Book Reviews

Book Review: Expert Oracle RAC 12c

As you know, the Oracle Database with the Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC) option allows running multiple database instances on different servers in the cluster against a shared set of data files, also known as the database. The database spans multiple hardware systems and yet appears as a single unified database to the application. This enables the utilization of commodity hardware to reduce total cost of ownership and to provide a scalable computing environment that supports various application workloads. Oracle RAC is Oracle’s premier shared disk database clustering technology.

I finished review of the book about Oracle RAC technology - "Expert Oracle RAC 12c" by authors Syed Jaffar Hussain (Oracle ACED, DBA of the Year for 2011), Tariq Farooq (Oracle ACED), Riyaj Shamsudeen (Oracle ACED, Member of OakTable Network) and Kai Yu (Oracle ACED, Technologist of the Year for 2012) published by APRESS.

The book "Expert Oracle RAC 12c" is covered every aspect of Oracle Real Application Clusters. It means, the book do not covered only new features of Oracle RAC 12c, but every chapter assumed the latest version of Oracle RAC 12cR1. You can find everything of about Oracle RAC in this book. If you want learn deep Oracle RAC 12c, then you must start read this book. You can read my review of each chapter at below, so every chapter is detailed and you can read valuable explanations, in other words experience of authors in each chapter. As you know each author of this book is famous expert on Oracle.

Please, see the content of the book at below:

Chapter 1: Overview of Oracle RAC by Kai Yu

This chapter covered explanation of High Availability, Database Scalability, also Oracle RAC architecture, so RAC: Cache Fusion and background processes. Achieving the benefits of Oracle RAC is covered TAF, FCF and AC (Application Continuity in 12c) configurations. And you find “RAC or Not” question's answer in this chapter.

Chapter 2: Clusterware Stack Management and Troubleshooting by Syed Jaffar Hussain and Kai Yu

This chapter described the architecture and complex technical stack of Oracle Clusterware and explains how those components works. This chapter also discussed some new features Oracle Clusterware features intrduced in Oracle 12cR1. You can find examples for diagnose, debug, trace clusterware and explanation solution for RAC issues, so this chapter discussed trobleshooting and monitoring tools and utilities.

Chapter 3: RAC Operational Practices by Riyaj Shamsudeen

As you see name of chapter, this chapter covered very nice explanation of services. Also explained how to using services for application workloads, load balancing. This chapter described SCAN IP, SCAN Listeners and says don't allow an application to connect to VIP listeners directly. In this chapter you can find answers “how to configure TAF, FCF ?“and “what is Transactional Guard (12c) and Application Continuity (12c) ?” questions. Also this chapter covered practical information about RAC Database Management.

Chapter 4: New Features in RAC 12c by Syed Jaffar Hussain, Kai Yu and Tariq Farooq

It is very interesting chapter for me, because this chapter is covered new features in RAC 12c. In this chapter you can read very good explanation Flex Cluster Architecture, Oracle Flex Automatic Storage Management (Flex ASM) mechanism. Also you can read other new features of Flex ASM, such as Scrubbing ASM disk groups, EXPLAIN WORK (for tuning rebalance operation), how to using PDB's on RAC and etc..

Chapter 5: Storage and ASM Practices by Kai Yu

This chapter, discussed storage - one of the key in Oracle RAC database. You can read deep information about storage architecture and configuration for RAC, also RAID configurations and Storage protocols. This chapter also explained Oracle Automatic Storage Management (ASM), ASM Instance, ASM Storage Architecture and Management ASM Disk groups with SQL*Plus and ASMCA and ASM Cloud File System. You can find answer for "How to store ORC and VOTE files in ASM Disk group?" question in this chapter.

Chapter 6: Application Design Issue by Riyaj Shamsudeen

As you know bad design of application is decrease performance of database. This chapter discussed design patterns, methods to troubleshoot these issue and possible strategies for resolving them. So, this chapter discussed localized inserts, sequence cache, excessive commits, and index design in Oracle RAC databases.

Chapter 7: Managing and Optimizing a Complex RAC Environment by Syed Jaffar Hussain and Tariq Farooq

This chapter starting “Shared vs Non-Shared Database home” and continue with very good explanation of Server pools in RAC. Also you can read about Policy-Managed databases. I sure "Understanding, Debugging and Preventing Node Evictions" will very interesting for you in this chapter.

Chapter 8: Backup and Recovery in RAC by Syed Jaffar Hussain

This chapter covered Backup and Recovery on Oracle RAC databases. You can read about best database backup strategies, RAC standby databases, Management RMAN with OEM 12c and OCR backups, recovery scenarios in this chapter.

Chapter 9: Network Practices by Riyaj Shamsudeen and Kai Yu

As you know, the network is important part of RAC infrastructure. This chapter covered all aspect of network for RAC. You can read valuable explanations network protocols, VIPs, cluster interconnects, SCAN VIP and Listeners, load balancing and failover on network, name resolution on DNS and etc. in this chapter.

Chapter 10: RAC Database Optimization by Riyaj Shamsudeen

This chapter covered with explanation of Global Cache Fusion processing, also Performance Analysis on Oracle RAC database using ADDM, AWR and ASH reports. You can read about all RAC wait events and DRM processing and troubleshooting DRM in this chapter.

Chapter 11: Locks and Deadlocks by Riyaj Shamsudeen

Resources and locks are maintained in GRD by GES layer of RAC code. This chapter covered Resources and Locks in RAC database. In addition, you can read the LMD process prints essential details in a trace file, and the analysis of LMD trace files.

Chapter 12: Parallel Query in RAC by Riyaj Shamsudeen

This chapter covered Parallel Execution (PX ) of SQL statement in RAC database. Also explained PX and Cache Fusion dependencies, so Parallelism features (In-Memory parallelism and Auto DOP) and RAC in this chapter

Chapter 13: Clusterware and Database Upgrades by Syed Jaffar Hussain
As you know, every time upgrade is important and difficult task for RAC databases. You can read every steps of Clusterware and RAC Database upgrade task in this chapter.

Chapter 14: RAC One Node by Syed Jaffar Hussain
RAC One Node (RON) as “the always-on single-server database” typically provides a traditionally cold failover solution. This chapter explained RON and covered deployment, management RON database. Also relocations RON database with Cloud Control 12c.

I want share little information about the authors:

Syed Jaffar Hussain has over 20 years I.T. experience that includes more than 12 years of production Oracle database administration. Oracle has honored him with the prestigious Oracle ACE Director role, and named him DBA of the Year for 2011, both for his excellent knowledge and contributions to the Oracle community. He is an Oracle Certified Master (OCM). Syed Jaffar is coauthor of Oracle 11g R1/R2 Real Application Clusters Essentials, and he blogs regularly at:

Tariq Farooq is an Oracle Technologist/Architect/Problem-Solver and has been working with various Oracle Technologies for 20+ years in very complex environments at some of the world's largest organizations. He is the founding President of the IOUG Virtualization & Cloud Computing Special Interest Group. He is an active Community Leader/Organizer, Speaker, Author, Forum contributor, and Blogger. He is the founder of, a Social Networking & IT Collaboration site for the various Oracle Communities with thousands of signed-up users. Tariq is an Oracle RAC Certified Expert, holds a total of 14 professional Oracle Certifications and, is the author of 100+ articles, whitepapers & other publications. Tariq has been awarded the Oracle ACE and ACE Director awards from 2010 - 2013.

Riyaj Shamsudeen is an industry-recognized RAC expert and performance tuning specialist with 19+ years of experience in implementing, using, and tuning RAC and Oracle products. He is an Oracle ACE Director and proud member of the OakTable network. Riyaj has co-authored many books about Oracle Database. He is an active blogger (at and frequent international speaker in major conferences such as UKOUG, HOTSOS, Open World, and RMOUG.

Kai Yu is a Senior Principal Engineer and technologist in Dell’s Oracle Solutions Engineering Lab specializing in Oracle RAC, Oracle Virtualization, and Cloud. With 18+ years of experience working on Oracle technology, he has implemented and managed many large, mission-critical Oracle RAC databases, including those in his tenure with an IT organization having more than two thousand RAC databases. He has also keynoted at Oracle Architect Day. ... He was awarded the Oracle ACE Director title in 2010, given the Oracle ACE Spotlight in 2011 by Oracle Technology Network (OTN), and named the 2011 OAUG Innovator of Year Award by the Oracle Applications User Group (OAUG). In 2012, Oracle Magazine awarded him the Oracle Excellence Award: Technologist of the Year: Cloud Architect. Kai has been active in sharing his Oracle knowledge on his Oracle blog at

Conclusion: Expert Oracle RAC 12c is a hands-on book will help you understand and implement Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC). I want thank to all authors for this book. I finished read this book, but I'll read this book again. I think this book must be read two or more time.

p.s. I want share links of this book with you, I bought this book from Amazon. 

Expert Oracle RAC 12c (The Expert's Voice) (Amazon) (Apress)

Date: 10.10.2013

Mahir M. Quluzade 
Oracle Certified Expert,
Oracle Real Application Clusters 11g and Grid Infrastructure


Book Review : Oracle Data Guard 11gR2 Administration Beginner's Guide

Just finished review of book "Oracle Data Guard 11gR2 Administration Beginner's Guide” by authors, my dear friends Emre Baransel and Nassyam Basha.

"Oracle Data Guard 11gR2 Administration Beginner's Guide” book is a good introduction to Oracle Data Guard 11g R2 with examples that will be useful to all DBA’s. It is also is a very good book in terms of helping beginner- readers from creating and configuring Oracle Data Guard (11g R2) configurations. By reading this book one will learn what standby databases, protection modes, transport and apply services including role transitions. The book also covered Active Data Guard and dedicated chapter for patching and Common Data Guard issues.

This book is an ideal book for somebody who wants begin to learn quickly about Data Guard. The book covered Oracle Data Guard 11gR2 with 11 chapters, 385 pages. Every chapter has a pop quiz, time for action and has a lot of tips and tricks. Really, I liked this style of this book very much.

When reading this book, you learn every chapter is reflects authors’ experience. I liked all chapters of the book as Data Guard lover, but my favorite chapters are chapters 6, 7 and 11. Please, see the content of the book below:

Chapter 1, Getting Started - this chapter is covering Oracle Data Guard architecture, definition and features of Data Guard, evolution of Oracle Data Guard, overviews of physical, logical and snapshot standby databases. The chapter very provides very good explanation on work principle of Oracle Data Guard Services (transport, apply, role transition) and there are interesting comparison with other replication solutions of Oracle at the end of the chapter.

Chapter 2, Configuring the Oracle Data Guard Physical Standby Database – in this chapter you learn how to prepare primary database for Data Guard create a physical standby database including post tasks with a step-by-step approach. The chapter provides very good explanation on Data Guard related initialization parameters. You can find verification steps of the physical standby database recovery including real-time apply in this chapter.

Chapter 3, Configuring Oracle Data Guard Logical Standby Database – this chapter is covering how to prepare a logical standby database configuration step-by-step. You learn what is data guard status, how to change data guard status, what is SQL apply process and how to create objects on logical standby database with examples.

Chapter 4, Oracle Data Guard Broker – this chapter is covering the very good explanation on implementation and management of the Data Guard administration framework Data Guard broker. You learn steps how to configure fast-start failover – (FSFO) and explanations monitoring broker - managed Data Guard and troubleshooting the Data Guard broker and observer configuration.

Chapter 5, Data Guard Protection Mode - this chapter is focusing on the three data protection modes (Maximum Performance, Maximum Availability, Maximum Protection) of Oracle Data Guard. You learn from this chapter how to change protection modes using SQL*Plus, the Data Guard broker, and Enterprise Manager Cloud Control and this chapter also explain how to choose true protection mode for your Data Guard Configuration.

Chapter 6, Data Guard Role Transitions – this chapter is covering on Role Transition service of Data Guard. You learn from this chapter, necessary steps to accomplish successful switchover and failover operations on standby database.
Chapter 7, Active Data Guard, Snapshot Standby – this chapter is my favorite chapter. The chapter covering Active Data Guard (ADG) and Snapshot Standby Database (it is new features of Oracle Database 11g R2). This chapter has very nice explanation on ADG is how to integrate applications, what are benefits of ADG; also explains how to use snapshot standby, implement cascade standby databases, configure heterogeneous Data Guard setup.

Chapter 8, Integrating Data Guard with the Complete Oracle Environment – this chapter explains the Data Guard configuration with RAC; also you learn from this chapter how to integrate Data Guard with Enterprise Manager Grid Control and how to use RMAN on primary and standby databases.

Chapter 9, Data Guard Configuration Patching – this chapter explains how to apply one-off patches and patch set updates to databases in a Data Guard environment, and some best practices of patching.

Chapter 10, Common Data Guard Issues – it is very interesting chapter. You learn from this chapter, which problems occur on Data Guard configurations. This chapter gives practical information about solution for some very common issues in Data Guard .For example: redo transport authentication problems, UNNAMED data files on standby database.

Chapter 11, Data Guard Best Practices – this chapter covering how to make a Data Guard configuration perfect and take maximum advantage of Data Guard properties. In this chapter you learn about the important connection failover terms – Transparent Application Failover (TAF), Fast Connection Failover (FCF), and Fast Application Notification (FAN); Also rolling upgrade using transient logical standby and corruption detection, and prevention and automatic repair with Oracle Active Data Guard you learn from this chapter

I want to thank my friends Emre and Nassyam very much for this book and my special thanks to Packt Publications team for sending me this e-book for review.

The link to buy this book from Packt Publishing :

Date: 18.07.2013

Mahir M. Quluzade


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