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Oracle ACE Directors + 1 — Gwen Shapira

Quick post congratulating Gwen Shapira on becoming Oracle ACE Director. Gwen has be an Oracle ACE for a while by now and been very active in the community. Widely recognized in the conferencing circles and a frequent blogger, Gwen has recently been focusing a lot on Big Data and many of her recent articles have [...]

Oracle Big Data Appliance — Oracle’s Bold Move Into Big Data Space

Oracle Big Data Appliance (BDA) is being announced at the Oracle OpenWorld keynote as I’m posting this. It will take some time for it to be actually available for shipment and some details will likely change but here is what we have so far about Oracle Big Data Appliance. A rack with InfiniBand, full of [...]

CanWIT Panel — CIO or CTO? The Path to Next Generation Technology Leadership

Last Thursday I was invited to the panel organized by Ottawa Chapter of Canadian Women In Technology (CanWIT). I wanted to mention it here as CanWIT sets up very interesting events for women in IT so if you are interested in progressing your IT career, definitely consider their events. The panel was designed to share [...]

Oracle OpenWorld 2011 — Bloggers Meetup

Isn’t that that time of the year again? Yes, it is — it’s time for our annual Oracle Bloggers Meetup and of course Oracle is piggybacking OpenWorld with the meetup again! ;) What: Oracle Bloggers Meetup 2011 When: Wed, 5-Oct-2011, 5:00pm Where: Main Dining Room, Jillian’s Billiards @ Metreon, 101 Fourth Street, San Francisco, CA [...]

Pythian Tools: Method R Profiler, MR Tools & MR Trace

Working with 100 talented database engineers is fun and there are lots going on — lots of exciting (and not so much) projects ongoing, huge amount of problems solved, mistakes made (and learned from), many unique (as well as routine) customer needs satisfied, many new (and old) methods applied, many good (and less so) tools [...]

Product Support vs Operational Support

Sometimes I get questions as to whether Pythian is one of the competitors battling with Oracle for MySQL support. The answer lies in the distinction of product support and operational support.

At Pythian, we are laser focused on supporting applications and data infrastructure using Oracle, MySQL and Microsoft SQL Server products. A vast majority of our Oracle customers (there are few customers who have very old 7.x and 8.x products running without vendor support) have Oracle maintenance subscriptions that include product updates and product support. Product support entitles the customer to open support requests when the product doesn’t perform according to the specifications (bug reports) as well as fill in enhancement requests. It also covers deployment blue-prints and deployment guidelines in the official vendor documentation and support database.

What you can’t expect from product support are answers to questions like these:

  • How do I architect my infrastructure?
  • How much CPU do I need to run this database
  • How do I setup my backups?
  • How do I tune that SQL statement?
  • What I need to monitor in my environment to keep it healthy and avoid service outages?

Of course you cannot expect product support to login to your systems and help monitor them, recover a corrupted database or resolve performance issues etc.

Oracle customers usually have clear understanding of the differences between product support and operations support and consulting that Pythian provides. Even then, every now and again we hear rare statements like “I’m not renewing our Oracle product support because we now have you, Pythian, supporting our databases.” Hearing that, we’re catching our breath for few seconds and then patiently explain that this is inadvisable and the product support is totally different from what Pythian does.

Because of its open-source nature, MySQL database customers have somewhat less incentive to sign up for product support relying on public community releases and the ability to patch the product themselves but even then there is a clear distinction between product support and operational support.

All that was a long prelude to answering the question — “Is Pythian Competing with Oracle and other vendors for MySQL product support”? The answer is NO — Pythian provides plan, deploy, manage services — we analyze, design, implement and maintain the infrastructure. We are working with the vendor providing product support (or as part of the community at large when it comes to the open-source community MySQL releases).

Congrats to Fahd Mirza on becoming an Oracle ACE

Last week brought great news to Pythian — one of our DBAs in Pakistan, Fahd Mirza, has become an Oracle ACE. Fahd joined Pythian in September 2010 as the very first Pythian employee in Pakistan and thanks to his skills and ambitions ended up on the team supporting Exadata environments. Fahd is a long standing active community member, frequent blogger and passionate Oracle technologist evangelizing for Oracle technology in Pakistan. No wonder he got nominated as an Oracle ACE and was accepted.

I should also mention that another Oracle ACE DBA joined us recently Jared Still. Jared is a well respected member of Oracle community, member of the OakTable Network and a veteran of the Oracle-L mailing list. Jared is a top notch Oracle DBA and huge fan of the most popular programming language at Pythian — Perl — and event wrote a book “Perl for Oracle DBAs“.

With all this, we have 5 Oracle ACEs & ACE Directors at Pythian now including Gwen Shapira, Christo Kutrovsky and myself. But that’s not all, Pythian is known as an incubator for Oracle ACEs (I think we were called the Oracle ACE Factory in one of the Oracle ACE newsletters) and it’s been a pleasure to have worked side by side with other Oracle ACEs and ACE Directors — Riyaj Shamsudeen, Doug Burns, Sheeri Cabral and Dmitri Volkov. Some of them became Oracle ACEs at Pythian, some before or after that and even though they are not working at Pythian now, they are still our good friends and help us out on many occasions with training or collaborating on exciting projects.

It’s a great initiative by Oracle through the Oracle ACE program to recognize active community contributors and passionate Oracle professionals around the globe! Well done Oracle!

OOW10 Bloggers Meetup Agenda — T-shirts are Back and More…

Almost time for the Annual Bloggers Meetup @ OOWCounting down. The details are finally organized — this year, we have not one, but TWO great prizes at the Oracle OpenWorld Bloggers Meetup.

1) T-shirt art contest on stylish Pythian designer t-shirts — one lucky blogger will receive an HP X310 Data Vault, generously sponsored again this year by HP.

2) For the best, most creative blog post about the meetup itself, Pythian is giving away an Apple TV. But, there are a few small rules:

  1. the blog post must use as many names of people in attendance as possible.
  2. the blog post must be readable. It needs to make sense to someone who wasn’t there. It must be a story and not a list.
  3. the blog post must contain one other small tidbit of information about each individual that you’ll uncover during your “networking” as you weave your fascinating stories of the evening (like their blog name, a contact detail, favorite color, title, hobby, cat’s name, certification, what they were drinking, how much they had to drink…).
  4. the entry must be posted by midnight on Sunday the 26th of September. Please reference this post in your blog and it should be automatically picked up by the blog engine and posted in the comment as a track-back (if it doesn’t appear in the comments for some reason — please do post the link in your comment!

Can you tell we’re trying to encourage a little more mingling? :)

And last but not least — all this couldn’t be happening without Vanessa Simmons who’s been orchestrating all of the fun this year. Thanks Vanessa!

HP X300 Data Vault appletv