OpenWorld and Code One 2019 : Wednesday

I started Wednesday by trying to play catch-up with some of the keynotes. I don’t like going to them, but it’s important to hear what was said, because people often put their own spin on what was actually said to make it fit with their narrative.

From there I headed down to the conference to see Michael Hรผttermann with “DevOps: State of the Union”. Michael managed to pull off a session where we did all the talking. How does that work? ๐Ÿ™‚ It was really good fun, and it was interesting to hear other people’s experiences, and how they define DevOps.

Next up was Simon Coter with “Practical DevOps with Linux, Virtualization, and Oracle Application Express. At the start of the session Simon started a Vagrant build using the “vagrant up” command, then continued with the session, describing how tools such as VirtualBox and Vagrant can help you build consistent environments. He then described this specific build and showed us the finished product. I think the session went really well, and if you follow the blog you know I’m a VirtualBox+Vagrant fan. The other thing worth mentioning was he showed how a VirtualBox VM can be exported to OCI, and maybe in future an OCI VM imported back into VirtualBox. The first of those two operations means you could use VirtualBox and Vagrant as your choice for custom infrastructure builds for the cloud. Interesting…

Next up was “Embracing Constant Technical Innovation in Our Daily Life”, which was a panel session made up of Gustavo Gonzalez,ย Sven Bernhardt,ย Debra Lilley,ย Francisco Munoz Alvarez and Me. We didn’t have a big crowd, but we did get some crowd participation. I find panels fun, and some of the practical suggestions included.

  • Write stuff, and preferably put it out on the internet. Thinking someone might read it makes you up your game, and something like blogging can help some people with motivation to try out new stuff. (Writing Tips)
  • Do presentations, because of the pressure of a deadline often makes you focus, and there is also a desire to present something new. Remember, presenting is not just about conferences. Get a group of people in your office and present stuff to the group. It’s a good skill to develop, improves your confidence and makes you more visible in the company and of course improves knowledge transfer! (Public Speaking Tips)
  • When you get good at one thing, it makes it easier to learn new things. You understand the effort it takes and you know you have to look below the surface. (Learning New Things)
  • Get involved with the community. A wise person learns by other people’s mistakes. Go to local meetups for subjects outside your main skill set, to give you a different perspective. It might reinforce your beliefs or challenge them.

After that it was off to see “Understanding the Oracle Linux Cloud Native Environment (OLCNE)” with Wiekus Beukes, Tom Cocozzello and Thomas Tanaka. Oracle have built a tool that allows you to install, manage and upgrade selected Cloud Native Computing Foundation projects. That tool is called OLCNE. Why is this important? Because there are loads of CNCF projects, with a load of dependencies, so trying to install, and more importantly upgrade them, can be a nightmare. This tool will make that easier, as it will manage dependencies, and keep track of which versions of project X are certified with which versions of project Y. All these versions will be tested by Oracle to make sure things just work. The idea being you want Kubernetes + CRI-O + Prometheus + Istio? Sorted. For someone like me, who is a complete noob at most of this, that is a really interesting proposition. The project will be open sourced and on GitHub. Once it gets enough non-Oracle people contributing to the project, they hope to submit it to CNCF. Maybe we are seeing the start of how to manage CNCF projects in the future?? ๐Ÿ™‚

After that I went to see Colm Divilly speaking about “Database Management REST APIs”. The management APIs were introduced a couple of versions ago, but with each release they are adding more stuff. We now have integration with the DBCA for instance and PDB lifecycle management, as well as APIs to control features like Data Pump and get performance monitoring information. I really need to spend some time paying with these, because it’s a great way to automate operations and make them available to other people. I like to think of it as breaking down the walls of the silo by presenting what you do as a service.

Once that session was over I spent a few minutes talking to the ORDS and SQL Dev folks, then it was back to my hotel to crash. I ducked out of the concert (the ticket went to a good home) and other invites because I am old and my bed was calling me.

That was my last day at OpenWorld. I leave Thursday morning US time and will be back home at some point on Friday UK time. I’ll no doubt do a post about the journey home and a wrap-up post once I get back.

Cheers

Tim…

OpenWorld and Code One 2019 : Tuesday

I was originally expecting to start Tuesday with the Cloud Native hands-on-lab, but it clashed with some other non-conference stuff I had scheduled, so I had to drop out of that. I played catch-up on blog posts and upgraded VirtualBox right before my demo, then went out to a photo shoot. Yes, I’m a model…

I had to get some shots done for a magazine piece, so Oracle arranged for me to meet a photographer and I spent some time looking off into the distance in a contemplative manner. I was going to say, “proper executive stuff”, but I was in a T-shirt and combats, so I looked my normal scruffy self. I’ve asked him to photoshop the hell out of them. If I’m recognisable, I won’t be happy. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m not normally at home in front of a camera, but it was surprisingly good fun. On Monday I spent 3 hours running crowd control for the photographer in the Groundbreakers Hub. On Tuesday I’m in front of the camera. I guess by Wednesday I’ll be running a production company…

From there I went straight to my “The 7 Deadly Sins of SQL” session. It covers things that are already on my website, but I’ll write a post specifically about it when I get home. I was surprised how many people showed up. It was a pretty full room. A few empty seats, but a few people standing at the back. The session clashed with the keynote, and a bunch of other sessions I would happily have attended if I wasn’t speaking, so I expected low numbers. Thanks to everyone who came. I hope you got something out of it.

I bumped into Don Sullivan from VMware and chatted to him about the impact of the Oracle & VMware announcement. Since the announcement of VMware Cloud Foundation on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure I’ve already seen some people write, “Oracle is now supported on VMware”, which makes me mad, as it has been supported for a looooong time. Plenty of people run Oracle tech on VMware and never get any problems accessing support. I’m one of those people. If nothing else, the announcement from Oracle will finally kill the Fear Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) around this subject. The announcement does allow Oracle to take a piece of the pie as far a running VMware on the cloud, since VMware have already got all the other major players in the bag. I think this hybrid cloud approach will help many companies start their journey to the cloud, regardless of the cloud provider they pick to do it with.

From there I moved on to watch “The State of the Penguin” by Wim CoeKaerts, which is his yearly review of what’s happening in Linux and Virtualisation at Oracle.

If you’ve watched any of the announcements, I guess you know that Autonomous Linux was announced. I’m going to miss out a bunch of stuff for sure, but some interesting points coming out of this presentation were.

  • UEK6 is on the way, and will bring UEK to Oracle Linux 8 (OL8) for the first time.
  • The new Exadata X8M, which has the PMEM and RoCE stuff is shipping with KVM. The existing stuff and non-RoCE stuff is still shipping with the Xen hypervisor, but the future for Oracle’s visualisation thrust is KVM. If anyone is starting something new and thinking of picking the Xen-based OVM, you should probably not. ๐Ÿ™‚
  • For ages Ksplice has been available to folks running Oracle Linux in the Oracle Cloud, as the license is baked in. This is now also the case when running Oracle Linux in Azure.
  • The plan is to make much of the Autonomous Linux stuff available for on-prem customers too. Wim repeatedly stated, what you have on-prem is what they run in the Oracle Cloud, and what you run in Azure etc. Most of their work is on upstream Linux, rather than on their own proprietary stuff, so everyone benefits from Oracle’s OSS contributions.
  • They are working on some stuff to simplify the setup and management of Kubernetes. It will be open sourced and accept community contributions once it goes to GitHub.

After that session I headed down to the Groundbreaker Hub and just hung around chatting to people. I also did a 60 second Periscope, which is much scarier than a 45 minute presentation. ๐Ÿ™‚

This was the first evening I had free. I stuck by my guns and said no to every offer. I went back to my room and crashed! Tomorrow (Wednesday) is my last day at the conference, as I leave on Thursday morning…

When I get home I’ll probably write a series of posts about the Free Tier stuff. I’ve already written about many of the components included in the Free Tier offering individually (ADW, ATP, OCI Compute etc.), along with the supporting stuff (Compartments, Virtual Cloud Networks (VCNs), Firewall stuff etc.), but it would be good to give it a consistent story for people who are fresh into Oracle Cloud, even if it’s just links to what I already have, with some updated screen shots. I’ll sign up with a new account and go through it all from scratch.

I’ve had a number of discussions about the new Oracle branding, which is a lot softer than the previous branding and almost devoid of red. It’s been mostly positive, but one comment that keeps coming up is something along the lines of, “The new branding is supposed to be more customer focused, but that’s not going to go very far if the attitude of “the business” doesn’t change!” I think you know what that means, and I have to agree. Most people don’t have an issue the tech side of Oracle, but do have a big problem trusting the business side of Oracle. Let’s hope this branding change is the beginning of a new era on the business side of things too!

Cheers

Tim…

OpenWorld and Code One 2019 : Monday (Puppies and Free Tier)

I was tempted to call this “Day 1”, because it’s day 1 of the main conference, but I’ve already had two very full days with very little sleep.

The day started with a walk down to Moscone, where I got my first surprise.

This is my 14th visit to OpenWorld and I’ve never seen this road open during the conference. I’m sure this made the locals a lot happier, as there were less traffic issues, but it did restrict the flow of people somewhat. Having said that, the finished Moscone rebuild means things are a lot more centralised this year, so that wasn’t such a big deal for me.

I started off with a walk around the demo grounds, where I saw some familiar folks. Thank you Dbvisit for something familiar in sea of changes around the conference. ๐Ÿ™‚

I also saw Connor MacDonald drawing a crowd at one of the “theatres” in the demo grounds. You can barely see the people sitting, because of the people standing around…

I stalked bumped into Wim Coekaerts in the demo grounds and had a fanboy moment chat with him about the move from Xen to KVM that has been happening. I’ll no doubt be at some of the Oracle Linux stuff over the remainder of the conference.

I chatted to John Beresniewicz for a while, which is always a pleasure. I bumped into Richard Foote, and we went to get some food and check out where our rooms were for presentations during the week. With the Moscone rebuild, it’s worth finding your feet early. Eventually I had to leave him, as he was constantly mobbed by people mistaking him for David Bowie. We also saw this…

Gone are the days of scantily clad “promo girls”. Now you get people to your stand by having a pen full of puppies. Everyone standing around thinking, “Tech or puppies? Food or puppies? Autonomous something or puppies?” I guess you know what won… ๐Ÿ™‚ This was only one section of the pen. There were a lot of them, and I believe they were already adopted with good homes to go to, so I’ll forgive this exploitation. ๐Ÿ™‚ I assume based on the results, next year’s OpenWorld and Code One event will morph into a dog show. You gotta do what pulls in the punters. ๐Ÿ™‚

I booked in for a shift at the Groundbreakers Hub. I was meant to do 14:30 to 17:00, but I ended up starting early and finishing late, so most of my afternoon was playing at being a bouncer for the photographers doing head-shots for the speakers and members of the assorted community projects at the event. Really it was just an excuse to stand and chat to people. ๐Ÿ™‚

As a result of my shift, I missed the keynote, so I’ll have to catch the recording of that, but I already knew most of the announcements, as would anyone paying attention to the exhibits around the conference. These were on the monitors before the announcements.

Now I wonder what one of the announcements was??? ๐Ÿ™‚

Once my shift was over, I headed back to the hotel, then met up with some folks for dinner. I was once again the walking dead by that time, so I just slurred my way through the conversation. It was a good evening though! ๐Ÿ™‚

Tomorrow (today by the time I post this) is my first presentation…

Cheers

Tim…

OpenWorld and Code One 2019 : Groundbreakers Unconference

This year the Groundbreakers Briefing was completely different. Rather than have some formal presentations, the Groundbreaker Ambassadors an a bunch of Oracle staff all took part in an unconference. People suggested topics and we went into groups to discuss the topics that interested us. Obviously there was a lot of overlap in interests/concerns.

The first one I took part in was discussing a number of areas relating to “Is the RDBMS dead?” and this also included platforms and delivery mechanisms, such as containers. There were people from both sides of the camp, meaning those that favour the RDBMS and those that don’t. From my perspective I say use the correct tool for the job. In some cases that is a RDBMS. In some cases not. When we become too partisan, it’s easy to lose perspective. Of course, it’s also hard to be objective if you’ve spent most of your working life in one camp or the other. I think we have a lot to learn from each other, and the “next big thing” will only happen if we keep an open mind.

The next one I went to related to diversity in the workplace, which is something I have an interest in. The person that suggested this session was basically asking the question, “How do I know if I’m part of the problem?” As always with these types of discussions, it was interesting to hear different takes on the subject. I’m not going to talk specifics, as I don’t think it’s my place to report on some of the things that were said, but it seems like awareness is the first step in this process. Rather than move on to the next session, I continued this discussion with some of the folks. The great thing about an unconference is the rules are, there are no rules (sort-of). ๐Ÿ™‚

From there we went off to the San Francisco Science Museum for a couple of hours. I’m a town/city person, but I like looking at nature. We spent some time looking at fish, butterflies, snakes and frogs etc. Pretty cool. Let’s hope this isn’t the only way to see these in future!

From there we had to shoot across to the Oracle ACE dinner. Chatting with people is what I really enjoy at conferences, so being able to meet up with everyone and have a chin-wag is great. Not surprisingly I had far too much food! ๐Ÿ™‚

It was a long and busy day, and the conference hadn’t even started yet!

Cheers

Tim…

PS. There is an event during the evenings called the Groundbreakers Unconference, which is open to all the people at the conference. That’s not what I’m talking about here. ๐Ÿ™‚

OpenWorld and Code One 2019 : ACE Director Briefing (including APEX 19.2 EA)

The ACE Director Briefing is under NDA, so I can’t talk about it. Most of the stuff mentioned will be known to the general public by the end of OpenWorld, so I’m not going to say anything here, as I don’t need the grief of saying something I shouldn’t. ๐Ÿ™‚

The announcements are nice, and I think some people will be pleasantly surprised, but if I’m honest, the main thing for me is meeting everyone, including the wife and kids, who I’ve not seen for ages. There are a lot of people I only get to meet at these briefings each year…

A thing that is definitely OK for us to talk about is APEX 19.2 EA, available at the following URL.

A number of features were discussed and demonstrated by Mike Hichwa and Joel Kallman, including a very impressive demo of the “Faceted Search” feature in APEX 19.2, which is just a few clicks away…

  • Navigate to “SQL Workshop”.
  • Use the “Object Browser”.
  • Click on table of interest.
  • Under the default “Table” tab, Click the “Create App” button.
  • On the subsequent screen, click the “Create App” button.
  • Accept the default app by clicking the “Create Application” button.
  • Click the “Run Application” button.
  • Click on the “{Table Name} Search” page.
  • Boom! You have Faceted Search.

And what you get out of the box looks like this…

Awesome! There is of course a Faceted Search page type for adding one to an existing application. APEX is a crazy good development tool these days!

After the briefing was done I went across to my Dad’s place to have a belated Birthday party. It was great to hook up again. Good food. Good company. It was a really nice end to the evening. Thanks Dad! I know he’s got a discoverer pass for OOW, so maybe we’ll get to see him around???

Cheers

Tim…

PS. As always, sleep continues to elude me, so I looks and feel like the walking dead! ๐Ÿ™‚

OpenWorld and Code One 2019 : The Journey Begins

The day began at 03:00, or more accurately it began the previous morning, as I didn’t sleep overnight. Normal nervous can’t sleep stuff.

I got a taxi to the airport, which was easy at that time. The first flight from Birmingham to Amsterdam was a little late to get going, but we played catch-up in the air. I got to Amsterdam, and the next boarding gate was close, so no drama there. At the boarding gate I met Frits Hoogland and Sai Penumuru, so we had a chat before the next flight from Amsterdam to San Francisco.

I got really lucky because I was in an aisle seat, and the middle seat was free. It felt like poverty business class. ๐Ÿ™‚ The flight was long and boring, as you would expect, but I did get to watch the following.

  • Avengers: Endgame – It was a pretty good ride. I’m not sure it was deserving of all the hype, but it was good. There were a few scenes I loved. Seeing Valkarie on a flying horse was awesome. There was one scene where the most boring avenger did something I really liked.
  • Glass – I liked this, but if I’m honest I was expecting more, considering I loved both Unbreakable and Split.
  • Alita: Battle Angel – I’ve seen this several times, but I love it.

We landed in San Francisco on time, but there was a long wait at customs. We eventually got through and took the BART to the city centre. From there it was a quick walk to the hotel. I checked in and went to bed to get a little sleep. A bit later I got up to go to the Oracle Groundbreakers dinner, then it was an early night, trying to play catch-up on lost sleep.

Today is the Oracle ACE Directors briefing…

Cheers

Tim…

Update 1: I was just told off for not mentioning “the wife”, even though I didn’t see her yesterday. To get me out of the dog-house, this morning I saw Debra Lilley

Update 2: I was just told off for not mentioning “the daughter” and “the son”. At the Groundbreakers Dinner I got to meet with with my “problem child” daughter Heli, and my low maintenance son Gerald, who doesn’t tell me off if I don’t mention him… ๐Ÿ™‚

Oracle OpenWorld 2017 : The Journey Home

For some reason I thought I was flying home early today. I wasn’t. The flight was 15:00.

I had put myself on an waiting list for an upgrade, that I didn’t get. Unknown to me, and contrary to the advice from the Lufthansa agent I spoke to on the phone, this happened to mean I also lost my aisle seat for the 11+ hour flight home, since I was advised not to check-in online. Flying on a middle seat is not fun for anyone, but for me anything except an aisle is a big problem. It pretty much makes me freak out and fidget constantly. I once stood for 9 hours on a flight where I had a middle seat.

Needless to say I was super-pissed once I got to the airport and found out. I know it isn’t the fault of the airport staff, so I was careful not to go supernova at anyone, but it was extremely hard work. I spoke to the people at the desk, who wrote down my details, but said there was nothing they could do at that time, but would see what they could do as check-in progressed. I wrote an email complaint to Lufthansa, and vented my frustration on Twitter for some time, then the plane was delayed by 30 minutes…

Eventually I was called to the boarding gate and they had found an aisle seat for me again! It was such a relief as I would have annoyed the crap out of the people next to me if I had been in a middle seat.

The flight from San Francisco to Frankfurt was fine except for one brief, but violent bit of turbulence early on in the flight. The staff had to stop the food service and strap in for about 10-15 minutes. I just closed my eyes, grabbed my tray and tried not to have flashbacks to a flight I was on that was like that for hours. There were a number of spilled drinks, vocal people and children crying, but it didn’t last too long. When that does happen, you are twitchy for the rest of the flight.

I stood a lot during the flight and watched some films.

  • Life : I enjoyed this. Quite derivative of alien sci-fi, but good.
  • Wonder Woman : The plot was very generic, butย Gal Gadotย was awesome and the fight scenes were some of the best I have seen in a superhero film. With the problematic origin story out of the way I’m looking forward to the future Wonder Woman films.
  • Trancendance : I re-watched this. I kind-of like it, even though it is a terribly flawed movie.

We got to Frankfurt about 30 minutes late, which meant I had about 12 minutes to get from my arrival gate to the departure gate in another terminal. I checked with a member of staff, who suggested I wait for the next flight in 4 hours time, but I decided to try and make it, which involved me stomping through the airport like an aging rhino. A couple of people took pity on me, a panting sweaty mess, and let me through the fast lane at security, and let me jump the queue. ๐Ÿ™‚ I made it to the boarding gate just as they were closing. A triumph for fatties everywhere!

I got on the plane, went to the toilet and changed my t-shirt, after using my current one as a towel. Yuck.

It was a short flight from Frankfurt to Birmingham with no dramas. I was doubtful my luggage would make it on such a short connections, but it was there waiting for me when I got to the baggage claim. ๐Ÿ™‚

So I’m back and dealing with jet-lag, washing, the post-event emotional crash and I’ve got to write a talk about it all to give at work.

I’ll do a wrap-up post tomorrow when I am settled…

Cheers

Tim…

Oracle OpenWorld (JavaOne) 2017 : Day 4 (Thursday)

I met up with some folks for breakfast, which was a first for this week. From there I went to my room, finished off some blogs and cleared down some work emails, then I was ready to start the day.

OpenWorld finished the day before, but JavaOne continued into Thursday, and since I was registered for both I decided to check out some sessions. A quick look through the agenda showed every session for the day was fully booked. I decided to go down and check it out, in case people didn’t show. When I got there is was really busy, with people queuing for sessions, so I turned round and went back to the hotel.

I heard later there were free seats in some of the sessions, but quite frankly waiting around on spec is not my idea of fun. There seemed to be a lot of angry people around, especially when they ran out of food.ย I can’t really complain as I didn’t pay for the conference, but if I was a paying attendee I would be really unhappy.

In the evening I met up with some folks to grab some foods, then it was back to bed. I’m not sure I’ve ever had such an “unconferency” day at a conference before, except when I’ve been sick.

Cheers

Tim…

Oracle OpenWorld 2017 : Day 3 (Wednesday)

I’m finally starting to sync with the new time zone, so I had to set an alarm to be up in time for an 08:00 appointment.

First up was an Autonomous Data Warehouse Cloud Hands-On Lab in the Hilton withย Yasin Baskanย andย Hermann Baer. I wrote a bit about this separatelyย here.

After speaking to Chris Jones I was planning on going to the next lab. Unfortunately it was full, so sat at a table and started writing up some notes. As I did I eyeballed a bunch of people turning up late for Chris’ lab and giving the ladies controlling the door a hard time because it was full. People are super rude. Some people turned up to the session 35 minutes late and still expected to be allowed in to do a 45 minute hands-on lab. Go figure…

From there I went down the road to the Marriott to see a session called “MySQL 8.0 Overview” by Morgan Tocker.ย I’m mediocre MySQL DBA at best, so this was just me trying to keep up on things.ย There was a lot of familiar stuff for an Oracle DBA/developer, like JSON support, WITH clause, windowing functions, optimizer histograms, invisible indexes, instrumentation, roles etc. It seems I accidentally know a lot more about MySQL 8.0 than I thought I did. ๐Ÿ™‚

From there it was a quick dash across to Moscone West to see “Oracle Database Features Every Developer Should Know About” presented by my sister-in-law andย son. I did know all the features, but there was one I hadn’t written about, so I sense a backfill article coming after I get back to the UK. ๐Ÿ™‚

I was going to go back to the Marriott for a session, but got chatting and ended up missing it. After getting some food and bending David Haimes ear for a while I headed back to another session.

The next session was “Five Things You Might Not Know About the Oracle Database” presented byย my sister-in-law and Dominic Giles. Once again, I had heard of everything, but there were two things I had not written about yet. One backfill article and one new article coming. ๐Ÿ™‚

After talking a little time out to abuse David Peake, which is the highlight of any conference, I headed across to the room for my session, about 40 minute early. I got prepped, unplugged and started working through some notes again.

My session, “Make the RDBMS Relevant Again with RESTful Web Services and JSON” was down as a Java One session. That combined with it being in the last block before the evening party meant I was a bit concerned I would be presenting to nobody. I shouldn’t have worried. People came and I had a good time. I spoke to Connor later and he said I was moving really fast through the talk, 69 slides in 45 minutes, but he probably does 400 slides in that time, so I guess I was really slow. ๐Ÿ™‚ The session finished at 17:15 and I was answering questions and chatting with some of the folks until 18:45.

By the time I got to the bloggers meet-up it was winding to a close. Just long enough to grab some food, say hello to a few people, including the wife, and get into a photo. Most of the folks then moved on to the evening event, but I had already found a good home for my wrist-band, so I ducked out and headed back to the hotel to crash. The wife streamed videos of Ellie Goulding singing “Love me like you do”, in an attempt to remind me of the time we watched Fifty Shades of Grey together, but I ignored her and went to bed. ๐Ÿ™‚

Tomorrow morning marks the end of the craziness…

Cheers

Tim…

Autonomous Data Warehouse Cloud Hands-On Lab : My Thoughts

I signed up to a hands-on lab for the Autonomous Data Warehouse Cloud Service. These are the notes I took during the lab. They are a little scrappy, but I think you will get the idea…

I had some prior information due to the briefings I attended before OpenWorld, but everything I’ve mentioned here has been said publicly in OpenWorld sessions and is part of the hands-on lab.

Lab Outline

During the hands-on lab we did the following.

  • Connected to the service from SQL Developer.
  • Created new schemas and connections to the service.
  • Created tables and constraints with RELY DISABLE NOVALIDATE.
  • Loaded data into the tables from an object store.
  • Created external tables to files in an object store.
  • Connected to a sample schema and ran some queries before and after online scaling the service.

Introduction

  • The Oracle Public Cloud interface and provisioning looks similar to the current DBaaS offering, but a little more simplified. There are fewer options to fill in.
  • The minimum storage is one 1TB with increments of 1TB. The storage scales on demand, so no dramas about starting small and increasing as you go. The storage is paid for on a monthly basis.
  • CPU is paid for on an hourly basis. You can scale down to 0 and stop paying for the compute if you have downtime (weekends?), but you continue to pay for storage.
  • You have an admin user, similar to system, but you don’t have SYS and SYSTEM access. No conventional OS access either. It’s similar to RDS for Oracle in that sense.
  • Provisioning time for a new instance is about 10-20 seconds.
  • Once you have the system provisioned there is pretty much no additional configuration you can do.
  • Access requires a wallet, similar to the Exadata Express Cloud Service, so you need to download the connection details from the Client Access tab. You get a zip with the relevant connection details.
  • If you manually create users, you need to grant them a role called DWROLE. That is the only role needed to connect and manage objects in the schema.

Object Creation

  • Tables are created with no constraints (except NOT NULL) and no additional features like partitions etc.
  • Primary keys, unique keys and FKs are defined with RELY DISABLE NOVALIDATE, so the optimizer has the necessary metadata, but no physcial structures like indexes are created.

Loading Data

Privileged operations are done used the DBMS_CLOUD package. Some of the things we did during the hands-on lab include.

  • DBMS_CLOUD.CREATE_CREDENTIAL – Creates a credential object to authenticate to the object store (Oracle or AWS S3). The credential is created once, and is used by default for all operations from then on. The object store is used as a source for data loads and external tables. On initial release the number of formats are limited, but it will eventually include additional source formats over time.
  • DBMS_CLOUD.COPY_DATA – Copies data from the object store into a table. This is full load operation. There are a number of options including table_name, file_uri_list, format. The format defines how the file should be loaded.
  • DBMS_CLOUD.CREATE_EXTERNAL_TABLE – Create an external table pointing to the files in the object store, rather than loading them into the database.

The USER_LOAD_OPERATIONS view displays information about load operations.

As with the existing database cloud services, if you need to transfer a large amount of data it can be done by shipping it to Oracle for them to seed it. I can’t remember the name of the specific service, but suffice to say you will not have to SCP your petabyte warehouse files to the service. ๐Ÿ™‚

Scaling and Performance

  • The service is essentially scaled by resetting the CPU_COUNT for the instance in the cloud screens or via a REST API, so it is using a variation on instance caging to control CPU. CPU is charged by the hour. You can scale down to 0 when you don’t need resource, but you will still be paying for storage.
  • In the initial release the SGA and PGA sizes are tied to the CPU count, so adding an extra CPU increases the SGA and PGA allocated. Future releases may make these independent, but for now this is the way it works.
  • Parallel Statement Queuing is enabled, and the cloud interface allows you to monitor the statement queue. The queue is understandably affected by CPU count.
  • The Query Result Cache is enabled, so for small result sets a second run of the statement is super fast. ๐Ÿ™‚
  • You are responsible for the schema design and the SQL you write against it, but you will not be creating indexes and partitioning strategies to address performance issues. The service is responsible for tuning the workload, not you.

Thoughts

  • The hands-on lab was obviously quite limited in terms of the scope, so I can’t give a comprehensive review, but from what I have seen so far it appears Oracle have delivered what they said they would. A fully managed service that removes the need for operational DBAs as creation, backups, patching and upgrades are not your business.
  • It’s hard to know at this point how well the automated tuning works. As more people try it out with different workloads we will get a proper feel for what it can and can’t do. What we do know is you will not be adding indexes or partitioning stuff, so at least that aspect of tuning is out of your control.
  • I don’t know if everyone got to see this, but Hermann scaled my service and it just worked, completely online.
  • It’s fun to theorise how they have achieved some of the aspects of service using the existing features.
  • I’ll be interested to get my hands on it once it goes live.
  • I’ve mentioned a few times in other posts, this is the first generation of this service. We don’t know how it will evolve over the coming months.
  • Remember, if you don’t like the lack of control you can alway pick DBaaS, Exadata Cloud Service or run on-prem. These will not have the option of being autonomous though.
  • Overall my feeling is I like it. I know this might sound odd coming from a DBA, but I like the hands-off nature of it.

Thanks toย Yasin Baskanย andย Hermann Baerย for putting on the session. Hermann, please don’t tell anyone you had to help me connect to the database when my brain rebooted and I wasn’t even capable of doing something as simple as that. It will remain our secret right?

Cheers

Tim…