Oracle Midlands : Event #9

oracle-midlandsThe traffic on the way to Oracle Midlands Event #9 was a complete nightmare! There are a bunch of roadworks around the city that are making the traffic movement really problematic at the moment. Added to that, the always slow M6 was causing tailbacks along the Aston Express Way into the city. The traffic islands were all blocked, with people blocking exits and jumping red lights in a desperate attempt to get on them. Fortunately I started in plenty of time so I arrived with a few minutes to spare. Phew!

First up was Joel Goodman speaking about “Oracle Distributed Transactions”. This was actually quite a scary talk because it showed me both how much I don’t know and how much I’ve forgotten over the years. I’m getting old! There were a few raised eyebrows when he discussed the automatic and manual recovery of in-doubt transactions. I think a few people will be reviewing their recovery procedures. :) Joel is always good value as a presenter and as a walking Oracle encyclopedia!

The break, which included samosas and a prize draw, gave me the opportunity to chat to a few people, including @Kelloggs_ville. We had spoken at the start of the event, but in true Tim Hall style, I hadn’t made the connection between the real person and the Twitter picture. :) Don Stieler knows my skills in this respect. :)

Next up was Richard Harrison, a regular Oracle Midlands attendee and a previous “Lightning Talk” speaker. His session was on “Data Pump Tips & Tricks”. This talk really highlights to me the value of watching sessions on stuff you already know. Everyone has a different experience of the Oracle product set. Everyone has had to try and solve different problems using it. As a result, everyone is capable of putting a unique spin on the subject. I came away with a bunch of stuff I hadn’t considered before, which I will probably go back and retro-fit into some of my articles. Judging by the number of people scribbling away, I think other people were of a similar mind. :) Richard’s session was predominantly demo-based, a man after my own heart. :) I think this was Richard’s first full-length presentation and I’m hoping this will be the first of many!

I’m really getting a kick out of seeing how Oracle Midlands develops. Mike has done a truly amazing job of lining up great speakers and I feel like the group of attendees are bonding more with each event. I came away from the event feeling really hyper and enthusiastic about Oracle. It’s good to be reminded how much more there is to learn and to feel connected to other Oracle geeks. :)

Mike’s already got the speakers for the next couple of events lined up. The next one is by some new kid on the block called Jonathan Lewis. :) The one after is by Christian Antognini. Amazing!
redstacktechBig thanks to Mike for keeping this train rolling. Thanks to everyone who keeps turning up and showing their support. This stuff can only happen if you keep coming! Thanks to the speakers for taking the time out to come and educate us. Big thanks also to Red Stack Technology (my new favourite company :) ) for sponsoring the event, so it can remain free! I’ll be seeing some of you folks at the UKOUG Systems Event later today! :)

See you soon!



Roll up! Roll up! This week’s events!

Here’s a quick reminder of a couple of events happening this week.

On Tuesday evening it’s Oracle Midlands Event #9 in Birmingham. First up is Joel Goodman, who is practically a walking Oracle Encyclopaedia, speaking about “Oracle Distributed Transactions”. Next up is Richard Harrison, a regular Oracle Midlands attendee and returning speaker, this time presenting about “Data Pump Tips & Tricks”. It’s going to be a good evening, so please come out and show your support! It’s sponsored by Red Stack Technology, so it’s free!

On Wednesday it is the UKOUG Systems Event. I’m in the first slot, so it’s going to be an extremely early train ride for me. There is packed agenda, so I’m sure there is something for everyone involved in the systems side of things!

Hopefully I’ll get to see some of you folks at these events!



Oracle Midlands Event #5 : Summary

Oracle Midlands Event #5 happened last night.

First up was Martin Widlake speaking about clustering data to improve performance. The cool and scary thing about Oracle is you often go into session like this thinking it’s all going to be stuff you already know, then you realise how much you either didn’t know in the first place, or had forgotten. A couple of times Martin asked questions of the audience and I felt myself shrinking back in my seat and chanting the mantra, “Don’t pick me!”, in my head. :)

After food and some chatting there was freebie prize draw. I won a RedGate t-shirt. I shall have to remember to take it to OOW and “accidentally” wear it whilst walking past the RedGate booth. :)

Next up was Ron Ekins speaking about data virtualization and instant cloning. The session started off with a general introduction to the subject and a quick look at the products available to achieve it. This session also included a live demo of Delphix. The more I hear about Delphix, the more impressed I am. Judging by the Oracle geeks they’ve drawn into the company in recent years (Kyle Haley, Steve Karam and Tim Gorman) it seems I’m not alone in that opinion. :)

Thanks to RedGate for sponsoring the event, allowing it remain free.  Thanks to Mike Dirden for organising the event. Thanks to the speakers travelling to Birmingham to teach us some stuff. Thanks also to the attendees, without whom this would not happen. Please keep spreading the word. :)



PS. The next event will be with Bjoern Rost in November. Keep an eye on the Oracle Midlands site for details, which should be appearing in the next few days.

Oracle Midlands : Event #5

Just a quick reminder that Oracle Midlands Event #5 is just around the corner (Tuesday 16 September).

  • Boost Performance by Clustering Data – Martin Widlake
  • Data Virtualisation and Instant Cloning – Ron Ekins (Delphix)

Martin is always good value, so I’m looking forward to that session. I’ve seen a couple of talks on the Delphix stuff and it is seriously cool! I think this session will open a few people’s eyes… :)

Big thanks to the Red Gate Software folks for sponsoring the event, allowing it to remain free

You can get more details here. I’ve already registered. See you there!




Oracle Midlands : Event #3 – Registration Open

Registration is now open for Oracle Midlands Event #3 on Tuesday 20th May..

As I mentioned in a previous postChristian Antognini will be the speaker for both the sessions this time. He’ll be covering “12c Adaptive Query Optimization” and “Row Chaining and Row Migration Internals”.

Red Gate Software have kindly offered to sponsor the event again, so registration is free!

I’ve already registered. :) Please make the effort to come along and support the event!



Oracle Midlands : Event #2 Summary

The second Oracle Midlands event took place last night.

The most important part of the evening was the opportunity to win an Oracle Press teddy bear.


Oh yeah, there were a couple of talks too…

I was planning to arrive early and go for a quick drink with my dad, but the Birmingham traffic put that plan to rest. Instead we just chatted a bit before the event started.

First up was my dad (Graham Wood), who dropped by on his way to the UKOUG Real World Performance Day in London, speaking about “Advanced ASH Architecture and Usage”. I’ve seen Graham doing this presentation a few times, but each time something new jumps out at me. If Graham came back next week and did the same talk, I would still go and watch it. Every year that goes by I find myself using AWR reports and SQL Trace less and less because I can get the information I need out of ASH.

After saying an emotional farewell to Graham, I drowned my sorrows in vegetable samosas and chatted to people, including Martin Widlake, who I assume was lost since he’s not from round these parts… :)

Next up was Nikolay Manchev, who drove up from London to speak about “Using Clusterware 11g to protect single-instance databases”. This was essentially using Oracle Clusterware to mimic RAC One-Node without having to buy a RAC One-Node license. Almost the whole of this presentation was live demonstration. I love doing demos, but I don’t think I am brave enough to do live demos of Oracle clusterware and failover etc. To much to go wrong on a little laptop. Nikolay laughs in the face of danger and jumps right into that stuff. :) He had a couple of little hiccups with the projector not playing well with his laptop, but he got through the demo and his cold failover of the database, listener and VIP worked just fine. Neat! :)

After the event was over, a few of us wandered over to a nearby pub and sat chatting for a couple of hours more. :)

All in all a really cool event! Here come the thank you messages.

  • Thanks to Mike for actually organising this event. I think you are doing a fantastic job!
  • Thank you to the speakers for coming along to the event.
  • Thanks to those kind folks at Red Gate Software, whose sponsorship allowed this to be a free event.
  • Thanks to Oracle Press for the raffle prizes of bears, books and t-shirts. I really wanted a bear, but I didn’t win.
  • Thanks to the attendees for coming, some from very far afield. Please keep coming and please keep the word-of-mouth about these events going. Local user groups like this live or die based on your support!

The next event should be on May 20th, with Christian Antognini doing both sessions. Christian is the author of probably my favourite technical book, Troubleshooting Oracle Performance, so I’m really looking forward to this. You never know, you might get to win the second edition of this book, which must be about to arrive… :) Keep an eye on the Oracle Midlands website for registration information.




Oracle Midlands : Event #2

Just a quick reminder that the second Oracle Midlands event will be taking place on 25th March 2014.

At this event you will get a chance to see Graham Wood (my Dad) speaking about “Advanced ASH Architecture and Usage” and Nikolay Manchev speaking about “Using Clusterware 11g to protect single-instance databases”.

The event is sponsored by those kind folks at Red Gate Software, which means it is not going to cost you anything to come to the event. You can register here.

These events live or die based on your support. Please spread the word and come along. See you there!