Did that headline get your attention? Good!
I’m a huge fan of Oracle’s Autonomous Health Framework (AHF). It’s a wonderful tool with utilities and features that can make a DBA’s life easier. It’s simple to use and—best of all—free, a “Swiss Army Knife” for the DBA. If you aren’t taking advantage of AHF, I highly recommend starting, particularly since Oracle requires customers to provide an AHF diagnostic collection for certain Service Requests. I realize this seems like an extra step. Still, over the years, I’ve used AHF and its predecessor, Trace File Analyzer (TFA), and submitting a diagnostic collection when filing an SR consistently produced faster resolutions. There's so much good stuff in AHF, I have a five-hour workshop, and even that doesn't delve into some of the esoteric stuff it does.
For all the good things about AHF (and TFA before it), there’s a huge “But” hanging over my recommendation. My Number 1 Rule for AHF:
Never, ever, ever run the latest version.
In my experience, AHF is historically and painfully regression-prone. Filing bugs and pursuing SRs for AHF is an endurance sport. So, while I love the tool, being on its edge can cut as deeply as the blade of a knife.
An example is the regression in AHF 23.4.0 outlined in MOS Document ID 2951642.1. It's the most serious I've seen, and while it affects a relatively narrow population, it's scary.
If you're running AHF 23.4.0 AND:
- run ORAchk or EXAchk on a multi-node RAC system;
- use SSH equivalence for remote node login;
oracleuser has a login banner for selecting a
ORACLE_HOMEfrom a list of those available on the system;
… there's a possibility AHF will delete the
ORACLE_HOME(s) on remote nodes. Deleted homes need to be restored from backup or recreated from the node where ORAchk/EXAchk ran.
The issue is fixed in AHF 23.4.1, which should be released soon. In the meantime, you can uninstall AHF and download AHF 23.3.0 from My Oracle Support Document 2550798.1, where you'll always find several past versions of the product.
By no means does this temper my endorsement of AHF, but it does reinforce my recommendation that customers follow an N-1 versioning strategy, especially in production. If you do install or upgrade to the latest version of AHF, do so only on non-critical systems and exercise caution.