Log Buffer #141: A Carnival of the Vanities for DBAs

Posted in: Technical Track

Welcome to the 141st edition of Log Buffer, the weekly review of database blogs. The Oracle bloggers were especially chatty this week, so let’s start with them.

Rob van Wijk wrote a fine post about choosing between SQL and PL/SQL, defending his choice of straight-up SQL for logic. Naturally, this triggered a lot of discussion, as well as a few responses from other blogs. Chen Shapira framed her response in a question about code life-cycle: would you rather maintain SQL or PL/SQL?

H. Tonguç Yilmaz likewise had his say on SQL or PL/SQL. And Laurent Schneider quoth, to SQL or to PLSQL, which includes a riddle and some free book goodness.

As though on cue, Jason Arneil stepped forward with a book review of Mastering Oracle PL/SQL by Connor McDonald et al. “An absolutely cracking read,” says Jason.

Staying with SQL and all the wonderful things you can do with it, Tanel Poder looks into one of its capacities in Oracle 11g: reading the alert log via SQL.

But wait, there’s more! It’s Vikram Das showing us how to get the value of environment variables in PL/SQL code.

Richard Foote appeared with a well liked fourth part of his series on the differences between unique and non-unique indexes.

Dion Cho, the Oracle Performance Storyteller muses on the fact of library cache latch being gone: “Good news to DBAs and developers, but bad news to people like me who make moneny from troubleshooting library cache latch contention.” As he shows, however, it’s always something.

Sort of like Oracle licensing. Pythian’s Marc Fielding detected Oracle clamping down on multicore licensing. In his analysis, “…future multicore server CPU generations will have a cost factor of 1.0, doubling the cost of licensing them for Oracle.”

Let’s now pay a visit to PostgreSQL Land. Wow, it’s been a while, writes Paul Silveira in this first back-to-blogging post. He offers some SQL to emit the Buffer hit cache ratio.

Josh Berkus was thinking about row-level security, which he introduces thus: “I’d like to take a step back and start a discussion about what people want for row-level security. If we’re not clear on what we want, we’re never going to get the feature to work.”

There was a nice crop of articles from SQL Server blogs this week. Jason Massie pointed out an often overlooked Windows setting for the DBA.

Kimberly L. Tripp wrote, “(Now’s) a good time to start thinking about cleaning out the [non-literal index] closet… and getting rid of some of those dusty indexes?” in Spring cleaning your indexes – Part I.

Aaron Bertrand has six reasons you should be nervous about parallelism. Well argued and well discussed.

Pinal Dave and his readers have a thorough run-down and discussion of optimizing for ad hoc workloads in SQL Server 2008.

Linchi Shea has a question for SQL DBAs: database snapshots — are you using them? He writes, “(Snapshots are) one more weapon in your DR arsenal. … But looking at the environments I have worked in for the past few years, I don’t recall seeing the feature being used for this purpose at all.”

Moving into MySQL stuff now, Baron Schwartz asserts that those disastrous MySQL random freezes could be the query cache.

And here Baron is in his xaprb mask with a MySQL command-line tip to compare result sets. Very nifty!

Giuseppe Maxia has something to know about the event scheduler and replication: “There is something that you must know if you are using the event scheduler in a replicated environment. … The important thing to know is that, when you use the events in replication, by default the event is active on the master only.”

Shlomi Noach has some news about a MySQL toolkit. No, not that one. openark. The news is: online ALTER TABLE is now available in openark kit.

Domas Mituzas popped in with some news about MySQL on Debian and Ubuntu: “Good news, mysql-server package doesn’t suck miserably on Debian 5.0 or Ubuntu 8.10, unlike previous versions did…” Well, that sounds like good news.

There was a flurry of blogs from ColdLogic LLC this week on their ColdStore thing. Here’s one: ColdStore – How it works. “(ColdStore) performs better than MyISAM because it maintains the data on disk in a layout that is optimal for the kinds of SELECTs that the ColdLogic analysis applications typically require, bearing in mind how real disks actually perform.”

Monty Widenius officially took his leave of Sun/MySQL this week, punctuating the departure with a blog on Monty Says: Thanks for all the meat, a brief, dolphin-like thanks-and-goodbye to his MySQL days.

Not so short, but very sweet indeed, is OpenLife.cc’s page dedicated to Monty Widenius. “This page will be dedicated to Monty – consider it a monument to the father of MySQL. Please use the comment form below and write something nice, personal and MySQL related.” Which is just what they did.

That’s all for now. Please add your favourite DB blogs from this week in the comments, and get in touch if you’d like to publish an edition of Log Buffer on your own blog. Till next time!



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About the Author

Dave Edwards is the Communications Specialist for the Pythian Group.

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