OpenWorld Day 4, 5 & 6…

Day 4

I spent a lot of time in the OTN lounge just talking to people. I guess it’s what I do best.

Later in the day Mary Ann Davidson did an “Ask the Experts” session on security. It was good to see her taking notes and being genuinely concerned about the issues people were raising. This is good for Oracle on two levels. Not only is it going to make the products better, but it’s lets us users feel like we have a voice.

I went to an unconference session by Lutz Hartmann on migrating a database from the filesystem to ASM using RMAN. Lutz is a very friendly and enthusiastic guy with lots of teaching experience, so he looked really relaxed and confident. His demos were clear and simple and I think he got the point across really well.

The evening was the big appreciation party where I met up with Chris Muir and Grant Ronald. The party was a massive event, which was organised really well. Although not a real fan, I was looking forward to Lenny Kravitz. He did an adequate job, but I’m sure he’s capable of a lot more. When you’re facing a crown of non-fans, you’ve got to keep the tempo up and perform all your most popular songs. Doing a 10 minute sax solo is not really going to keep the crown interested. The last song had the crown going nuts, which is what it should have been like all the way through.

Day 5

The start of day 5 was spent back at the hospital filling out forms to request information to send to my insurance company. Not exactly the OpenWorld experience I was expecting. 🙂

When I finally made it to the event I spent most of the day in the OTN lounge catching up with people. Wim Coekaerts turned up to do an “Ask the Experts” session, which was totally cool. Getting to speak directly with people like this is what OpenWorld is all about. I guess the main points he was stressing were:

  • Oracle have no intention of making Oracle Enterprise Linux a fork of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. They are commited to binary compatibility. When you think about this it makes sense as it must reduce the resources required to produce test and certify the database.
  • Oracle VM is nothing to do with Red Hat. It’s not an RHEL clone and it is not the same as running Xen on top of Linux, like the other Linux distros do. You install it on a bare box and you get the hypervisor and a small Linux kernel running. That’s it, not a full RHEL style installation.
  • Once installed you have console access to create, modify and drop VMs, you can also use SSH to connect to the administration VM. If you want a management UI you have to install the management interface on a separate server.
  • The VM has no noticible overhead on device access, like I/O, but there is obviously some overhead as far as CPU and memory because you have the hypervisor and management VM running, but this is very small. Typically, this should be less than a 10% overhead.
  • Oracle are using this product now. It works great for Linux guests. It will run anything that will run on an Intel box (Windows, Solaris x86, maybe even Mac), but I’m not sure what the support and performance is like on these. At the moment it’s very much directed at the Linux space.

From there I went on to my Unconference session called “The Oracle DBA… A dying breed?” The provocative title did it’s job and the turnout was quite good. This was more of a discussion about the role of the DBA, rather than a presentation. It’s kind of hard to judge the success of this type of session, but the fact people started to join in means it couldn’t have been too bad. Myself and a few others continued the discussion in the OTN lounge for a while afterwards. One of the Oracle guys added some session notes to the page. In the next couple of days I’m going to add some more stuff and try and summarise the opinions voiced. Once I’m done and you can see the form of the discussion, feel free to add to it. There is no reason why the subject has to end with the session.

I hope the Unconference is included over the next few years. As people know more about what to expect, or not as the case may be, and the number and variety of presenters increases, I think this could turn out to be the best feature at OpenWorld. It’s going to take some time for both the attendees and the presenters to get used to it, but it will be worth it.

The evening was more talking with bloggers and the like. Lots of opinions, lots of view points and lots of, “I’m so tired, I really must go to bed…”

Day 6

I had breakfast with a couple of the guys, then headed for the hotel. The plane felt really cramped, but fortunately the Frankfurt leg was 9 hours, as opposed to 11 on the way there. I even managed to sleep a little bit. It’s going to take a few days of bitchin’ to get my body clock back, but that’s the price you pay. 🙂

Regardless of your opinions about OpenWorld, it is a spectacular event. Everything runs so smoothly and by the numbers. One of the guys, can’t remember who, made the point that they were feeding lunch to 44,000 people and you never had to wait for more than a couple of minutes. That in itself shows the amazing amount of organisation that goes into this event.

So that’s it. Another OpenWorld done. It was really hard, but good fun at the same time. Next year it starts in September, so there’s only 10 months until the next one. Aaaarrrggghhhh! 🙂



OpenWorld Day 3…

Thanks to everyone who showed their concern over my hospital incident. As the day progressed I was walking a little funny, kind of like I needed the toilet in a big way, but for the most part things were good. Last night I slept pretty well, managing about 7 hours thanks to the muscle relaxants . All in all, I would like to claim the crown for “the most jet lagged at OpenWorld”, and nobody better try and muscle in on my glory, especially that Doug Burns guy. 🙂

The events of the morning meant I didn’t really get to do much at OpenWorld. The only thing I managed to see was “Top Ten, No, 11 Newest, Coolest Features of Oracle Database 11g” at the No Slide Zone. Tom‘s presentation style really works for me. He’s so relaxed and comfortable on stage it kinda draws you in. I think I could listen to him speak for 1 hour on washing dishes and I’d still feel engaged.

In the evening I went to the bloggers get together at the Thirsty Bear. A big thankyou to Mark Rittman for organising the event and also to Vikki Lira from Oracle, whose credit card took a bit of a hammering. It was a really cool evening, spent mostly talking about OpenWorld and the current state of the blogging and the Oracle community. It’s really good to listen to other people’s take on what we do and what responsibilities, if any, we have. I downed a serious quantity of water, which was very good for the whole dehydration thing.

Better get moving or I’ll be late for the first presentation today.



OpenWorld Day 2…

I know it’s all a bit mixed up because I’ve already blogged about events last night, but it’s my blog and I’m allowed to alter the time-line. 🙂

I’ve decided only to blog about stand-out points for me, so here goes…

I went to the DBA 2.0 session by Tom Kyte (and others) in the No Slide Zone. This was a stand-up competition between the command line (DBA 1.0) and Enterprise Manager (DBA 2.0), which not surprisingly DBA 2.0 won. This type of presentation is really great because it feels far less scripted, it’s visually more appealing and you get the see the problems. 🙂 A few people have mentioned that once you attend a few of these presentations, the traditional PowerPoint shows seem really boring. I must admit I’m starting to feel this way. It’s hard for the presentations not to seem rather homogeneous. I think I’m going to alter my schedule and ditch a whole bunch of stuff and just seek out the “less standard” fair for the rest of the week.

I went to the Carry Millsap presentation on “Why You Can’t See Your Real Performance Problems”. He’s a really relaxed and natural speaker, so it was really enjoyable.

Later in the day I went to the “Install Fest”. Those who follow my website will know I spend a lot of time installing Oracle on Linux, so it was not instantly apparent, even to myself, why I would want to go the an event where you got to install Oracle on Linux… There was a large mix of ability, and it was very noisy (see later anecdotes), but it was quite good to hear the range of questions being asked. It gives you a better sense of your audience. The talk by Wim Coekaerts was cool, but I’ve already blogged about that. All in all, a cool event, even if I did miss the party happening next door… Doh!

I mentioned previously the Install Fest was rather noisey. At one point the doors opened and there was a lot of noise. I caught myself saying under my breath something about going away and procreating, just at the point Chris Muir sat down in the row in front of me. He then turned round, said sorry and proceeded to move. I hastily explained my comment wasn’t directed at him. Very embaressing, and a good advert for keeping your gob shut! 🙂

Fun fun fun…



PS. I got 4 hours sleep last night. I woke up about 04:00 this morning. I’m going to start seeing pixies and walls of fire if I don’t get my sleeping pattern back soon…

OpenWorld arrival and Day 1…

Let me start by saying Vikki Lira and Emily Yip are superstars! They are the people that organized just about everything for me this year. This has been the most painless and effort free trip I’ve ever been on, and it’s entirely down to their organizational skills. You deserver a very big thanks and a pay raise.

I got in to San Francisco about 21:10 local time on Saturday, which was 1 hour late, but the limo was waiting and I got to the hotel about 22:00 I guess. Unfortunately, I was so tired I couldn’t sleep, so I lay awake until about 01:00 the next day. Never mind.

Yesterday was the first day of work for me. I had the Oracle ACE Directors meetings all day. It was good getting to see everyone face to face. A time to meet some new people, and touch base for the first time since last year with others. After all the meetings, it was off to the Larry Ellison keynote speach, then off to the Oracle ACE dinner. It was a very long day for someone so tired, but fun too.

I won’t bore you with the details of the day, just list a few funny things:

I was with Lewis Cunningham waiting for a few of the guys to show up when I was sure the ground was shaking. He assured me it wasn’t, which was when I learnt that jeg lag can sometimes make you feel like there’s a minor earthquake going on. I guess it’s like getting your land legs again. Never happened to me before.

Doug Burns turned to me later in the evening and said, “martial arts films and jet lag…” I was expecting this to be the precursor to a good slagging off over the lack of Oracle content on my blog, but his biggest concern was I didn’t seem to be suffering as much as him in the jet lag stakes. Some of us hide it better than others. 🙂 I was a little disturbed by the lack of soft toys with Doug, but I noticed on his blog some have made the journey with him. I hope they coped with the jet lag better than he did.

Eddie Awad did a live podcast from the pub. I have no clue what I said, but I was tired and I’d had a drink, which I don’t usually do. That’s my excuse if I was talking gibberish. Of course, if it was truely insightful, then it’s all down to me. 🙂

I think I’ve got a full schedule of talks today, but I might have to ditch some of them. I went to bed as 00:00 and I woke up at 04:00. It’s now 07:00 and I’m starting to feel really tired again…