OTN Appreciation Day: Automatic Storage Management (ASM)

Big shout out to Tim for kicking this off!

Automatic Storage Management (ASM) provides optimised volume management and filesystem capabilities for Oracle databases, whether they be single or multi instance (RAC) implementations.

Although introduced with Oracle 10g Release 1 in 2004, I first used it in a production scenario around 2008, when upgrading a hardware platform for a Data Warehouse. It seemed like a logical choice for myself and the DBAs at the time, although the storage team were less pleased at losing some control. Ultimately it proved a big success on that project and is still in stable, reliable use today.

Things I like about ASM include:

  • Simplifies storage management
  • Automatic rebalancing when capacity is added
  • Visibility within Enterprise Manager for monitoring
  • Availability of detailed metrics within the database
  • Reliable, balanced and consistent performance
  • Works with RAC
  • Rolling upgrades and patching
  • Provides a reliable cluster filesystem (ACFS)
  • Even more cool features coming in 12c such as Flex ASM


Some useful links:

ASM Administrators Guide 12cR1 (Oracle Docs)

The Mother Of All ASM Scripts (John Hallas)

Technical overview of new features for ASM in 12c (Whitepaper)

nmon for linux (Fedora 12, x86_64)

At my current client site, I use AIX on IBM PowerPC kit. There is a neat little systems monitoring tool called “nmon” on AIX, which I quite like. I noticed recently that it’s available on Linux now, so I installed it on my machine, which runs Fedora 12. There are a number of binaries prebuilt, but not for Fedora 12 on x86_64, so I downloaded the code, followed the instructions and compiled a binary which works fine.

It shows a number of useful metrics for CPU, memory, disk, network etc…if you use nmon, but didn’t know it was available for linux, well, now you do.

Advert: YouGoDo dot com

Nothing technical here…just a quick advert.

Some friends of mine have started a new website Called YouGoDo.

Billed as “The World’s Playground”, offering users a quick and simple answer to questions like:

I’m off to [location], what can I do there?
I want to do [activity], where can I do it?
I want to do [activity] in [location], who provides this service?

If you’re interested, feel free to try them out.

Fifteen Minutes of fame as an animal welfare supporter

My wife and I were happy to receive a call from Respect For Animals the other day, to inform us that our names would appear on a two page advert in the August issue of the BBC Wildlife magazine, in support of the campaign to stop the seal cull in Canada.

I’d never read the magazine before, but after buying it to see the advert, I was quite pleased that it was a really good read for those of us interested in the animal kingdom.

Honestly, I’ll not have a bad word said about BT

No seriously, I’ve always found BT to be a really great company – great products and wonderful customer service – I’ve always said as much…but on Friday one of their guys called me to apologise for recent events. Obviously I wouldn’t be able to divulge the terms of the compensation package they’ve given but suffice it to say I’m off to the Pound shop now to buy 450 individual items!