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Here Are Some SQL Server DBA

Here Are Some SQL Server DBA

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Here are some SQL Server DBA/Developer interview questions I faced myself personally and/or heard from

people. I will try to answer these questions briefly here, but be advised that these answers may not be complete and it will be better for you to go through text books, books online and other resources on the net. At the end of this article, I listed some useful books for aspiring DBAs and developers. Before you go for the interview, be prepared to explain the database design of one of your latest projects. Don't be surprised if the interviewer asks you to draw ER diagrams. Well, here are some questions for you. Hope this helps you prepare for your interview. Wish you all the best in your job hunt! Feel free to email me 'interview questions' that you've faced. Questions are categorized under the following sections, for your convenience: Database design SQL Server architecture Database administration Database programming (8 questions)
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Database design

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What is normalization? Explain different levels of normalization? Check out the article Q100139 from Microsoft knowledge base and of course, there's much more information available in the net. It'll be a good idea to get a hold of any RDBMS fundamentals text book, especially the one by C. J. Date. Most of the times, it will be okay if you can explain till third normal form. What is denormalization and when would you go for it? As the name indicates, denormalization is the reverse process of normalization. It's the controlled introduction of redundancy in to the database design. It helps improve the query performance as the number of joins could be reduced. How do you implement one-to-one, one-to-many and many-to-many relationships while designing tables? One-to-One relationship can be implemented as a single table and rarely as two tables with primary and foreign key relationships. One-to-Many relationships are implemented by splitting the data into two tables with primary key and foreign key relationships. Many-to-Many relationships are implemented using a junction table with the keys from both the tables forming the composite primary key of the junction table. It will be a good idea to read up a database designing fundamentals text book.

What's the difference between a primary key and a unique key? Both primary key and unique enforce uniqueness of the column on which they are defined. But by default primary key creates a clustered index on the column, where are unique creates a nonclustered index by default. Another major difference is that, primary key doesn't allow NULLs, but unique key allows one NULL only. What are user defined datatypes and when you should go for them? User defined datatypes let you extend the base SQL Server datatypes by providing a descriptive name, and format to the database. Take for example, in your database, there is a column called Flight_Num which appears in many tables. In all these tables it should be varchar(8). In this case you could create a user defined datatype called Flight_num_type of varchar(8) and use it across all your tables. See sp_addtype, sp_droptype in books online. What is bit datatype and what's the information that can be stored inside a bit column? Bit datatype is used to store boolean information like 1 or 0 (true or false). Untill SQL Server 6.5 bit datatype could hold either a 1 or 0 and there was no support for NULL. But from SQL Server 7.0 onwards, bit datatype can represent a third state, which is NULL. Define candidate key, alternate key, composite key. A candidate key is one that can identify each row of a table uniquely. Generally a candidate key becomes the primary key of the table. If the table has more than one candidate key, one of them will become the primary key, and the rest are called alternate keys. A key formed by combining at least two or more columns is called composite key. What are defaults? Is there a column to which a default can't be bound? A default is a value that will be used by a column, if no value is supplied to that column while inserting data. IDENTITY columns and timestamp columns can't have defaults bound to them. See CREATE DEFUALT in books online. Back to top SQL Server architecture What is a transaction and what are ACID properties? A transaction is a logical unit of work in which, all the steps must be performed or none. ACID stands for Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, Durability. These are the properties of a transaction. For more information and explanation of these properties, see SQL Server books online or any RDBMS fundamentals text book.

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SQL Server books online has enough information on this topic and there is a good white paper available on Microsoft site. Of course. Be sure to read about SET TRANSACTION ISOLATION LEVEL. which lets you customize the isolation level at the connection level. Important thing to note: By default a clustered index gets created on the primary key. unless specified otherwise. Explain Active/Active and Active/Passive cluster configurations Hopefully you have experience setting up cluster servers. Every lock is a memory structure too many locks would mean. but from SQL Server 7. Repeatable Read. The default SQL Server isolation level is Read Committed. instead it logs the deallocation of the data pages of the table. Explain the architecture of SQL Server This is a very important question and you better be able to answer it if consider yourself a DBA. Don't be surprised with questions like 'what is the maximum number of columns per table'.0 onwards it's dynamically managed by SQL Server. which makes it faster. SQL Server books online is the best place to read about SQL Server architecture.5. Check out SQL Server books online for the page titled: "Maximum Capacity Specifications". SQL Server escalates the many fine-grain locks to fewer coarse-grain locks. . CREATE INDEX myIndex ON myTable(myColumn) What type of Index will get created after executing the above statement? Non-clustered index. Read Committed. Lock escalation threshold was definable in SQL Server 6. page locks) into higher level locks (like table locks). but it won't log the deletion of each row. But if you don't. To prevent this from happening. What is lock escalation? Lock escalation is the process of converting a lot of low level locks (like row locks. so the deletion of each row gets logged in the transaction log.Explain different isolation levels An isolation level determines the degree of isolation of data between concurrent transactions. which makes it slow. What's the maximum size of a row? 8060 bytes. at least be familiar with the way clustering works and the two clusterning configurations Active/Active and Active/Passive. TRUNCATE TABLE also deletes all the rows in a table. Read up the chapter dedicated to SQL Server Architecture. See SQL Server books online for an explanation of the isolation levels. Here are the other isolation levels (in the ascending order of isolation): Read Uncommitted. more memory being occupied by locks. What's the difference between DELETE TABLE and TRUNCATE TABLE commands? DELETE TABLE is a logged operation. TRUNCATE TABLE can be rolled back. Serializable.

the more indexes you have. Clustered indexes and non-clustered indexes. Another disadvantage is that. PRIMARY KEY. indexes need disk space. Of course. Nonclustered indexes are stored as B-tree structures (so do clustered indexes). Also check out the section titled "Backward Compatibility" in books online which talks about the changes that have taken place in the new version. FOREIGN KEY For an explanation of these constraints see books online for the pages titled: "Constraints" and "CREATE TABLE". Back to top Database administration (top) . Generally there is a section in the beginning of the books online titled "What's New". So.Explain the storage models of OLAP Check out MOLAP. What are the new features introduced in SQL Server 2000 (or the latest release of SQL Server at the time of your interview)? What changed between the previous version of SQL Server and the current version? This question is generally asked to see how current is your knowledge. They help SQL Server retrieve the data quicker. ROLAP and HOLAP in SQL Server books online for more infomation. Nonclustered indexes have their own storage separate from the table data storage. UPDATE. When you craete a clustered index on a table. The row located could be the RID or the Clustered index key. as every time data changes in the table. Constraints enable the RDBMS enforce the integrity of the database automatically. all the rows in the table are stored in the order of the clustered index key. as the query optimizer can choose from all the existing indexes to come up with an efficient execution plan. data modification operations (such as INSERT. there can be only one clustered index per table. more disk space is used. "ALTER TABLE" Whar is an index? What are the types of indexes? How many clustered indexes can be created on a table? I create a separate index on each column of a table. which has all such information. What are constraints? Explain different types of constraints. you should have tried those things to better answer the questions. it improves the query performance. At the same t ime. UNIQUE. If you create an index on each column of a table. what are the advantages and disadvantages of this approach? Indexes in SQL Server are similar to the indexes in books. without needing you to create triggers. DELETE) will become slow. Indexes are of two types. rule or defaults. CHECK. all the indexes need to be updated. Types of constraints: NOT NULL. depending up on the absence or presence of clustered index on the table. with the leaf level nodes having the index key and it's row locater. reading just that is not enough.

unless one of the user processes is terminated. A livelock is one. SQL Server detects deadlocks and terminates one user's process. What is blocking and how would you troubleshoot it? . excess usage of cursors and temporary tables. restricting physical access to the SQL Server. using an unguessable SA password. disabling the Guest account. SQL Server Profiler. SQL Server detects the situation after four denials and refuses further shared locks.What is RAID and what are different types of RAID configurations? RAID stands for Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks. SET SHOWPLAN_TEXT ON. check out the RAID advisory board's homepage What are the steps you will take to improve performance of a poor performing query? This is a very open ended question and there could be a lot of reasons behind the poor performance of a query. securing the physical database files using NTFS permissions. Some of the tools/ways that help you troubleshooting performance problems are: SET SHOWPLAN_ALL ON. forcing a write transaction to wait indefinitely. where a request for an exclusive lock is repeatedly denied because a series of overlapping shared locks keeps interfering. each having a lock on one piece of data. Also check out My SQL Server security best practices What is a deadlock and what is a live lock? How will you go about resolving deadlocks? Deadlock is a situation when two processes. SET STATISTICS IO ON.com What are the steps you will take. setting up SSL. Read the white paper on SQL Server security from Microsoft website. too much normalization. Windows NT /2000 Performance monitor. But some general issues that you could talk about would be: No indexes. setting up firewalls. renaming the Administrator account on the SQL Server computer. procedures and triggers without SET NOCOUNT ON. poorly written query with unnecessarily complicated joins. isolating SQL Server from the web server etc. if you are tasked with securing an SQL Server? Again this is another open ended question. databse and application roles to control access to the data. A livelock also occurs when read transactions monopolize a table or page. using multiprotocol encryption. Don't forget to check out sql-server-performance. using server. MSDN has some information about RAID levels and for detailed information. Also check out the article Q169960 from Microsoft knowledge base. fault tolerance. used to provide fault tolerance to database servers. Here are some things you could talk about: Preferring NT authentication. attempt to acquire a lock on the other's piece. blocking. table scans. Each process would wait indefinitely for the other to release the lock. Download the white paper on performance tuning SQL Server from Microsoft web site. excess recompilations of stored procedures. Check out SET DEADLOCK_PRIORITY and "Minimizing Deadlocks" in SQL Server books online. Graphical execution plan in Query Analyzer. missing or out of date statistics. enabling auditing. There are six RAID levels 0 through 5 offering different levels of performance.

Query optimizer uses these indexes in determining whether to choose an index or not while executing a query. But there are a whole load of DBCC commands which are very useful for DBAs. one on drive C and the other on drive D with log on drive E with an initial size of 600 MB and with a growth factor of 15%? That's why being a DBA you should be familiar with the CREATE DATABASE syntax. how do you update them? Statistics determine the selectivity of the indexes. sp_createstats. What are statistics. if the distribution of key values has changed). As a part of your job. If an indexed column has unique values then the selectivity of that index is more.EXE. DBCC SHRINKDATABASE. what are the DBCC commands that you commonly use for database maintenance? DBCC CHECKDB. as opposed to an index with nonunique values. CREATE STATISTICS. Check out SQL Server books online for more parameters and their explanations. under what circumstances they go out of date. Read up the following topics in SQL Server books online: Understanding and avoiding blocking. sp_updatestats What are the different ways of moving data/databases between servers and databases . or the table has been truncated using the TRUNCATE TABLE statement and then repopulated 3) Database is upgraded from a previous version Look up SQL Server books online for the following commands: UPDATE STATISTICS. DBCC CHECKCATALOG. -m is used for starting SQL Server in single user mode and -f is used to start the SQL Server in minimal confuguration mode. This forces the second connection to wait. changed. DBCC SHOWCONTIG. STATS_DATE. Some situations under which you should update statistics: 1) If there is significant change in the key values in the index 2) If a large amount of data in an indexed column has been added. sp_autostats. This EXE has some very important parameters with which a DBA should be familiar with. Explain CREATE DATABASE syntax Many of us are used to craeting databases from the Enterprise Manager or by just issuing the command: CREATE DATABAE MyDB. How to restart SQL Server in single user mode? How to start SQL Server in minimal configuration mode? SQL Server can be started from command line. DBCC SHRINKFILE etc. Coding efficient transactions. But what if you have to create a database with two filegroups. or removed (that is. Check out SQL Server books online for more information. DBCC CHECKTABLE. DROP STATISTICS. DBCC SHOW_STATISTICS. using the SQLSERVR. blocked on the first. Check out SQL Server books online for more information. DBCC CHECKALLOC.Blocking happens when one connection from an application holds a lock and a second connection requires a conflicting lock type.

Books online also has information on detailed backup/restore architecture and when one should go for a particular kind of backup. where as a normal SELECT query makes only one rowundtrip. filegroup backup.. What are the disadvantages of cursors? How can you avoid cursors? Cursors allow row-by-row prcessing of the resultsets. differential database backup. logshipping. Be prepared to explain how different replication agents function. Explian different types of BACKUPs avaialabe in SQL Server? Given a particular scenario.. How to determine the service pack currently installed on SQL Server? The global variable @@Version stores the build number of the sqlservr. BCP. .in SQL Server? There are lots of options available. replication. INSERT. To know more about this process visit SQL Server service packs and versions. Dynamic. which is used to determine the service pack installed. what are the main system tables used in replication etc. SQL Server supports the following types of replication scenarios: • • • Snapshot replication Transactional replication (with immediate updating subscribers. creating INSERT scripts to generate data. Check out the BACKUP and RESTORE commands in SQL Server books online.SELECT. Be prepared to write the commands in your interview. Keyset-driven. See books online for more information. transaction log backup. DTS.0+ are Full database backup.INTO. SELECT. Types of cursors: Static. Forward-only. it results in a network roundtrip.exe. Some of the options you have are: BACKUP/RESTORE. Disadvantages of cursors: Each time you fetch a row from the cursor. Back to top Database programming (top) What are cursors? Explain different types of cursors. What is database replicaion? What are the different types of replication you can set up in SQL Server? Replication is the process of copying/moving data between databases on the same or different servers.. dettaching and attaching databases.. you have to choose your option depending upon your requirements. how would you go about choosing a backup plan? Types of backups you can create in SQL Sever 7. with queued updating subscribers) Merge replication See SQL Server books online for indepth coverage on replication.

This can be achieved using WHILE loop. Can you have a nested transaction? . Here's the basic syntax: (Also checkout SELECT in books online for advanced syntax). Most of the times. RIGHT OUTER JOINS and FULL OUTER JOINS. as long as there is a unique key to identify each row. SELECT select_list [INTO new_table_] FROM table_source [WHERE search_condition] [GROUP BY group_by_expression] [HAVING search_condition] [ORDER BY order_expression [ASC | DESC] ] What is a join and explain different types of joins. set based operations can be used instead of cursors. But the same can be achieved by multiple update statements or can be combined in a single UPDATE statement as shown below: UPDATE tbl_emp SET salary = CASE WHEN salary BETWEEN 30000 AND 40000 THEN salary + 5000 WHEN salary BETWEEN 40000 AND 55000 THEN salary + 7000 WHEN salary BETWEEN 55000 AND 65000 THEN salary + 10000 END Another situation in which developers tend to use cursors: You need to call a stored procedure when a column in a particular row meets certain condition. Types of joins: INNER JOINs. For examples of using WHILE loop for row by row processing. CROSS JOINs. Furthere. Cursors are also costly because they require more resources and temporary storage (results in more IO operations).5000 hike Salary between 40000 and 55000 -. Write down the general syntax for a SELECT statements covering all the options. For more information see pages from books online titled: "Join Fundamentals" and "Using Joins".9000 hike In this situation many developers tend to use a cursor. OUTER JOINs. Joins also let you select data from a table depending upon data from another table. Joins are used in queries to explain how different tables are related.7000 hike Salary between 55000 and 65000 -. OUTER JOINs are further classified as LEFT OUTER JOINS. Here is an example: If you have to give a flat hike to your employees using the following criteria: Salary between 30000 and 40000 -. You don't have to use cursors for this.however large the resultset is. determine each employee's salary and update his salary according to the above formula. check out the 'My code library' section of my site or search for WHILE. there are restrictions on the SELECT statements that can be used with some types of cursors.

Also check out books online for 'inserted table'. in an OLTP system. instead of triggers. Yes. see 'My code library' section of this site. SAVE TRAN and @@TRANCOUNT What is an extended stored procedure? Can you instantiate a COM object by using TSQL? An extended stored procedure is a function within a DLL (written in a programming language like C. SYSTEM_USER. very much. Also see books online for sp_OAMethod. What is the system function to get the current user's user id? USER_ID(). CURRENT_USER. triggers fire only after the data modification operation happens. C++ using Open Data Services (ODS) API) that can be called from TSQL.Yes. as constraints are much faster. Triggers can also be used to extend the referential integrity checks. sp_OAGetProperty. auditing. But in SQL Server 2000 you could create pre triggers also. but wherever possible. this restriction is gone. UPDATE. COMMIT. use constraints for this purpose.5 you could define only 3 triggers per table. ROLLBACK. What do you think of this implementation? Can this be implemented better? . From SQL Server 7. But in 7. DELETE) happens on the table on which they are defined. The trigger is written to instantiate a COM object and pass the newly insterted rows to it for some custom processing. Also check out other system functions like USER_NAME(). They get triggered only when an associated action (INSERT. SUSER_SID(). In SQL Server 2000 you could specify which trigger fires first or fires last using sp_settriggerorder Triggers can't be invoked on demand. one for INSERT. USER. In SQL Server 6.0.0 onwards. sp_OADestroy. Check out BEGIN TRAN.0 there's no way to control the order in which the triggers fire. sp_OASetProperty. 'deleted table' and COLUMNS_UPDATED() There is a trigger defined for INSERT operations on a table. See books online to learn how to create extended stored procedures and how to add them to SQL Server. and you could create multiple triggers per each action. SESSION_USER. HOST_NAME(). What are triggers? How many triggers you can have on a table? How to invoke a trigger on demand? Triggers are special kind of stored procedures that get executed automatically when an INSERT. Search SQL Server 2000 books online for INSTEAD OF triggers. they are called post triggers. you can instantiate a COM (written in languages like VB. UPDATE or DELETE operation takes place on a table. one for UPDATE and one for DELETE. just the way we call normal stored procedures using the EXEC statement. So in a way. VC++) object from T-SQL by using sp_OACreate stored procedure. Till SQL Server 7. For an example of creating a COM object in VB and calling it from T-SQL. Triggers are generally used to implement business rules.

although accessing a high proportion of blocks of a table via an index scan can also be very expensive in comparison to a full table scan. t2. The merge is very cheap.mgrid = t2. The cost of the sort can be lowered if one of the data sets can be accessed in sorted order via an index.'Shridhar' 5. with the total cost amounting to very . 'No manager') [Manager] FROM emp t1 LEFT OUTER JOIN emp t2 ON t1. CREATE TABLE emp ( empid int.'Vyas' 2. but the sort can be prohibitively expensive especially if the sort spills to disk. mgrid int. empname char(10) ) INSERT INSERT INSERT INSERT INSERT emp emp emp emp emp SELECT SELECT SELECT SELECT SELECT 1.'Shobha' 4. COALESCE(t2. A hash join is performed by hashing one data set into memory based on join columns and reading the other one and probing the hash table for matches.NULL.empname [Manager] FROM emp t1. This scenario can be better implemented by logging all the necessary data into a separate table. The hash join is very low cost when the hash table can be held entirely in memory. to find out the managers of all the employees. you need a self join. So.empid A "sort merge" join is performed by sorting the two data sets to be joined according to the join keys and then merging them together.empname [Employee]. Here is an example: Employees table which contains rows for normal employees as well as managers.2.'Mohan' 3. What is a self join? Explain it with an example. Same is the case with sending emails from triggers.mgrid = t2.2.2. it slows down the data insertion process. and have a job which periodically checks this table and does the needful.3. Self join is just like any other join.empname [Employee].Instantiating COM objects is a time consuming process and since you are doing it from within a trigger. except that two instances of the same table will be joined in the query. emp t2 WHERE t1.empid Here's an advanced query using a LEFT OUTER JOIN that even returns the employees without managers (super bosses) SELECT t1.'Sourabh' SELECT t1.empname.

Oracle Oracle Database for DBA and Developers Oracle RAC Interview questions and answers What are Oracle Clusterware processes for 10g on Unix and Linux Cluster Synchronization Services (ocssd) — Manages cluster node membership and runs as the oracle user. monitor and failover operations. and rises considerably for a multipass sort. Process Monitor Daemon (OPROCD) —This process monitor the cluster and provide I/O fencing. This process runs as the root user Event manager daemon (evmd) —A background process that publishes events that crs creates. This includes start. stops running. The cost rises if the hash table has to be spilled to disk in a one-pass sort. a service. An OPROCD failure results in Oracle Clusterware restarting the node. a virtual IP (VIP) address. RACG (racgmain. You should note that hash joins can only be used for equi-joins. and if the wake up is beyond the expected time. and so on) based on the resource's configuration information that is stored in the OCR. Cluster Ready Services (crsd) — The crs process manages cluster resources (which could be a database. What are Oracle database background processes specific to RAC •LMS—Global Cache Service Process •LMD—Global Enqueue Service Daemon •LMON—Global Enqueue Service Monitor . OPROCD performs its check. but merge joins are more flexible. an instance. Runs server callout scripts when FAN events occur. an application process. failure of this process results in cluster restart.little more than the cost of reading the data sets. stop. if you are joining large amounts of data in an equi-join then a hash join is going to be a better bet. then OPROCD resets the processor and reboots the node. OPROCD uses the hangcheck timer on Linux platforms. a Listener. racgimon) —Extends clusterware to support Oracle-specific requirements and complex resources. In general.

you can do a manaual backup of the OCR with the command: # ocrconfig -manualbackup How do you backup voting disk #dd if=voting_disk_name of=backup_file_name . The default location is : $ORA_CRS_HOME\cdata\"clustername"\ To display backups : #ocrconfig -showbackup To restore a backup : #ocrconfig -restore With Oracle RAC 10g Release 2 or later.. The GRD contents are distributed across all of the active instances.•LCK0—Instance Enqueue Process To ensure that each Oracle RAC database instance obtains the block that it needs to satisfy a query or transaction. What are Oracle Clusterware Components Voting Disk — Oracle RAC uses the voting disk to manage cluster membership by way of a health check and arbitrates cluster ownership among the instances in case of network failures. Oracle RAC instances use two processes. and use -import option to restore the contents back. The voting disk must reside on shared disk.559365.1 Troubleshooting CRS Reboots Note. you can also use the export command: #ocrconfig -export -s online.1 Using Diagwait as a diagnostic to get more information for diagnosing Oracle Clusterware Node evictions. Oracle Cluster Registry (OCR) — Maintains cluster configuration information as well as configuration information about any cluster database within the cluster. The OCR must reside on shared disk that is accessible by all of the nodes in your cluster How do you troubleshoot node reboot Please check metalink . The GCS and GES maintain records of the statuses of each data file and each cached block using a Global Resource Directory (GRD).. the Global Cache Se0rvice (GCS) and the Global Enqueue Service (GES). Note 265769. How do you backup the OCR There is an automatic backup mechanism for OCR. With Oracle RAC 11g Release 1.

Subsequent packets sent to the VIP go to the new node. What do you do if you see GC CR BLOCK LOST in top 5 Timed Events in AWR Report? . However "ssh" should be enabled for Oracle RAC and patchset installation. clients connected to a node that died will often wait for a TCP timeout period (which can be up to 10 min) before getting an error.How do I identify the voting disk location #crsctl query css votedisk How do I identify the OCR file location check /var/opt/oracle/ocr. This communication is based on the TCP protocol. This results in the clients getting errors immediately.loc ( depends upon platform) or #ocrcheck Is ssh required for normal Oracle RAC operation ? "ssh" are not required for normal Oracle RAC operation. As a result. What is the purpose of Private Interconnect ? Clusterware uses the private interconnect for cluster synchronization (network heartbeat) and daemon communication between the clustered nodes. you don't really have a good HA solution without using VIPs.loc or /etc/ocr. When a node fails. the VIP associated with it is automatically failed over to some other node and new node re-arps the world indicating a new MAC address for the IP. The benefit is clients using SCAN do not need to change if you add or remove nodes in the cluster. which will send error RST packets back to the clients. RAC uses the interconnect for cache fusion (UDP) and inter-process communication (TCP). Why do we have a Virtual IP (VIP) in Oracle RAC? Without using VIPs or FAN. shared between the caches of participating nodes in the cluster. Cache Fusion is the remote memory mapping of Oracle buffers. What is SCAN? Single Client Access Name (SCAN) is s a new Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC) 11g Release 2 feature that provides a single name for clients to access an Oracle Database running in a cluster.

I get the following error PRKP-1001 CRS-0215. This in order to facilitate: a. Check netstat -s if you see "fragments dropped" or "packet reassemblies failed" . The rdbms MMON is creating an advisory for distribution of work every 30seconds and forward it via racgimon and ONS to listeners and applications. Now you will get detailed error stack.. The Oracle Notification Service daemon receive a subset of published clusterware events via the local evmd and racgimon clusterware daemons and forward those events to application subscribers and to the local listeners. 1. b. Then create a standby controlfile on the production machine. and 100 instances in a RAC database. put your production database in archivelog mode. . Once you have all these files assembled. the feature that permit load balancing accross different rac nodes dependent of the load on the different nodes. In Oracle Standard Edition it is possible to be a standby database. Can Oracle's Data Guard be used on Standard Edition. recover the standby database. along with all the archived redolog files to the standby server.This is most likely due to a fault in interconnect network. There is one ons daemon started per clustered node. you must manually ship. Create a hotbackup of the database and move it to the standby machine. however sqlplus can start it on both nodes? How do you identify the problem? Set the environmental variable SRVM_TRACE to true. and you're ready to roll. the FAN or Fast Application Notification feature or allowing applications to respond to database state changes. and if so how? How can you test that the standby database is in sync? Oracle's Data Guard technology is a layer of software and automation built on top of the standby database facility. Work with your system administrator find the fault with network. Roughly. Srvctl cannot start instance. and update it *manually*. the 10gR2 Load Balancing Advisory. From this point on. and ship that file. and manually apply those archived redologs to stay in sync with production. place them in their proper locations. what is the purpose of the ONS daemon? The Oracle Notification Service (ONS) daemon is an daemon started by the CRS clusterware as part of the nodeapps. How many nodes are supported in a RAC Database? 10g Release 2. support 100 nodes in a cluster using Oracle Clusterware. And start the instance with srvctl.

whatever . administrators can optionally improve production database performance by offloading resource-intensive backup and reporting operations to standby systems. and manually apply it on the standby database. redo is still streaming from production. and monitor one or more standby databases to enable production Oracle databases to survive disasters and data corruptions. and commit the change. Then manually switch a logfile so those changes are archived. 2. and disaster recovery for enterprise data. change data.you are covered. b) Data Guard provides a comprehensive set of services that create. What is Redo Transport Services? . failover. You can open the physical standby read/write . What are the uses of Oracle Data Guard? a) Oracle Data Guard ensures high availability. Use physical standby for reporting while in managed recovery mode. 4.there are times when logical standby isn’t sufficient. Since physical standby supports all of the datatypes . It also permits fast incremental backups when offloading backups to a physical standby database. make a change to a table on the production server. 5.do some destructive things in it (drop tables. While this is happening.To test your standby database. Then open your standby database in read-only mode. and select from your changed table to verify those changes are available. if production fails . What is the difference between Active Dataguard. and the Logical Standby implementation of 10g dataguard? Active dataguard is mostly about the physical standby. maintain. manage. c) With Data Guard. data protection.and logical standby does not (11g added broader support. but not 100%) .perhaps with real application testing). Use physical standby for testing without compromising protection of the production system. Manually ship the newest archived redolog file.run a test . switchover scenarios. shutdown your standby and startup again in standby mode. What is a Dataguard? Oracle Dataguard is a disaster recovery solution from Oracle Corporation that has been utilized in the industry extensively at times of Primary site failure. 3. Once you're done.

without requiring the redo data to be archived first at the standby database. Data Guard uses SQL Apply technology. Redo data can be applied either from archived redo log files. which applies redo data on the standby database using standard recovery techniques of an Oracle database. b) For logical standby databases. What is apply services? Apply redo data on the standby database to maintain transactional synchronization with the primary database. 8. b) Manage the process of resolving any gaps in the archived redo log files due to a network failure. What is Data Guard Broker? Data guard Broker manage primary and standby databases using the SQL command-line interfaces or the Data Guard broker interfaces. c) Automatically detect missing or corrupted archived redo log files on a standby system and automatically retrieve replacement archived redo log files from the primary database or another standby database. which first transforms the received redo data into SQL statements and then executes the generated SQL statements on the logical standby database. 7. Data Guard uses Redo Apply technology. including a command-line interface (DGMGRL) and a graphical user interface that is integrated in Oracle Enterprise Manager. 6. including setting up redo transport services and apply services b) Manage an entire Data Guard configuration from any system in the configuration . What is difference between physical and standby databases? The main difference between physical and logical standby databases is the manner in which apply services apply the archived redo data: a) For physical standby databases. It can be used to perform: a) Create and enable Data Guard configurations. It also allows read-only access to the data. or.It control the automated transfer of redo data from the production database to one or more archival destinations. Redo transport services perform the following tasks: a) Transmit redo data from the primary system to the standby systems in the configuration. directly from the standby redo log files as they are being filled. if realtime apply is enabled.

Select message from v$dataguard_status. the primary database will shut down. What are the Data guard Protection modes and summarize each? Maximum availability : This protection mode provides the highest level of data protection that is possible without compromising the availability of a primary database. the redo data needed to recover a transaction must be written to both the online redo log and to at least one standby database before the transaction commits. Maximum performance : This is the default protection mode. When fast-start failover is enabled. This is accomplished by allowing transactions to commit as soon as all redo data generated by those transactions has been written to the online log. 9. It provides the highest level of data protection that is possible without affecting the performance of a primary database. what command in RMAN can you use to create the standby database while the target database is active? Oracle 11g has made it extremely simple to set up a standby database environment because Recovery Manager (RMAN) now supports the ability to clone the existing primary . To ensure that data loss cannot occur. the Data Guard broker determines if a failover is necessary and initiates the failover to the specified target standby database automatically. with no need for DBA intervention. If you didn't have access to the standby database and you wanted to find out what error has occurred in a data guard configuration. rather than continue processing transactions. 10. Maximum protection : This protection mode ensures that no data loss will occur if the primary database fails. e) Enable fast-start failover to fail over automatically when the primary database becomes unavailable. what view would you check in the primary database to check the error message? You can check the v$dataguard_status view. Transactions do not commit until all redo data needed to recover those transactions has been written to the online redo log and to at least one standby database. In Oracle 11g. 11. To provide this level of protection.c) Manage and monitor Data Guard configurations that contain Oracle RAC primary or standby databases d) Simplify switchovers and failovers by allowing you to invoke them using either a single key click in Oracle Enterprise Manager or a single command in the DGMGRL commandline interface.

Active Data Guard is a closer fit for the requirement. 12. . storage and software while in standby role. In Oracle 11g how can speed up backups on the standby database? In Oracle 11g. The ability to handle local writes makes SQL Apply better suited to packaged reporting applications that often require write access to local tables that exist only at the target database.fully utilizing standby servers. and provide an exact copy of the production database for disaster recovery . SQL Apply also provides rolling upgrade capability for patchsets and major database releases. Active Data Guard supports all datatypes and is very simple to implement. Why would I use Active Data Guard and not simply use SQL Apply (logical standby) that is included with Data Guard 11g? If read-only access satisfies the requirement . and therefore is much easier to implement than any other approach. This rolling upgrade functionality can also be used by physical standby databases beginning with Oracle 11g using Transient Logical Standby. In Snapshot Standby Database a physical standby database can easily open in read-write mode and again you can convert it back to the physical standby database. You can execute this in a run block in RMAN: duplicate target database for standby dorecover from active database. What additional standby database mode does Oracle 11g offer? Oracle 11g has introduced the Oracle Snapshot Standby Database. what role does SQL Apply (logical standby) continue to play? Use SQL Apply for the following requirements: (a) when you require read-write access to a synchronized standby database but do not modify primary data. With the availability of Active Data Guard. (b) when you wish to add local tables to the standby database that can also be updated. 15. block change tracking is now supported in the standby database.offloading backups from the primary database. serve as an open read-write test system during off-peak hours (Snapshot Standby). or (c) when you wish to create additional indexes to optimize read performance. RMAN automatically generates a conversion script in memory on the primary site and uses that script to manage the cloning operation on the standby site with virtually no DBA intervention required.database directly to the intended standby database site over the network via the DUPLICATE DATABASE command set while the target database is active. An Active Data Guard replica can also easily support additional uses . 13. 14. This is suitable for test and development environments and also maintains protection by continuing to receive data from the production database and archiving it for later use.

16. You can use the DBMS_SCHEDULER. It can be enabled using the compression parameter. If you have a low-bandwidth WAN network. In an Oracle 11g Logical Standby Data Guard configuration. If you wanted to upgrade your current 10g physical standby data guard configuration to 11g. 20. 17. You can specify that the jobs can run only when operating in that particular database role. how can you tell the dbms_scheduler to only run jobs in primary database? Oracle 11g. in Oracle 11g. and (c) incremental backups that could take up to 20x longer to complete . logical standby now provides support for DBMS_SCHEDULER. you can temporarily convert the physical standby database to a logical standby database to perform a rolling upgrade. (b) failover and switchover operations that could take longer to complete due to the backlog of redo data that would need to be applied. How can you control when an archive log can be deleted in the standby database in oracle 11g ? In Oracle 11g. When you issue the convert command you need to keep the identity: alter database recover logical standby keep identity. This resulted in (a) read-only access to data that was frozen as of the time that the standby database was opened read-only. what can you do to improve the Oracle 11g data guard configuration in a GAP detected situation? Oracle 11g introduces the capability to compress redo log data as it transports over the network to the standby database. It is capable of running jobs in both primary and logical standby database. 18. you can control it by using the log_auto_delete initialization parameter. The .even on a database with a moderate rate of change. no additional license is required to use previous capabilities. Compression becomes enabled only when a gap exists and the standby database needs to catch up to the primary database. alter system set log_archive_dest_1='SERVICE=DBA11GDR COMPRESSION=ENABLE'.SET_ATTRIBUTE procedure to set the database_role. Previous capabilities are still included with Oracle Data Guard 11g. can you upgrade the standby to 11g first then upgrade the primary ? Yes. and did not enable RMAN block change tracking on the standby database. Why do I need the Oracle 11g Active Data Guard Option? Previous capabilities did not allow Redo Apply to be active while a physical standby database was open read-only. 19.

This table can be located in the current schema or a shared schema and is created using in SQL*Plus as follows. you can write shell scripts that identify the logs and then use the scp or sftp command to ship it to the standby server. 21. For archivelog retention to be effective. • • • • Plan Table AUTOTRACE . SQL> CREATE PUBLIC SYNONYM plan_table FOR sys. -. Can Oracle Data Guard be used with Standard Edition of Oracle ? Yes and No. identify which logs have not been applied and apply/recover them maually and remove them once applied. The automated features of Data Guard are not available in the standard edition of Oracle. perform log shipping manually and write scripts to manually perform the steps. .Creating a shared PLAN_TABLE prior to 11g SQL> CONN sys/password AS SYSDBA Connected SQL> @$ORACLE_HOME/rdbms/admin/utlxplan. You can still however. If you are on unix platform. Then on the standby server.plan_table. EXPLAIN PLAN Usage When an SQL statement is passed to the server the Cost Based Optimizer (CBO) uses database statistics to create an execution plan which it uses to navigate through the data.sql SQL> GRANT ALL ON sys. Default is 24 hours.log_auto_delete parameter must be coupled with the log_auto_del_retention_target parameter to specify the number of minutes an archivelog is maintained until it is purged.plan_table TO public.The Easy Option? EXPLAIN PLAN Statement ID Related articles. or indexes to support the query are missing. • DBMS_XPLAN : Display Oracle Execution Plans Plan Table The explain plan process stores data in the PLAN_TABLE. Once you've highlighted a problem query the first thing you should do is EXPLAIN the statement to check the execution plan that the CBO has created. This will often reveal that the query is not using the relevant indexes. Interpretation of the execution plan is beyond the scope of this article. the log_auto_delete parameter must be set to true.

ENAME JOB MGR HIREDATE SAL EMPNO COMM ------------------DEPTNO ---------7369 20 ---------. but you can still create a local version of the table using the "utlxplan.sql" script. SQL> SQL> 2 3 4 SET AUTOTRACE ON SELECT * FROM emp e. If the query is particularly .deptno AND e. AUTOTRACE .ename = 'SMITH'. In order to get the execution plan the statement must be run to completion. dept d WHERE e.In Oracle 11g a shared PLAN_TABLE is created by default.------------CLERK 7902 17-DEC-80 RESEARCH DALLAS 800 Execution Plan ---------------------------------------------------------0 SELECT STATEMENT Optimizer=CHOOSE 1 0 NESTED LOOPS 2 1 TABLE ACCESS (FULL) OF 'EMP' 3 1 TABLE ACCESS (BY INDEX ROWID) OF 'DEPT' 4 3 INDEX (UNIQUE SCAN) OF 'PK_DEPT' (UNIQUE) Statistics ---------------------------------------------------------81 recursive calls 4 db block gets 27 consistent gets 0 physical reads 0 redo size 941 bytes sent via SQL*Net to client 425 bytes received via SQL*Net from client 2 SQL*Net roundtrips to/from client 0 sorts (memory) 0 sorts (disk) 1 rows processed SQL> This is a relatively easy way to get the execution plan but there is an issue.deptno = d.---------.---------DEPTNO ---------SMITH 20 DNAME LOC -------------.The Easy Option? Switching on the AUTOTRACE parameter in SQL*Plus causes an explain to be performed on every query.--------.--------.

PAUSE_FOR_SECS(10) -----------------10 1 row selected. RETURN p_seconds. but they will not present their data. using the TRACEONLY option of AUTOTRACE seems to remove this issue. / Function created.inefficient and/or returns many rows. this may take a considerable time. At first glance. long running queries will still take a long time to complete. it doesn't prevent the statement being run. END. SQL> SET TIMING ON SQL> SET AUTOTRACE ON SQL> SELECT pause_for_secs(10) FROM DUAL. Elapsed: 00:00:10. CREATE OR REPLACE FUNCTION pause_for_secs(p_seconds IN NUMBER) RETURN NUMBER A BEGIN DBMS_LOCK. The following example show this in practice. As such. but this option merely suppresses the output of the query data.sleep(p_seconds).28 Execution Plan ---------------------------------------------------------Plan hash value: 1550022268 -----------------------------------------------------------------------| Id | Operation | Name | Rows | Bytes | Cost (%CPU)| Time | -----------------------------------------------------------------------| 0 | SELECT STATEMENT | | 1 | | 2 (0)| 00:00:01 | | 1 | FAST DUAL | | 1 | | 2 (0)| 00:00:01 | -----------------------------------------------------------------------Statistics ---------------------------------------------------------189 recursive calls 0 db block gets 102 consistent gets 0 physical reads 0 redo size 331 bytes sent via SQL*Net to client 332 bytes received via SQL*Net from client .

The solution to this is to use the TRACEONLY EXPLAIN option. you would expect it to return instantly. 1 row selected. rather than running the statement. like an EXPLAIN PLAN.4 13 0 1 SQL*Net roundtrips to/from client sorts (memory) sorts (disk) rows processed SQL> SET AUTOTRACE TRACEONLY SQL> SELECT pause_for_secs(10) FROM DUAL. .26 Execution Plan ---------------------------------------------------------Plan hash value: 1550022268 -----------------------------------------------------------------------| Id | Operation | Name | Rows | Bytes | Cost (%CPU)| Time | -----------------------------------------------------------------------| 0 | SELECT STATEMENT | | 1 | | 2 (0)| 00:00:01 | | 1 | FAST DUAL | | 1 | | 2 (0)| 00:00:01 | -----------------------------------------------------------------------Statistics ---------------------------------------------------------0 recursive calls 0 db block gets 0 consistent gets 0 physical reads 0 redo size 331 bytes sent via SQL*Net to client 332 bytes received via SQL*Net from client 4 SQL*Net roundtrips to/from client 0 sorts (memory) 0 sorts (disk) 1 rows processed SQL> The query takes the same time to return (about 10 seconds) whether the TRACEONLY option is used or not. which only performs the EXPLAIN PLAN. Elapsed: 00:00:10. If the TRACEONLY option prevented the query running.

sql" script instead of "utlxpls. SQL> For parallel queries use the "utlxplp. Explained.sql".sql Plan Table ------------------------------------------------------------------------------| Operation | Name | Rows | Bytes| Cost | Pstart| Pstop | ------------------------------------------------------------------------------| SELECT STATEMENT | | | | | | | | NESTED LOOPS | | | | | | | | TABLE ACCESS FULL |EMP | | | | | | | TABLE ACCESS BY INDEX RO|DEPT | | | | | | | INDEX UNIQUE SCAN |PK_DEPT | | | | | | ------------------------------------------------------------------------------8 rows selected. you should display execution plans using the DBMS_XPLAN package.deptno = d. SQL> Then the execution plan displayed. . SQL> 2 3 4 5 EXPLAIN PLAN FOR SELECT * FROM emp e. From Oracle 9i onward. dept d WHERE e. First the query must be explained.EXPLAIN PLAN The EXPLAIN PLAN method doesn't require the query to be run. greatly reducing the time it takes to get an execution plan for long-running queries compared to AUTOTRACE. SQL> @$ORACLE_HOME/rdbms/admin/utlxpls.ename = 'SMITH'.deptno AND e.

SQL> @explain.--------------.------------------. SQL> OBJECT_TYPE --------------- TABLE TABLE INDEX (UNIQUE) By default the Oracle scripts do not accept a statement_id parameter.deptno AND e.1 Index (Unique Scan) PK_DEPT 0 5 rows selected.2 Table Access (By Index Rowid) DEPT 20 1 3.deptno = d.1 Table Access (Full) EMP 37 3 2.ename = 'SMITH'. .--------------Select Statement 57 4 1.1 Nested Loops 57 4 2. dept d WHERE e. This associates a user specified ID with each plan which can be used when retrieving the data.sql TIM PLAN OBJECT_NAME BYTES COST PARTITION_START PARTITION_STOP -------------------------------------. or you would like to keep a history of the execution plans you should use the STATEMENT_ID. SQL> 2 3 4 5 EXPLAIN PLAN SET STATEMENT_ID = 'TIM' FOR SELECT * FROM emp e.----. You can easily modify the scripts or you can use the script listed under DBA Scripts on this site.Statement ID If multiple people are accessing the same plan table. Explained.

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