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Senior-Level DBA Interview Question: Catt Solutions

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Senior-Level DBA Interview


Question:
With well over a decade of Oracle experience from version 6 to 11g,
I have had my share of interviewing prospective DBA employees in
a range from Junior to Senior DBAs. Needless to say in this field,
technical competence is the key to any new hire and early on I
made the blunder of not asking the write questions during the
interview. I am sure every senior person or manager has made this
mistake and had to deal with either training the person from
scratch or letting them go. Either of these options is not desirable in
our fast past business world. So, I decided to write a couple of
articles which cover what I believe a Junior, Mid, and Senior Oracle
DBA should know to fill their prospective positions.
In this article we will cover what a Senior Level DBA should know to
be successful. If you have any comments or questions, please email
me at larry.catt@relidb.com.
Questions: NOTE: Answers here can be very broad, however they
not always wrong. That is why it is important to have a proven DBA
on staff or one you can call to review the answers. I have seen very
inventive ways to get around the most impossible tasks and while
they do not actually meet the standard way of doing the work, I
would not count these people out. A person whom thinks outside of
the box is very valuable in IT and believe it or not, some of the best
DBAs I have ever met thought completely outside the box,
however always accomplished the task.
1. You have a brand new Solaris Machine, freshly built by the SA,
with all Oracle RDBMS recommended patching and Kernel
Parameters set. Please give the order of tasks to install Oracle up to
its latest CPU?
2. You have just moved Oracle Binary files from an ORACLE_HOME
on one server to another server. What is the oracle utility command
you would use to make this new ORACLE_HOME usable?
3. Tell me why just copying the oracle datafiles from HP-UX to
LINUX RHEL and starting the database would not work?
4. In what months does Oracle release CPU patches and what is the
utility to apply them.
5. You need to shutdown the oracle database but it will not
shutdown with SHUTDOWN IMMEDIATE. How will you shutdown
the database?
6. How do you logon to Oracle server without knowing any oracle
passwords?

http://www.cattsolutions.com/senior-level-dba-interview-question/

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Senior-Level DBA Interview Question: Catt Solutions

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7. How would you determine that SCATTERED READ where


occuring?
8. How would you see the SQL of the currently active sessions from
a command prompt?
9. When having multiple oracle homes on a single server or client
what is the parameter that points all Oracle installs at one
TNSNAMES.ORA file.
10. You have ASM database that used by three production systems.
The server which the ASM database is shutdown. What happens to
the production RDBMS?

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Answers:
1. You have a brand new Solaris Machine, freshly built by the SA,
with all Oracle RDBMS recommended patching and Kernel
Parameters set. Please give the order of tasks to install Oracle up to
its latest CPU?
- Verify that all patches are installed and kernel parameters set.
(Some not all SA say the system is ready when it is not. You can
save yourself a lot of problems by double checking)
- Configuration of .profile or .bash_profile for the Oracle owner.
- Base Installation of Oracle (ie what to get to 10.2.0.4 must install
Oracle 10.1 first).
- Upgrade to Oracle Version Desired.
- Upgrade the database(if upgrade is necessary)
- Run UTLRP.SQL.
- Apply lastest CPU patch.
- Run UTLRP.SQL.
- Configuration of Listener.
- Configuration of client TNSNAMES.ORA file.
2. You have just moved Oracle Binary files from an ORACLE_HOME
on one server to another server. What is the oracle utility command
you would use to make this new ORACLE_HOME usable?
Solution:
Relink all
3. Tell me why just copying the oracle datafiles from HP-UX to
LINUX RHEL and starting the database would not work?
Solution:
Differing Indian codes.
4. In what months does Oracle release CPU patches and what is the
utility to apply them.
Solution:
JAN, APR, JUL, OCT
5. You need to shutdown the oracle database but it will not
shutdown with SHUTDOWN IMMEDIATE. How will you shutdown
the database?
Solution:
Kill the smon process.
6. How do you logon to Oracle server without knowing any oracle
passwords?
Solution:
Sudo to the Oracle software owners account and logon with the
command sqlplus / as sysdba
7. How would you determine that SCATTERED READ where?
Solution:
Look in the views v$session_wait or v$session_wait_history.
Could give:
Statspack or EM report.
8. How would you see the SQL of the currently active sessions from
a command prompt?

http://www.cattsolutions.com/senior-level-dba-interview-question/

5/1/2014

Senior-Level DBA Interview Question: Catt Solutions

Page 3 of 3

Solution:
Compare tables V$SQL view by sql_address with V$SESSION view
of currently active sessions.
9. When having multiple oracle homes on a single server or client
what is the parameter that points all Oracle installs at one
TNSNAMES.ORA file.
Solution:
TNS_ADMIN
10. You have ASM database that used by three production systems.
The server which the ASM database is shutdown. What happens to
the production RDBMS?
Solution:
Other database would shutdown abort.
Larry Catt, OCP 9i, 10g
oracle@allcompute.com
www.allcompute.com
Posted on November 5th, 2009 under 11g, ASM, hp-ux, itanium,
linux, Oracle, Oracle 10g, oracle 9i, RAC, SQL, uncategorized,
unix Tags: dba, interview, Oracle, question, questions, senior.
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