Digital Learning: LVC customer quotes

LVC

Here’s a collection of customer quotes as a follow-up to my last post about the importance of attitude towards Live Virtual Classes (LVCs). They are from courses that I have taught personally this year with an average delivery score of about 96%:

Oracle Database 12c: Managing Multitenant Architecture

Oracle Grid Infrastructure 11g: Manage Clusterware and ASM

Oracle Database 12c: New Features for Administrators

Exadata Database Machine Administration Workshop

Oracle 11g: RAC and Grid Infrastructure Administration Accelerated

“My first experience of an LVC. Pleased to say it was very positive. Introduction and start on Monday morning was smooth. I would recommend to my colleagues.”

Always important to make a good first impression!

“The whole LVC package just worked. From the comfort of my own environment with a great instructor makes for happy learning :)”

And that is exactly what we strive to deliver.

“Both, host and producer were very professional and guided the students through the course.”

An LVC producer takes care for all technical aspects apart from the course itself, like access to the learning platform. The instructor appears as “host” on the learning platform.

“Instructor professionally answered students’ questions and kept up a positive mood in the community!”

LVCs can be funny too :-)

“I appreciate the way how the course was presented. Very well controlled time, organization of presentation, exercises. Interaction with us was great. Always ready to answer a question, give an examples to difficult topic, illustrating topics.”

So much about allegedly missing interaction in LVCs.

“I work few years on RAC databases, my knowledge was not so clear regarding some topic on RAC and Grid after completing this training I’m sure that I will handle our RAC and Grid environment differently and for sure will have positive impact in our production environment. Great thank!”

You cannot top that with a classroom course either :-)

“LVC is offering great and flexible way to gain knowledge without travel or hotels etc.”

“LVCs reduce travel costs and help the students to manage their time on their own, i.e. to join the classes from home and focus on the presented content.”

Trust me, I didn’t make up the last two although they may sound like your manager talking – or mine, for that matter ;-)

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Let the Data Guard Broker control LOG_ARCHIVE_* parameters!

When using the Data Guard Broker, you don’t need to set any LOG_ARCHIVE_* parameter for the databases that are part of your Data Guard configuration. The broker is doing that for you. Forget about what you may have heard about VALID_FOR – you don’t need that with the broker. Actually, setting any of the LOG_ARCHIVE_* parameters with an enabled broker configuration might even confuse the broker and lead to warning or error messages. Let’s look at a typical example about the redo log transport mode. There is a broker configuration enabled with one primary database prima and one physical standby physt. The broker config files are mirrored on each site and spfiles are in use that the broker (the DMON background process, to be precise) can access:

Data Guard Broker: OverviewWhen connecting to the broker, you should always connect to a DMON running on the primary site. The only exception from this rule is when you want to do a failover: That must be done connected to the standby site. I will now change the redo log transport mode to sync for the standby database. It helps when you think of the log transport mode as an attribute (respectively a property) of a certain database in your configuration, because that is how the broker sees it also.

 

[oracle@uhesse1 ~]$ dgmgrl sys/oracle@prima
DGMGRL for Linux: Version 11.2.0.3.0 - 64bit Production

Copyright (c) 2000, 2009, Oracle. All rights reserved.

Welcome to DGMGRL, type "help" for information.
Connected.
DGMGRL> edit database physt set property logxptmode=sync;
Property "logxptmode" updated

In this case, physt is a standby database that is receiving redo from primary database prima, which is why the LOG_ARCHIVE_DEST_2 parameter of that primary was changed accordingly:

[oracle@uhesse1 ~]$ sqlplus sys/oracle@prima as sysdba

SQL*Plus: Release 11.2.0.3.0 Production on Tue Sep 30 17:21:41 2014

Copyright (c) 1982, 2011, Oracle.  All rights reserved.


Connected to:
Oracle Database 11g Enterprise Edition Release 11.2.0.3.0 - 64bit Production
With the Partitioning, OLAP and Data Mining options

SQL> show parameter log_archive_dest_2

NAME				     TYPE	 VALUE
------------------------------------ ----------- ------------------------------
log_archive_dest_2		     string	 service="physt", LGWR SYNC AFF
						 IRM delay=0 optional compressi
						 on=disable max_failure=0 max_c
						 onnections=1 reopen=300 db_uni
						 que_name="physt" net_timeout=3
						 0, valid_for=(all_logfiles,pri
						 mary_role)

Configuration for physt

The mirrored broker configuration files on all involved database servers contain that logxptmode property now. There is no new entry in the spfile of physt required. The present configuration allows now to raise the protection mode:

DGMGRL> edit configuration set protection mode as maxavailability;
Succeeded.

The next broker command is done to support a switchover later on while keeping the higher protection mode:

DGMGRL> edit database prima set property logxptmode=sync;
Property "logxptmode" updated

Notice that this doesn’t lead to any spfile entry; only the broker config files store that new property. In case of a switchover, prima will then receive redo with sync.

Configuration for primaNow let’s do that switchover and see how the broker ensures automatically that the new primary physt will ship redo to prima:

 

DGMGRL> show configuration;

Configuration - myconf

  Protection Mode: MaxAvailability
  Databases:
    prima - Primary database
    physt - Physical standby database

Fast-Start Failover: DISABLED

Configuration Status:
SUCCESS

DGMGRL> switchover to physt;
Performing switchover NOW, please wait...
New primary database "physt" is opening...
Operation requires shutdown of instance "prima" on database "prima"
Shutting down instance "prima"...
ORACLE instance shut down.
Operation requires startup of instance "prima" on database "prima"
Starting instance "prima"...
ORACLE instance started.
Database mounted.
Switchover succeeded, new primary is "physt"

All I did was the switchover command, and without me specifying any LOG_ARCHIVE* parameter, the broker did it all like this picture shows:

Configuration after switchoverEspecially, now the spfile of the physt database got the new entry:

 

[oracle@uhesse2 ~]$ sqlplus sys/oracle@physt as sysdba

SQL*Plus: Release 11.2.0.3.0 Production on Tue Oct 14 15:43:41 2014

Copyright (c) 1982, 2011, Oracle.  All rights reserved.


Connected to:
Oracle Database 11g Enterprise Edition Release 11.2.0.3.0 - 64bit Production
With the Partitioning, OLAP and Data Mining options

SQL> show parameter log_archive_dest_2

NAME				     TYPE	 VALUE
------------------------------------ ----------- ------------------------------
log_archive_dest_2		     string	 service="prima", LGWR SYNC AFF
						 IRM delay=0 optional compressi
						 on=disable max_failure=0 max_c
						 onnections=1 reopen=300 db_uni
						 que_name="prima" net_timeout=3
						 0, valid_for=(all_logfiles,pri
						 mary_role)

Not only is it not necessary to specify any of the LOG_ARCHIVE* parameters, it is actually a bad idea to do so. The guideline here is: Let the broker control them! Else it will at least complain about it with warning messages. So as an example what you should not do:

[oracle@uhesse1 ~]$ sqlplus sys/oracle@prima as sysdba

SQL*Plus: Release 11.2.0.3.0 Production on Tue Oct 14 15:57:11 2014

Copyright (c) 1982, 2011, Oracle.  All rights reserved.


Connected to:
Oracle Database 11g Enterprise Edition Release 11.2.0.3.0 - 64bit Production
With the Partitioning, OLAP and Data Mining options

SQL> alter system set log_archive_trace=4096;

System altered.

Although that is the correct syntax, the broker now gets confused, because that parameter setting is not in line with what is in the broker config files. Accordingly that triggers a warning:

DGMGRL> show configuration;

Configuration - myconf

  Protection Mode: MaxAvailability
  Databases:
    physt - Primary database
    prima - Physical standby database
      Warning: ORA-16792: configurable property value is inconsistent with database setting

Fast-Start Failover: DISABLED

Configuration Status:
WARNING

DGMGRL> show database prima statusreport;
STATUS REPORT
       INSTANCE_NAME   SEVERITY ERROR_TEXT
               prima    WARNING ORA-16714: the value of property LogArchiveTrace is inconsistent with the database setting

In order to resolve that inconsistency, I will do it also with a broker command – which is what I should have done instead of the alter system command in the first place:

DGMGRL> edit database prima set property LogArchiveTrace=4096;
Property "logarchivetrace" updated
DGMGRL> show configuration;

Configuration - myconf

  Protection Mode: MaxAvailability
  Databases:
    physt - Primary database
    prima - Physical standby database

Fast-Start Failover: DISABLED

Configuration Status:
SUCCESS

Thanks to a question from Noons (I really appreciate comments!), let me add the complete list of initialization parameters that the broker is supposed to control. Most but not all is LOG_ARCHIVE*

LOG_ARCHIVE_DEST_n
LOG_ARCHIVE_DEST_STATE_n
ARCHIVE_LAG_TARGET
DB_FILE_NAME_CONVERT
LOG_ARCHIVE_FORMAT
LOG_ARCHIVE_MAX_PROCESSES
LOG_ARCHIVE_MIN_SUCCEED_DEST
LOG_ARCHIVE_TRACE
LOG_FILE_NAME_CONVERT
STANDBY_FILE_MANAGEMENT

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3 Comments

Digital Learning – LVC: It’s the attitude, stupid!

The single most important factor for successful digital learning is the attitude both of the instructor as well as of the attendees towards the course format. Delivery of countless Live Virtual Classes (LVCs) for Oracle University made me realize that. There are technical prerequisites of course: A reliable and fast network connection and the usage of a good headset is mandatory, else the participant is doomed from the start. Other prerequisites are the same as for traditional courses: Good course material, working lab environment for hands on practices and last not least knowledgeable instructors. For that part notice that we have the very same courseware, lab environments and instructors like for our classroom courses at Oracle University education centers also for LVCs. The major difference is in your head :-)

Delivering my first couple of LVCs, I felt quite uncomfortable with that new format. Accordingly, my performance was not as good as usual. Meanwhile, I consider the LVC format as totally adequate for my courses and that attitude enables me to deliver them with the same performance as my classroom courses. Actually, they are even better to some degree: I always struggle producing clean sketches with readable handwriting on the whiteboard. Now look at this MS paint sketch from one of my Data Guard LVCs:

Data Guard Real-Time Apply

Data Guard Real-Time Apply

Attendees get all my sketches per email if they like afterwards.

In short: Because I’m happy delivering through LVC today, I’m now able to do it with high quality. The attitude defines the outcome.

Did you ever have a teacher in school that you just disliked for some reason? It was hard to learn anything from that teacher, right? Even if that person was competent.

So this is also true on the side of the attendee: The attitude defines the outcome. If you take an LVC thinking “This cannot work!”, chances are that you are right just because of your mindset. When you attend an LVC with an open mind – even after some initial trouble because you need to familiarize yourself with the learning platform and the way things are presented there – it is much more likely that you will benefit from it. You may even like it better than classroom courses because you can attend from home without the time and expenses it takes to travel :-)

Some common objections against LVC I have heard from customers and my usual responses:

An LVC doesn’t deliver the same amount of interaction like a classroom course!

That is not necessarily so: You are in a small group (mostly less than 10) that is constantly in an audio conference. Unmute yourself and say anything you like, just like in a classroom. Additionally, you have a chatbox available. This is sometimes extremely helpful, especially with non-native speakers in the class :-) You can easily exchange email addresses using the chatbox as well and stay in touch even after the LVC.

I have no appropriate working place to attend an LVC!

You have no appropriate working place at all, then, for something that requires a certain amount of concentration. Talk to your manager about it – maybe there is something like a quiet room available during the LVC.

I cannot keep up the attention when starring the whole day on the computer screen!

Of course not, that is why we have breaks and practices in between the lessons.

Finally, I would love to hear about your thoughts and experiences with online courses! What is your attitude towards Digital Learning?

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