Oracle Midlands Event #6 : Summary

OraclePressBearLast night was the Oracle Midlands Event #6 with Bjoern Rost.

Let’s start with the important stuff! I am now the proud owner of an Oracle Press bear! I didn’t technically win it, but one of the people who did donated it to me. This was the right thing to do for two reasons. (1) I wanted it more than him and (2) it is his fault I am in my current job, rather than living the good life. Thanks Dave!

Bjoern’s first session was on SQL Plan Management, which I think is an awesome feature when used in the correct context. For most DBAs, consistency is the primary goal, not ultra performance. SQL Plan Management gives you the ability to lock down your execution plans to give you more consistent results. I’ve used this during upgrade and patching cycles and it really works well. I see even more need for this as we move into the new world order of everything being optimized 75,000 times before we get the final good plan. :)

After some food, Bjoern was back with 12c New Features for DBAs and Developers. This was a quick tour through some of the cool bits of 12c. I like the way Bjoern presents. He’s very honest about features he’s not used much yet, which makes a change from people acting like they know everything, only to crumble under questioning. It also makes the talks very amusing, as well as being informative. Having spent so long with him on the APAC Tour, it was surprising that I hadn’t seen him present either of these talks before.

After the event a few of us ventured over to the German market, which was actually closed by the time we got there. :) Instead, we went into a local pub and discussed life, the universe and everything until far too late.

When it was time to leave, I gave Bjoern a lift round Birmingham city centre, looking for a taxi rank. Eventually, he got out of my car at some traffic lights and got into the taxi behind me. :) In my defence, there is loads of building work around the city centre, so roads are closed and the taxi ranks have moved… I also gave Dave (my bear supplier) a lift home…

Thanks to RedGate for sponsoring the event, allowing it remain free.  Thanks to Mike Dirden for organising the event. Thanks to Bjoern Rost for coming to entertain us and to the Oracle ACE Program for getting him across to us. Thanks to Oracle Press for my bear. Thanks also to the attendees, without whom this would not happen. Please keep spreading the word. :)

Cheers

Tim…

PS. The next event is in January. I’ll write a post about it once it is up on the website…

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…

Oracle Midlands : Event #1

Mike McKay-Dirden recently wrote to me asking if I would speak at a new event he’s trying to establish called Oracle Midlands. You can read his thoughts about it on the about page. It’s similar to the types of things the Pythian guys do with the local meetups.

The first event is on January 7th in Birmingham, with myself and Pete Finnigan speaking. It’s a free event, which is being sponsored by those kind people at Red Gate Software.

The success or failure of this sort of thing is totally down to the level of participation by the attendees, so get signing up if you want to be part of it! Also, if you come along and chat to Mike, you can help shape future events…

Cheers

Tim…