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!



Oracle Midlands #1 : My first presentation of the year done

I wrote a post in November about an Oracle Midlands group Mike McKay-Dirden was setting up, modelled on the free meetups he’s experienced with the SQL Server community. Last night was the first event, with myself and Pete Finnigan speaking.

Being a Midlands-based event, and me having worked mostly in the Midlands, I’d say about 50% of the people in the audience were people I had either worked with directly, or people who work with people I had worked with directly. That included one guy who I worked with in my first job, who started there on the same day as me. 🙂 It was really cool to meet up with everyone. I hope to see them all at future events.

I felt quite nervous on the lead up to this event. I think part of that was because I’ve been writing tips about public speaking and felt almost like I’ve been setting myself up for a fall, imagining people comparing what I say to what I do. 🙂 One of my former colleagues commented on how nervous I seemed at the start. 🙂 Once I got going things seemed to snap into place, so I think it went fine. 🙂 I spent the break between chatting and answering questions.

Next up was Pete. I’ve seen Pete present a half-day session in the past, so I knew the sort of thing to expect. I think I’m pretty good at security compared to most people, but I know I’m a rank amateur compared to Pete. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I think it should be mandatory for people to sit in one of Pete’s sessions on a regular basis, just to keep reminding them how little they know and how complicated doing security properly really is. I really enjoyed his session and feel like I learned some more stuff. I’m also very scared now… 🙂

Big thanks to Mike for setting up the event and inviting me to speak. Big thanks go out to Red Gate Software sponsoring the event, allowing this to be a free event. Thanks also to for providing a raffle prize. Of course, thanks to everyone who came to the event, especially Nikolay Manchev and Salih Oztop, who travelled up from London to come to the event. 🙂 Without support of the attendees, this sort of thing can’t happen. If you want it to keep happening, you need to keep coming. 🙂

The next event should be around late February. I won’t be speaking at that event, but I plan to be there. I’ll post again when the dates and agenda are fixed.