Oracle Code : India – Bengaluru to Birmingham

Following my normal pattern, sleep was a little fitful the night before a flight. I got up early and walked over to meet Sebastian at his hotel. We were on the same first flight, so we shared a taxi to the airport.

We purposely started early to avoid the traffic, making it a really easy journey in to the airport. We got through check-in and security really quickly, which left us with about three hours before the flight. Neither of us had the correct status for this flight, so we paid to get into the lounge and chill for a few hours. Happy days…

As we were boarding my boarding pass dinged on the machine and I had a free upgrade to business, which was nice. The flight to Dubai took about 3.5 hours and I was able to work for the whole of it, which was great. I answered a few emails and did an upgrade of one of our Dev systems. Travelling would be so much easier if it was always like this… 🙂

After a 2 hour connection I was on a 7.5 hour flight to Birmingham. Unfortunately there was no free upgrade for this flight, so it was back to cattle class… The flight itself was fine, bit I was getting a bit desperate to land by the end of it.

Once I landed in Birmingham it was a quick taxi ride home and Oracle Code : India was done. 🙂

These are the posts I wrote during this trip.

Thanks to all the Oracle Code crew for inviting me and sorting everything out. Thanks to the Oracle ACE Program and Oracle Developer Champions Program for letting me continue to fly the flag. Thanks to all the attendees that help make these events really successful, especially all the folks that came to my sessions and spoke to me after the sessions.

I spoke to Sai about coming back to Bengaluru in December for the Sangam 2018 event. Let’s see if that works out… 🙂

I’m not looking forward to working out how much of my own money I spent on this trip… 🙂

Cheers

Tim…

Oracle Code : India – Hyderabad to Bengaluru

I mentioned in the previous post I ducked out of the evening dinner as I needed to get some sleep. I had very little up to this point, and having to get up at 03:00 to get a flight suddenly seemed like a very bad idea. 🙂

I got some really nice food from the hotel and went to bed. In typical Tim style I was so nervous about not waking up in time for the plane I didn’t sleep. When 03:00 rolled up I felt quite bad. I went down to the desk to check out and meet Lori and Sebastian, who were on the same flight as me. At that point my stomach started grinding, I started to get the sweats and shiver. I won’t go into the details, but I started to wonder if I would make it to Bengaluru with any dignity intact…

In the taxi I felt quite bad, until I noticed the driver falling asleep and then the adrenalin made me feel super focused. I had a flashback to my taxi ride from hell between Jalandhar and Noida. We made it to the airport in one piece. Once the adrenalin subsided I felt terrible again.

The flight was really short and easy, but I started to feel like I was going to puke once we had landed. I was stopping in a different hotel to the others, but I piggy-backed on their ride, which was a big car with great aircon, which made me feel much better.

By the time we got to their hotel I was feeling quite good. I walked down the road to my hotel and went to bed at 08:30. Once I had some sleep I was feeling good, so I logged in to work to for the afternoon shift (UK time).

I think all this drama was caused by a lack of sleep. Debra can tell you some stories about what happens when I don’t sleep properly (hospital in Jalandhar and Machu Picchu). I’m such a delicate petal. 🙂

I have to “work from home (from India)” for a few days before the Oracle Code : Bengaluru event. See you there!

Cheers

Tim…

PS. On a strange note, my room number in the new hotel is the same as in the previous hotel. Freaky!

Oracle Code : India – The Journey Begins

If you’ve been following my tweets recently you will know I’ve had a bit of a nightmare lead up to these events. Problems with my laptop and problems with my seat on one of the planes.

About 15 minutes before the taxi was due to pick me up I finally got most of the laptop things sorted. It was a bad morning…

I got to the airport in plenty of time and went to the check-in desk to try and get an aisle seat. The lady there said she could lock an aisle seat for me, but couldn’t give me a boarding pass for it as I had ordered veggie food, and moving me to a different to a different floor in the plane was a problem. When I got on the plane there was a bit of confusion, but eventually they told me to sit in the new seat location and see if anyone else turned up to claim it. They didn’t so I got the aisle seat, which was a big relief.

The flight went well, and the guy sitting next to me was cool so I spent a lot of time chatting. Unfortunately I didn’t get any food, but faced with the choice between a window seat with food or an aisle seat with no food, the aisle seat wins every time. I also watched Star Wars : The Last Jedi, which I enjoyed.

I got to Dubai on time and about 14 hours after waking up I finally got to eat something. A Starbucks muffin. 🙂

The flight from Dubai to Hyderabad was only about 3 hours, but by the time it was over I had been awake for about 20 hours and was feeling it. I got to watch Get Out, which was very cool.

I got a Taxi from Hyderabad Airport to the hotel, which was interesting… The driver wasn’t too interested in reading the hotel name or address, which I had written down. He eventually dropped me off at the wrong hotel and they had to explain to him it wasn’t the correct place. He then managed to reverse out of the hotel carpark into oncoming traffic and hit someone. The bumper of our taxi was then pushed back into place before we drove off and finally got to the correct hotel. 🙂

I was about 3 hours early for check-in, but they had a room for me, so it was time for a shower and bed. Sleep was a bit fitful, but at least I got some.

In the evening I met up with some of the other speakers and folks from the Dev Champion Program to get some food, then it was back to bed.

So I made it to Hyderabad. The Oracle Code : Hyderabad event starts tomorrow.

Cheers

Tim…

AIOUG Sangam15 : It’s a Wrap!

The whole Sangam15 experience is over for me now!

Here are the posts I put out during the trip.

I did my thank you messages in the Day 2 post, but once again I would like to say a big thank you to AIOUG for inviting me, to the Oracle ACE Program for getting me to the event and to all the attendees for making it a great event and for making my Facebook go nuts! 🙂

See you all soon!

Cheers

Tim…

AIOUG Sangam15 : The Journey Home

The night before a morning flight is always a little tricky for me. I lie in bed thinking, “What if I oversleep?”, which winds me up and makes it really hard to relax and drop off. I dozed on and off, but eventually gave up, turned the TV on and watched some films for a few hours.

I grabbed a quick breakfast and got the taxi to the airport. The hotel staff advised leaving at 07:00 for a 10:15 flight. The traffic was very light and the queues for check-in and security very small, so I ended up sitting at the boarding gate two hours before the flight. Better to be early than late!

Hyderabad airport is very clean, modern and has some reclining seats so I was able to chill out for a while. 🙂

The flight from Hyderabad to Dubai took about 3.5 hours. It was relatively uneventful, but rather uncomfortable. I had an aisle seat, but the guy in the centre decided he wanted to sit with his elbows digging into my ribs and his leg pressed against mine. I wouldn’t mind so much if he was a big guy and couldn’t help it, but he was a skinny little thing, so taking all of his space and part of mine seemed unnecessary. 🙂

As soon as we landed in Dubai airport, I grabbed some food and headed off for the boarding gate. Very soon we were on the plane and heading to Birmingham. I enquired about an upgrade, but it was going to cost $2,500 USD, so that wasn’t going to happen. 🙂

I got to experience wifi on the plane for the first time. It’s been “available” on other flights, but I’ve never got it to work before. I got it working on the flight between Dubai and Birmingham. It was ultra-slow, but better than nothing and only $1. 🙂 It made the 7 hour flight go a lot quicker.

I arrived back in Birmingham safe and sound. After a quick taxi ride home I put my washing on, scrubbed the smell of aeroplane off me and went to bed!

Cheers

Tim…

AIOUG Sangam15 : Day 2

My session on Day 2 started at 11:10, where I spoke about running Oracle Databases in the Cloud. This included a quick run through of the Oracle DBaaS offering and AWS RDS for Oracle amongst other things.

The session generated a lot of interest. In fact, I spent the next 5 hours answering questions and taking photos with people. It sounds kind-of crazy, but it was really good fun. As a result, I didn’t get to see any sessions, but as I said yesterday, I feel my purpose here is to connect with people and that is exactly what I did for 5 hours straight. Thanks to everyone that came to speak to me. You made me feel very special and I hope I was able to help you. It never ceases to amaze me what an impact one little website can have!

From there it was on to the closing talks. In addition to the normal closing speeches, there was a motivational talk by DR Rajdeep Manwani. I really enjoyed the talk and judging by the reaction of the crowd, so did everyone else. The talk used several anecdotes and his personal experiences to put across the message that your success or failure is your responsibility. You can blame others when things go wrong (external locus of control) or take personal responsibility (internal locus of control). Ultimately, successful people are those that take personal responsibility and do something about it, rather than blame the world for their failings. I wholeheartedly agree.

After that I spent some time saying my goodbyes, then it was off to get some food and then to bed, ready for my early start for the trip home.

I would like to say a big thank you to the AIOUG for inviting me and to all the AIOUG volunteers that made the event go so well. Thanks also to the Oracle ACE Program for getting me to the event. My special thanks go to all the attendees that made me feel really special for two days.

Tomorrow is the journey home. Fingers crossed for free upgrades to Emirates business class! 🙂

Cheers

Tim…

AIOUG Sangam15 : Day 1

I was up at about 04:00 on Saturday and waiting for breakfast to open at 06:30. Pretty much as soon as I ate something I felt really tired again. That after a day of sleeping… 🙂

I headed on down to the conference and instantly saw a bunch of friendly faces, including lots of people I had met on the OTN Yathra 2014 Tour.

After the keynotes, I got to have a quick chat about User Groups with Mary Lou Dopart from Oracle, then it was off to my first session about database consolidation.

I’m always more nervous about giving introductory/overview sessions than I am about full-on technical sessions. My database consolidation session is a little bit like a history lesson of consolidation, including old and new. The response was very good. I had a lot of people wanting to speak to me afterward, which meant I missed the next two sessions. I don’t mind that, as I feel my purpose here is to interact with as many people as possible. As long as people want to speak to me I’m willing to speak. 🙂

After lunch I had a major energy crash again. Whenever I was speaking to people I felt really up-beat, but as soon as the conversation stopped I felt like I wanted to collapse on the floor and sleep. To play it safe I went back to my room to sleep for a couple of hours.

Next up I went to see Debaditya Chatterjee and Giridhar Ravipati speaking about “Oracle Multitenant Best Practices”. Some points that came out of that were.

  • Always use the AL32UTF8 character set for the CDB. Most other character sets can be converted to that to allow them to become PDBs and in a future version, we might be able to plug in a PDB with any character set, provided it is a subset of the CDB character set.
  • Use OMF, as it simplifies file management substantially.
  • Consider the impact of operations, like patching. Are you patching all PDBs, or not? If not, you will be using the unplug/plug approach to patching.
  • Standardise as much as possible.
  • Size SGA, redo and undo correctly to allow for the combined needs of the consolidated workload.
  • Always use Resource Manager to control resource usage of each PDB.
  • Don’t modify PDB$SEED. Create a new PDB with the modifications, then use that as the clone source, for new PDBs, instead of the seed.
  • Stagger maintenance windows within a CDB so all PDBs aren’t doing maintenance tasks at the same time.

Some points about possible features in 12.2 were also mentioned, including:

  • Maximum number of PDBs increased from 252 to 4096.
  • PDB memory management via resource manager.
  • Ability to set CPU_COUNT at the PDB level to allow the equivalent of instance caging for the PDB.
  • Hot cloning of PDBs and incremental PDB refresh.
  • Application containers, to allow common definitions across all similar PDBs. Useful for ISVs who require many copies of the same PDB, like one for each customer.
  • Online relocate of PDB from on-premise to cloud, as demoed by Larry Ellison at OpenWorld 2015

Remember, all talk of 12.2 is covered by the safe harbour slide, so those features might not end up in the final release. 🙂

After speaking to Debaditya and Giridhar, we headed off to a panel session to close the day. As most people will know, putting me on a panel can be a dangerous thing. I ended up having something to say about almost everything. Panels are a mix of scary and fun. 🙂 As usual, the session was followed by additional questions and conversations which lasted about an hour. 🙂

After saying a few quick goodbyes, it was off to grab some food, then back to my room to sleep some more. Are you starting to sense a pattern here? 🙂

Overall, day 1 was a really fun experience. Let’s hope day 2 does not come with quite so much jet-lag! 🙂

Cheers

Tim…

AIOUG Sangam15 : The Journey Begins

The day started pretty early. I was packing at 00:00 and the alarm went off at 05:00. Nothing like last minute packing to focus the mind. 🙂

The taxi to the airport was good. The driver was interesting, speaking to me about his visits to India and Pakistan. It certainly helps pass the time when the driver is chatty.

I wasn’t able to check-in online, but there was no queue at the check-in desk, so that was quick. It’s such a short trip I’m only traveling with hand luggage, but I still checked it. I can’t be bothered to fight for overhead locker space with everyone. The queue for security was really long, but they had all the sections open, so it moved quickly. I had to get my laptop scanned because … reasons?

Once through security I bought myself a coffee and promptly threw it across the floor. Embarrassing much! I was hoping to find some floor to take a nap on, but after shaming myself with the coffee situation, I thought the last thing I needed was to shame myself further by sleeping on the floor. I try to limit myself to one shameful moment per airport visit…

The flight from Birmingham to Dubai was easy. It was meant to be 6.5 hours, but we arrived early. The plane was half empty, so there was free space next to me. Happy days. During the flight I watched:

After a 2.5 hour layover in Dubai, it was time for the next flight. The flight from Dubai to Hyderabad was really busy and some lucky people, including me, got upgrades to business class (see video). It was only a 3 hour flight, but I’m all about the business class these days! 🙂 The important thing about upgrades is you have to pretend it wasn’t a free upgrade and you could afford it. 🙂 During the flight I watched the second half of Mission Impossible : Rogue Nation. It was quite good.

After a very pleasant flight, I arrived at Hyderabad and bumped into Kamran Agayev at customs. We agreed to share a taxi to the hotel, then I made him wait for over an hour for my bag to arrive. It was really embarrassing. Sorry mate!

I’m now firmly ensconced in the hotel (see video). It’s 05:24 and I plan to spend the whole of today (Friday) in bed playing catch-up, before the conference starts on Saturday.

Cheers

Tim…

SANGAM15 – See you there!

I mentioned my Oracle OpenWorld 2015 trip in a previous post. Yesterday evening I picked up my passport with my lovely new India visa in it!

The talks are written. The flights are booked. The hotel is booked. I have a visa. So that’s me sorted for SANGAM15 in November! 🙂

It’s going to be a rather hectic few days. I fly out, do the 2 day conference, then fly straight home. It looks like I will be in aeroplanes and airports longer than I will actually be in India. 🙂

If you are coming along to the conference, be sure to come and say hello. 🙂

Cheers

Tim…

OTN Yathra 2014 : It’s a Wrap

The OTN Yathra 2014 tour is over and I’m back home now. Here are all the blog posts from the tour.

Although I come from the second biggest city in the UK, Birmingham has a very slow pace in comparison to other UK cities. Friends had told me how busy India was, so I was quite nervous about this trip and how I would cope with it. My initial fears were confirmed during my first taxi ride from Amritsar airport to Jalandhar. Getting ill on the first morning of the tour wasn’t a good omen either. Once the kind folks at the Lovely Professional University sorted me out with some medical attention, things started to get better and I started to believe I might make it to the end of the tour alive. 🙂

As the tour progressed I got into my stride and really started to enjoy the whole process. As I’ve said many times, I’m not a fan of travelling, but I like being at different places. The travelling part of this tour was very strenuous, which was my own fault for choosing to do all 7 events, but that was easily outweighed by getting the opportunity to connect with the attendees and speakers in all the cities.

Here come the much deserved thank you messages:

  • Thanks to everyone from All India Oracle Users Group (AIOUG) involved in the organisation of this tour. Aman, SaiSatyendra and Murali did a great job of making the logistics as simple as possible.
  • Thank you to Oracle Corporation for the use of their offices and to all the Universities that let us visit them.
  • A big thank you goes out to Oracle Technology Network (OTN) and the Oracle ACE Program, without whom this tour would not have happened.
  • Thank you to my fellow speakers. I’m not sure I would have stayed sane on my journey from Jalandhar to Noida without the company of Raj Mattamal. 🙂 Raj, Debra and Hans were welcome distractions from the hours spent in airports, planes and taxis. Thanks everyone for putting up with me. Thanks to all the other speakers that dotted in and out for specific events. It was fun to hook up with you all.
  • Finally, thank you to all the attendees for coming and supporting this event! Without you being there, the events would not happen, so if you want to see more of these events in future, please join AIOUG and get your friends to join too. 🙂

My lasting memories of India will be:

  • Crazy traffic.
  • Fantastic food.
  • Very friendly people.

Until next time…

Cheers

Tim…