Friday, July 25, 2014

Customizing Redhat/Oracle Linux CDROMs, ISOs and USBs - Part 2

The first part of this article explains how to add a kickstart file to an Oracle Linux 7 ISO and how to modify the boot menu to manage that file without editing the boot command. Another reason for customizing an ISO, is to add or replace RPMs it contains. You may want to add a RPM you've built on your own, like the latest Oracle database engine RPM or one/few you've got from third parties. This is exactly what this second part is about... And, as you'll figure out, this is easy!

Obviously those kinds of changes can deeply alter your ability to distribute the ISO and have implications above the technical stuff. You should probably avoid spreading customized distribution or at least check for yourself what you can do and what cannot. Nevertheless, customizing ISO can really speed up some of your installation and, for that reason, is worth understanding.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Customizing Redhat/Oracle Linux CDROMs, ISOs and USBs - Part 1

Redhat/Oracle Linux custom CDROMs, ISOs and USBs can be very useful... They speed up server installation with predefined kickstart files; they reduce distributions to the few hundreds of MB you really need; they provide easy customization for configurations that are not supported by anaconda's initial setup program or your distribution (e.g. here) and they might be enhanced with additional RPMs and custom scripts. This few posts demonstrate how to modify Oracle Linux ISOs and how to use them.

Obviously if you are dealing with a large number of servers and VMs, using RPM repositories with PXE, xenpvnetboot or templates is the way to go. But if you are dealing with only a few VMs on your laptop or with manual server installation, custom ISOs are simple and very fast. You can literally create one in less than 10 minutes. This first part will be presenting how to customize an ISO with a simple kickstart file. It will be using the Oracle Linux 7 Early Adopter ISO but other Redhat Based distributions and other releases are not much different...

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Installing Oracle Database 12.1 in Command Line and "Silent Mode"

Installing and configuring Oracle databases is probably the first task you will want to automate when you are a DBA. Well, it is not the most expensive, neither the most difficult and probably not even the worthiest. Be also careful, it might come at a very bad time if you are not in charge or did not already have automated your Operating Systems installation and configuration. Anyway, we can assume this operation has to be done frequently enough to start with it as an automation.

Every Oracle release and, sometimes Patch Set, come with a few changes. Oracle Database 12.1 is no exception to that rule! Before you get your installation fully automated and rely on your preferred tool to deploy them, this blog post will present the command lines you can use to perform a silent mode installation of Oracle on most operating systems

Monday, July 14, 2014

Alter Blog Open Resetlogs... to the Cloud

People have gone one step further to use Oracle with the cloud this year. For 6 months now, in addition to people using AWS and subscribing to SaaS, I've started to meet people looking at new public clouds including Microsoft Azure or even Oracle Backup Database Cloud -for now. I've also met people providing production private Platform as a Service with Oracle Databases. So that, I'm now thinking 2014 is a game changer for Oracle technology with the Cloud.

Don't get me wrong, there is no new magic cloud wands for Oracle. I don't believe there is anything like, you buy a few Exa-servers with some extra-packs or options and... woohoo: you run an extreme, elastic, secured, never stopping, self-service, pay-per-use Oracle Cloud. I don't think it is the case at all... But still, I'm very excited by what the Oracle cloud journey promises!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Querying an Oracle VM Server Xenstore from a Linux Guest

Accessing the Oracle VM Xenstore from a Linux Guest is the most efficient and sometimes most reliable way to collect data about your Oracle virtualized environment. Among the various things you can get from Xen internal database are (1) the DomU name, (2) the Dom0 VNC access point or (3) the mapping between the VM disk devices and the underlying storage.

For instance, if you want to trigger a storage snapshot from your guest, you can directly and automatically discover the LUN serial number with the xenstore-ls command and request a snapshot without connecting to the Oracle VM Manager.

This article explains how to install and use the various xenstore tools/utilities to get those values.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Custom DTrace Probes for Perl on Oracle Linux 6

Chris Andrews (@chrisandrews) has developed the libusdt library a few years back so that dynamic language developers can publish custom DTrace providers easily. He has also developed the associated modules for Ruby, Perl and Node.js... If you are dealing with one of these languages, publishing a DTrace provider usually takes no more than 5 lines.

Last September, Chris has adapted his library so that it works with Oracle Linux 6 DTrace and the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel 3. This post explains how to use Perl Devel::DTrace::Provider module in this context.