OOW13: How a week in the bay changed the way I think about my job

In my previous post I’ve talked about some news from the Open World. Now it’s time to talk about MY week and why I’ve loved it…


It’s all about community involvement

The most exciting thing about the OOW is the possibility to interact with great people, bloggers, speakers, experts, and now I can also say friends. In the last decade, I’ve worked hard for customers and dealt with almost all the problems and architectures that an Oracle DBA can face, but I’ve always done few efforts for the community, sometimes because I was having no time, sometimes because I was perceiving it as time-expensive and gainless. I was wrong. It’s time-consuming, yes, but it lets me feel richer.


The first good news

When I’ve landed in the USA, the first mail I’ve read was the following:

Congratulations Bjoern. Bobby, Gokhan and Ludovico on being elected as RAC SIG Office bearers!!!

Vice President: Bjoern Rost

US Conference Events Chair: Bobby Curtis

Website Chair : Gokhan Atil

Regional Chair Europe: Ludovico Cadara

We look forward for you all to take us to the next level. I will include you on our board member email group.

Congratulations again!!

Current President, RAC SIG

We’ve made an official announcement on twitter recently:

So I’ve attended my first RAC SIG meeting at OOW13 at the OTN lounge.

RAC SIG meeting at OOW13

Now I’m weekly (or even daily) in contact with the board by e-mail, tomorrow we’ll have a conf-call to put the bases to work on for the next year. Wish us good luck! 🙂


RAC Attack 12c

Well, I’ve talked about the RAC ATTACK in my previous posts. The event has been a success, we’ve had many attendants, curious people and friends coming to do the lab or get in touch. It has been a great opportunity to collaborate with (and be praised by) several community experts including Oracle ACEs and ACE directors:

The Ninjas:
Seth Miller (@Seth_M_Miller)
Bjoern Rost (@brost)
Yury Velikanov (@yvelik)
Leighton Nelson (@leight0nn)
Bertrand Drouvot (@BertrandDrouvot)
Kamran Agayev (@KamranAgayev)
Martin Nash (@mpnsh)
Maaz Anjum (@maaz_anjum)
Hans Forbrich (@HansForbric)
Tim Hall ‏ (@oraclebase)
Ludovico Caldara (@ludovicocaldara)  that’s me! 🙂

Other contributors and great people that worked on the project:
Laura Ramsey (@OracleDBDev)
Jeremy Schneider (@jer_s)
Osama Mustafa (@OsamaOracle)
Bobby Curtis (@dbasolved)
Alex Gorbachev (@alexgorbachev)

(If someone is missing please raise the hand!)

Visit the official facebook page for more information.

Also note that the RAC Attack will be present at the UKOUG Tech 2013 and RMOUG 2014, so don’t miss it if you plan to attend these conferences.

 The Blogger Meetup

This meeting, organized by Pythian and OTN, allows to meet the most famous and active bloggers in the Oracle Community. This GREAT VIDEO from Björn Rost should give you an idea (I appear at 19”):

Here’s another one, always from Björn:

The Swim in the bay

Literally, a meetup of crazy guys willing to freeze themselves in the bay the early morning!
Chet Justice has organized this and he managed to get sponsorship for swim-caps and T-shirts 🙂 I’m the third from the left, you may recognize many famous people here 🙂

See the facebook page for more information.

Also for this event there is a video, actually I’m closing the video with a dive 🙂

The Golden Gate Run

Jeff Smith has organized this run Sunday morning, a good way to start the week and my first opportunity to meet many new friends!

Once again, see the Facebook page!


Other events

Well, I’ve participated also to the Friends of Pythian Party, the IOUG Party, the Oracle Swiss Partner Lounge, and had many nice evenings.

No, I haven’t attended the appreciation event: I was possessing the ticket but I’ve decided to skip it in favor of a dinner with many great people.

Networking and fun

See some pictures I’ve loaded on Flickr:

You can see the whole set here.

So why everything has changed?

Now I’m part of a community, I’m involved, I learn from others and I let others to learn from me… where applicable! 🙂 Interacting with people from all around the world let me feel stronger and more open to new challenges. And I know that if I have a dream is up to me to chase it and make it come true.


PS: This is an incomplete list of the people I’ve met  (other than the RAC Attack contributors).

Make sure to follow them!

Vit Spinka ‏ (@vitspinka)
Vanessa Simmons ‏(@pythiansimmons)
Riyaj Shamsudeen ‏ (@riyajshamsudeen)
Øyvind Isene ‏ (@OyvindIsene)
Carlos Sierra ‏ (@csierra_usa)
Gregory Guillou‏ (@ArKZoYd)
Heli Helskyaho ‏ (@HeliFromFinland)
Marc Fielding ‏ (@mfild)
Jonathan Lewis ‏ (@JLOracle)
Fuad Arshad ‏ (@fuadar)
Chet Justice ‏ (@oraclenerd)
Tim Gorman ‏ (@timothyjgorman)
Mark W. Farnham ‏ (@pudge1954)
Kerry Osborne ‏ (@KerryOracleGuy)
Arjen Visser ‏ (@dbvisit)
Kyle Hailey ‏ (@kylehhailey)
Steve Karam ‏ (@OracleAlchemist)
Eric Grancher ‏ (@EricGrancher)
Arup Nanda ‏ (@arupnanda)
Kent Graziano ‏ (@KentGraziano)
Andrey Goryunov ‏ (@goryunov)
James Morle ‏ (@JamesMorle)
Christo Kutrovsky ‏ (@kutrovsky)
Brian Fitzgerald ‏ (@ExaGridDba)
Kellyn Pot’Vin ‏ (@DBAKevlar)
Karl Arao ‏ (@karlarao)
Jason Arneil‏ (@jarneil)
Gustavo Rene Antunez ‏ (@grantunez)
Frits Hoogland ‏ (@fritshoogland)
Luca Canali ‏ (@LucaCanaliDB)
Chris Buckel ‏ (@flashdba)
Cary Millsap ‏ (@CaryMillsap)
Paul Vallee ‏ (@paulvallee)
Tanel Poder ‏ (@TanelPoder)
Connor McDonald ‏ (@connor_mc_d)
Gwen (Chen) Shapira ‏ (@gwenshap)
Christian Antognini ‏ (@ChrisAntognini)
Mauro Pagano ‏ (@Mautro)
Jérôme Françoisse ‏ (@JeromeFr)
Ittichai ‏ (@ittichai)
Jeff Smith ‏ (@thatjeffsmith)
Michelle Malcher ‏ (@malcherm)
Debra Lilley ‏ (@debralilley)
Doug Burns (@orcldoug)





Exciting News from Oracle Open World 2013

sfo_cutI’m back at work now, safely, after the week in San Francisco.

It’s time to sit down, and try to pull out some thought about what I’ve experienced and done.

I’ll start from the new announcements, what is most important for most people, and leave my personal experience for my next post.



In-memory Database Option

Oracle has announced the In-Memory option for the Oracle Database. This feature will store the data simultaneously in traditional row-based and into a new in-memory columnar format, to serve optimally both analytics and OLTP workloads AT THE SAME TIME. Because column-based storage is redundant, it will work without logging mechanism, so the overhead will be minimal. The marketing message claims “ungodly speed”: 100x faster queries for analytics and 2x faster queries in OLTP environments.

By separating Analytics and OLTP with different storage formats, the indexes on the row-based version of the table can be reduced to make the transactions faster, getting the rid of the analytical indexes thank to the columnar format that is already optimized for that kind of workload. The activation of the option will be transparent to the applications.

How it will be activated?

Now my considerations:

  • [evil] Will this option make your database faster than putting it on an actual Exadata?
  • It will be an option, so it will cost extra-money on top of the Enterprise Edition
  • [I guess] it will be released with 12cR2 because a such big change cannot be introduced simply with a patch set. So I think we’ll not see it before the end of 2014
  • And, uh, Maria Colgan has given up the Product Management of the Cost Based Optimizer to become the Product Manager of the In-Memory option. Tom Kyte will take the ownership of the CBO.


M6-32 Big Memory Machine

I’ve paid much less attention for this new announcement. The new big super hyper machine engineered by Oracle will have:

  • 1024 DIMMS
  • 32TB of DRAM
  • 12 cores per processors
  • 96 threads per processor

This huge memory machine can be connected through InfiniBand to an Exadata to rely on its storage cells.

But it will cost 3M$, so it’s not really intended for SMBs or for the average DBA, that’s why I don’t care too much about it…


Oracle Database Backup, Logging, Recovery Appliance

Only 8 minutes in the keynote to introduce this appliance that is really hot, IMHO. This… oh my… let’s call it ODBLRA, is a backup appliance (based on the same HW of Exadata) capable of receiving the stream of redo logging over SQL*Net, the same way as it’s done with DataGuard, except that instead of having a standby database, you’ll have an appliance capable of storing all the redo stream of your entire DB farm and have a real-time backup of your transactions. That’s it: no transactions lost between two backup archives and no need to have hundreds of  DataGuard setups or network filesystems as secondary destinations in order to make your redo stream safer.

I guess that it will host an engine RMAN-aware that can create incremental-updated backups, so that you can almost forget about full backups. You can leverage an existent tape infrastructure to offload the appliance if it starts getting full.

Your ODBLRA can also replicate your backups to an another appliance hosted on the Oracle Cloud: ODBLRAaaS!  🙂

To conclude, Oracle is pushing for bigger, dedicated, specialized SPARC machines instead of relying on commodity hardware…


Oracle Multi-tenant Self-Service Provisioning

There’s a new APEX application, now in BETA, that can be downloaded from the Oracle Multitenant Page that provides self-service provisioning of databases in a Multitenant architecture. It’s worth a try… if you plan to introduce the Multitenant option in your environment!


All products in the Cloud

Oracle now offers (as a preview) its Database,  Middleware and Applications as a Service, in its public cloud. For a DBA can be of interest:

The Storage aaS, use Java & REST API (Openstack SWIFT) for block level access to the storage.

The Computing aaS allows you to scale the computing power to follow your computing needs.

The Database aaS is the standard, full-featured Oracle Database (in the cloud!) 11gR2 or 12c in all editions (SE, SE1, EE). You can choose five different sizes, up to 17cores and 256Gb of RAM, and choose 3 different formulas:

  • Single Schema (3 sizes: 5, 20 or 50Gb, with prices from 175$/month to 2000$/month)
  • Basic Database (user-managed, single-instance preconfigured databases only with a local EM)
  • Managed Database (single-instance with managed backups & PITR, managed quarterly apply of critical parches)
  • Premium Managed Database (fully managed RAC, with optional DG or Active DG, PDB and upgrades)

My considerations:

  • Oracle releases this cloud offering with significant delay comparing to his competitors
  • It’s still in preview and there’s no information about the billing schema. Depending on that, it can be more or less attractive.
  • As for other cloud services, the performance will be acceptable only when putting all the stack into the same cloud (WebLogic, DB, etc.)


Oracle on Azure

Microsoft starts offering preconfigured Oracle platforms, Database and WebLogic,  on Azure on both Linux and Windows systems. I haven’t seen the price list yet, but IMHO Azure has been around since longtime now, and it appears as a reliable and settled alternative comparing to Oracle Cloud. Nice move Microsoft, I think it deserves special attention.


Keynotes recordings

You can see the full keynote recordings here:

Oracle OpenWorld Keynote Highlights

Larry Ellison — Oracle OpenWorld Keynote 9-22-2013

Oracle OpenWorld General Session 2013: Database

Kurian and Fowler — Oracle OpenWorld Keynote 9-24-2013


Will these announcements change your life? Let me know…

…and stay tuned, I’ll come soon with a new post about the my “real” week at the Open World and why I’ve loved it.


Oracle Database 12c: MySQL C API implementation: a double-edge sword?

One of the new features of Oracle 12c is the new is the MySQL C API implementation for Oracle, so that all applications and tools built on this API can use transparently a MySQL or an Oracle database as backend.

API Reference for Oracle MySQL Client Library Driver

Oracle says that this will facilitate the migration from MySQL to Oracle, but I ask myself: Won’t be attractive for many developers to start developing applications with the MySQL API rather than with the Oracle libraries? This can potentially permit new applications to be migrated quickly in the opposite direction… (Oracle -> MySQL).

Time will tell.


Using a different OCP certification path

OCP_Cert_Flow_1I’ve decided to write about how I’ve got my OCP 11g certification. Why? It’s not always clear that the step order indicated by the official Oracle Certification pages is not mandatory, and that it can be changed to better fit your needs.


What the Certification pages states

According to the page, you should go through the steps in the following order:

  • Pass the exams 1Z0-051 and 1Z0-052 to get the OCA
  • Complete an approved course
  • Pass the 1Z0-053 exam
  • Complete the course submission form
  • Get the OCP certification


What you can do

OCP_Cert_Flow_2Actually, you can go through the steps in any order, and get your result when all the required steps have been completed

My goal was to achieve the OCP certification first and then get the OCE Performance and Tuning. Since I was longtime and largely prepared for the OCP, I’ve decided to change my path as follows:

  • Pass the exams 1Z0-051 and 1Z0-052 to get the OCA
  • Pass the exams 1Z0-053
  • Get the training on Perf&Tuning (Training On Demand also works, and the course counts toward the OCP since it is included in the list of courses available for the OCM).
  • Concurrently, I’ve submitted by form for the OCP and passed the exam 1Z0-054 for the OCE, achieving 2 certifications in few days.

By doing it this way, I’ve been able to get the Perf&Tuning exam just after the specific training.

For any question, just contact the Oracle University, they will clarify any doubt about the possible paths.

Note: the P&T training I’ve taken is no more valid for the OCM path since I’ve already submitted it for the OCP. If you plan to do the same you’ll need TWO additional trainings in order to get the OCM.

Hope it helps