Have you ever questioned a “best practice”?
Most likely not – - after all, it’s a best practice. It’s what the experts have told you, what Oracle has told you, and what you’ve read in the manuals and documentation.
But according to Arup Nanda, lead DBA at Starwood Hotels and Resorts, that doesn’t mean much.
In his OpenWorld session, “Real World DBA Best Practices,” Nanda said that best practices may be “questionable, misleading or downright wrong” – - and you don’t have to follow one just because someone told you to. For something to be a best practice, it should be justifiable (can you answer how and why it works?) and applicable to all cases, unless you are given clear examples for when it doesn’t apply.
Nanda went on to explain some common best practices – - and why you shouldn’t follow them. Instead, he gives his own recommendations and best practices. But if you learn your lesson from Nanda, you’ll question and look for justification of all of his suggestions as well.
So, what are they?
Many of Nanda’s tips from this session can already be found on SearchOracle.com. To summarize, here are a couple of examples of how he questions traditional DBA best practices:
Applying patches to Oracle Homes: The traditional approach is to apply a patch or patchset to the existing Oracle Home. Nanda’s proposed best practice – - which he says can take nearly three hours less time – is to install a new Oracle Home and apply the patch there.
Using .log with redos: The common practice is that Redo logs are named <Name>.log. Nanda says that this may result in accidental deletion and suggests using .redo or .rdo for redo log files.
Using Oracle Flexible Architecture (OFA): Nanda says that using OFA simply because it’s Oracle’s standard best practice is not a good idea. According to Oracle, OFA is a “set of file naming and configuration guidelines created to ensure reliable Oracle installations that require little maintenance.” But Nanda says that OFA does not allow separation of file systems or allow for passive failovers. He suggests his own layout and says to dump OFA altogether.
What do you think of these tips? Do you have any of your own best practices that go against traditional approaches? Share them with the Eye on Oracle community (although they may have to pass Nanda’s best practice standards first!)