Oracle DB – Connect Fails

Oracle Database – ORA-01017 when running “sqlplus / as sysdba”

 Smart Panda - Oracle DB SecurityI had a new oracle database server that was working great, and after some security, changes to tighten up the server, the operating system user was receiving an ORA-01017 error every time it tried to connect using the “sqlplus / as sysdba” command. The user could connect with no problem using the command “sqlplus sys as sysdba” and entering the password.

As it turned out the operating system user in this case “oracle” was not in the Oracle group “dba”.

After adding the user back into the dba group the user was able to log back in without an issue:

usermod -a -G dba oracle

Oracle Database 12c: Installation Guide

Smart Panda - Oracle DevelopmentOracle Database 12c: Installation Guide

I was working on a new server the other day and I wanted to make sure that all the correct repositories were in place, this install guide was excellent.

>> Install Guide <<<

I was doing this in AWS, and found a nice guide to setting up an OEL 7 Image: >>> Install AWS Image Guide <<<

The primary element that I was looking for was the Repositories for Oracle Enterprise Linux 7:


Oracle – OPSTAT Maintenance

Smart Panda - Database

Oracle – OPSTAT Maintenance

The other day a clients production environment was having some really bad performance issues and it was causing some jobs to fail with deadlock or wait timeouts.  This seemed highly odd as the wait timeouts where on dedicated temporary tables which actually makes no sense.  After a deeper dive the system was trying to do statistics updates on the table and it was trying to purge from the OPSTAT tables.

When reviewing the OPSTAT tables which are tables associated with Oracle’s Optimizer Statistics, it turned out that there was 330 million entries in the wri$opstat_histhead_history table. Approximately 5 millions rows for 31 days, but you may say that isn’t 330 million and you’d be correct. There is a background MMON process that runs every 24 hours that which must run in 5 minutes or the task is not executed.  Basically once the table got to a specific size the maintenance job couldn’t keep up with the volume.

This was caused when the client wanted stats to be ran nightly on the entire main schema which contains 72,000 records and indexes.  So the first thing was to change the statistics job to weekly. Next the retention policy was changed to 7 days:

exec dbms_stats.alter_stats_history_retention(7);

Now to clean the necessary statistics:

exec dbms_stats.purge_stats(sysdate-7);

Yes, this is a terribly thing to run and it took 7 hours on the environment, but no outages where necessary and the environment continued to function without issues.

Here is a great script to see the size of the AWR being used (Thanks to Oracle DBA – A Lifelong learning experience):

set linesize 120
set pagesize 100
col ash form a30
col retention form a30
col snap form a30
COLUMN "Space Used (GB)" FORMAT 999.99
COLUMN "Move Procedure" FORMAT A40
SELECT  occupant_name "Item",
space_usage_kbytes/1048576 "Space Used (GB)",
schema_name "Schema",
move_procedure "Move Procedure"
FROM v$sysaux_occupants
WHERE occupant_name = 'SM/AWR'

PeopleSoft Oracle – Security Setup

 Smart Panda - Oracle DB SecurityOracle – Security Setup

I had a client ask me last week to change up all the oracle – security setup in their production Oracle Database. The cleanup was relatively straightforward because we only use the basic accounts for the PeopleSoft environment and all the passwords had been changed since going live so there was very little risk to the environment, but they wanted to be safe so:

PeopleSoft Default Accounts: Access-Id, this account is typically by default sysadm, however you can define this account to be pretty much any name, it just needs to ensure that it is an 8-digit id and even though Oracle says the password can be greater, I highly recommend the password be 8 digits and make sure not to include any funky characters (we have seen all sorts of issues with this password being anything special). The next account we need to ensure it is working correctly is the Connect-Id, this account is used for authentication purposes with PeopleSoft.  This account has a base of 3 tables it can select data from, PSOPRDEFN, PSACCESSPRFL, PSSTATUS. As of PeopleTools 8.55, an additional grant for select is on table PSACCESSPROFILE which basically replaces PSACCESSPRFL and supposedly supports passwords up to 30 characters. The next account you will see is the PS account, this account is created when the environment is built and contains an table PS.PSDBOWNER that shows the database name with the schema owner for that database. The PS account is not allowed to be connected to.  The last two accounts you should have be default are SYS & SYSTEM, neither of which should be accessed by anybody expect your DBA.

The first major item is that they wanted the dba’s to have dedicated accounts instead of using the sysadm account.  So to do this:

In SQL*Plus:

create user dbauser1 identified by dbapassword1 ;

grant create session, grant any privilege to dbauser1;

grant connect, resource, dba to dbauser1;

grant unlimited tablespace to dbauser1;

All the work the dbauser1 needs to do is in the sysadm schema, but when it logs in it will default to the schema dbauser1.  So to fix this, we build a trigger to execute a call to switch the current schema on login:

In SQL*Plus:

exsql VARCHAR2(100);

In order to troubleshoot the environment we had created a sysadm_read account which had the role sysadm_read_only, which has select access to all PS tables in the SYSADM schema. This account was shared by multiple users for data validation.  It was determined that they wanted to have dedicated accounts for each user and they wanted to have a higher level of password security so this is where things go creative.

The first element that I want to enable is a better level of password security. Oracle has delivered password verify functions which can be applied to the environment quickly and easily.  You will want to modify the script to ensure that it affects the correct profile for your environment.  The script is:  utlpwdmg.sql which for Oracle 12c introduced two functions ora12c_verify_function and ora12c_strong_verify_function.  For my example I went with the ora12c_verify_function that more than meets the minimum requirements for the client. So now we create a new profile for the database users:

In SQL*Plus:

create profile sysadm_read_only limit
failed_login_attempts 3
password_lock_time 1
password_life_time 90
password_reuse_max 3
PASSWORD_VERIFY_FUNCTION    ora12c_verify_function    ;

This creates a new profile that allows for only 3 failed login attempts, if the user fails all 3 times the account is locked out for 1 day. Password is valid for 90 days, and can only be used every 4th time it is changed, and the password verification as at least 8 characters, at least 1 letter, at least 1 digit, must not contain database name, must not contain user name or reverse user name, must not contain oracle, must not be too simple like welcome1, and must differ by at least 3 characters from the old password (ora12c_verify_function).

Now we just need to create the new users with the sysadm_read_role:

In SQL*Plus:

create user readuser1 identified by readpassword password expire profile sysadm_read_only;

grant sysadm_read_role to readuser1;

grant connect to readuser1;

Now when the user logs into the environment they will be required to change their password and they will have read only access to the sysadm schema.  We have stored procedure that is scheduled to run nightly that grants select access to all PS tables in the sysadm schema and creates public synonyms for each one so that the read only users can select from the PS tables.  The grants are done to the sysadm_read_role Role.

Oracle – Cloning Pluggable Database

Smart Panda - PeopleSoft in the CloudCloning Pluggable Database

Well, the first question is what is a pluggable database. In Oracle 12c, Oracle has introduced a multi-tenancy database methodology, and you will see two acronyms all the time “CDB” meaning “Container Database” and PDB is an acronym for “Pluggable Database”. A quick analogy would be to think of a train to understand the difference, you have a train with an engine “CDB” and lets say up to 250 rail cars the “PDB” as working databases. Each car has specific content targeted for specific customers and they are packed and sealed independently specific to the customer. This methodology allows for a better use of resources and controls for large Enterprise setups or to be able to run multiple large enterprise setups within the same architecture. So cloning a database within this type of environment is actually very straight forward.

The Steps:

  1. Log into your container database.
  2. Close the Pluggable Database you want to clone: alter pluggable database <pdb_name> close immediate;
  3. Open the Pluggable Database in read only mode: alter pluggable database <pdb_name> open read only;
  4. Create a new directory to place the oracle database files: /u01/newpdb
  5. In SQL*Plus: alter system set db_create_file_dest=’/u01/newpdb’;
  6. Now its time to clone:

    PATH_PREFIX = ‘/u01/newpdb’;

  7. alter pluggable database newpdb open;