Posts Tagged OU EMEA Newsletter

What happens to the Standby when you move a datafile on the Primary?

In 12c, we have introduced online datafile movement as a new feature. Now does that impact an existing standby database? I got asked that yesterday during an online webinar. My answer was that I expect no impact at all on the standby database since redo apply doesn’t care about the physical placement of the datafile on the primary. But I added also that this is just an educated guess because I didn’t test that yet. Now I did:

You know, I like to practice what I preach: Don’t believe it, test it! :-)

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Foreign Archived Log in #Oracle – what does it mean?

When you look into V$RECOVERY_AREA_USAGE, you see a strange row at the bottom:

SQL> select * from v$recovery_area_usage;

FILE_TYPE               PERCENT_SPACE_USED PERCENT_SPACE_RECLAIMABLE NUMBER_OF_FILES     CON_ID
----------------------- ------------------ ------------------------- --------------- ----------
CONTROL FILE                             0                         0               0          0
REDO LOG                                 0                         0               0          0
ARCHIVED LOG                         10.18                         0              73          0
BACKUP PIECE                             0                         0               0          0
IMAGE COPY                               0                         0               0          0
FLASHBACK LOG                            0                         0               0          0
FOREIGN ARCHIVED LOG                     0                         0               0          0
AUXILIARY DATAFILE COPY                  0                         0               0          0

Curious what that could be? You will see values other than zero on a Logical Standby Database:

SQL> connect sys/oracle@logst as sysdba
Connected.
SQL> select database_role from v$database;

DATABASE_ROLE
----------------
LOGICAL STANDBY

SQL> select * from v$recovery_area_usage;

FILE_TYPE               PERCENT_SPACE_USED PERCENT_SPACE_RECLAIMABLE NUMBER_OF_FILES     CON_ID
----------------------- ------------------ ------------------------- --------------- ----------
CONTROL FILE                             0                         0               0          0
REDO LOG                                 0                         0               0          0
ARCHIVED LOG                         14.93                         0               9          0
BACKUP PIECE                             0                         0               0          0
IMAGE COPY                               0                         0               0          0
FLASHBACK LOG                            0                         0               0          0
FOREIGN ARCHIVED LOG                  2.03                         0              26          0
AUXILIARY DATAFILE COPY                  0                         0               0          0

In contrast to a Physical Standby Database, this one writes not only into standby logs but also into online logs while being in standby role. That leads to two different kinds of archive logs:
Foreign Archived LogsWhen DML (like insert and update) is done on the primary 1) that leads to redo entries into online logs 2) that are simultaneously shipped to the standby and written there into standby logs 2) also. The online logs on the primary and the standby logs on the standby will be archived 3) eventually. So far that is the same for both physical and logical standby. But now a difference: Logical standby databases do SQL Apply 4) by logmining the standby or the archive logs that came from the primary. That generates similar DML on the standby which in turn leads LGWR there to write redo into online logs 5) that will eventually get archived 6) as well.

A logical standby could do recovery only with its own archive logs (if there was a backup taken before) but not with the foreign archive logs. Therefore, those foreign archive logs can and do get deleted automatically. V$ARCHIVED_LOG and V$FOREIGN_ARCHIVED_LOG can be queried to monitor the two different kinds of logs.

That was one topic of the course Oracle Database 12c: Data Guard Administration that I delivered as an LVC – therefore the picture. Hope you find it useful :-)

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Active Data Guard – what does it mean?

There are misconceptions and half-truths about that term that I see time after time again in forums, postings and comments.

Some people think that Active Data Guard is a fancy marketing term for Standby Databases in Oracle. Wrong, that is just plain Data Guard :-)

Most people think that Active Data Guard means that a Physical Standby Database can be used for queries while it is still applying redo. Not the whole truth, because that is just one featureReal-Time Query – which is included in the Active Data Guard option.

Active Data Guard is an option, coming with an extra charge. Active is supposed to indicate that you can use the standby database for production usage – it is not just waiting for the primary database to fail.

In 11g, Active Data Guard includes three features:

  • Real-Time Query
  • Automatic Block Media Recovery
  • Block Change Tracking on the physical standby

In 12c, Active Data Guard got even more enhanced and includes now the features:

  • Real-time Query
  • Automatic Block Media Recovery
  • Block Change Tracking on the physical standby
  • Far Sync
  • Real-Time Cascade
  • Global Data Services
  • Application Continuity
  • Rolling Upgrade using DBMS_ROLLING

The bad news is that many of the 12c Data Guard New Features require Active Data Guard

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