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OUG Back to Basics Event – London Mar 2011

First Things First

At UKOUGs’ Back to Basics Special Event held in London today (Mar 24th), Niall Litchfield presented a very worthwhile session on “Getting the Basics Right”.

Now I’ve been more of a SQL Server DBA in recent years than I have an Oracle one, so this session was a welcomed reminder of the simple things to look for in ensuring your DB infrastructure is performant, efficient, effective and, I guess most importantly able to avoid failure!

Niall is a valued member of the Oracle community and in his role as a consultant often gets called in to ‘healthcheck’ databases for various customers.

Niall split his presentation into two parts :-

The first was the bread and butter of a DBA’s role – BASE – Backup/Activity/Space/Errors

Running through, what most Oracle DBAs would take for granted, areas like:-

- testing backups

- testing restores (probably more important than testing the actual backups?)

- running in Archivelog mode (do you need to be?)

- backing up redo logs (again – why ?)

- managing your redo

- importance of measuring business transactions and response times

- managing space on your database (both rdbms and OS !)

- the need to ensure the alert log and trace files are monitored and read frequently.

 The second area he touched upon was – ASP – Applications/Security/Performance

To be honest, its these three areas that bosses and the powers that be at your company are probably more concerned with.

Topics covered here included :-

- importance of scrutinising your application logs

- general DB security – users/passwords/roles (certainly made me re-evaluate what we have back at camp again !)

- baselining for performance measuring and monitoring

 It was good to hear someone talking about real basic Oracle – as I said, I’ve been out of the hands-on Oracle technical arena for a couple of years now – I need to get back into it and this session helped remind me of the importance of certain tasks and why Oracle invented certain functionality !

 If you’re an Oracle DBA – get involved in the UKOUG – speakers like Niall regularly present at these events and are able to share their knowledge and valuable experiences.

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