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Oracle DBA

Life in the day of an Oracle 10g DBA

Pager Alerts
I don't get many pages at night, because I design my nightly database jobs to not fail, or if they do to do so in a way that doesn't cause other things to break (keep it contained). By putting the time in up front (during the day) it keeps me from being up at night. However last night I did get a page in the middle of the night. It was for my nightly OLAP build. It takes about three hours to do the nightly build for my OLAP cube in Oracle so this can't wait until 8AM when I get in. My point - life as an Oracle DBA requires you to sometimes work at night - to limit this be proactive by designing your scripts/jobs with the goal of not breaking.

Morning Checks
My day usually begins by checking my email and then immediately logging into Oracle Enterprise Manager to check the databases. I like to see how things are running and this allows me to then focus on other tasks. I usually check the job history in OEM and then check the performance tab. Next I log into our Helpdesk system to check what tickets are waiting for me. This morning all checks were positive. There was one Helpdesk ticket in which somebody needed access to a Discoverer Business Area. Granted, sent email to user, moving on...

Performance Tuning
I got a call from my counterpart in the leader of the Business Analysis Team. He's again asking when I'm going to get the speed of a couple of their most popular queries tuned.

Discuss migration of DB to RAC with Burleson Consulting
Steve Karam from Burleson has been consulting with us on the move to our new 10g RAC system. We built the Oracle RAC & now we're working with Steve on the migration plan to move our primary Information Warehouse to the new RAC.

Consult with developers on database design of new system
This afternoon I spent a couple hours creating and beating up a data-model for a new system we're designing. I love this! Creating data-models is not rocket science even though some people make it harder to be than it should. By the end of the session we have a good solid model. Time to create the physical database on our development server. To be a good DBA it is necessary to have a good understanding of data models and how they're created.

Work on Oracle Database RAC
As I mentioned we have our RAC up and running, but we haven't moved any databases over in a production mode yet. First we have to run several tests to make sure everything fails over properly when a problem happens. The tests we will be running are:

- Automatic startup of the database on reboot
- Test instances start on node we assigned them to
- Test an Interconnect failure on our VIP (Heartbeat)
- Test a failure on our public network
- Test a failure of a SAN controller
- Test Point In Time Recovery
- Test Flashback

Time to head home….

This covers part one in my series on life as an Oracle DBA. Perhaps after reading some of my experiences and others you may decide to move into the DBA realm. You can read the second part titled How I became an Oracle DBA.

 

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