Tuesday, September 6, 2011

IOUG Real World Performance - Milwaukee

The IOUG Real World Performance Tour has finally arrived in Milwaukee! I have felt a little like a teenager waiting for my favorite band to come to town. Tom Kyte, Andrew Holdsworth and Graham Wood are here talking about Oracle performance and everyone in the room is listening with rapt attention. So far, we know that most performance problems are the network guys... something we DBA's have known for a long time. In reality, the performance issues come in all over the stack and limiting those become our job. Andrew just loaded 2.5 million rows in a minute and a half. I have already learned a lot about SQL Loader, external tables and statistics.

Much of this information is stuff that Tom, Andrew and Graham have learned over many years of working with the product. There are things here that have been learned through Exadata development and are still valid in the non-Exadata world.

I would highly recommend checking out this program if it is coming to a town near you. If it isn't, and you are interested in having the tour visit your area, let the IOUG know!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Recommendation Pays Off (aka I Told You So!)

Yesterday, Oracle announced that they will no longer be developing for the Itanium processor. SearchOracle posted a blog this morning with a few more details. This caught my attention because last summer my company made the move from HP-UX on Itanium to Oracle Enterprise Linux on X86-64. The initial plan a year ago was to replace the current Itanium server with a bigger one to support our growing processing needs of the Oracle environment. When we started scoping the project, the DBA team suggested looking at Oracle RAC and using smaller, commodity hardware with Linux. Long story short, that was the ultimate decision, and based on the news yesterday, turned out to be the right one. Any time you can make a recommendation that ultimately saves the company time and money, you can call that a success. In this case, if we had moved forward with replacing the existing platform with the same processor, we would be looking for another replacement.

Understanding the technology that you are supporting in your job is just the start. This example shows that keeping an eye on trends and really trying to understand where your company is and where you are going is even more important than being a good technologist. Much of the decision came down to the cost of Itanium, but knowing that the technology did not have the backing that it once did had an impact. Also, Oracle had already put Itanium into its second round anytime releases came out. I was able to learn about those trends while being involved in the Oracle user community. A big part of that is attending conferences like Oracle's OpenWorld and Collaborate which is co-hosted by IOUG, OAUG and Quest. Collaborate 11 will be April 10-14 in Orlando. This is a great way to learn about the latest trends in the industry and learn the latest technology from experts that do it every day. I will be presenting my paper about moving from Itanium to Oracle RAC on Linux. Register today!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Wealth of Oracle Knowledge

I have been working with Oracle technologies for almost 15 years. One thing that has changed over that time is how we gain knowledge about the technologies. I was fortunate when I graduated from college and my company sent me to several weeks of training. I learned a new programming language and took all the Oracle University classes to become certified in Oracle 7 (yes, Oracle 7).

Today, Oracle University is still going strong, but we also have Google, blogs, Twitter, and, of course, User Groups.  With this wealth of knowledge we can find just about anything at any time. The question then becomes, is this the best answer, or just an answer.  This is where I feel that the User Groups set ourselves apart.  Not only is the information there, but it is being written, presented, and discussed by the thought leaders. IOUG is participating in three events that really underline this point.

As I write today, I am attending the International Oracle User Community User Group Leaders' Summit. This is an event that is sponsored by Oracle and takes place on the Oracle campus in Redwood Shores. This meeting is a mini conference for leaders of the Oracle Community. There is some great information shared by Oracle here, but the bigger reason to attend is to talk with other leaders to find out what they are doing and what has been successful. There is a large focus this year on MySQL and Java given the Sun acquisition that was finalized at this time last year.  We are all still learning from each other and it is exciting to get to know two entirely new user communities. I will be taking a lot of this information back to IOUG and working on growing our community, but I will also take some of the new information back to my day job.

The next, very exciting, event that we are involved in was just recently announced.  This new event is called "IOUG Presents A Day of Real World Performance with Tom Kyte, Andrew Holdsworth and Graham Wood". This is going to be a full day of performance engineering with the three biggest experts within Oracle. These Oracle experts will debate, discuss and delineate the best practices for designing hardware architectures, deploying Oracle databases, and developing applications that deliver the fastest possible performance for your business. This is going to be an excellent way to learn directly from the experts and have an opportunity to ask direct questions. There are four sessions currently scheduled on the West Coast, but we are working on scheduling more sessions throughout the country.  Check out the information Real World Performance Tuning page at ioug.org to see the currently scheduled dates and check back soon for future dates.  Also, let me know if you are interested helping with this event in your area and I will get you in touch with our scheduling people.

Finally, our annual conference planning is in full swing for Collaborate 11. IOUG, OAUG and Quest International user communities come together annually to put on the on of the leading, user based, Oracle technology conference in the United States. I am currently working on two papers, including one that will be part of the Oracle RAC Boot Camp. Going back to our roots, you will find a DBA 101 Boot Camp along with BI, Development, Manageability and many others.  The other exciting news from Collaborate this year is MySQL. With Oracle's acquisition of Sun last year, the MySQL Community is now part of the Oracle Community. IOUG is offering over 50 sessions just on MySQL. Those of you that are multi database shops can now come to Collaborate and get all your answers. I am excited about being a part of Collaborate again this year. We are going to have our best show ever.

The User Community is busier than ever with more opportunities to learn and get involved. Join us for a Real World Performance session or at Collaborate. I look forward to seeing a lot of people that I see once a year and meeting many more.