Sunday, January 4, 2009

How important is having Unix/Linux OS Knowledge for Oracle DBAs?


I wanna wish you all a very Happy New Year 2009 before being discussed on “How Important Having UNIX OS Knowledge for Oracle DBA?”

The main reason for discussing this topic is to encourage the novice or junior DBAs to have command on Unix/Linux Operating System as part of Database Administration. Because, when they were asked how comfortable they are working as DBA on Unix/Linux environment, then their responses are as following.

“They are pretty much comfortable working and administrating the databases on Windows Operating System as they were trained on administrating the database on Windows OS during their DBA Training”

“They are not enough confident in using the Unix/Linux OS commands to administer the databases”

“We didn’t get the chance yet to maintain the database on UNIX environment including Solaris, HP-Unix, IBM AIX, etc.”

“Working on windows environment is easier than working on Unix/Linux environment as it’s only required, on Windows OS, to select the files physically/copy/cut & paste from one location to another, or delete the files, and stopping the services by simply clicking, where as in Unix/Linux, one should use commands manually for the same”

…. and so on.

If anyone is with the above impression about administrating databases on Unix/Linux OS, then here are my suggestions as follows.

  • First of all, it’s not compulsory for DBAs to have operating system administration skills. But, working knowledge, on both the operating systems including Windows and Unix/Linux, is always value added to Oracle DBAs
  • The majority of the production database administration on Unix/Linux based operating systems is enormous in the globe, i.e. very large and mission critical databases are being maintained on Unix/LinuxOS.
  • Obviously, all big companies require the database administrator who’s having good UNIX scripting knowledge and working knowledge of UNIX based environments. It means that the Oracle DBAs, having good working knowledge of UNIX, have demand in the IT market.
  • Even though the DBAs intervention is manual in terms of creating directories, files, setting up environment variables, and starting/stopping the services in Unix environment, it’s very easy as good as maintaining in Windows environment.
  • Administration and OS commands are more or less similar on any flavor of Unix/Linux Operating system i.e. Solaris, HP-Unix, IBM AIX, Red Hat, Fedora, Ubuntu, etc., So, start practicing Oracle database administration on Unix/Linux based systems.
  • Probably, it may be difficult to have Unix OS installed in the personal computer for practical purpose. So, download the free/trail version of Linux (Oracle Unbreakable Linux) from Oracle, install and configure in the PC, and start practicing on Linux. To practice on different Unix/Linux OS flavors, get your pc installed with the VM Ware, where you can set up multiple and different flavors of Unix/Linux OS.
  • Note: Of course, this post is not for showing the difference between Windows and Unix/Linux Operating Systems as every OS has its own significance, but to encourage the Oracle DBAs to learn the commands of Unix/Linux required administering the databases.

Quick Links:

Download: Enterprise Linux and Oracle VM

Information: Oracle and Linux

Installation Guides: Oracle 10g Instalaltion on Unix/Linux OS

Books: Oracle9i UNIX Administration Handbook

Linux Recipes for Oracle DBAs

Training: Oracle Database 10g: Managing Oracle on Linux for DBAs

Exam: Oracle Database 10g: Managing Oracle on Linux Certified Expert Oracle

** Your comemnts and inputs are welcomed to this post. **


Sabdar Syed