Oracle Block Corruption Test

A data block is corrupted when it is not in a recognized Oracle Database format, or its contents are not internally consistent. Block corruptions may affect only a single block or a large portion of the database. It is hence important to rapidly isolate and eliminate corrupted blocks.

Using the Oracle Block Corruption test, you can not only identify how many blocks are corrupted in your database, but can also determine which blocks have been corrupted.

This test is disabled by default. To enable the test, go to the enable / disable tests page using the menu sequence : Agents -> Tests -> Enable/Disable, pick Oracle Database as the Component type, Performance as the Test type, choose this test from the disabled tests list, and click on the << button to move the test to the ENABLED TESTS list. Finally, click the Update button.

Target of the test : An Oracle server

Agent deploying the test : An internal agent

Outputs of the test : One set of results for every database on the Oracle server.

Configurable parameters for the test
  1. TEST PERIOD - How often should the test be executed
  2. Host – The host for which the test is to be configured
  3. Port - The port on which the server is listening
  4. User – In order to monitor an Oracle database server, a special database user account has to be created in every Oracle database instance that requires monitoring. A Click here hyperlink is available in the test configuration page, using which a new oracle database user can be created. Alternatively, you can manually create the special database user. When doing so, ensure that this user is vested with the select_catalog_role and create session privileges.

    The sample script we recommend for user creation (in Oracle database server versions before 12c) for eG monitoring is:

    create user oraeg identified by oraeg

    create role oratest;

    grant create session to oratest;

    grant select_catalog_role to oratest;

    grant oratest to oraeg;

    The sample script we recommend for user creation (in Oracle database server 12c) for eG monitoring is:

    alter session set container=<Oracle_service_name>;

    create user <user_name>identified by <user_password> container=current default tablespace <name_of_default_tablespace> temporary tablespace <name_of_temporary_tablespace>;

    Grant create session to <user_name>;                                

    Grant select_catalog_role to <user_name>;

    The name of this user has to be specified here.

  5. Password – Password of the specified database user

    This login information is required to query Oracle’s internal dynamic views, so as to fetch the current status / health of the various database components.

  6. Confirm password – Confirm the password by retyping it here.
  7. ISPASSIVE – If the value chosen is yes, then the Oracle server under consideration is a passive server in an Oracle cluster. No alerts will be generated if the server is not running. Measures will be reported as “Not applicable" by the agent if the server is not up.
  8. DETAILED DIAGNOSIS – To make diagnosis more efficient and accurate, the eG Enterprise suite embeds an optional detailed diagnostic capability. With this capability, the eG agents can be configured to run detailed, more elaborate tests as and when specific problems are detected. To enable the detailed diagnosis capability of this test for a particular server, choose the On option. To disable the capability, click on the Off option.

    The option to selectively enable/disable the detailed diagnosis capability will be available only if the following conditions are fulfilled:

    • The eG manager license should allow the detailed diagnosis capability
    • Both the normal and abnormal frequencies configured for the detailed diagnosis measures should not be 0.
Measurements made by the test
Measurement Description Measurement Unit Interpretation

Corrupt blocks:

Indicates the number of corrupted blocks in this Oracle database.

 

Number

Ideally, the value of this measure should be zero. A high value indicates that too many blocks in the database are corrupted. If allowed to grow, it could affect the whole database, causing significant loss of data.

The first step towards correcting corruption therefore is know where the corruption has occurred and understand the nature of the corruption. Towards this end, eG Enterprise offers the detailed diagnosis capability. By enabling this capability for this test, you can view the details of corrupted blocks such as the exact file number, file name, block number where the corruption starts, number of corrupted blocks, corruption change and the corruption type.

Once the corrupted objects are identified, you can use one of the many methods that Oracle provides for rectifying the corruption. One method of correction is to drop and re-create an object after the corruption is detected. However, this is not always possible or desirable. If data block corruption is limited to a subset of rows, another option is to rebuild the table by selecting all data except for the corrupt rows.

Yet another way to manage data block corruption is to use the DBMS_REPAIR package. You can use DBMS_REPAIR to detect and repair corrupt blocks in tables and indexes. Using this approach, you can address corruptions where possible, and also continue to use objects while you attempt to rebuild or repair them.