Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Part III

I escalated my issue to a duty manager and explained that in my environment those types of changes are very difficult. He kicked it back to development for alternate solutions.

In the background, I managed to secure a test box for a couple hours that I could play with. While researching how to turn numa=off, I ran across this on Redhat's site:
The Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 Update 1 kernel automatically disables NUMA optimizations (numa=off) by default on systems using the AMD64 dual core processor. This ensures stable operation across multiple systems where each has a different system BIOS implementation for reporting dual core processors.

Hmm, that's fishy. Why would they ask me to turn it off if the default value is off? So I did it anyway.

Same thing, good old ORA-27102: out of memory.

As long as I had the box booted with numa=off, I might as well try _enable_numa_optimization=false, right? No dice, same error.

Last, but not least, I tried their suggestion of setting vm.nr_hugepages=0 in the sysctl.conf. But I found out that's already my value:
sysctl -a | grep vm.nr_huge
vm.nr_hugepages = 0

OK, so now what?

Maybe 11g is an option...

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Something to be aware of, Part II

We've passed the one month anniversary for Something to be aware of ( and still no meaningful results. I've been going back and forth with Oracle Support about switching NUMA off. In a synopsis:

OS: Switch NUMA off and retest.
Me: But that never changed.
OS: Switch NUMA off and retest.
Me: We take kernel changes very seriously. It will take approximately 2 months to re-certify that configuration. Besides, that NUMA didn't change.
OS: Switch NUMA off and retest.
Me: Please direct me to the note that says requires NUMA changes.
OS: Switch NUMA off and retest.
Me: I've already proven works as expected in this configuration, NUMA settings never changed.
OS: Switch NUMA off and retest.

My next step is talking to a Duty manager. I really don't want to do that.

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Backing up at Home

I'm pretty particular about my backups at work. In fact, we have a setup where if a nightly backup fails, we get a page in the middle of the night so we can address the problem.

At home, it's a different story. I've got a Windows 2000 PC that I haul out the CD-R's a couple times a year and backup what I think are the important files. At first it wasn't so bad, a couple CD's and I was done. But pictures from a digital camera tend to eat up space at a pretty decent rate. The last backup I did was 18 CD-R's.

About the same time, I got the opportunity to help someone with their own backup issues. They were getting ready to retire a computer and wanted a way to move about 60G of data from one machine to another. So I investigated some options and found a nice 320G SimpleTech USB drive at Costco. We setup the drive and the ArcSoft TotalMedia Backup in about 20 minutes and completed a test backup in another hour or so.

I was so impressed, that I bought one myself. For $89, I just couldn't go wrong.

So far, my impression is TotalMedia can get the basics done. However, as a backup professional I need the ability to tweak things. I'm still doing a backup every day, but looking at other options. Stay tuned for updates.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Microsoft Vista Oy Vey!

I needed a new laptop for my home. OK, maybe "need" is not the correct word, but you get my picture.

So I did what I always do. I navigated to dell.com and purchased a Inspiron 1525 with a 15" screen, 4G of RAM and Microsoft Windows Vista Home. I went through all the normal setup things and had it on my wireless network in about 15 minutes.

So far, so good. Then I tried to add a network printer [Accept or Deny] that was attached [Accept or Deny] to my W2K desktop. Since W2K doesn't serve the drivers like XP, I had to install the drivers [Accept or Deny] for my printer before I could print. Then I had to tweak my firewall settings [Accept or Deny] so that I could print to my network printer. I used to think that the Apple Commercial was exaggerating, but it's not.

Then, to add insult to injury, I tried to print a document. First I had to activate Microsoft Word, which was simple. I typed in some text and...

Wait a second, where's the "save" button...

And what happened to the "File" menu...

Arg, even "Help" isn't on the menu any more.

I finally figured out that you have to click that stupid looking button at the top before you can "Save", "Print", "Open" or do anything you are used to.

Great way to enhance my productivity. Now it takes me 5 minutes to open and print a document instead of two mouse clicks. Word 2007 is a step backwards.