Fair enough—those are the time-savers to which we can look forward. But what about the top gotchas? What should DBAs look out for when working in 10g? Here's that list:
Automated features don't quite replace an experienced DBA. Rather than blindly following all ADDM suggestions, for example, DBAs must monitor the AMM to make sure it's not overallocating memory areas, Ault suggests. Use ADDM suggestions as guidelines for tuning, based on your own knowledge of the database being tuned. Verify all backups by performing recoveries. The EM interfaces are nice, but knowing the underlying data dictionary is still critical. Start the ASM instance first and shut it down last. "ASM controls access to the disks," Ault says, "and if the ASM instance is not started, none of the other databases can mount their data files. If the ASM instance shuts down, all of the other dependent databases will crash. Another thing to watch out for in ASM is that, at least for now, you must use the EM interface and RMAN to back up a database that uses ASM." Watch out for everything you always watched out for. That includes ensuring that you have enough disk space, watching the placement of ASM RAW devices for file I/O balancing (replacing watching the placement of data files), and making sure that all appropriate OS and Oracle patches are applied.
Finally, I wanted to know what the top things are that Oracle still needs to iron out. In Ault's view, one shortcoming has to do with the fact that the current streams interface is still in the Java version of the enterprise manager. That means you need to have two sets of EM software if you want to use streams features. That also applies to other features, Ault told me.
In addition, some of the EM screens could be more intuitive to navigate. Ault would also be pleased by seeing more tabular results, with reports backing up what's now just nice graphics. As far as RAC (Real Application Clusters) goes, "some of the install is still rather rough," Ault opined, so more work on that would be welcome.