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Saturday, 28 April 2012

DBA Interview Questions with Answers Part4‎

How to handle data corruption for ASM type files?
The storage array should contain one or more spare disks (often called hot spares). When a physical disk starts to report errors to the monitoring infrastructure or fails suddenly the firmware should immediately restore fault tolerance by mirroring the contents of the failed disk onto a spare disk
When a user comes to you and asks that a particular SQL query is taking more time. How will you solve this?
If you find the SQL Query (which make problem) then take a SQLTRACE with explain plan it will show how the SQL query will executed by oracle depending upon the report you will tune your database.
For example: one table has 10,000 records but you want to fetch only 5 rows but in that query oracle does the full table scan. Only for 5 rows full table is scan is not a good thing so create an index on the particular column by this way to tune the database.
By default Maximum Enabled Role in a database.
The MAX_ENABLED_ROLES init.ora parameter limits the number of roles any user can have enabled simultaneously. The default is 30 in both oracle 8i and 9i. When you create a role it is enabled by default. If you create many roles, then you may exceed the MAX_ENABLED_ROLE setting even if you are not the user of this role.
User Profiles:
The user profile are used to limits the amount of system and database resources available to a user and to manage password restrictions. If no profile are created in a database then the default profile are, which specify unlimited resources for all users, will be used.
How to convert local management Tablespace to dictionary managed Tablespace?
>execute dbms_space_admin.tablespace_convert_to_local('tablespace_name');
>execute dbms_space_admin.tablespace_convert_from_local('tablespace_name');
What is a cluster Key ?
The related columns of the tables are called the cluster key.  The cluster key  is using a cluster index and its value is stored only once for multiple tables in the cluster.
What are four performance bottlenecks that can occur in a database server and how are they detected and prevented?
·         CPU bottlenecks
·         Undersized memory structures
·         Inefficient or high-load SQL statements
·         Database configuration issues
Four major steps to detect these issues:-
·         Analyzing Optimizer Statistics
·         Analyzing an Execution Plan
·         Using Hints to Improve Data Warehouse Performance
·         Using Advisors to Verify SQL Performance
Analyzing Optimizer Statistics
Optimizer statistics are a collection of data that describes more details about the database and the objects in the database. The optimizer statistics are stored in the data dictionary. They can be viewed using data dictionary views similar to the following:
SELECT * FROM DBA_SCHEDULER_JOBS WHERE JOB_NAME 'GATHER_STATS_JOB';
Because the objects in a database can constantly change statistics must be regularly updated so that they accurately describe these database objects. Statistics are maintained automatically by Oracle Database or you can maintain the optimizer statistics manually using the DBMS_STATS package.
Analyzing an Execution Plan
General guidelines for using the EXPLAIN PLAN statement are:
To use the SQL script UTLXPLAN.SQL to create a sample output table called PLAN_TABLE in your schema.
To include the EXPLAIN PLAN FOR clause prior to the SQL statement.
After issuing the EXPLAIN PLAN statement to use one of the scripts or packages provided by Oracle Database to display the most recent plan table output.
The execution order in EXPLAIN PLAN output begins with the line that is indented farthest to the right. If two lines are indented equally then the top line is normally executed first.
To analyze EXPLAIN PLAN output:
EXPLAIN PLAN FOR (‘YOUR QUERY’);
EXPLAIN PLAN FOR SELECT p.prod_name c.channel_desc SUM(s.amount_sold) revenue
FROM products p channels c sales s
WHERE s.prod_id p.prod_id
AND s.channel_id c.channel_id
AND s.time_id BETWEEN '01-12-2001' AND '31-12-2001'GROUP BY p.prod_name c.channel_desc;
SELECT * FROM TABLE (DBMS_XPLAN.DISPLAY);
Using Advisors how to Verify SQL Performance?
Using the SQL Tuning Advisor and SQL Access Advisor you can invoke the query optimizer in advisory mode to examine a given SQL statement or set of SQL statements and provide recommendations to improve their efficiency. The SQL Tuning Advisor and SQL Access Advisor can make various types of recommendations such as creating SQL profiles restructuring SQL statements creating additional indexes or materialized views and refreshing optimizer statistics. Additionally Oracle Enterprise Manager enables you to accept and implement many of these recommendations in very few steps
Difference between Rman Recovery Catalog or nocatalog Option?
The recovery catalog is an optional feature of RMAN though Oracle, recommends that you use it, it isn’t required. One major benefit of the recovery catalog is that it stores metadata about backups in a database that can be reported or queried. Catalog means you have a recovery catalog database, nocatalog means that you are using the controlfile as rman repository. Of course catalog option can only be used when recovery catalog is present (which is not mandatory). From functional point of view there is no difference either taking backup in catalog or nocatlaog mode.
What is Oracle Net?
Oracle Net is responsible for handling client-to-server and server to- server communications in an Oracle environment. It manages the flow of information in the Oracle network infrastructure. Oracle Net is used to establish the initial connection to the Oracle server and then it acts as the messenger, which passes requests from the client back to the server or between two Oracle servers.
Difference of Backup Sets and Backup Pieces?
RMAN can store backup data in a logical structure called a backup set, which is the smallest unit of an RMAN backup. A backup set contains the data from one or more datafiles, archived redo logs, or control files or server parameter file. Backup sets, which are only created and accessed through RMAN, are the only form in which RMAN can write backups to media managers such as tape drives and tape libraries.
A backup set contains one or more binary files in an RMAN-specific format. This file is known as a backup piece. A backup set can contain multiple datafiles. For example, you can back up ten datafiles into a single backup set consisting of a single backup piece. In this case, RMAN creates one backup piece as output. The backup set contains only this backup piece.
What is an UTL_FILE? What are different procedures and functions associated with it?
The UTL_FILE package lets your PL/SQL programs read and write operating system (OS) text files. It provides a restricted version of standard OS stream file input/output (I/O).
Subprogram -Description
FOPEN function-Opens a file for input or output with the default line size.
IS_OPEN function -Determines if a file handle refers to an open file.
FCLOSE procedure -Closes a file.
FCLOSE_ALL procedure -Closes all open file handles.
GET_LINE procedure -Reads a line of text from an open file.
PUT procedure-Writes a line to a file. This does not append a line terminator.
NEW_LINE procedure-Writes one or more OS-specific line terminators to a file.
PUT_LINE procedure -Writes a line to a file. This appends an OS-specific line terminator.
PUTF procedure -A PUT procedure with formatting.
FFLUSH procedure-Physically writes all pending output to a file.
FOPEN function -Opens a file with the maximum line size specified.
Differentiate between TRUNCATE and DELETE?
The Delete commands will log the data changes in the log file where as the truncate will simply remove the data without it. Hence Data removed by Delete command can be rolled back but not the data removed by TRUNCATE. Truncate is a DDL statement whereas DELETE is a DML statement.
What is an Oracle Instance?
Instance is a combination of memory structure and process structure. Memory structure is SGA (System or Shared Global Area) and Process structure is background processes.
Components of SGA:
Database Buffer Cache: It is further divided into Library Cache and Data Dictionary Cache or Row Cache,
Shared Pool/large pool/stream pool/java pool
Redo log Buffer,
Background Process:
Mandatory Processes (SMON, PMON, DBWR, LGWR, CKPT, RECO)
Optional Process (ARCN, RBAC, MMAN, MMON, MMNL)

When Oracle starts an instance, it reads the initialization parameter file to determine the values of initialization parameters. Then, it allocates an SGA, which is a shared area of memory used for database information, and creates background processes. At this point, no database is associated with these memory structures and processes.

What information is stored in Control File?
The database name, The timestamp of database creation, The names and locations of associated datafiles and redo log files, Tablespace information, Datafile offline ranges, The log history, Archived log information, Backup set and backup piece information, Backup datafile and redo log information, Datafile copy information, The current log sequence number 
When you start an Oracle DB which file is accessed first?
To Start an instance, oracle server need a parameter file which contains information about the instance, oracle server searches file in following sequence:
1) SPFILE ------ if finds instance started .. Exit
2) Default SPFILE -- if it is spfile is not found
3) PFILE -------- if default spfile not find, instance started using pfile.
4) Default PFILE -- is used to start the instance. 
What is the Job of  SMON, PMON processes?
SMON: System monitor performs instance recovery at instance startup in a multiple instances. Recovers other instances that have failed in cluster environment .It cleans up temporary segments that are no longer in use. Recovers dead transactions skipped during crash and instance recovery. Coalesce the free extents within the database, to make free space contiguous and easy to allocate.
PMON: Process monitor performs recovery when a user process fails. It is responsible for cleaning up the cache, freeing resources used by the processes. In the mts environment it checks on dispatcher and server processes, restarting them at times of failure.
What is Instance Recovery?
When an Oracle instance fails, Oracle performs an instance recovery when the associated database is re-started.
Instance recovery occurs in two steps: 
Cache recovery: Changes being made to a database are recorded in the database buffer cache. These changes are also recorded in online redo log files simultaneously. When there are enough data in the database buffer cache, they are written to data files. If an Oracle instance fails before the data in the database buffer cache are written to data files, Oracle uses the data recorded in the online redo log files to recover the lost data when the
associated database is re-started. This process is called cache recovery.
Transaction recovery: When a transaction modifies data in a database, the before image of the modified data is stored in an undo segment. The data stored in the undo segment is used to restore the original values in case a transaction is rolled back. At the time of an instance failure, the database may have uncommitted transactions. It is possible that changes made by these uncommitted transactions have gotten saved in data files. To maintain read consistency, Oracle rolls back all uncommitted transactions when the associated database is re-started. Oracle uses the undo data stored in undo segments to accomplish this. This process is called transaction recovery. 
1. Rolling forward the committed transactions
2. Rolling backward the uncommitted transactions
What is written in Redo Log Files?
Log writer (LGWR) writes redo log buffer contents Into Redo Log Files. Log writer does this every three seconds, when the redo log buffer is 1/3 full and immediately before the Database Writer (DBWn) writes its changed buffers into the data file. 
How do you control number of Datafiles one can have in an Oracle database?
When starting an Oracle instance, the database's parameter file indicates the amount of SGA space to reserve for datafile information; the maximum number of datafiles is controlled by the DB_FILES parameter. This limit applies only for the life of the instance.
How many Maximum Datafiles can there be in an Oracle Database?
Default maximum datafile is 255 that can be defined in the control file at the time of database creation.
It can be increased by setting the initialization parameter value up to higher at the time of database creation. Setting this value too higher can cause DBWR issues.
Before 9i Maximum number of datafile in database was 1022.After 9i the limit is applicable to the number of datafile in the Tablespace.
What is a Tablespace?
A tablespace is a logical storage unit within the database. It is logical because a tablespace is not visible in the file system of the machine on which database resides. A tablespace in turn consists of at least one datafile, which, in tune are physically located in the file system of the server. The tablespace builds the bridge between the Oracle database and the file system in which the table's or index' data is stored.
There are three types of tablespaces in Oracle:
Permanent tablespaces, Undo tablespaces, Temporary tablespaces
What is the purpose of  Redo Log files?
The purpose of redo log file is to record all changes made to the data during the recovery of database. It always advisable to have two or more redo log files and keep them in a separate disk, so you can recover the data during the system crash.
Which default Database roles are created when you create a Database?
Connect , resource and dba are three default roles
What is a Checkpoint?
A checkpoint performs the following three operations:
1. Every block in the buffer cache is written to the data files. That is, it synchronizes the data blocks in the buffer cache with the datafiles on disk. It's the DBWR that writes all modified database blocks back to the datafiles.
2. The latest SCN is written (updated) into the datafile header.
3. The latest SCN is also written to the controlfiles.
The update of the datafile headers and the control files is done by the LGWR (if CKPT is enabled). As of version 8.0, CKPT is enabled by default. The date and time of the last checkpoint can be retrieved through checkpoint_time in v$datafile_header. The SCN of the last checkpoint can be found in v$database as checkpoint_change#.
Which Process reads data from Datafiles?
The “Server process” reads the blocks from datafiles to buffer cache
Which Process writes data in Datafiles?
DBWn Process is writing the dirty buffers from db cache to data files.
Can you make a Datafile auto extendible. If yes, then how?
You must be logged on as a DBA user, then issue
For Data File:
SQL>Alter database datafile 'c:\oradata\mysid\XYZ.dbf' autoextend on next 10m maxsize 40G
SQL>Alter database datafile 'c:\oradata\mysid\XYZ.dbf' autoextend on next 10m maxsize unlimited;
For Temp File:
SQL>Alter database tempfile 'c:\oradata\mysid\XYZ.dbf' autoextend on next 10m maxsize unlimited;
This would turn on autoextend, grab new disk space of 10m when needed and have no upper limit on the size of the datafile.
Note: This would be bad on a 32bit machine, where the max size is typically 4gig.
What is a Shared Pool?
It is the area in SGA that allows sharing of parsed SQL statements among concurrent users. It is to store the SQL statements so that the identical SQL statements do not have to be parsed each time they're executed.
The shared pool is the part of the SGA where (among others) the following things are stored:
Optimized query plans, Security checks, Parsed SQL statements, Packages, Object information
What is kept in the Database Buffer Cache?
Database Buffer cache is one of the most important components of System Global Area (SGA). Database Buffer Cache is the place where data blocks are copied from datafiles to perform SQL operations. Buffer Cache is shared memory structure and it is concurrently accessed by all server processes. Oracle allows different block size for different tablespaces. A standard block size is defined in DB_BLOCK_SIZE initialization parameter. System tablespace uses standard block size. DB_CACHE_SIZE parameter is used to define size for Database buffer cache. For example to create a cache of 800 MB, set parameter as below
DB_CACHE_SIZE=800M
If you have created a tablesapce with bock size different from standard block size, for example your standard block size is 4k and you have created a tablespace with 8k block size then you must create a 8k buffer cache as
DB_8K_CACHE_SIZE=256
How many maximum Redo Logfiles one can have in a Database?
Maximum number of log files a database can accommodate depends on the parameter "MAXLOGMEMBERS" specified during database creation. In a database we can create 255 maximum redo log files. It depends on what you specified for MAXLOGFILES during database creation (manually) or what you specified for "Maximum no. of redo log files" with DBCA.
What is PGA_AGGREGRATE_TARGET parameter?
PGA_AGGREGATE_TARGET is an Oracle server parameter that specifies the target aggregate PGA memory available to all server processes attached to the instance. Some of the properties of the PGA_AGGREGATE_TARGET parameter are given below:
Parameter type: Big integer
Syntax: PGA_AGGREGATE_TARGET = integer [K M G]•Default value: 20% of SGA size or 10MB, whichever is greater or modifiable by ALTER SYSTEM
Large Pool is used for what?
Large Pool is an optional memory structure used for the following purposes: -
       (1) Session information for shared server
       (2) I/O server processes
       (3) Parallel queries
       (4) Backup and recovery if using through RMAN.
The role of Large Pool is important because otherwise memory would be allocated from the Shared pool. Hence Large pool also reduces overhead of Shared pool.
What is PCT Increase setting?
PCTINCREASE refers to the percentage by which each next extent (beginning with the third extend) will grow. The size of each subsequent extent is equal to the size of the previous extent plus this percentage increase.
What is PCTFREE and PCTUSED Setting?
PCTFREE is a block storage parameter used to specify how much space should be left in a database block for future updates. For example, for PCTFREE=10, Oracle will keep on adding new rows to a block until it is 90% full. This leaves 10% for future updates (row expansion).
When using Oracle Advanced Compression, Oracle will trigger block compression when the PCTFREE is reached. This eliminates holes created by row deletions and maximizes contiguous free space in blocks.
PCTUSED is a block storage parameter used to specify when Oracle should consider a database block to be empty enough to be added to the freelist. Oracle will only insert new rows in blocks that is enqueued on the freelist. For example, if PCTUSED=40, Oracle will not add new rows to the block unless sufficient rows are deleted from the block so that it falls below 40% empty.
SQL> SELECT Pct_free FROM user_tables WHERE table_name = ‘EMP’;

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