Log Buffer #168: A Carnival of the Vanities for DBAs

Posted in: Technical Track

This is the 168th edition of Log Buffer, the weekly review of database blogs. Let’s give the wheel a spin and see who comes first . . .


Brian “Krow” Aker has something to say about Drizzle, InfiniDB, and column-oriented storage: “I have been asked a number of times ‘do you think there is a need for a column oriented database in the open source world?’ The answer has been yes!  . . .  I was very happy to see Calpont do their release of Infinidb last week.”

Vadim of the MySQL Performance Blog said, “As Calpont announced availability of InfiniDB I surely couldn’t miss a chance to compare it with previously tested databases in the same environment.” And he didn’t, as shows his post Air traffic queries in InfiniDB: early alpha. Bob Dempsey and Jim Tommaney of InfiniDB are in on the discussion.

Back to Drizzle for a moment, and Jay Pipes’ item, The Great Escape. “This week, I am working on putting together test cases which validate the Drizzle transaction log’s handling of BLOB columns.  . . .  I ran into an interesting set of problems and am wondering how to go about handling them. Perhaps the LazyWeb will have some solutions.  . . .  The problem, in short, is inconsistency in the way that the NUL character is escaped (or not escaped) in both the MySQL/Drizzle protocol and the MySQL/Drizzle client tools.”

Baron Schwartz has been catching erroneous queries, without MySQL proxy, having been inspired by Chris Calender’s post, Capturing Erroneous Queries with MySQL Proxy.

Nick Goodman promises instant relief from slow MySQL reporting queries using dynamoDB. And no gooey applicator!

Robert Hodges of the Scale-Out Blog looks at replicating from MySQL to Drizzle and beyond. “I am . . . delighted that Marcus Erikkson has published a patch to Tungsten that allows replication from MySQL to Drizzle. He’s also working on implementing Drizzle-to-Drizzle support, which will be very exciting.  . . .  This brings up a question–what about replicating from MySQL to PostgreSQL? What about other databases?”

And back to xaprb, where Baron confesses, I’m a Postgres user, as it turns out.


Bruce Momjian has published a new security talk, Securing PostgreSQL From External Attack.

Andrew Dunstan delves into recursion in Recursion, n. See recursion. “Never,” he says, “underestimate the usefulness of silly demos (this is written for a talk next week) to teach things worth knowing.”

Bernd Helmle shares a walk-through of cloning Slony nodes. “The new stable branch 2.0 of Slony-I is out for a while now. Time to blog about one of my favorite new features there, cloning an existing node without doing an initial SUBSCRIBE command.”

SQL Server

It was PASS Summit this week. On Home of the Scary DBA, Grant Fritchey covers the event with several good posts, including PASS Summit 2009 Key Note 3. (Grant is also Geek of the Week! Congratulations, Grant! I guess. Quote: “I think most DBA’s have adminhood thrust upon them. I think the ‘accidental’ DBA is the most prevalent path into becoming a DBA. I became a full time Admin by opening my mouth once too often.”)

Aaron Bertrand also has his summary Blogging from the PASS Keynote: 2009-11-03. (Grant and Aaron both have to specify which keynote they mean, because there’s more than one keynote. This, I guess, is “keynote redundancy”, but I still think PASS needs to normalize.)

Greg Low announces the launch at the PASS Summit of a new book, SQL Server MVP Deep Dives. “This is no ordinary book,” he writes. “Paul Nielsen took up Steve Ballmer’s challenge at a recent MVP summit to do something notable to give back to the community. He organised a large group of SQL Server MVPs to create a unique book and worked with Manning to get it published. The money made on the book was to go directly to a charity and the charity chosen was WarChild.”

Ben Nevarez asks, Are You Using Scalable Shared Databases? “Did you know that you can share read-only databases between several instances of SQL Server?  . . .  Scalable Shared Databases is a very interesting SQL Server feature that many of us seem to almost have forgotten about . . . ”

Here’s Roman Rehak reporting an issue with restoring 2000 backups on 2008. He writes, “Recently we’ve been experiencing a lot of headaches with SQL Server 2008 crashing while restoring a backup taken on a SQL Server 2000 production server. The crash resulted in a stack dump but SQL Server would continue running, although less stable, and sooner or later needed a reboot.”

Meanwhile, Adam Machanic reports on SQL Server 2008: lock escalation, INSERTs, and a potential bug. Adam says, “Lock escalation is a funny thing. I’ve found myself on numerous occasions waging war against its concurrency-sapping existence, and rarely have I found myself wishing that it would work more aggressively. But there is a time and place for everything, and yesterday I discovered that a major change has occurred with regard to lock escalation in SQL Server 2008.”


Mohammed Mawla on the Pythian Blog bridges the gap with his item on running the same query against multiple SQL Server AND Oracle instances.

Surachart Opun shares his HOWTO on using DUPLICATE without a connection to target database: ” . . . that’s a 11gR2 Feature. DUPLICATE can be performed without connecting to a target database. This requires connecting to a catalog and auxiliary database.”

Here’s another HOWTO, this one from the great grandson of Husnu Sensoy: How to Install Oracle 11g Release 2 on OEL 5.4 on VirtualBox: Installing Grid Infrastructure. He begins, “In Oracle 11g Release 2 you will find that things have changed even for single instance database installation. I will try to illustrate in this series of posts how to install a single instance Oracle 11g Release 2 database to your Linux machines.”

But let’s step back a bit. Ronny Egners says, Oracle on linux – yes of course – but what linux?. “There is a discussion from December 2008 what Linux (SLES vs. Red vHat vs. Oracle Enterprise Linux) to use for running oracle on Linux by Yann Neuhaus.  . . .  After nearly one year i wanted to catch up the article and check if the pros and cons are still valid or if there changed anything.”

Chen Shapira offers The Senile DBA Guide to Troubleshooting Sudden Growth in Redo Generation, which begins, “I just troubleshooted a server where the amounts of redo generated suddenly exploded to the point of running out of disk space.  . . .  The problem was found and the storage manager pacified, I decided to save the queries I used.  . . .  It was very embarrassing to discover that I actually have 4 similar but not identical scripts . . .  Now I have 5.”

Embarrassing, Chen! But do you have guilty feelings like Martin Widlake does? He makes a guilty confession. The sin? “I use the Buffer Cache Hit Ratio.”

Last, Tyler Muth introduces Logger, A PL/SQL Logging and Debugging Utility.

That is all for now. Please let’s hear your favourite database blogs in the comments. Until next time!

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About the Author

Dave Edwards is the Communications Specialist for the Pythian Group.

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