Wednesday, March 18, 2009

007 Secret Agent (a.k.a. 10046 Tracing)

Whenever I speak of Oracle 10046 tracing, I usually say "10 0 46", probably because that is the way others I work with like, Cary Millsap and all of the Hotsos folks, say it. However, during the 2009 Hotsos Symposium, I noticed that Jonathan Lewis pronounced it "1 Double 0 46". I guess being a James Bond fan, it made me instantly think of James Bond 007 (Double 0 7). I thought it was kind of cool to hear Jonathan say it that way, maybe even more so because of his British accent. I started thinking that maybe I was saying it wrong and actually he was saying it right.

After all, what 10046 does is it allows us to spy on the exact details of what our Oracle transactions are doing and decipher where our valuable resources are being spent. It is the secret agent we hire to investigate where our precious time and system resources are being used up. It has a license to kill, well at least help us to kill, our heavy resource consumers. So the more I thought about it, the more I got to thinking that 10046 actually is kind of like the James Bond 007 for Oracle performance.

Sure 10046 doesn't drive around in an awesome car with cool gadgets, but it is now driving around in Oracle 10g, with a much easier way of being invoked. In the past, it could only be enabled using the ALTER SESSION or ALTER SYSTEM command. Yes, there were other ways to start it like setting an init.ora parameter, using oradebug, and of course the DBMS_SYSTEM and DBMS_SUPPORT packages. But now in Oracle 10g, it has the cool DBMS_MONITOR package to get the bad guy, I mean extended trace data file.

It also has its' Quartermaster, the TRCSESS command, to help support it when needed, by tinkering with the trace. I guess that makes TRCSESS kind of like Q in the James Bond films.

So from now on when I mention 10046, I will try to pronounce it more appropriately as 1 Double 0 46. Thank you Jonathan for correcting my pronunciation. And thank you 10046 for getting the bad guys and saving our clients' performance once again. Not to mention, allowing us to get the girl (our paycheck).

All this writing about 10046 is making me kind of thirsty. Maybe I'll have a Vodka Martini - shaken not stirred.
Now if only I can get one of those cool Aston Martin's.

Oh Rick...


  1. Great post Rick! I think I'll get on the bandwagon too and start saying 1 Double 0 46. Much cooler and I'll certainly never be able to think of it any different now that you've pointed out the similarity to James Bond (Sean Connery was my favorite Bond by the way).

    Glad to see you blogging!

  2. From a performance perspective, however,
    10 0 46, at 5 syllables, is much more efficient (~ 15%) than 1 double 0 46 at 7.

  3. Christoph,
    Well we could tune your 10 O 46 at 5 syllables to 10 O 4 6 at 4 syllables. See there is always a way to make something faster, but sometimes it's more about presentation.

    Karen, Sean Connery = James Bond