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CERN IT - Physics Databases Service

The Physics Database Services group provides Oracle-based database services for the Physics community at CERN. We currently host 110 Oracle 10g RAC nodes and 300TB of raw disk space and provide service to the LHC experiments, the LHC Computing Grid (LCG), COMPASS, and HARP. This wiki is used to facilitate information sharing and collaboration for the benefit of the PDB service. Please note that access to some parts of this wiki requires logon credentials.

Experiments databases

The experiments' databases usage status ATLAS, CMS, WLCG, LHCb
Online databases specific information ALICEOnline, CMSOnline, LHCbOnline

LCG 3D project

The LCG Distributed Deployment of Databases (LCG 3D) project is a joint activity between LHC experiments and LCG tier sites to co-ordinate the set-up of database services and facilities for relational data transfers as part of the LCG infrastructure. Oracle Streams is the main replication technology used for data distribution in the framework of the LHC. The role of the Physics Database Services team is to create necessary replication channels and to keep the replication infrastructure (Streams) up and running properly on the highest possible level of accessibility and performance.

For project activities and other details see LCG 3D Project Wiki.

Support contact in Emergency

PhyDB service is monitored 24x7. Automatic alarms are installed to notify the PhyDB DBAs in case of service interruption. In a need of emergency support from Physics Databases Services, you can call the Computer Operators at 75011 and request to contact the Physics Databases experts.

In order to open a Remedy ticket and provide the problem details, use the email phydb.support@cernNOSPAMPLEASE.ch.

A person currently being on shift is marked in red:


PhyDB support (non emergency)

In case of non critical problems with the databases, you are welcome to contact the support using the following mail address: This address can be used also to place requests related to database operations. However, you are welcome to go through the next paragraphs presenting the service level of the PhyDB support and providing links to tools used in case of the most common database user requests (account creation, account unblock, session manager, etc).

Service definition

In short, PhyDB services deploy three different levels of services to support Oracle database applications: a development, a validation/pre-production and a production service. Applications at different stages of their development move from the first to the last depending on their maturity and needs. The services provided by database administrators (e.g. users support, backup, etc) depend on the stage the application is in.

For the details of services definitions see the following documents:

PDFSupport Levels Policy Defines the Physics Databases support service introducing three levels of support: development, integration(validation) and production
PDFBackups Policy Presents high level description of the backup/restore strategy for physics databases
PDFDatabase Updates Policy Defines the support activities regarding the application of Oracle CPUs (Critical Patch Updates) and Oracle SW upgrades
Oracle Accounts Policy Defines the database accounts types, accounts naming convention and accounts expiration rules
PDB data life cycle management and archiving Shows a way of handling (deleting, archiving) big portions of data (typically time based data)

Tools for users

In case of a request not covered by the tools, please contact support by email (stated above, non emergency contact).

Application developers area

  • BasicConceptsReference will help you starting up with the usage of the physics databases.
  • GeneralAdvices gives some basic hints selected by our team, which should help you avoiding the most common problems .
  • ... and of course: Oracle Documentation
  • As for the process description, it can be interesting for you, when an application is ready to go on production, so you should familirize yourself with The Integration Service description.

Team activities

Architecture and performance docs HAandPerf, DBBenchmarkAndStressTest
Section meetings minutes (restricted access) July09, June09, May09, April09, March09, February09, January09, December08, November08, October08, September08, July08, June08, May08, April08, March08, February08, January08, December07, November07,October07, September07, August07, July07, June07, May07, April07, March07, February07, January07, December06, November06, October06, September06, August06, July06, June06, May06, April06, March06, February06, January06, December05, November05, October05
Technical presentations prepared by section members Presentations2009, Presentations 2008, Presentations 2007, Presentations 2006, Presentations 2005, Presentations 2004, Templates: ppt

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