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OSWatcher

OSWatcher, Tracefile Analyzer, and Oracle 12.2 single instance

I have previously written about TFA, OSWatcher et all for Oracle 12.1. Since then, a lot of things have happened and I had an update for 12.2 on my to-do list for far too long. Experience teaches me that references to support notes and official documentation get out of date rather quickly, so as always, if you find anything that changed please let me know via the comments section and I’ll update the post.

This is going to be a 3 part mini-series to save you having to go over 42 pages of text … In this first part I’m going to have a look at single instance Oracle. In part 2 I’ll have a look at Oracle Restart environments, and finally in part 3 I’ll finish the series by looking at a 12.2 RAC system.

OSWatcher integration in Trace File Analyzer (TFA)

Some time ago I wrote a post about using OSWatcher for system analysis. Neil Chandler (@ChandlerDBA) rightfully pointed out that although OSWatcher was cool, TFA was the way to go. TFA can include OSWatcher, but more importantly it adds a lot of value over and above what OSWatcher does.

I guess it depends on what you want to do-I still think that OSWatcher is a good starting point and enough for most problems on single instance systems. When it comes to clustered environments, TFA looks a lot more appealing though.

In this article I am taking a closer look at using TFA – which is part of the Oracle 11.2.0.4 and 12.1.0.2. TFA is automatically updated as part of the quarterly patches, which is nice because the default/base release does not seem to be working properly. Thankfully TFA can be patched outside the regular patch cycle.

What is TFA?

Using OSWatcher for system diagnostics

OSWatcher is a superb tool that gathers information about your system in the background and stores it in an (optionally compressed) archive directory. As an Oracle DBA I like the analogy with statspack: you make the tool available on the host in a location with – very important – enough available disk space and then start it. Most users add it to the startup mechanism their O/S uses- SysV init, upstart, or systemd for example on Linux to allow it to start in the background. OSWatcher will then gather a lot of the interesting O/S related statistics that you so desperately need in an “after the fact” situation. There are plenty of reasons where you might want that information.

Example use cases