Friday, August 05, 2005

The Little Guys

Following the comment posted by Harry I wanted to broaden this out a little.
I started in my first DBA role 3 years ago. The production finance system was Oracle Financials 10.7 CUI running on Oracle 7.3.4 on a DG/UX Aviion server.The company is still running that configuration today.

Now, I'm working in an IT team of 5 people.We have 2 production systems with third party applications on 8.1.7.0 SE on Windows 2000.To class either of these systems as 'busy' I'd need to reach 10 concurrent users. Seriously.

The databases were installed about 18 months before I joined the company. They were put in by the third party applications vendor, just a standard install accepting all the defaults.
As the systems are not 24x7, nor are they heavily used at the moment, there isn't much of a requirement for me to intervene.There were a few little tasks for me to do initially, such as changing default passwords and multiplexing controlfiles and redo logs, but at the moment, I just have to keep an eye on them and let them tick over.Our production finance system is about 25GB in size, the project system is at 5GB.

As you can probably imagine, being a DBA is not my only job function here. I'm currently rewriting our Security Policy and leading various projects including looking at change control, housekeeping and disaster recovery.
I try and keep in with Oracle stuff as much as I can, through papers, books, websites etc, but it can be difficult to find the time with so many other responsibilities.
I know of DBA's who have allocated reading and research time during the working day, I'm still trying to convince people that sitting at my desk reading, or browsing the internet is not 'wasting my time'.

There are so many things I want to do with the databases, but the general consensus here is that they are working fine and 'don't need played with'.
Things I need to do include patching from 8.1.7.0.0 to at least 8.1.7.4 and trying to build in some resilience.

My next big task is the business has announced it wants to upgrade to the next version of one of the applications. The new app is not, however, supported on 8i.
So I'll just have to upgrade the database to 9i.
I'd never done an install or upgrade before - I just did the test system a couple of months ago - but as one of my colleagues pointed out 'you get a CD, it can't be that hard'.

So to answer Harry, I won't forget about the little guys using SE, because I am one of them.

Are there any more of us out there?

11 Comments:

Blogger Thomas Kyte said...

One word for you

VMWARE

especially if you have limited hardware resources. You can test and test and test and test and test (and even test) without fear of destroying anything. You can test the upgrade 50 times before doing it "for real".

I think there are many more "little guys" out there than you think.

Friday, August 05, 2005 12:13:00 pm  
Blogger shrek said...

the install/upgrade process has changed a lot since i started with v5.3.;-) some changes ahve been for the better, some for the worse. i still have a jones for the character mode install option instead of having to have an X window session runningto do them.

one other thing to remember is that you now are plugged into a vast amount of resources. so ASK.;-)

Friday, August 05, 2005 2:45:00 pm  
Anonymous Harry said...

I just went through this (8.1.7 to 9.2.0.5) in February and March. I decided the simplest thing to do was export from 8i, install 9i, and import. My biggest database was about a 12GB export at the time. VMWare seems to be a Windows/Linux thing, x86 anyway. Since I'm running Solaris SPARC, it's not an option for me. But I'm lucky enough to have a server dedicated to testing exclusively, and another that can be used for testing in a pinch, so I was able to upgrade Oracle without having to worry about bothering existing applications.

Monday, August 08, 2005 8:00:00 pm  
Blogger Michael Dinh said...

May I suggest Database Upgrade Assistant.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005 3:06:00 pm  
Blogger Robert Vollman said...

I have also ran into some people who don't see the value in "research time."

I'm lucky enough to work someplace that encourages us to try new technologies and keep our skills sharp. I have never gotten slack for studying on-the-job (providing my work was under control - there's a time and place for everything, etc).

But I'll be honest with you, I'm still expected to do most of my studying and playing at home.

Which is fine. The extra knowledge will help me advance in the company and get me the leverage to negotiate raises.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005 11:58:00 pm  
Blogger Jeff Hunter said...

I'm still trying to convince people that sitting at my desk reading, or browsing the internet is not 'wasting my time'.
In my environment setting aside 3 minutes for reading is unheard of. If there's a problem you fix it. If that entails reading, then so be it. My designated time for reading/learning is after dinner until I fall asleep in my chair.

I won't forget about the little guys using SE, because I am one of them. Are there any more of us out there?
I use SE when the needs of the business (ie. budget) dictate.

Thursday, August 11, 2005 3:42:00 pm  
Blogger Noons said...

well, we use SE for our production databases and it's doing the job quite well. Red Hat, vanilla Intel servers (aka: glorified PCs), 9r2 and around 1Tb of data overall.
Looking into EE now for our next jump: apparently someone in user land wants us to keep 10Tb on tap. That's starting to get into serious territory for this sort of hardware.

Friday, August 12, 2005 4:23:00 am  
Blogger Lisa said...

Tom kyte said...One word for you

VMWARE


Thanks Tom, I've done a bit of asking around about this lately and it sounds like just what I need!
I'll let you know how I get on.

Friday, August 12, 2005 5:20:00 pm  
Blogger Lisa said...

Shrek said...one other thing to remember is that you now are plugged into a vast amount of resources. so ASK

Oh believe me, I will!
I wouldn't be where I was today without asking lots from certain people, and they all know who they are!
Support and encouragement from peers can be a very powerful thing.

Friday, August 12, 2005 5:22:00 pm  
Anonymous denni50 said...

hey Lisa..

it sounds like we are two peas in a pod...I could have sworn you were describing my work environment and situation.

we are also a small scale operation(by Oracle standards) 30gig, SE and using 3rd party apps.

The hardware and software was installed about a year before I was hired and mgt decided they needed someone to administer,program and oversee the 2 db systems(test and production) and that is when I came on board.

I had just graduated from technical school with 6 courses of Oracle behind me.
On the interview I remember telling my boss "to be"...."I never heard of a table with a million records in it"...I was amazed at that concept.

3 1/2 years later I'm the dba/programmer/data analyst/forms and reports designer..and whatever
else mgt decides they need. I do whatever is asked...what I don't know...I learn.

I'm lucky in that I use whatever time I need to learn new technologies or try something I've never done before. I have my own personal server that I use for
practice and testing. My boss orders any books I need and pays for any classes I ask to take...however I'm on call 24/7 so many a w/e I have spent at work
or logging into the system from home...but I love it and wouldn't trade my job for a million dollars...I am constantly being challenged and driven to learn more and more. Wish I had done this 20 years ago.

Denise
:)

Monday, August 15, 2005 9:09:00 pm  
Blogger Lisa said...

Denise, it sure seems like there are a lot of similarities in our career paths!

Like you, I love my work and wouldn't change it, which is why I'm hoping that this Newbies stuff will help others to feel the same.

Thursday, August 18, 2005 7:38:00 pm  

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