Oracle Midlands : Event #4 – Summary

What a cracking Oracle Midlands event!

The evening started with a session on “Designing Efficient SQL” by Jonathan Lewis. The first few slides prompted this tweet.

jl

When someone asks me a question about SQL tuning my heart sinks. It’s part of my job and I can do it, but I find it really hard to communicate what I’m doing. Jonathan’s explanation during this session was probably the best one I’ve ever heard. Rather than trying to explain a million and one optimizer features, it’s very much focussed on a “What are you actually trying to achieve?” approach. It should be mandatory viewing for all Oracle folks.

After the break, where I stuffed myself with samosas, it was on to the lightning talks (10 mins each).

  • Breaking Exadata – Jonathan Lewis, JL Computer Consultancy : This focused on a couple of situations where the horsepower of Exadata doesn’t come to the rescue, like large hash joins that flood to disk and decompressions in the storage cells being abandoned and the compressed blocks being sent back to the compute nodes to be decompressed. If I ever get to use an Exadata…
  • How to rename a 500gb schema in 10 minutes – Richard Harrison, EON : Why can’t we have a rename user/schema command? Richard showed a quick way to use transportable tablespaces to rename a schema. Neat!
  • Oracle Big Data Appliance – What’s in the box? – Salih Oztop, Business AnalytiX : The title says it all really. I thought it was a really good introduction to the BDA. I’ve been to 1 hour talks on this subject that didn’t convey as much information as he managed to fit into 10 minutes. Also, a hint at a cool new feature about to be announced…
  • Installing RAC: Things to sort out with your systems and network admins – Patrick Hurley, Scale Abilities : Patrick is a cool guy and he upped his cool rating further by brandishing a light sabre as a pointer during his talk! His session was a list of gotchas he’s encountered while installing RAC. Some of them I’ve encountered myself. Some not. Good stuff.
  • Is the optimiser too smart now? – Martin Widlake, ORA600 : I could hear a voice, but I couldn’t see anyone over the podium. :) The question was, has it got to a point where it is too complicated for normal folks and beginners to stand a chance at understanding it, or should we now be treating it like a black box? My own feeling is that 12c might be the turning point where I really have to say I don’t understand it any more. It feels a bit sad, but maybe it is inevitable…

I though the lightning talks worked really well. It felt like a whole conference packed into one hour. :)

The event was free, thanks to the sponsorship by those kind people at Red Gate. The Oracle Press teddy bears made another appearance, but I didn’t win one. :(

Big thanks to Mike for organising it and to all the speakers for doing a great job. The next event will be up on the website soon. Please show your support! These things live or die based on your participation…

Cheers

Tim…