FAQ
Does anyone have any experience of these, what sort of things got looked
at and what stuff didn't get looked at? We have had 2 that seemed to be
somewhat useless and annoying, I am not sure that this is because they
are useless and annoying or if we were just unlucky. I don't mind folk
checking that we backup our databases for example, but passing our
backup strategy without seeing whether it worked or not doesn't inspire
confidence


Niall Litchfield
Oracle DBA
Audit Commission
+44 117 975 7805

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  • Mercadante, Thomas F at Feb 4, 2004 at 3:51 pm
    We just looked at Tivoli Monitoring for Oracle. The sales presentation
    sounded good. But when we started looking at what exactly they could
    monitor "out of the box", we rejected everything except for database
    up/down, listener up/down and archive directory getting full. It had a
    bunch of Oracle internal things it could monitor (like tablespace filling
    up, user process monitoring etc, but we just didn't want to implement a
    monster, and some other stuff just didn't make any sense (like BCHR). And
    we thought that it would be sending us way too many emails or pages to turn
    anything else on.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Tom Mercadante
    Oracle Certified Professional

    -----Original Message-----
    From: Niall Litchfield
    Sent: Wednesday, February 04, 2004 10:40 AM
    To: oracle-l_at_freelists.org
    Subject: 3rd Party Database health check

    Does anyone have any experience of these, what sort of things got looked
    at and what stuff didn't get looked at? We have had 2 that seemed to be
    somewhat useless and annoying, I am not sure that this is because they
    are useless and annoying or if we were just unlucky. I don't mind folk
    checking that we backup our databases for example, but passing our
    backup strategy without seeing whether it worked or not doesn't inspire
    confidence


    Niall Litchfield
    Oracle DBA
    Audit Commission
    +44 117 975 7805

    This email contains information intended for
    the addressee only. It may be confidential
    and may be the subject of legal and/or
    professional privilege. Any dissemination,
    distribution, copyright or use of this
    communication without prior permission of
    the sender is strictly prohibited.

    Please see the official ORACLE-L FAQ: http://www.orafaq.com

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  • Kirtikumar Deshpande at Feb 4, 2004 at 6:28 pm
    About 6 years ago, I installed BMC Patrol at our workplace for DB monitoring.

    Last year we began uninstalling it as we migrated/upgraded databases to newer releases. Patrol was
    a bit late to keep up with all new features.


    This year we stopped running Patrol on almost all servers for DB monitoring (a few are still
    running it as I have not found time to get to them).
    From all those 60-100 "database parameters" Patrol monitored, we had found about 10 or so to be of
    any help to the DBA with Oracle 7 and 8, mainly.

    Now we are deploying our own scripts to monitor just a few parameters we think are critical to
    each database: archived and dump directory usage, listener status, tablespace usage, interested
    ORA errors in alert log etc.

    Cheers!

    Kirti

    "Mercadante, Thomas F" wrote:
    We just looked at Tivoli Monitoring for Oracle. The sales presentation
    sounded good. But when we started looking at what exactly they could
    monitor "out of the box", we rejected everything except for database
    up/down, listener up/down and archive directory getting full. It had a
    bunch of Oracle internal things it could monitor (like tablespace filling
    up, user process monitoring etc, but we just didn't want to implement a
    monster, and some other stuff just didn't make any sense (like BCHR). And
    we thought that it would be sending us way too many emails or pages to turn
    anything else on.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Tom Mercadante
    Oracle Certified Professional


    -----Original Message-----
    From: Niall Litchfield
    Sent: Wednesday, February 04, 2004 10:40 AM
    To: oracle-l_at_freelists.org
    Subject: 3rd Party Database health check


    Does anyone have any experience of these, what sort of things got looked
    at and what stuff didn't get looked at? We have had 2 that seemed to be
    somewhat useless and annoying, I am not sure that this is because they
    are useless and annoying or if we were just unlucky. I don't mind folk
    checking that we backup our databases for example, but passing our
    backup strategy without seeing whether it worked or not doesn't inspire
    confidence

    Niall Litchfield
    Oracle DBA
    Audit Commission
    +44 117 975 7805
    Do you Yahoo!?
    Yahoo! SiteBuilder - Free web site building tool. Try it!
    http://webhosting.yahoo.com/ps/sb/

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  • Mladen Gogala at Feb 4, 2004 at 6:38 pm

    On 02/04/2004 01:28:58 PM, Kirtikumar Deshpande wrote:
    From all those 60-100 "database parameters" Patrol monitored, we had
    found about 10 or so to be of
    any help to the DBA with Oracle 7 and 8, mainly.
    You were supposed to monitor the buffer hit ratio, don't you know that?

    Please see the official ORACLE-L FAQ: http://www.orafaq.com

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  • Kirtikumar Deshpande at Feb 4, 2004 at 7:15 pm
    Sure we monitored that too....
    .... but the warning/alarm threshold was a bit low.... (like 2 or 5%).

    :)

    Kirti

    Mladen Gogala wrote:
    On 02/04/2004 01:28:58 PM, Kirtikumar Deshpande wrote:
    From all those 60-100 "database parameters" Patrol monitored, we had
    found about 10 or so to be of
    any help to the DBA with Oracle 7 and 8, mainly.
    You were supposed to monitor the buffer hit ratio, don't you know that?
    Do you Yahoo!?
    Yahoo! SiteBuilder - Free web site building tool. Try it!
    http://webhosting.yahoo.com/ps/sb/

    Please see the official ORACLE-L FAQ: http://www.orafaq.com

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  • Mogens Nørgaard at Feb 7, 2004 at 9:58 am
    Can't have enough 9's there :). I was at a customer site the other day
    (a Siebel implementation, but that's not the point), and it was
    beautiful to watch:

    First they showed me OEM displaying a BCHR of 99.99. Yet they had a
    problem...
    Then they showed me that a certain piece of SQL took 452 seconds to run.
    It had to run every few minutes, so that was a problem.
    Then the IT director informed me that they were about to buy four GB RAM
    on top of the four they already had.
    The IT manager told me they were also going to buy four more disks
    because they had four empty slots in the cabinet.
    Then Johannes looked at the query and brought it down to 18 seconds by
    moving stuff around and adding a hint, and down to 6 seconds by adding
    an index.
    They are going to buy the disks anyway, but they won't buy the extra RAM
    just yet. Oh well.

    Johannes - remember to bill the customer, by the way, will you?

    Mogens

    Kirtikumar Deshpande wrote:
    Sure we monitored that too....
    .... but the warning/alarm threshold was a bit low.... (like 2 or 5%).

    :)

    - Kirti

    --- Mladen Gogala wrote:

    On 02/04/2004 01:28:58 PM, Kirtikumar Deshpande wrote:

    From all those 60-100 "database parameters" Patrol monitored, we had
    found about 10 or so to be of
    any help to the DBA with Oracle 7 and 8, mainly.
    You were supposed to monitor the buffer hit ratio, don't you know that?


    __________________________________
    Do you Yahoo!?
    Yahoo! SiteBuilder - Free web site building tool. Try it!
    http://webhosting.yahoo.com/ps/sb/
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  • Nuno Souto at Feb 7, 2004 at 10:09 am
    Original Message -----
    From: "Mogens Nørgaard"
    First they showed me OEM displaying a BCHR of 99.99. Yet they had a
    problem...
    Hehehe! I love those...
    Then the IT director informed me that they were about to buy four GB RAM
    on top of the four they already had.
    Ah! To be sure to be sure? Or does (s)he like stereo?
    :)
    They are going to buy the disks anyway, but they won't buy the extra RAM
    just yet. Oh well.
    You realize of course the sales rep will now classify Johannes as
    a danger to society who must be pursued as an active comunist?
    Johannes - remember to bill the customer, by the way, will you?
    from a great height, please.

    Cheers
    Nuno Souto
    in sunny Sydney, Australia
    dbvision_at_optusnet.com.au

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  • Freeman, Donald at Feb 4, 2004 at 4:05 pm
    Interesting post ~ I have spent a good bit of my working life in =
    organizations where inspections and checklists were a way of life. The =
    inspections are always conducted by experts. The definition of an =
    expert is "Any a$$hole from out of town!" (Doesn't apply to anyone =
    here). I have had many arguments with management over the results of =
    these inspections. Some I won and some I lost. Since most Oracle =
    installations are unique I would think they would have to rate on =
    customary practice and industry standards as defined by (?). I suppose =
    the Pope of Oracle.

    For instance, where I work some of the databases are protected using hot =
    backups and some are using cold backups. I suppose that we would =
    receive a critical review because we don't use hot backups throughout =
    the enterprise. I wouldn't have to worry about the outcome of the =
    review because my management likes it and insists that it be that way.

    If your management wants you to change things to conform to the =
    recommendations of the review against your better judgement then I would =
    say you are unlucky.=20

    -----Original Message-----
    From: oracle-l-bounce_at_freelists.org
    On Behalf Of Niall Litchfield
    Sent: Wednesday, February 04, 2004 10:40 AM
    To: oracle-l_at_freelists.org
    Subject: 3rd Party Database health check

    Does anyone have any experience of these, what sort of things got looked
    at and what stuff didn't get looked at? We have had 2 that seemed to be
    somewhat useless and annoying, I am not sure that this is because they
    are useless and annoying or if we were just unlucky. I don't mind folk
    checking that we backup our databases for example, but passing our
    backup strategy without seeing whether it worked or not doesn't inspire
    confidence
    =20
    Niall Litchfield
    Oracle DBA
    Audit Commission
    +44 117 975 7805=20

    This email contains information intended for
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    and may be the subject of legal and/or
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    the sender is strictly prohibited.

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  • Niall Litchfield at Feb 4, 2004 at 4:12 pm
    Sorry I should have been more clear, I intended to mean paying 3rd party co=
    nsultants to come in and do a manual health check of ones databases. The id=
    ea is good or rather not bad, it helps give damagement some outside confide=
    nce in the DBA team a bit like a network security check. On the other hand =
    if you can say that everything is satisfactorily backed up without actually=

    seeing any proof that the backups worked....=20
    =20

    --=20
    Niall Litchfield
    Oracle DBA
    Audit Commission UK

    -----Original Message-----
    From: thomas.mercadante_at_labor.state.ny.us
    Sent: 04 February 2004 15:51
    To: oracle-l_at_freelists.org; thomas.mercadante_at_labor.state.ny.us
    Subject: RE: 3rd Party Database health check

    We just looked at Tivoli Monitoring for Oracle. The sales presentation
    sounded good. But when we started looking at what exactly they could
    monitor "out of the box", we rejected everything except for database
    up/down, listener up/down and archive directory getting full. It had a
    bunch of Oracle internal things it could monitor (like tablespace filling
    up, user process monitoring etc, but we just didn't want to implement a
    monster, and some other stuff just didn't make any sense (like BCHR). And
    we thought that it would be sending us way too many emails or pages to turn
    anything else on.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Tom Mercadante
    Oracle Certified Professional

    -----Original Message-----
    From: Niall Litchfield
    Sent: Wednesday, February 04, 2004 10:40 AM
    To: oracle-l_at_freelists.org
    Subject: 3rd Party Database health check

    Does anyone have any experience of these, what sort of things got looked
    at and what stuff didn't get looked at? We have had 2 that seemed to be
    somewhat useless and annoying, I am not sure that this is because they
    are useless and annoying or if we were just unlucky. I don't mind folk
    checking that we backup our databases for example, but passing our
    backup strategy without seeing whether it worked or not doesn't inspire
    confidence

    Niall Litchfield
    Oracle DBA
    Audit Commission
    +44 117 975 7805

    This email contains information intended for
    the addressee only. It may be confidential
    and may be the subject of legal and/or
    professional privilege. Any dissemination,
    distribution, copyright or use of this
    communication without prior permission of
    the sender is strictly prohibited.

    Please see the official ORACLE-L FAQ: http://www.orafaq.com

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    put 'unsubscribe' in the subject line.
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  • DENNIS WILLIAMS at Feb 4, 2004 at 4:29 pm
    Niall - My first reaction is that if the DBA team's credibility is that low,
    perhaps they should focus on improving their credibility. If the outside
    people say that everything is just great, then management doesn't feel they
    received their money's worth. So naturally the consultants have to find a
    few things. Then the next issue is whether these are really serious issues
    or just small issues the consultants are making a big deal of and whether
    management will know the difference. Then your credibility will really be in
    tatters.

    Often consultants are most use are when you already know the conclusions
    you want them to reach. For instance if the backup configuration is
    inadequate, but management doesn't want to buy more equipment. If the
    consultants point that out, then it may be clearer to senior management.

    I could also see where very new sites or sites that are extremely
    complex or sites that are anticipating enormous growth might benefit from an
    outside review.

    I also have a form if you want to audit your own database.

    Dennis Williams
    DBA

    Lifetouch, Inc.
    dwilliams_at_lifetouch.com

    -----Original Message-----
    From: Niall Litchfield
    Sent: Wednesday, February 04, 2004 10:13 AM
    To: oracle-l_at_freelists.org
    Subject: RE: 3rd Party Database health check

    Sorry I should have been more clear, I intended to mean paying 3rd party co=
    nsultants to come in and do a manual health check of ones databases. The id=
    ea is good or rather not bad, it helps give damagement some outside confide=
    nce in the DBA team a bit like a network security check. On the other hand =
    if you can say that everything is satisfactorily backed up without actually=

    seeing any proof that the backups worked....=20
    =20

    --=20
    Niall Litchfield
    Oracle DBA
    Audit Commission UK

    -----Original Message-----
    From: thomas.mercadante_at_labor.state.ny.us
    Sent: 04 February 2004 15:51
    To: oracle-l_at_freelists.org; thomas.mercadante_at_labor.state.ny.us
    Subject: RE: 3rd Party Database health check

    We just looked at Tivoli Monitoring for Oracle. The sales presentation
    sounded good. But when we started looking at what exactly they could
    monitor "out of the box", we rejected everything except for database
    up/down, listener up/down and archive directory getting full. It had a
    bunch of Oracle internal things it could monitor (like tablespace filling
    up, user process monitoring etc, but we just didn't want to implement a
    monster, and some other stuff just didn't make any sense (like BCHR). And
    we thought that it would be sending us way too many emails or pages to turn
    anything else on.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Tom Mercadante
    Oracle Certified Professional

    -----Original Message-----
    From: Niall Litchfield
    Sent: Wednesday, February 04, 2004 10:40 AM
    To: oracle-l_at_freelists.org
    Subject: 3rd Party Database health check

    Does anyone have any experience of these, what sort of things got looked
    at and what stuff didn't get looked at? We have had 2 that seemed to be
    somewhat useless and annoying, I am not sure that this is because they
    are useless and annoying or if we were just unlucky. I don't mind folk
    checking that we backup our databases for example, but passing our
    backup strategy without seeing whether it worked or not doesn't inspire
    confidence

    Niall Litchfield
    Oracle DBA
    Audit Commission
    +44 117 975 7805

    This email contains information intended for
    the addressee only. It may be confidential
    and may be the subject of legal and/or
    professional privilege. Any dissemination,
    distribution, copyright or use of this
    communication without prior permission of
    the sender is strictly prohibited.

    Please see the official ORACLE-L FAQ: http://www.orafaq.com

    To unsubscribe send email to: oracle-l-request_at_freelists.org
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  • Mercadante, Thomas F at Feb 4, 2004 at 4:34 pm
    I think I would like this maybe once or twice just to help me perform a
    sanity check on everything. After that, it might be annoying because it
    eats up your time while the person is there.

    Of course, the value of the "Health Check" would depend on the skills and
    experience of the person doing it. I would pay big $ for folks from HotSos
    and many others on this list. But to have a local Consulting Group come in
    - well - you really need to evaluate the evaluator then, don't you.

    Good Luck!

    Tom Mercadante
    Oracle Certified Professional

    -----Original Message-----
    From: Niall Litchfield
    Sent: Wednesday, February 04, 2004 11:13 AM
    To: oracle-l_at_freelists.org
    Subject: RE: 3rd Party Database health check

    Sorry I should have been more clear, I intended to mean paying 3rd party co=
    nsultants to come in and do a manual health check of ones databases. The id=
    ea is good or rather not bad, it helps give damagement some outside confide=
    nce in the DBA team a bit like a network security check. On the other hand =
    if you can say that everything is satisfactorily backed up without actually=

    seeing any proof that the backups worked....=20
    =20

    --=20
    Niall Litchfield
    Oracle DBA
    Audit Commission UK

    -----Original Message-----
    From: thomas.mercadante_at_labor.state.ny.us
    Sent: 04 February 2004 15:51
    To: oracle-l_at_freelists.org; thomas.mercadante_at_labor.state.ny.us
    Subject: RE: 3rd Party Database health check

    We just looked at Tivoli Monitoring for Oracle. The sales presentation
    sounded good. But when we started looking at what exactly they could
    monitor "out of the box", we rejected everything except for database
    up/down, listener up/down and archive directory getting full. It had a
    bunch of Oracle internal things it could monitor (like tablespace filling
    up, user process monitoring etc, but we just didn't want to implement a
    monster, and some other stuff just didn't make any sense (like BCHR). And
    we thought that it would be sending us way too many emails or pages to turn
    anything else on.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Tom Mercadante
    Oracle Certified Professional

    -----Original Message-----
    From: Niall Litchfield
    Sent: Wednesday, February 04, 2004 10:40 AM
    To: oracle-l_at_freelists.org
    Subject: 3rd Party Database health check

    Does anyone have any experience of these, what sort of things got looked
    at and what stuff didn't get looked at? We have had 2 that seemed to be
    somewhat useless and annoying, I am not sure that this is because they
    are useless and annoying or if we were just unlucky. I don't mind folk
    checking that we backup our databases for example, but passing our
    backup strategy without seeing whether it worked or not doesn't inspire
    confidence

    Niall Litchfield
    Oracle DBA
    Audit Commission
    +44 117 975 7805

    This email contains information intended for
    the addressee only. It may be confidential
    and may be the subject of legal and/or
    professional privilege. Any dissemination,
    distribution, copyright or use of this
    communication without prior permission of
    the sender is strictly prohibited.

    Please see the official ORACLE-L FAQ: http://www.orafaq.com

    To unsubscribe send email to: oracle-l-request_at_freelists.org
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  • Goulet, Dick at Feb 4, 2004 at 6:35 pm
    I've looked at Patrol, TeamQuest, Tivoli, and a pile of others. Many =
    have some rather strange things that they watch & alert on (like BCHR) =
    while at the same time missing what I think are more important items =
    like processes, sessions, and archive redo space. Guess that's why the =
    program I wrote many moons ago is still alive & well here. One good =
    thing about rolling your own, you own the source code. Don't like what =
    it's watching or where the alert points are, change them.

    Dick Goulet
    Senior Oracle DBA
    Oracle Certified 8i DBA

    -----Original Message-----
    From: Kirtikumar Deshpande
    Sent: Wednesday, February 04, 2004 1:29 PM
    To: oracle-l_at_freelists.org
    Subject: RE: 3rd Party Database health check

    About 6 years ago, I installed BMC Patrol at our workplace for DB =
    monitoring.=20

    Last year we began uninstalling it as we migrated/upgraded databases to =
    newer releases. Patrol was
    a bit late to keep up with all new features.=20
    =20
    This year we stopped running Patrol on almost all servers for DB =
    monitoring (a few are still
    running it as I have not found time to get to them).=20
    From all those 60-100 "database parameters" Patrol monitored, we had =
    found about 10 or so to be of
    any help to the DBA with Oracle 7 and 8, mainly. =20

    Now we are deploying our own scripts to monitor just a few parameters we =
    think are critical to
    each database: archived and dump directory usage, listener status, =
    tablespace usage, interested
    ORA errors in alert log etc.=20

    Cheers!

    Kirti =20

    =20

    "Mercadante, Thomas F" wrote:
    We just looked at Tivoli Monitoring for Oracle. The sales =
    presentation
    sounded good. But when we started looking at what exactly they could
    monitor "out of the box", we rejected everything except for database
    up/down, listener up/down and archive directory getting full. It had = a
    bunch of Oracle internal things it could monitor (like tablespace = filling
    up, user process monitoring etc, but we just didn't want to implement = a
    monster, and some other stuff just didn't make any sense (like =
    BCHR). And
    we thought that it would be sending us way too many emails or pages to = turn
    anything else on.
    =20
    Just my 2 cents.
    =20
    Tom Mercadante
    Oracle Certified Professional
    =20
    =20
    -----Original Message-----
    From: Niall Litchfield
    Sent: Wednesday, February 04, 2004 10:40 AM
    To: oracle-l_at_freelists.org
    Subject: 3rd Party Database health check
    =20
    =20
    Does anyone have any experience of these, what sort of things got = looked
    at and what stuff didn't get looked at? We have had 2 that seemed to = be
    somewhat useless and annoying, I am not sure that this is because they
    are useless and annoying or if we were just unlucky. I don't mind folk
    checking that we backup our databases for example, but passing our
    backup strategy without seeing whether it worked or not doesn't = inspire
    confidence
    =20
    Niall Litchfield
    Oracle DBA
    Audit Commission
    +44 117 975 7805=20
    =20
    =20
    Do you Yahoo!?
    Yahoo! SiteBuilder - Free web site building tool. Try it!
    http://webhosting.yahoo.com/ps/sb/

    Please see the official ORACLE-L FAQ: http://www.orafaq.com

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  • Niall Litchfield at Feb 9, 2004 at 10:03 am
    That's not a health check, you did stuff. :(=20
    -----Original Message-----
    From: mln_at_miracleas.dk=20
    Sent: 07 February 2004 09:58
    To: mln_at_miracleas.dk; oracle-l_at_freelists.org
    Cc: jvd_at_MiracleAS.dk
    Subject: Re: 3rd Party Database health check
    =20
    =20
    Can't have enough 9's there :). I was at a customer site the=20
    other day=20
    (a Siebel implementation, but that's not the point), and it was=20
    beautiful to watch:
    =20
    First they showed me OEM displaying a BCHR of 99.99. Yet they had a=20
    problem...
    Then they showed me that a certain piece of SQL took 452=20
    seconds to run.=20
    It had to run every few minutes, so that was a problem.
    Then the IT director informed me that they were about to buy=20
    four GB RAM=20
    on top of the four they already had.
    The IT manager told me they were also going to buy four more disks=20
    because they had four empty slots in the cabinet.
    Then Johannes looked at the query and brought it down to 18=20
    seconds by=20
    moving stuff around and adding a hint, and down to 6 seconds=20
    by adding=20
    an index.
    They are going to buy the disks anyway, but they won't buy=20
    the extra RAM=20
    just yet. Oh well.
    =20
    Johannes - remember to bill the customer, by the way, will you?
    =20
    Mogens
    =20
    Kirtikumar Deshpande wrote:
    =20
    Sure we monitored that too....=20
    .... but the warning/alarm threshold was a bit low.... (like=20
    2 or 5%).=20
    :)=20

    - Kirti=20

    --- Mladen Gogala wrote:
    =20
    On 02/04/2004 01:28:58 PM, Kirtikumar Deshpande wrote:
    =20
    From all those 60-100 "database parameters" Patrol=20
    monitored, we had
    found about 10 or so to be of
    any help to the DBA with Oracle 7 and 8, mainly.
    =20
    You were supposed to monitor the buffer hit ratio, don't=20
    you know that?
    =20


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