Oracle OpenWorld Rejections : #TeamRejectedByOracleOpenWorld

 

Once again it is Oracle OpenWorld paper rejection season. :)

Invariably, us conference types start to have a bit of a moan about being rejected, hence my little jibe #TeamRejectedByOracleOpenWorld. In case people lost sight of this being a joke, here was one of my tweets on the subject.

“Setting up a helpline for #TeamRejectedByOracleOpenWorld to deal with all us people who can’t cope with not being heard for 5 mins. :)”

The reaction to these tweets is quite interesting, because some in the community are stunned by the people getting rejected. In reality it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. Jonathan Lewis summed the situation up nicely with the following tweet.

“You’re confusing OOW with a user group event. Different organisations, reasons, and balance”

If I’m honest, presenting is not high on my list of desires where OpenWorld is concerned. There is too much to do anyway, without having to worry about preparing for talks. If someone asks me to get involved in a panel session, RAC Attack or some similar thing I’m happy to help out, but if I do none of the above, I will still be rushed off my feet for a week.

The Oracle ACE program is allocated a few slots each year. Some people need to present or their company won’t allow them to attend. Others want the “profile” associated with presenting at OpenWorld. Neither of these things affect me, so I typically don’t submit for the ACE slots. I would rather see them go to someone who really does want them. I get plenty of opportunities to speak. :)

If you really want to speak at conferences, your focus should be on user group events. Getting to speak at something like OOW can be a nice treat for some people, but it probably shouldn’t be your goal. :)

Cheers

Tim…

Oracle OpenWorld 2014 : Summary

 

OpenWorld 2014 was dominated by jet lag. Not that “special” type of Doug Burns jet lag, but the real stuff. As I mentioned in a previous post, having been ill in the 3 weeks leading up to OpenWorld, the jet lag hit me hard and I had nothing in reserve to get me through it. I’m now back in the UK and it is even worse. It’s 01:00 as I write this and I’ve been to sleep for about 3 hours. I’m now wide awake. It’s going to be a long day!

Apart from the jet lag, what was the overall message at OOW14?

Cloud

This one was pretty predictable. What broke away from the message of previous years was the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) message. In previous years Oracle said they were not interested in IaaS as competing with the general cloud providers, like AWS, was not good business. As Mark Rittman put it, this is “a race to for the bottom”. Instead, Oracle wanted to focus on the Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS), where they are selling their technology stack and software respectively. This has much better margins and allows them to do something that other cloud providers can’t really compete with in a price fight.

In reality any PaaS provider needs to also provide IaaS because applications do not work in isolation. It may be nice to have your Oracle database on the cloud, but what do you do with that 3rd party application that you would like to run in the same data centre as the database?

Oracle have come out with a statement that they will provide general purpose compute power and not be beaten on price by the likes of AWS. That sounds quite scary, but I think the reality is this will only be a small part of their cloud business. I would imagine most people moving to the Oracle Cloud will be doing so for the PaaS and SaaS offerings. The IaaS will only play a supporting role.

In more general terms, Oracle are planning on adding just about everything “as a Service” on their cloud. They’ve announced Database Backup, Documents, Big Data (Hadoop) and Node.js as a Service, which were new to me, along with all the usual stuff we either already had or expected…

Once everything is available, it will certainly make an impressive lists. From a platform perspective, not quite as diverse as AWS yet, but impressive none the less.

Big Data

On the whole, Oracle shied away from the normal, “You can do big data with the Oracle database!”, message they’ve been trying to promote over recent years. I think the world and their dog understand that “Big Data” and relational databases don’t really go hand-in-hand.

Instead, Oracle were pushing the Oracle Big Data SQL product. I started off pretty cynical about this, thinking it would just be a knock-off of Cloudera Impala, but it does seem to be something more. Big Data SQL allows you to create external tables over Hadoop and NoSQL data stores, so you can write SQL against them and process the data in your Oracle database. No need to learn any new query/programming tool. It also allows you to join differing data sources together.

Regardless of your views on big data, there are a lot of “data people” out there with SQL skills and, relatively speaking, nobody with map reduce skills. That and the fact that many companies for the foreseeable future will be churning through their map reduce jobs to produce data to put into a relational database for reporting, means that integration between Hadoop, NoSQL and RDBMS will be a key component. Oracle Big Data SQL seems to have hit this nail square on the head. If it weren’t so ridiculously expensive, it would be interesting to see the adoption rate!

JSON Support

This might seem like a minor feature on the surface, but I think it is a massive step forward for Oracle. The reality of the marketplace is that document stores are now seen as the preferred solution for some situations. Oracle will never compete with the likes of MongoDB (it’s webscale) on shear performance, but how many people really need to hit those numbers? Last year my company were considering MongoDB/RavenDB for some HR projects. The main factor against this idea was the split of the “single point of truth” between Oracle and another database technology. If the JSON support in the Oracle database had been available, we would probably have used it.

The JSON support in the database seems pretty comprehensive to me. Once the REST APIs are available, through Oracle REST Data Services (ORDS) it will be interesting to see how the developers react to this.

APEX 5.0

It was rather disappointing to hear that APEX 5.0 is a long way off going to production. The logic for holding back is sound. It’s got to be bullet proof, especially the upgrade process, so it’s better to wait until it is sorted, than release early and get lost in a support nightmare. Even so, I wanted the pretties… :)

WebLogic

I didn’t listen to the formal announcements about WebLogic, so I’m not sure how much of what I heard is still under NDA from ACE Director Briefing. For that reason, I’ll keep my mouth shut, but suffice to say, there are things in the pipeline that will make my life much easier!

Database

The database side of things was relatively quiet. Two years ago we got, “This is what we will give you in 12c”. Last year we got, “This is what we have given you in 12c”. This year we got, “This is what we gave you last year in 12c”. :) We did of course get lots of In-Memory stuff, but we knew about that last year and it is now GA… :)

I guess some news was that we are 18-24 months away from 12cR2, so you will probably have to upgrade to 12cR1 if you want to retain support without paying any extra cash. The proposed release date for 12cR2 will be after the free 1 year extension to support runs out… When you consider the obligatory, “wait for the first patchset”, that could be a long time without support… (Doc ID 742060.1)

Everything Else

There were of course numerous things about Oracle Linux, Oracle VM, MySQL 5.7, Engineered Systems and a whole bunch of other stuff, but I guess if you follow those areas you already know…

Overall

As mentioned in a previous post, the take home message for me is that Oracle are working hard to be a cloud provider. As such, they have spotted obvious flaws in their own products. A big proportion of the new features in their infrastructure products seem to me like a direct result of them “eating their own dog food” while trying to become a cloud provider. I think this is good news for the future of Oracle products, even if you don’t care about the Oracle Cloud specifically.

Big thanks to the ACE Program and OTN for getting me to OOW14. It was great to meet up with my Oracle friends and Oracle family again. I’m looking forward to a jet lag free 10th anniversary OOW next year! :)

Cheers

Tim…

Oracle OpenWorld 2014 : Wednesday

 

Another early start on Wednesday. I headed down to meet the Dbvisit gang for breakfast. FYI: I’m not paid to keep mentioning them and I don’t work for them. They are just a great group of people who I really like, so when I get a chance to meet up with them I do. :)

From there it was on to Moscone where I bumped into Eric Yen. We’ve known each other for years on the interwebs, so it was nice to spend some face-to-face time. I also bumped into Daniel De Meda again. We chatted for a while the previous day, so when we met today we did a selfie. From there it was off to the demo grounds again, then I met up with Sve Gyurov for lunch.

IMG_20141001_123115

If you’ve ever met Sve, you will realise that I am on tiptoes and he is crouching when we took this shot, otherwise this would be a picture of my head and his chest. :)

After lunch I had a major attack of lethargy, so I headed back to the hotel for a rest, which I’ve just surfaced from at 20:00. :( I’m going to duck out of the evening events as well…

So this really marks the end of OpenWorld for me, because I leave tomorrow morning. It’s been a really strange one for me this year. I enjoyed the ACE Director Briefing and felt like I was coping really well, then I kind-of crashed once OOW actually started. What with being ill for the 3 weeks prior to the event, then having to deal with the jet lag, I really had no reserves to fall back on this year. I feel a bit disappointed with myself as it feels like a wasted opportunity, but you can only do so much…

I’ll write a wrap-up post about the whole event when I get back.

Cheers

Tim…

Oracle OpenWorld 2014 : Tuesday

 

Tuesday started early with 5 hours in the hotel lobby. The plan was to catch up on my blogging using the free wifi. I hadn’t blogged for a couple of days, which prompted an email from my mom to see if I was OK. :)

It took about 5 hours to complete two blog posts, because every 30 seconds someone new walked by and I was “forced” to speak to them. :)

That done, I headed down to Moscone South to check out the Dbvisit stand. I mentioned a few weeks ago that I had never tried a Twinkie, so Chris Lawless went to work correcting that state of affairs by bringing a box of Twinkies to their stand. You can see me trying my first Twinkie here!

I didn’t record me eating my second Twinkie. :)

From there is was a visit to the demo grounds again, then up to the OTN lounge to chat with a few people about the ACE Program, life the universe and everything. After a quick lunch with Vikki from the ACE Program, I hooked up with Steven Feuerstein to chat about his YesSQL initiative. Soon after that it was across to the ODTUG gathering briefly, before heading off to the SQL and PL/SQL Performance Panel, which featured Jagan Athreya, Dad (Graham Wood), Tom Kyte and Steven Feuerstein.

After popping back to the hotel to dump my bag, it was back down to Howard Street to the attend the evening festivities. I spent most of the evening with Doug Burns and one of his colleagues called Seamus. I even had a drink. Who’da think it?

Tiredness is still a big problem for me. The day is starting so early that I feel like the living dead most of the day.

Cheers

Tim…

Oracle OpenWorld 2014 : User Group Sunday

 

Sunday started with the walk across the Golden Gate Bridge. It was meant to be a run, but a few of us lazy folk met up early and walked it instead. I did run about 5 paces, so I don’t feel quite so guilty about having a “I ran the bridge” type T-shirt. :)

After getting back and getting changed I headed down to the Moscone. I was involved in the “12 things about 12c” sessions by UKOUG. This was a double session with 12 speakers, each with 5 minutes. My section was 5 minutes on “A case for the Multitenant option with a single PDB”. I was pretty nervous on the lead up to this, which sounds a little silly for a 5 minute presentation, but shorter presentations require you to be a lot more focussed on the message. One extra anecdote and you’ve blown your time limit. :) I think it went OK. :)

I like this type of format. I think every conference needs something like this at the start of the event, so you get a quick feel for what is going on in the subject. It can also act as a pointer to help you decide what sessions you want to focus on during the event.

In the evening it was the Oracle ACE dinner. If someone asked me to define a perfect night out for me, it would probably include Oracle geeks, food, contortion and a silks performer. I love speaking about Oracle. I live eating food. I love circus acts, especially contortion. When they organised the ACE dinner I think they must have read my mind! :)

Cheers

Tim…

Oracle OpenWorld 2014 : ACE Director Briefing – Day 1

 

As I’m sure many of you will know, “the first rule of ACED is to constantly talk about ACED”. So every year they put us in a room for the 2 day ACED Briefing where “the first rule of the ACED Briefing is don’t talk about the ACED Briefing”. You can guess, this is going to be devoid of spoilers! :)

I think it is safe to say, the main focus areas of Oracle OpenWorld 2014 are reasonably predictable, but a number of the announcements related to those areas of focus are not so predictable! I think there will be something for everyone next week! That’s all I’m going to say about the ACED Briefing content! :)

Now for opinion time. This is obviously affected by what I heard during the day, but also what has been happening for the last couple of years…

In my opinion, Oracle getting into the “cloud business” over the last few years has been one of the best things to happen to the company! Why do I say this? Because “eating their own dog food” while trying to build a portfolio of cloud offerings has given them a very specific focus. Pre-cloud, many of the features that will be spoken about next week would probably not have been on the radar, even though customer’s wanted them. Now, there is a *very* big driver for getting this stuff done. If Oracle need it to build their cloud, it’s going to happen!

“I don’t care about Oracle’s public cloud”, will be the cry from some out there. Fine. You don’t have to care, but their cloud is built on the Oracle database, WebLogic, the Fusion Middleware stack, their engineered systems etc. If you care about any of the individual building blocks, Oracle’s public cloud will have a positive effect on those building blocks. Making those products lean, fast and flexible is a really important focus when you are trying to use this stuff at the scale Oracle are!

So when you are listening to the array of announcements over the coming week, I would like you to ask yourself a few questions:

  • Is this feature good for building Oracle’s cloud?
  • Do I think this feature would exist if Oracle didn’t need it for their cloud?
  • Can I make use of this feature, independent of Oracle’s cloud offering? (If I could afford it)

At the end of OOW14, when you look back as a whole, I think most people will see how Oracle entering the cloud business has had a really good knock-on effect on their product set.

On a personal note, it was fantastic being at the ACED briefing. I missed it last year and it was great to meet up with everyone again. OOW is so big it is easy to miss people. Having so many of my Oracle friends in one room is brilliant! Happy days…

In the evening I was going to go straight to bed, but Carry Millsap persuaded me to go out to eat. Well, I say persuaded me, but really I just wanted to be near him because he’s so pretty! :) Cary, Kerry, Frits, Martin, Bjoern and myself went out to a little Mexican place and I got a brilliant burrito, which I scoffed, whilst teaching them to speak proper English. They now understand the words minger, minging, muggy and bellend.

Cheers

Tim…

PS. As any conspiracy theorist knows, the public denial of the Oracle Games Console (OGC) by Thomas Kurian is proof of its existence. I believe it uses technology reverse engineered from the wreckage recovered from Roswell.

Oracle OpenWorld 2014 : The Journey Begins

 

I did my normal last minute packing last night. After a quick panic this morning, I was off in the taxi I for the airport.

I find it amazing how sense goes out of the window at airports. There was a big sign saying “Put empty trays on rollers”, so people were either leaving them or stacking them up. Either way, they were getting in the way. WTF? RTMF!

The first flight to Frankfurt was fine. While waiting to board I was staring at the guy in front thinking, “I’m sure I could do his fade better than that!” I might have to start hairdresser-base.com… :)

The flight to SFO went without incident. I met Joze SenegacnikØyvind Isene, Martin Bach and Harshad Oak during it. :) Once we landed, it was the airport shuttle to the hotel, then straight out with the family for some food. Its sad that we only get to meet at conferences. :)

Tomorrow is the ACED briefing, so lots of tweets telling people I can’t tell them what his going on. :)

Cheers

Tim…

Oracle OpenWorld 2013 : Wednesday

 

A familiar morning. Up at silly o’clock, went to the gym, then read in my room for a while…

The plan for Wednesday was pretty much the same as Tuesday. Most of the day was spent at RAC Attack. I thought we were meant to be helping people install RAC on their laptops, but I quickly came to understand this was a cover for watching Yuri take photos of people jumping in the air… :)

A big thank you to all the people involved in making RAC Attack happen again! A lot of people helped in making the new 12c install notes. Lots of people dedicated two days of OOW2013 to this, rather than watching presentations or swanning off to the boat racing. Thanks also to the OTN crowd for giving up so much space to us.

After RAC Attack I popped in to see John Beresniewwicz and Kellyn Pot’Vin presenting, “Active Session History Deep Dive: Advanced Performance Analysis Tips”. I like listening to both these speakers!

From there it was back to the exhibition stands to hook up with the DBVisit guys, before returning to the OTN Lounge for the “Meet the ADF Team” session. David Peake was lurking there, pretending to be part of the ADF team. There’s a rumour there that is just begging to be started! :)

Then it was back to the hotel to dump my stuff before heading off to the Bloggers Meetup. I was only there for about 2 minutes, before I had to leave for the appreciation event, so sorry if I missed anyone. Having spent so much time in the OTN Lounge this year, I doubt there is anyone I’ve not met already. :)

This year I got to do the appreciation event in style as a VIP, thanks to an invite by the DBVisit guys. We were in the New Zealand suite at the top of the stadium, so I was an honorary Kiwi for the night. :) I had a few drinks and ate vast quantities of food, without having to fight it out with the crowds. It was great! I’m always bigging up the DBVisit folks, but they really are a great group of people. Chris Lawless (formerly of the Oracle GoldenGate team) is a great addition to the team. He cracked me up all night. To show my support, I put some “temporary” Dbman tattoos on my arms. Turns out they are not so temporary after all. Two showers and some scrubbing and they are still with me. :) You can see a picture of them here. I love that picture because it makes me look skinny! :)

During the event, I managed to find Nemo and watch Maroon 5 and The Black Keys. Adam Lavine from Maroon 5 has a really strange voice. When he sings it sounds fine, but when he talks he sounds like he’s been hitting the helium balloons. It’s like Alvin and the Chipmunks. Very odd. I’m not a fan of Maroon 5, so I was surprised that I recognised all but one of the songs they played. They were really good. The Black Keys where a lot heavier than I expected. I knew I had heard some of their stuff, but I wasn’t sure how much I would recognise. I think there were three songs I definitely recognised. Pretty cool.

I got back to the hotel at about 01:00, so this morning was a later start for me. Someone has been shopping again. Lots of boxes outside their room again this morning! :)

Cheers

Tim…

Oracle OpenWorld 2013 : Tuesday

 

Another “groundhog day” morning. Up at silly o’clock, went to the gym, then read in my room for a while…

Tuesday was the first day of RAC Attack proper. We had 3 tables at the OTN lounge, all of which were full. There were a few teething problems with the new set of instructions, but we muddled through. In some ways, this is more fun than if things go too smoothly. :) RAC Attack took pretty much the whole day. I hoped to go and see my adopted dad (Graham Wood) in the Real World Performance Group session, but that never happened.

I left RAC Attack and headed down to the demo grounds to have a bit of a moan at the Cloud Control guys. To my delight the stand was being manned by Pete Sharman. I’ve “known of” Pete for many years, but our paths have never crossed before today. It was a pleasure to meet him at last, but that didn’t stop me from having a moan about some bits of Cloud Control. :)

As I was leaving the Cloud Control stand I bumped into Jacco Landlust. When he’s not offending Cary Millsap and Tom Kyte, Jacco skates the fine line between being a DBA and WebLogic administrator. Being a WebLogic newbie, I always like hooking up with Jacco to pick his brains and validate that I’ve not screwed things up too badly. After pumping him for information, I now feel like I’ve graduated to post-newbie status. :) Of course the big news is he’s the latest Oracle ACE to become an Oracle employee. It’s starting to feel like a recruitment program. :)

Next I headed up to the OTN Meetup, like I hadn’t spent enough time in the OTN Lounge already. :) I spent some time talking to Connor McDonald, Chris Muir, Lonneke Dikmans, Marcelle Kratochvil, Doug GaultScott Spendolini and Liron Amitzi, to name but a few. I’d like to say I was intelligent and insightful, but I had drunk 3 beers and felt extremely merry, so I’m guessing I was talking complete nonsense, nothing new there. :)

As the OTN meetup drew to a close I walked back to the hotel with Liron Amitzi. He’s in the room opposite to me and I keep ribbing him about permanently having the “Do not disturb” sign on the door. We were discussing some of the installation oddities we’ve seen, as well as the Larry Ellison key note, that Larry didn’t turn up to

I had a quick chat to John Scott and Roel Hartman in the lobby of the hotel as they left for the APEX Meetup.

So that’s another day done. Tomorrow is the second day of RAC Attack.

Cheers

Tim…

Oracle OpenWorld 2013 : Monday

 

Monday started in a similar way to Sunday. I woke up at silly o’clock, went to the gym, then read in my room for a while.

Monday morning was spent flitting between the demo grounds and the OTN Lounge. I also filmed a short interview for OTN, which will probably appear at some point. It was a one-take thing, so it will annoy the hell out of me when I watch it back 75,000 times. :)

Later in the day I went to the Real World Performance Group session, then it was back to the OTN lounge to for some more networking/chatting. :)

On the way back to the hotel I popped into a bar to meet the AppsLab guys and David Haimes, who filmed my abortive attempt at using Anthony’s Google Glass here. It’s tricky when you have glasses. You either have to balance them outside your glasses, or not wear your glasses, so everything is blurred. It helps if you are not in a noisy bar when you are trying them. :)

I got back to the hotel and found my credit cards had been blocked. I tried and failed to get them unblocked, which led to a few very angry tweets!

Being tired and rather angry, I just went to bed rather than going to the “Friends of Pythian” event.

Cheers

Tim…