15 minutes to complete the clone including applying all the redo.  The resulting database occupies only 10 gigabytes of disk storage.

If we had used RMAN we would first have to add more disk storage because we don’t have a system with enough free to hold a copy of the needed tablespaces.  Then, after waiting for our storage and Unix teams to add the needed storage we would have to do the restore and recovery.  All these manual steps take time and are prone to human error, but the Delphix system is point and click and done through a graphical user interface (GUI).

Lastly, during the recovery we ran into Oracle bug 7373196 which caused our first attempted recovery to fail with an ORA-00600 [krr_init_lbufs_1] error.  After researching this bug I had to rerun the restore and recovery with the parameter _max_io_size set to 33554432 which is the workaround for the bug.  Had we been using RMAN we probably would have to run the recovery at least twice to resolve this bug.  Maybe we could have started at the point it failed but I’m not sure.  With Delphix it was just a matter of setting the _max_io_size parameter and starting from scratch since I knew the process only took 15 minutes.  Actually it took me two or three attempts to figure out how to set the parameter, but once I figured it out it was so simple I’m not sure why I didn’t do it right the first time.  So, at the end of the day it was just under 3 hours from my first contact about this issue until they had the database up and were able to funnel off the data they needed to resolve the production issue.  Had I been doing an RMAN recover I don’t doubt that I would have worked late into the night yesterday accomplishing the same thing.

- Bobby

P.S. These databases are on HP-UX 11.31 on IA64, Oracle version



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Sam Alapati’s 12c OCP upgrade book includes test software with key DBA skills

Sweet!  I just installed the software from the CD that came with Sam Alapati’s book related to the OCP 12c upgrade exam and found that it has questions related to the key DBA skills section of the test.  Now I feel good about my test preparation materials.  The first time I took the test I didn’t have this degree of guidance on what to study, especially on the key DBA skills section.

Now I have questions on key DBA skills from the testing software included with Sam Alapati’s book, questions on key DBA skills in the Kaplan Selftest software,  and a large section on key DBA skills in Matthew Morris’ book.

I’ve read Matthew’s book already, and I’ve read the key DBA skills part twice.  Now I’m going to start reading Sam’s book and then on to the software tests.  All this to buy me one more correct answer on the test but I’d rather over prepare this time instead of leaving it to chance.

- Bobby

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Bought Matthew Morris’ OCP 12c upgrade book for Key DBA Skills section

I haven’t even started on Sam Alapati’s OCP book but I realized today that Matthew Morris’s OCP 12c upgrade book has an outline of the Key DBA Skills section of the OCP exam and that is what I need most.  I was two questions away on that section when I took the test the first time and I need to make sure I’m studying the right things.  After I got back to the office after failing my first attempt (a $245 lesson) I made notes about what I remember being unsure of and that gave me some ideas what to study.  But, it is nice to get some advice from someone else who has passed the exam.  I saved a couple of bucks by getting the Kindle version for $9.99 so it seemed like a safe bet.  Hopefully I can hit it hard on both books and my practice test software, which also covers the key DBA skills, and be able to take the test again by the end of the August.

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Limits of SQL Optimization Toastmasters Talk

I think I’m done with the script for my Toastmaster’s talk: pdf

It’s Toastmaster’s talk 3 “Get to the Point” so I’m trying to do a 5-7 minute talk that focuses on how Oracle’s SQL optimizer sometimes chooses a slow plan.  It’s tough to say anything meaningful in 7 minutes and I’m not using any kind of slides so I have to describe everything verbally.

But, it’s a topic I’m passionate about so I will enjoy giving it.  I kind of got bogged down thinking about ways to relate this information to my non-technical audience’s life and I decided to give up on that.  I would probably need another 7 minutes or more to explain why they should care that there are limits to SQL optimization so I decided to focus on convincing them that the limits exist.

- Bobby

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Adding an outline hint to a PS/Query

I just finished working with a coworker on speeding up a PS/Query.  It was running well in a development environment but not in production.  I tried to find a simple hint or two to make production run like development but didn’t have any luck.  Then I remembered that my script to get a query’s plan prints out a full set of outline hints like this:

      USE_NL(@"SEL$E903463E" "CLS"@"SEL$4")
      USE_NL(@"SEL$E903463E" "SEC"@"SEL$3")
      USE_NL(@"SEL$E903463E" "SOC"@"SEL$4")

... lines removed to make this post shorter ...

      PUSH_PRED(@"SEL$F5BB74E1" "A1"@"SEL$1" 1)
      OPT_PARAM('_unnest_subquery' 'false')

A coworker edited the PS/Query and tried to add this hint but got errors because of the quotation marks.  So, I simplified the hint by removing all the double quotes and taking out the lines with single quotes because I knew they weren’t needed.  They only related to parameters that I knew were already set in production.

Here is the new quote-less hint:

      USE_NL(@SEL$E903463E CLS@SEL$4)
      USE_NL(@SEL$E903463E SEC@SEL$3)
      USE_NL(@SEL$E903463E SOC@SEL$4)

... lines removed to make this post shorter ...

      PUSH_PRED(@SEL$F5BB74E1 A1@SEL$1 1)

We ran the modified PS/Query in production and I verified that the query was running the correct plan.  The only weird thing was that because the query has a group by PS/Query stuck the hint in the group by clause and in the select clause.


... middle of select statement ...


... end of select statement ...

At first this put us off, but really the hint in the group by clause is just a comment and syntactically is insignificant even though it is ugly.

By the way, here are the options I used to output the outline hint:

select * from 

I get all my plans this way now.  It generates a lot of output that I don’t usually use.  But, seeing it reminds you that it is there if you need it.

- Bobby

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v$sql_cs_statistics bug in 12c?

I think I’ve run across a bug in 12c where v$sql_cs_statistics is not populated in 12c as it was in

I’ve messed with adaptive cursor sharing using an example on Tim Hall’s web site: web example

I’ve tried to break it and change it in various ways to understand adaptive cursor sharing.  I was using some 11g databases and on those systems the example results in output from v$sql_cs_statistics.  But in 12c the view returns nothing.  Maybe this is normal but it seems bug like to me.

Here is a zip of my version of Tim’s example and it’s output on an and 12.1 database: zip

In the working example you have this output from v$sql_cs_statistics:

ORCL::SYSTEM>SELECT * FROM v$sql_cs_statistics WHERE sql_id = '9bmm6cmwa8saf';

---------------- ---------- ------------- ------------ ------------------- - ---------- -------------- ----------- ----------
0000000089035390 4171522382 9bmm6cmwa8saf            1          2064090006 Y          1          50001         501          0
0000000089035390 4171522382 9bmm6cmwa8saf            0          2342552567 Y          1              3           3          0

On 12c you get nothing:

ORCL:CDB$ROOT:SYSTEM>SELECT * FROM v$sql_cs_statistics WHERE sql_id = '9bmm6cmwa8saf';

no rows selected

The other queries in the example all return results so I guess it is a bug.

- Bobby

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Senior Oracle DBA Position in Tempe, Arizona

We have a Senior Oracle DBA position open on my team here in Tempe, Arizona.

Here is the link: url This link is for non-recruiters only.

We have a good team and would love to have someone join us.

- Bobby

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Updated 12c OCP upgrade Self Test software has more questions

I guess I should have waited around a bit longer before taking my 12c OCP upgrade exam.  I purchased Kaplan’s Self Test software to prepare for the 12c OCP upgrade exam but it only included 50 questions and they only covered the first part of the OCP exam – the part I passed!

I noticed on the Self Test website that the test now includes 105 questions.  So, I got the bright idea of seeing if there was some way to refresh my software with an update and voilà! Now I have 105 questions and 128 flash cards.  Probably I should have waited for this practice software to mature before attempting the 12c OCP upgrade test.  One thing of particular interest to me is that it does include practice questions related to the second part of the exam which I failed.

So, hopefully I’ll be in good shape for the retest.  I am doing a lot of hacking around with different features but I need to figure out a more methodical way to study.  Still, having taken the test once I know some of the features that I need to study.  Combine that with the new questions on the Self Test software and that will get me closer.  Lastly, I pre-ordered Sam Alapati’s book on Amazon so that should put me over the top.  I was really only two questions away on my first attempt but I definitely should have waited and have done more thorough preparation.

- Bobby

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