Paris and Netherlands Trip

Early tomorrow I start a small series of events in Paris and the Netherlands.

Tomorrow I fly to Paris to speak at the Paris Province Oracle Meetup. It will be my first time in Paris, so I’ll try to hit a few of the sites in the city centre if I can. I was originally hoping to fly out the same night as I have an event the following day, but the flights for that didn’t work out. Instead I’m staying in a hotel at the airport. I’ve got an early flight out of Charles de Gualle airport, so I figured I’d take the easy (but boring) approach of staying at the airport.

The next morning I fly to Amsterdam, take a train, then a taxi to the hotel, followed by a taxi to the OTN Cloud Developer Challenge (formerly known as the Hackaton). It started life as an extra day tagged on to an AMIS event by the Oracle ACE Program, like an ACE Briefing, but became a hackathon. I’m not sure if other people are allowed into it, but a few of us have got into teams and we are going to try and develop stuff with Oracle Cloud services. It’s going to be a bit of a magical mystery tour as most of the people in my team are database people and know nothing about the developer and mobile cloud services. If we are able to produce something with them, it will prove they are easy. 🙂

amisThe next two days are the AMIS 25 – BEYOND THE HORIZON event, which is a two day Oracle conference, celebrating 25 years of AMIS. In addition to the sessions, the hackathon teams will still be beavering away with their projects. 🙂

There are three days between this event and the next, so I decided to book myself into a hotel in the centre of Amsterdam for 3 days. It’s about 25+ years since I was in Amsterdam and I can’t remember a thing about the city. Both previous trips were with a gang of university friends and we pretty much slept through the day and partied at night.

I’ve been watching Casey Neistat‘s vlogs for some time and recently he spent a few days in Amsterdam and it looked really nice. Rather than staying in a hostel and seeing the city by night, this time I’m staying in a proper hotel and I’m going to take a look at the city by day. Getting old? Yeah! 🙂

oghThe last event of this mini-tour is the DBA and SQL Celebration by the Dutch Oracle User (OGH). This was actually the first event I was invited to and the rest just kind-of slotted in around it. It’s nice when you can get several events in to a single trip. It just feels more worthwhile somehow. 🙂

If you are coming to any of the events, it’ll be good to see you!

Cheers

Tim…

PS. If you can ask the French Truckers not to affect my travel plans that would be really nice! 🙂

 

4 years and counting…

prisoner-296515_640It’s 4 years since I started at my current company.

No job is ever perfect. You just have to try and find a place where the pros outweigh the cons. Your judgement about what is a pro and what is a con will vary drastically throughout your life. What suits you today may not tomorrow.

Let’s see if I can make it to 5 years… 🙂

Cheers

Tim…

 

Video : Indexing JSON Data in Oracle Database 12c

Following on from last week’s post, today’s video is about indexing JSON data in Oracle Database 12c.

If videos aren’t your thing, you might want to read these articles, which the videos are based on.

The cameo in this video comes courtesy of Bertrand Drouvot, who was a silent extra in the previous video too. 🙂

Cheers

Tim…

Oracle Midlands : Event #15 – Summary

Last night was Oracle Midlands Event #15 with Joel Goodman and Martin Widlake.

First up was Joel with a session called, “Oracle Storage Fragmentation”, where he discussed the potential fragmentation issues possible in tablespaces, tables and indexes. If you’ve been a DBA for a long time it’s easy to think everyone knows this stuff, but I get asked questions about this stuff a lot! The session had a good mix of content, with something to keep everyone happy from beginner to old timers. Joel is like a walking encyclopedia of Oracle, so it’s always good to hear him present.

Next up was Martin with a session called, “Performance of PL/SQL functions called from SQL”, where he discussed the pros and cons of calling PL/SQL functions from SQL statements. I like Martin’s presentation style. He’s very self-deprecating and amusing. Of course I am biased because he’s part of the family. 🙂

redstacktechAfter the second session a few of us went across to a local pub and chatted for hours. The place was closing up when we left. It was quite a late one for a “school night”, and I was full of Diet Coke by the time I left, so sleep was not a great option. 🙂

Thanks to the guys for coming to speak to us and to everyone that came along to the sessions. Thanks to Mike for doing a great job in keeping Oracle Midlands going and to Red Stack Tech for their continued support.

Cheers

Tim…

Video : JSON Support in Oracle Database 12c

Today’s video is a sprint through some of the JSON support in Oracle Database 12c.

If videos aren’t your thing, you might want to read these instead.

The cameo in this video comes courtesy of Yves Colin, who I’ll see again in a couple of weeks at the Paris Province Oracle Meetup. A couple of extras (Bertrand Drouvot and Osama Mustafa) wanted to get in on the act too. 🙂

Cheers

Tim…

Email, where art thou?

email-at-1020116_640Followers of the blog will know I’ve recently migrated the website to AWS. Yesterday I bit the bullet and cancelled my dedicated server.

As part of that process I had to move my email account from that service too. I always pull all my emails into Gmail, so there is no point paying for something cool. A little POP account is fine.

I started the process yesterday afternoon/evening, thinking it would be a quick drop on the old service and recreate on the new one. Unfortunately the old service held on to the domain reference overnight, so it was a quiet evening on the email front. 🙂

This morning I was able to create the new account, do a little DNS tinkering and it all seems fine. Because of DNS propagation times, it’s possible I’ll lose some emails for the next 24 hours or so, but the spam has already started flying in, so word must have got around. 🙂

If you emailed something (you think) was important to me since last night and I’ve not responded, there’s a good chance I’ve not got it.

I’m hoping this marks the end of the disruption…

Cheers

Tim…

A week in the cloud… (Just to clarify)

AWSA comment on yesterday’s post by Andy C makes me think I should clarify a couple of things I mentioned in yesterday’s post.

“Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), not really what I consider the cloud.”

For *me* the definition of cloud must include some value-add in relation to ease of use. I’ve used IaaS on Azure, AWS and Oracle Cloud. In all cases I’m left to do the same administration stuff I had to when I was on a physical box or a VM on a local virtual machine. For *me* it only becomes cloud when I have Platform as a Service (PaaS) or Software as a Service (SaaS), where the administration is simplified greatly through tooling. IaaS is just another hosting provider. It’s not really cloud in *my* book. That’s not to say it’s not cool or useful. It’s just not cloud to *me*.

Notice the heavy use of *me* and *my*. This is not the law or even some text book definition. It’s just the way I feel about it, having used a number of hosting companies for business and personal use prior to “the cloud”. You are allowed to think differently, and certainly cloud providers do. 🙂

Note. I’m not discounting the easy of use afforded during provisioning and disposing of resources, but if you’ve worked with a proper virtual infrastructure you’ve had that for a long time. Once again, I’m not saying it’s not cool. I’m saying the day-to-day job as a system administrator or DBA is unchanged by IaaS.

“It’s a much lower spec box (memory, CPU, disk capacity), so really it’s more expensive.”

One of the things we notice when moving people from physical to virtual is they want a complete replica of their server, even if that server is mostly idle, using no memory and a fraction of the disk space it is allocated. One of the good points of virtual infrastructure is consolidation, which is not going to happen well if everyone insists on over-allocating resource they don’t use. OK, you’ll probably jump in with comments about memory ballooning, and thin provisioning, but you get where I’m coming from here.

The cloud providers keep their costs down and can make their money because of this consolidation, so it’s obvious you are not getting a “full server” unless you are willing to pay for dedicated resource.

When I got my dedicated server I significantly over-specced it, because I didn’t really known how much resource I needed, having only run the website on shared resource up to that point. In moving to AWS I now have 1/4 of the cores, 1/2 the memory and 1/10 of the disk space, but it costs approximately the same money. I’ve moved from bargain bucket dedicated hosting provider to world dominating cloud provider, so it’s not the fairest comparison, but the cloud is not cheaper for me. If my resource needs grow to the point where I would have maxed out the old dedicated server, the AWS costs would be significantly higher.

As I said yesterday, there are ways I can make the service cheaper once I confirm what resources I need, so maybe the final solution will actually be cheaper, but I don’t know that yet. The point is, there is the automatic assumption that the cloud is always cheaper and it’s just not true all the time. It comes with other benefits of course, but if cost is your prime metric, the cloud is not always the winner.

Conclusion

As I said in yesterday’s post, I’m really happy with the move so far. I like the additional flexibility, potential HA improvements in the case of hardware failure and the architectural options it has opened up. Having said that, I’m not blind to the fact the system administration is no simpler than it was with a dedicated server and it is a similar cost for less resource.

This is not meant to be provocative to either the cloud or anti-cloud zealots. It’s just an opinion. 🙂

Cheers

Tim…