UKOUG Operating System and Storage Event : Summary

Today was the UKOUG Operating System and Storage Event. I was a tourist for this event, as I didn’t have any presentations to do. Added to that, I’m a grunt DBA, so I wasn’t too sure what would be waiting for me at an OS and storage event… 🙂

Thanks to the miracles of Google Maps, I managed to be late for the event, so I missed the first session. Why is it I can get to foreign countries on time, but I can’t get to something that is pretty much in my own city without getting lost?

I bumped into a few people I know there, including Jason Arneil and Martin Nash and a couple of my colleagues. 🙂

First up (for me) was “Patching Linux with Spacewalk and Ksplice” by Wayne Lewis and friends. Spacewalk looks kind-of neat. It’s a free open source product, with Oracle’s version of it available from Basically, it allows you to easily set up a local repositories, manage and track OS package updates across your Linux infrastructure. You can use it for free, or if you want you can choose to buy support from Oracle. The choice is yours. The second half of the session was on Ksplice, which I’ve known about for a long time. As it turns out, my understanding of what Ksplice actually does was quite off the mark, so it was good to be educated… 🙂

Second up was “Bringing OpenStack to the Cloud” by Stephen Bourke and friends. OpenStack is used to build public and private clouds. That is honestly as much as I actually know about it. 🙂 This session discussed what OpenStack is and talked about Oracle’s implementation of OpenStack. You can read more about it here:

What was most refreshing about Oracle’s implementation of OpenStack is they are keeping it open. At a time when other OpenStack vendors might be trying to provide ClosedStack, Oracle are staying true to cause.

Next up was “Dtrace in Linux and Solaris” by Mike Carew. I’m not one of those guys that spends my life using Dtrace, strace or systemtap, but occasionally you have to get down-and-dirty, so it is good to keep on top of this stuff. Some great strides have been made to bring Dtrace to Linux, but it is still quite limited in comparison to the Solaris implementation. Perhaps as it matures we might get a feature like this on Linux, which I learnt about for the first time today!

“Virtualisation Case Study – How Not To Do It!” by Philip Brown was interesting as it was almost the polar opposite to my feelings about virtualisation. In fairness to him, this was a presentation of how not to do it and ultimately he did make the point that if you do it badly you are going to have a bad experience, which is definitely true. My counter to this is, if you do it well you are going to have a good experience. 🙂 It’s all about using virtualisation where it is appropriate and knowing what you are getting into before you make that leap. Due to me not being able to keep my gob shut, there was a prolonged discussion about this topic after the session, which was fun. You can of course read my thoughts on virtualisation in this article.

I really enjoyed the day! Well done UKOUG and to everyone I saw presenting today. I certainly came away with a lot of good stuff to think about…





OMG (Oh My Godzilla)! What a total pile of steaming, festering dog crap! It is incredible how they managed to spend $160 Million and produce something with less credibility than Sharknado, which only cost $250,000!

I really don’t think it has any redeeming qualities. How, in a world that brought us Cloverfield and Monsters, can so much money be spent on such a worthless pile of guff like Godzilla. In my Cloverfield review I mentioned how bad the previous spin of Godzilla was. This respin is no better.

I really can’t be bothered to explain why it was such a putrid pile of excrement. Who the hell gave this 7.3 on IMDB? I would rather watch Pacific Rim, and that was total toilet as well…



X-Men : Days of Future Past

This morning I went to see X-Men : Days of Future Past. It was very cool!

Don’t get caught up in the whole time travel thing. It really isn’t a big deal in the whole scheme of things.

My favourite characters were Blink and Quicksilver. Evan Peters plays Quicksilver, who has one of the coolest scenes in the whole movie. Bingbing Fan plays Blink. You don’t see too much of her in the film, but what you do see is awesome.

Hugh Jackman looks like he came from the planet steroids. He’s always in good shape for these films, but this was something else. Either there were some visual effects in operation, or there are performance enhancing drugs involved.

If I had to criticise one thing, it would be James McAvoy. I think he’s a good actor, but he tries too hard in this film. It feels forced to me…

Anyway, well worth the money IMHO!



2014 OTN MENA Tour

Just a quick shout out to the 2014 OTN MENA Tour, which starts in a few days. The events are:

  • Bizerte, Tunisia, 26th May
  • BĂ©ja, Tunisia, 27th May
  • Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 29th May
  • Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 31st May
  • Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 1st June

This is the first time this tour is happening, so please show your support and register.

Good luck to all the folks who are taking part. Unfortunately I can’t be there, but I hope to take part in a future event…



Oracle Midlands : Event #4 – Registration Open

Registration has opened for the Oracle Midlands Event #4 on Monday July 14th.

This event includes a session on “Designing Efficient SQL” by Jonathan Lewis as well as lightning talks by Jonathan Lewis, Richard Harrison, Salih Oztop, Patrick Hurley and Martin Widlake.

The event is free, thanks to the sponsorship by those kind people at Red Gate. There is also a rumour that the Oracle Press teddy bears may return! 🙂

Please show your support by registering and coming along to see some great speakers. I’ve already registered, so I’ll see you there!



Oracle Midlands : Event #3 Summary

I really enjoyed Oracle Midlands Event #3 last night. Christian Antognini spoke on “12c Adaptive Query Optimization” and “Row Chaining and Row Migration Internals”. I certainly learnt a lot, which is the whole point of this stuff!

After the event a few of us went across to a local pub and the geek talk continued. Cool++.

Thanks very much to Christian for coming all that way to speak to us. Thanks to those good people at Reg Gate for sponsoring the event. Thanks also to the Oracle ACE Program for letting Christian come to visit us. 🙂

The next event is on Monday 14th July. Hope to see you there!



Oracle ACE Director Self-Evaluation

I’ve just filled in my Oracle ACE Director Self-Evaluation…

The way the tour dates worked this year, I got the LAOTN 2013, Nordic 2013 and Yathra 2014 tours in a single assessment year, plus all the one-off events. It looks crazy-busy… 🙂

Most of my events this year have been packed into the first half of the year, so I think next years assessment will look a little sparse by comparison…




UKOUG Next Gen

I’ll be at the UKOUG Next Gen event at Birmingham City University on the 15th May.

My session is on “The Importance of Community”. I guess my blog readership is not exactly target audience for an event like this, but if you know any students or recent graduates who are looking to start a career in IT, or you are an employer looking for fresh new talent, you should come along to the event.