Todays (Tuesday) Oracle WaterWorld Sessions…

It was raining quite hard this morning. Fortunately I brought my “Fujitsu Siemens” umbrella from 2 years ago. Debra Lilley was quick to point out the company name change… 🙂

Today was another day heavily based around the Unconference in Moscone West. Four of the six presentations I went to today were at the unconference. Here’s what I saw today:

  • What’s New in Eleven … Dot Two (that Oracle won’t be talking about) by Daniel Morgan: A quick romp through some of the stuff that is new or updated in the latest release that’s not sexy enough for the marketeers to focus on.
  • Oracle Indexes: Q & A Discussion by Richard Foote: Richard was hoping we could all spend the hour discussing David Bowie, but the audience wanted to know about indexes. The session kinda turned into the Richard and Jonathan roadshow. Fortunately they agreed on most points. 🙂
  • Under The Hood of Oracle Clusterware with live demo Part I & II by Alex Gorbachev: This was a 2 hour unconference session where Alex explained the architecture of Oracle Clusterware, then proceeded to demonstrate a whole bunch of stuff including scenarios causing node eviction.
  • Current Trends in Real-World Database Performance by Andrew Holdsworth: I try to get to the sessions by the Real World Performance Group each year, just to make sure there’s not something new I’ve missed. It gives me a warm fuzzy feeling. 🙂
  • The Terabyte Hour with the Real-World Performance Group by Andrew Holdsworth: This session involved a live ETL process loading 1 Terabyte of data in flat files into a Exadata V1 Database Machine running 11gR2. Once the data was in they gathered stats, did a bunch of transformations and issued a bunch of heavy SQL statements at it to show the performance. Very impressive to get all this one in 50 minutes. Nearly all the processing was CPU bound, so it would be interesting to see the same demo on the V2 machines. Even better to do the Pepsi Challenge and have then side by side doing it…

I’ve just noticed I’m about 90 minutes late for the blogger get together. I better get moving…



The downside side of Oracle OpenWorld 2009

Despite all the geek fun, there is a downside to OOW. I for one will be visiting the doctor when I get back to the UK to ask for some Prozac. Why? I’m depressed due to multi-angle-envy. What?

  • I’ve seen some excellent presenters whose technique is so slick it makes me sick. I’m not talking about fancy slides. I’m talking about how they engage the audience. Makes me feel like a rank amateur.
  • The amount of technical knowledge some of these guys have is crazy. Now I know they are focused on very specific areas, but even so. It really brings you down to earth with a bump.
  • I really, really, really want some of the kit being used by people out there. I want to run queries on multi-terabytes of data without indexes and still expect a result back within a couple of minutes. I need an Exadata V2 in my spare bedroom, along with a reinforced floor.
  • There are so many products and features that look amazing and I know I won’t have the time, equipment or brain capacity to try them.

Sometimes OOW can really bum you out…



OpenWorld Events – Monday…

I intended to go to some regular sessions, but changed tack and spent the day in Moscone West at the Unconference instead.

  • Chalk & Talk: The Core Performance Fundamentals Of Oracle Data Warehousing (Greg Rahn, Database Performance Engineer, Real-World Performance Group @ Oracle): I’m not a DW guy and I don’t work with Exadata kit, so this was pretty interesting for me. It’s pretty wild what this Exadata stuff can do. I’ll be going to the Terabyte session tomorrow where they will be doing a bunch of live demos.
  • Fundamentals of Performance (Oracle ACE Director Cary Millsap): I’ve seen Cary speak a few times and each time I really enjoy it. His presentation style is effortless and his explanations are so clear. He’s one of those people that raises the bar.
  • Oracle Exadata Storage Server FAQ Review and Q&A with Kevin Closson (Performance Architect, Oracle): Read Kevin’s blog and you will know he is passionate about storage and hardware. Watching him present on Exadata was like watching a freakishly eloquent child with a new toy. You come away desperate for Santa to bring you one at Christmas.
  • Visualization Session – Make your charts more effective for troubleshooting and presenting (Oracle ACE Chen Shapira): Chen took a specific use case and showed a variety of graphing methods that could be used to represent the data. It’s interesting to see how your perception of the data changes depending on the method used, and how some can distract from your message.

Alex did a video interview with me, Chris and Jacco. It’s very embarrassing and he promised to edit it, which he didn’t. You can see it here.

I’m off to the OTN night now.



Develop Day…

The Develop day is my first conference day, but I guess for most people it is Day -1. After purposely leaving my calendar empty, I ended up filling the day quite well.

  • What Are We Still Doing Wrong? by Tom Kyte: It’s always a pleasure to hear Tom speak. He always has a good balance of content and humor and engages the audience so well, even in a massive room like today. Check out the slides when they come out. There are a number of the links to WTF style code samples and questions.
  • Welcome to the Oracle Application Express Sunday Symposium (ODTUG/IOUG) by Scott Spendolini and Dimitri Gielis: I grabbed some food with Scott yesterday and we discussed the contents of this talk so today it was a bit like deja vous. 🙂 Scott and Dimitri set the scene for the rest of the weeks presentations by explaining why APEX is a valid option when it comes to migrating/converting from legacy to web technology.
  • Oracle XML Database: Design Concepts for XML Applications That Will Perform by Marco Gralike: I’ve been working with the XML features of Oracle since they were introduced, but on a very small scale. Marco on the other hand has been doing the real deal. It’s good to hear some numbers from someone in the trenches.
  • Designing PL/SQL with Intent by Andrew Clarke: I’ve been presenting for about 2 years now and I guess it’s all thanks to Andrew. He gave me my first speaking opportunities as part of the UKOUG SIG events. He also gave me loads of tips about presenting, so I am forever in his dept. This talk was about the concepts behind design patterns as they relate to PL/SQL. Rather than go for the easy prescriptive option, he used design patterns for town planning as his metaphor and then related them to PL/SQL. I really liked the way it worked out. When I see people do these styles of talks I’m always a little jealous because it’s not something I can really pull off.
  • Oracle XML Database: Oracle Database 11g Release 2 New Features by Marco Gralike: The second talk by Marco I attended today (I’m not stalking him). As the name implies, this one was a quick romp through the new XML DB features in release 2, but it also mentioned some of the stuff from release 1.

One of the really nice things about all the traveling and speaking I’ve been doing over the last year is I’ve met so many people. Walking round today I keep bumping into people I’ve met at other conferences. It invariably results in me saying, “I’ve met you before but I don’t have a clue where!” 🙂 It’s cool because even though this is a massive event, it can still feel intimate when you are constantly meeting friendly faces.

It’s the ACE dinner tonight. I’m feeling a bit battered now, but I’m sure I’ll get my second wind by the time it starts.



Quick life and presenting update…

Just a quick post to let people know what is going on in the next few weeks/months…


I’m speaking at the UKOUG DE SIG on the 10th July. Andrew Clarke had a free slot so I offered to speak to help him out. I owe him a few favors and it is on my doorstep.

I had a bit of a panic last night while I was rehearsing the talk. My laptop died and I ended up having to uninstall and install VMware Server. Not what you want to happen the week before a talk. As a backup, I’m going to use PortableApps to have my talk on a USB stick just in case. I won’t be able to run the demos, but I will have expected output ready to go just in case. Hopefully, the laptop will be fine and I won’t need it. 🙂

OpenWorld 2008

I’m speaking at OpenWorld 2008 as part of a group presentation organised by Lewis Cunningham. The lineup is Lewis Cunningham, Eddie Awad, Mark Rittman, Arup Nanda, Rich Niemiec, Bradley Brown, Hans Forbrich and myself. As you would expect with so many speakers, it’s a panel format, not a formal presentation. Should be fun.

I’m not sure if I’ll do the Unconference this year. I would like to, but I think it’s a bit unfair of me to hog a slot that someone new could use. If the uptake is slow I’ll jump in there.

I’m registered for OpenWorld and I’ve reserved my hotel room. I can’t book my flights until I know what’s happening with the AUSOUG and NZOUG events.


I’m waiting to hear if I’ve been accepted to speak at the AUSOUG and NZOUG events this year. I’ll post more about this when I know. If I do it’s going to be a pretty hectic schedule. One of the percs of quitting your job is you have lots of free time to do conferences. 🙂

Life Update

The last person from my office quit work on Friday, so I’m now alone in the dungeon for a couple of months before I leave. I’ve been taking servers out of racks and rebuilding them for deployment in a new site. I can do RHEL, DB and AS10g installations in my sleep now. Yesterday I was setting up a system consisting of a database, two middle tier app servers and two front end web servers. It’s all sitting on the desk next to me making an awful noise. It was overloading my air con, so it was kinda tropical in here. 🙂

Today is the start of my final year of being 30-something. Happy birthday to me. How am I going to celebrate you ask? I’m teaching two Yoga classes to cover for someone who’s ill. Not exactly what I had in mind. 🙂