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12c Release 1

Dead Connection Detection (DCD) and the Oracle database

Dead Connection Detection is a useful feature of the Oracle database: it allows for the cleanup of “dead” sessions so they don’t linger around consuming memory and other system resources. The idea is simple: if the database detects that a client process is no longer connected to its server process, it cleans up. This can happen in many ways, in most cases this kind of problem is triggered by an end user.

A dead connection shouldn’t be confused with idle connections: an idle connection still maintains the network link between client and server process, except that there is no activity. Idle connections aren’t maintained/controlled via DCD, there are other tools in the database handling such cases.

As a by product, DCD can also help with overly eager firewalls forcibly removing seemingly idle network connections. I found the following posts and the references therein very useful:

sqlldr, direct path loads and concurrency in 12.1 and earlier

I have recently come across an interesting issue related to concurrent data loading into the Oracle database using sqlldr’s direct path mode. Although I investigated the situation on, I found that the same holds true in 19.4 as well when using the defaults. I reconstructed the case, although it is simplified a little to bring the point home.

The environment I used to put this post together is Oracle Restart 19.4.0 on Oracle Linux 7.6.

Test overview

For this test I am running concurrent sqlldr sessions to demonstrate the case. I am conscious of that fact that I could have used external tables, but then I wouldn’t have been able to write this post :)

Assume there’s a table named t2:

RBAL (ospid: nnn): terminating the instance due to error 27625 after patching Oracle Restart

I have come across an odd behaviour trying to patch an Oracle Restart environment to January 2019. Based on a twitter conversation this isn’t necessarily limited to my patch combination, there might be others as well. I have used opatchauto to apply patch 28813884 to both RDBMS and GRID homes plus its corresponding OJVM (Java) patch. Before diving into details, this is the environment I have been working with:

Creating a RAC 12.1 Data Guard Physical Standby environment (3b)

Huh, what is this I hear you ask? Part 3b? Oracle 12.1? Well, there’s a bit of a story to this post. Back in December 2016 I started to write a series of blog posts (part 1 | part 2 | part 3 | part 4) about how I created a standby database on RAC 12.1. For some reason I forgot to post this part. Up until now the step where I am creating the broker configuration was missing. Thanks to a friend I discovered my mistake.

A quick look at Oracle 12.2 performance instrumentation

Thanks to the prep-work done by Andy Colvin, who continuously and boldly goes where no man has gone before, one of our Exadata systems in the lab is now fully upgraded to It comes fully equipped with the matching cellos to support all the cool new features. Exciting times!

The reason for this post is simple: I have started working on our talk for @Enkitec’s E4 conference in June but thought I’d share this little article with you as a teaser :) There might be one or two more of these posts but if you want the full story make sure you catch us (online) during the conference.

Little things worth knowing: Executing RDA on RAC

Result! I have finally been able to gather a complete RDA (Oracle Remote Diagnostic Agent) output on my 2 node RAC system. After consulting the relevant documentation on MOS-which is spread over at least 42 Doc IDs-I found them not to be very helpful to the degree that some of what I read is actually wrong or contradicting. I put together a short note, primarily to myself, to remind me of the process. I hope you find it useful, too.

The RDA version I used for this post is 8.14.x from MOS March 4th 2017. My RAC nodes are based on Oracle Linux 7.3/UEK 4.

Starting the data collection

New Events for Data Guard and Synchronous Redo Transport in 12c (2)

After the baseline has been established in the first part of this series it’s time to measure the effect of the network in this part. The second test will introduce an interesting feature: Using Linux’s own Traffic Shaper/Quality of Services module I will add a delay of 100ms to the Data Guard network interface card (NIC) to slow things down a little.

WARNING: this is of course a lab or VM-only situation. I can’t exert control over wire quality in my (own) switches, hence some software magic is needed on my virtual ones. This post is intended to be merely for educational purposes, not for use at work.

I am continuing to use the 2 node RAC primary database on Oracle Linux 7 with UEK 4 and an identical RAC to host my standby database.

New Events for Data Guard and Synchronous Redo Transport in 12c (1)

I may have said it before but I consider presenting and teaching a great way to expand one’s knowledge: first of all it requires me to really understand a subject. Secondly, when presenting, you get lots of interesting questions that can turn into blog posts like this one.

Lately I have been asked about the impact of synchronous log shipping to a physical standby database. I was sure there was an effect to be observed, depending most likely on the network latency between systems but I didn’t have any evidence I could pull out of the hat to back up my thoughts. So what better than trying! I also read that some of the events have changed in 12c, and wanted to make them visible. My environment is based on the 2 node RAC primary/2 node RAC standby configuration I wrote about in my previous posts.

Since their initial setup I upgraded the cluster to for Clusterware and RDBMS.

Creating a RAC 12.1 Data Guard Physical Standby environment (4)

In the previous three parts of this series a lot of preparation work, needed for the configuration of Data Guard, was performed. In this part of the mini-series they all come to fruition. Using the Data Guard broker a switchover operation will be performed. A couple of new features in 12c make this easier. According to the “Changes in This Release for Oracle Data Guard Concepts and Administration” chapter of the 12.1 Data Guard Concepts and Administration guide:

When [you, ed.] perform a switchover from an Oracle RAC primary database to a physical standby database, it is no longer necessary to shut down all but one primary database instance.

I have always wanted to test that in a quiet moment…

Creating a RAC 12.1 Data Guard Physical Standby environment (3)

In the previous two parts of this series you read about my lab environment and the preparations on the network side as well as the database. In this part I’ll cover the database duplication. Again, this won’t be a short post …

NOTE: As always, this is just a demonstration using VMs in my lab, based on my notes. Your system is most likely different, so in real-life you might take a different approach. The techniques I am using here were suitable for me, and my own small scale testing. I tried to make sure they are valid, but you may want to allocate more resources in your environment. Test, test, test on your own environment on test kit first!

Step 1: Create an initialisation file

The next step is the preparation of an initialisation file. I am taking NCDBA as the sample and transfer it over to rac12sec1: