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IOUG Collaborate 2013 Wrap-Up

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By now, the Denver Convention Center is probably cleaned up from IOUG Collaborate. The signs directing thousands of attendees to top-notch technical presentations have been removed, the twenty rental laptops which composed the classroom for Pythian’s RAC Attack class have been returned, and the vendor exhibition floor has been completely cleared out. Flight delays notwithstanding (thanks to some midwest weather), attendees are generally home by now – even those coming from places as far away as Germany and Australia.

Now that the buzz is dying down, I’ve finally found a few minutes to post my personal highlights.

Friends Old and New

First off, my favorite part of Collaborate is the opportunity to meet so many old friends and make new acquaintances who are all using Oracle technology. It’s both fun and informative to hear about the ways others are using Oracle software.

One person deserves very special mention: This was my first time hanging out in person with my Australia-based colleague Yury Velikanov. You could hear Yury’s deep-chested, enthusiastic “Pythian” chants even if you were on the opposite side of the exhibition hall from our booth. His sense of fun and relentless demands for silly faces during photos were so irresistible that anybody within about thirty feet of him was affected. In the photo below, notice how the guy standing behind me has also made a silly face for the picture.

id="attachment_54569" style="width: 370px" class="wp-caption aligncenter">Yury's infectious enthusiasmhttps://www.pythian.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/collab-photo-300x225.jpg 300w, https://www.pythian.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/collab-photo.jpg 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 360px) 100vw, 360px" />
class="wp-caption-text">Yury’s infectious enthusiasm

Technical Sessions

I was unable to attend many technical sessions simply because I was so busy with the RAC Attack classes, but the two I did attend didn’t disappoint.

  • Craig Shallahamer‘s session Practical Performance Forecasting for the Oracle DBA was excellent. He compared benchmarking, simulating, and modelling for performance evaluation and then took a deep dive into best practices for creating and using models. He discussed a variety of potential input sources in depth and walked through practice exercises on a theoretical consolidation case. Finally, we wrapped up with a brief discussion of the queueing theory. Excellent material!If I had to choose one take-away that I think was the single most important point, it would be this: R = S + Q. Every DBA should know what this is referring to on a basic level. If you don’t know what I’m referring to, then I’d recommend Craig’s class – or any of Cary Millsap‘s talks for that matter (they both cover this very well).
  • Frits Hoogland‘s session How Oracle Secretly Changed Multiblock Reads (at most conferences this same session is simply titled About Multiblock Reads) is a must-see presentation for DBAs with any interest in database internals. With the aid of operating system traces and debuggers, Frits has dissected the Oracle database kernel’s I/O process and compiled an incredible summary report. Showing surprising differences between recent releases of Oracle RDBMS, Frits dispels any myth saying that they aren’t making major changes to the database engine.However, despite unmatched technical depth and quality, my favorite part of this session wasn’t technical. At one point during the presentation, I remember Frits saying that he ran a test and was completely baffled by the output. While trying to problem-solve himself, he also fired off a few emails looking for feedback from others. An email from a colleague pointed him to the “total number of slots” statistic, which led to an “ah-ha” moment and explained the data he was seeing. This was my favorite part because it made me feel much better about asking for help myself, since someone as smart as Frits asks for help sometimes too!

RAC Attack

The bulk of my energy this week was dedicated to the RAC Attack class.

  • Improvements – First off, I am excited to announce a major development for RAC Attack: We have re-introduced printed textbooks. Two years ago we stopped printing textbooks – when the curriculum was moved to wikibooks in order to better support broad collaboration in creating the best beginner RAC curriculum available. Last week, we completed and released the process for creating a printed textbook from the wikibooks content. The process is completely automated. You start up an EC2 instance and run a little code which lives at github; shortly after this you get a PDF which is ready to go to the printers. The 250-page textbook has over 200 screenshots. In the USA, I’ve had them printed in the past for US$30-40 each. This should go a long way toward supporting instructors who want to teach RAC Attack classes. Information about the textbooks is at http://racattack.org/book.In addition to this, there have been a number of improvements to the organizer’s guide over the past few months. Anyone interested in organizing RAC Attack events can find a good deal of helpful material on the Events wiki page. We’ve learned a lot through the many events we’ve run in the past!
  • Monday Morning RAC Attack – We had 15-20 people gather in the foyer area for the initial kick-off. Everyone listened to the description of the RAC Attack project with interest and some stayed to try starting out with their personal laptops, while many decided to attend one of the two later classroom sessions. We occupied most of the available tables and were a very noticeable crowd as everyone passed by from the keynote to find technical sessions to attend!
  • Monday Afternoon and Tuesday Morning RAC Attack – We filled the classroom sessions. There were no major technical problems with lab machines as people worked through the labs. There were many good conversations; I remember in-depth discussions about listener architecture in 11.2 RAC (with SCAN), init parameters related to client connections, services, and applications that require all connections to be made in a single instance.
  • Feedback – There was significant positive feedback about RAC Attack. One guy stopped me as I was entering the exhibition hall Monday night just to tell me that that he had learned more in the RAC Attack class than any other session thus far at Collaborate – he was visibly pleased with the experience!

Collaborate was a memorable conference this year. I’m very thankful for the hard work by the IOUG leadership to put this event together! If you attended Collaborate then make sure to pass along your thanks and any other feedback to IOUG! And whether or not you attended – support your local user group; they are a crucial resource and tremendous asset to all of us.

For those of you who attended Collaborate, what were your favorite technical sessions or keynotes? What other parts of the conference did you find valuable? Leave a comment here to tell us what you thought about Collaborate!

IOUG Collaborate 2013 Wrap-Up

By now the Denver Convention Center is probably cleaned up from IOUG Collaborate. The signs directing thousands of attendees to top-notch technical presentations have been removed, the twenty rental laptops which composed the classroom for Pythian’s RAC Attack class have been returned and the vendor exhibition floor has been completely cleared out. Flight delays notwithstanding (thanks to some midwest weather), attendees are generally home by now – even those coming from places as far away as Germany and Australia.

Now that the buzz is dying down, I’ve finally found a few minutes to post my personal highlights.

Friends Old and New

First off, my favorite part of Collaborate is the opportunity to meet so many old friends and make new acquaintances who are all using Oracle technology. It’s both fun and informative to hear about the ways others are using Oracle software.

One person deserves very special mention: this was my first time hanging out in person with my Australia-based colleague Yury Velikanov. You could hear Yury’s deep-chested, enthuiastic “Pythian” chants even if you were on the opposite side of the exhibition hall from our booth. His sense of fun and relentless demands for silly faces during photos were so unresistable that anybody within about thirty feet of him was affected. In the photo below, notice how the guy standing behind me has also made a silly face for the picture.

Yury's infectious enthusiasm

Yury’s infectious enthusiasm

Technical Sessions

I wasn’t able to attend many technical sessions simply because I was so busy with the RAC Attack classes but the two I did attend didn’t disappoint.

  • Craig Shallahamer‘s session Practical Performance Forecasting for the Oracle DBA was excellent. He compared benchmarking, simulating and modelling for performance evaluation and then took a deep dive into best practices for creating and using models. He discussed a variety of potential input sources in depth and walked through practice exercises on a theoretical consolidation case. Finally we wrapped up with a brief discussion of the queueing theory. Excellent material!

    If I had to choose one take-away which I think was the single most important point, it would be this: R = S + Q. Every DBA should know what this is referring to on a basic level. If you don’t know what I’m referring to, then I’d recommend Craig’s class – or any of Cary Millsap‘s talks for that matter (they both cover this very well).

  • Frits Hoogland‘s session How Oracle Secretly Changed Multiblock Reads is a must-see presentation for DBA’s with any interest in database internals. With the aid of operating system traces and debuggers, Fritz has dissected the Oracle database kernel’s I/O process and compiled an incredible summary report. Showing surprising differences between recent releases of Oracle RDBMS, Fritz dispels any myth that they aren’t making major changes to the database engine.

    However, despite unmatched technical depth and quality, my favorite part of this session wasn’t technical. At one point during the presentation I remember Fritz saying that he ran a test and was completely baffled by the output. While trying to problem-solve himself, he also fired off a few emails looking for feedback from others. An email from a colleague pointed him to the “total number of slots” statistic, which led to an “ah-ha” moment and explained the data he was seeing. This was my favorite part because it made me feel much better about asking for help myself, since someone as smart as Frits asks for help sometimes too!

RAC Attack

The bulk of my energy this week was dedicated to the RAC Attack class.

  • Improvements

    First off, I am excited to announce a major development for RAC Attack: we have re-introduced printed textbooks. Two years ago we stopped printing textbooks – when the curriculum was moved to wikibooks in order to better support broad collaboration in creating the best beginner RAC curriculum available. Last week we completed and released the process for creating a printed textbook from the wikibooks content. The process is completely automated. You start up an EC2 instance and run a little code which lives at github; shortly after this you get a PDF which is ready to go to the printers. The 250-page textbook has over 200 screenshots. In the USA, I’ve had them printed in the past for US$30-40 each. This should go a long way toward supporting instructors who want to teach RAC Attack classes. Information about the textbooks is at http://racattack.org/book.

    In addition to this, there have been a number of improvements to the organizer’s guide over the past few months. Anyone interested in organizing RAC Attack events can find a good deal of helpful material on the Events wiki page. We’ve learned a lot through the many events we’ve run in the past!

  • Monday Morning RAC Attack

    We had 15-20 people gather in the foyer area for the initial kick-off. Everyone listened to the description of the RAC Attack project with interest and some stayed to try starting out with their personal laptops, while many decided to attend one of the two later classroom sessions. We occupied most of the available tables and we were a very noticeable crowd as everyone passed by from the keynote to find technical sessions to attend!

  • Monday Afternoon and Tuesday Morning RAC Attack

    We filled the classroom sessions. There were no major technical problems with lab machines as people worked through the labs. There were many good conversations; I remember in-depth discussions about listener architecture in 11.2 RAC (with SCAN) and about init parameters related to client connections and about services and about applications which require all connections to be made in a single instance.

  • Feedback

    There was significant positive feedback about RAC Attack. One guy stopped me as I was entering the exhibition hall Monday night just to tell me that that he had learned more in the RAC Attack class than any other session thus far at Collaborate – he was visibly pleased with the experience!

Collaborate was a memorable conference this year. I’m very thankful for the hard work by the IOUG leadership to put this event together! If you attended Collaborate then make sure to pass along your thanks and any other feedback to IOUG! And whether or not you attended – support your local user group; they are a crucial resource and tremendous asset to all of us.

For those of you who attended Collaborate, what were your favorite technical sessions or keynotes? What other parts of the conference did you find valuable? Leave a comment here to tell us what you thought about Collaborate!

IOUG Collaborate 2013 Wrap-Up

By now the Denver Convention Center is probably cleaned up from IOUG Collaborate. The signs directing thousands of attendees to top-notch technical presentations have been removed, the twenty rental laptops which composed the classroom for Pythian’s RAC Attack class have been returned and the vendor exhibition floor has been completely cleared out. Flight delays notwithstanding (thanks to some midwest weather), attendees are generally home by now – even those coming from places as far away as Germany and Australia.

Now that the buzz is dying down, I’ve finally found a few minutes to post my personal highlights.

Friends Old and New

First off, my favorite part of Collaborate is the opportunity to meet so many old friends and make new acquaintances who are all using Oracle technology. It’s both fun and informative to hear about the ways others are using Oracle software.

One person deserves very special mention: this was my first time hanging out in person with my Australia-based colleague Yury Velikanov. You could hear Yury’s deep-chested, enthuiastic “Pythian” chants even if you were on the opposite side of the exhibition hall from our booth. His sense of fun and relentless demands for silly faces during photos were so unresistable that anybody within about thirty feet of him was affected. In the photo below, notice how the guy standing behind me has also made a silly face for the picture.

Yury's infectious enthusiasm

Yury’s infectious enthusiasm

Technical Sessions

I wasn’t able to attend many technical sessions simply because I was so busy with the RAC Attack classes but the two I did attend didn’t disappoint.

  • Craig Shallahamer‘s session Practical Performance Forecasting for the Oracle DBA was excellent. He compared benchmarking, simulating and modelling for performance evaluation and then took a deep dive into best practices for creating and using models. He discussed a variety of potential input sources in depth and walked through practice exercises on a theoretical consolidation case. Finally we wrapped up with a brief discussion of the queueing theory. Excellent material!

    If I had to choose one take-away which I think was the single most important point, it would be this: R = S + Q. Every DBA should know what this is referring to on a basic level. If you don’t know what I’m referring to, then I’d recommend Craig’s class – or any of Cary Millsap‘s talks for that matter (they both cover this very well).

  • Frits Hoogland‘s session How Oracle Secretly Changed Multiblock Reads is a must-see presentation for DBA’s with any interest in database internals. With the aid of operating system traces and debuggers, Fritz has dissected the Oracle database kernel’s I/O process and compiled an incredible summary report. Showing surprising differences between recent releases of Oracle RDBMS, Fritz dispels any myth that they aren’t making major changes to the database engine.

    However, despite unmatched technical depth and quality, my favorite part of this session wasn’t technical. At one point during the presentation I remember Fritz saying that he ran a test and was completely baffled by the output. While trying to problem-solve himself, he also fired off a few emails looking for feedback from others. An email from a colleague pointed him to the “total number of slots” statistic, which led to an “ah-ha” moment and explained the data he was seeing. This was my favorite part because it made me feel much better about asking for help myself, since someone as smart as Frits asks for help sometimes too!

RAC Attack

The bulk of my energy this week was dedicated to the RAC Attack class.

  • Improvements

    First off, I am excited to announce a major development for RAC Attack: we have re-introduced printed textbooks. Two years ago we stopped printing textbooks – when the curriculum was moved to wikibooks in order to better support broad collaboration in creating the best beginner RAC curriculum available. Last week we completed and released the process for creating a printed textbook from the wikibooks content. The process is completely automated. You start up an EC2 instance and run a little code which lives at github; shortly after this you get a PDF which is ready to go to the printers. The 250-page textbook has over 200 screenshots. In the USA, I’ve had them printed in the past for US$30-40 each. This should go a long way toward supporting instructors who want to teach RAC Attack classes. Information about the textbooks is at http://racattack.org/book.

    In addition to this, there have been a number of improvements to the organizer’s guide over the past few months. Anyone interested in organizing RAC Attack events can find a good deal of helpful material on the Events wiki page. We’ve learned a lot through the many events we’ve run in the past!

  • Monday Morning RAC Attack

    We had 15-20 people gather in the foyer area for the initial kick-off. Everyone listened to the description of the RAC Attack project with interest and some stayed to try starting out with their personal laptops, while many decided to attend one of the two later classroom sessions. We occupied most of the available tables and we were a very noticeable crowd as everyone passed by from the keynote to find technical sessions to attend!

  • Monday Afternoon and Tuesday Morning RAC Attack

    We filled the classroom sessions. There were no major technical problems with lab machines as people worked through the labs. There were many good conversations; I remember in-depth discussions about listener architecture in 11.2 RAC (with SCAN) and about init parameters related to client connections and about services and about applications which require all connections to be made in a single instance.

  • Feedback

    There was significant positive feedback about RAC Attack. One guy stopped me as I was entering the exhibition hall Monday night just to tell me that that he had learned more in the RAC Attack class than any other session thus far at Collaborate – he was visibly pleased with the experience!

Collaborate was a memorable conference this year. I’m very thankful for the hard work by the IOUG leadership to put this event together! If you attended Collaborate then make sure to pass along your thanks and any other feedback to IOUG! And whether or not you attended – support your local user group; they are a crucial resource and tremendous asset to all of us.

For those of you who attended Collaborate, what were your favorite technical sessions or keynotes? What other parts of the conference did you find valuable? Leave a comment here to tell us what you thought about Collaborate!

System statistics poll

Recent thread in the OakTable mailing list prompted me to create a poll and ask about the ways DBAs use system statistics in real systems. If you struggle to understand what system statistics is and what are the available options, here is the suggested reading:
Documentation – System Statistics
Best Practices for Gathering Optimizer Statistics, Oracle whitepaper
System Statistics – Troubleshooting Oracle Performance
Understanding the different modes of System Statistics, blog series

Filed under: CBO, Oracle Tagged: poll, statistics

Win A Free Copy of Packt’s Managing Multimedia and Unstructured Data in the Oracle Database e-book

I recently did the technical review of some of the chapters in a new Packt book called Managing Multimedia and Unstructured Data in the Oracle Database by Marcelle Kratochvil. I’ve known Marcelle for years and although we don’t always see eye-to-eye on DBA matters, she is definitely the first person I speak to about matters concerning multimedia and Oracle databases. A number of people “talk the talk”, but Marcelle is one of the few people that can actually “walk the walk” on this subject!

If you are interested in getting a free e-copy of this book, Packt Publishing are organizing a give away. All you need to do is leave a comment on this post telling me why you think you deserve a copy and what you hope to achieve after reading it. In 2 weeks (approximately 26-April-2013) I’ll read and judge the responses and make sure an e-copy of the book gets to the 4 lucky winners. I’ll be contacting the winners by email, so you will have to use your real email address when you comment! :)

I’m not going to reveal my judging criteria, and I’ll probably ask Marcelle to help me decide, so try and be a little creative in your answers. :) Just asking for a copy is not going to make you a winner. :)

Let the games begin…

Cheers

Tim…

Note. Comments on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ will not be judged. Your entry must be a comment on this blog post.


Win A Free Copy of Packt’s Managing Multimedia and Unstructured Data in the Oracle Database e-book was first posted on April 12, 2013 at 8:41 am.
©2012 "The ORACLE-BASE Blog". Use of this feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this article in your feed reader, then the site is guilty of copyright infringement.

Norway bound

The OUGN user conference (on a cruise ship!) starts next week and I’m presenting there.

From all reports, this is an awesome conference.

Full agenda is here: http://www.ougn.no/vrseminar-2013

My First Words on Oracle’s SPARC T5 Processor — The World’s Fastest Microprocessor?

On March 26, 2013, Oracle announced a server refresh based on the new SPARC T5 processor[1].  The press release proclaims SPARC T5 is the “World’s Fastest Microprocessor”—an assertion backed up with a list of several recent benchmark results included a published TPC-C result.

This article focuses on the recent SPARC T5 TPC-C result–a single-system world record that demonstrated extreme throughput. The SPARC T5 result bested the prior non-clustered Oracle Database result by 69%! To be fair, that was 69% better than a server based an Intel Xeon E7 processor slated to be obsolete this year (with the release of Ivy Bridge-EX). Nonetheless, throughput is throughput and throughput is all that matters, isn’t it?

What Costs Is What Matters
There are several ways to license Oracle Database. Putting aside low-end user-count license models and database editions other than Enterprise Edition leaves the most common license model which is based on per-processor licensing.

To layman, and seasoned veteran alike, mastering Oracle licensing is a difficult task. In fact, Oracle goes so far as to publish a Software Investment Guide[2] that spells out the necessity for licensees to identify personnel within their organization responsible for coping with license compliance. Nonetheless, there are some simple licensing principles that play a significant role in understanding the relevance of any microprocessor being anointed the “fastest in the world.”

One would naturally presume “fastest” connotes cost savings when dealing with microprocessors.  Deploying faster processors usually should mean fewer are needed thus yielding cost savings spanning datacenter physical and environmental savings as well as reduced per-processor licensing.  Should, that is.

What is a Processor?
Oracle’s Software Investment Guide covers the various licensing models available to customers. Under the heading “Processor Metric” Oracle offers several situations where licensing by the processor is beneficial. The guide goes on to state:

The number of required licenses shall be determined by multiplying the total number of cores of the processor by a core processor licensing factor specified on the Oracle Processor Core Factor Table

As this quoted information suggests, the matter isn’t as simple as counting the number of processor “sockets” in a server. Oracle understands that more powerful processors allow their customers to achieve more throughput per core.  So, Oracle could stand to lose a lot of revenue if per-core software licensing did not factor in the different performance characteristics of modern processors. In short, Oracle is compelled to charge more for faster processors.

As the Software Investment Guide states, one must consult the Oracle Processor Core Factor Table[3] in order to determine list price for a specific processor. The Oracle Processor Core Factor Table has a two-columns—one for the processor make and model and the other for the Licensing Factor. Multiplying the Licensing Factor times the number of processor cores produces list price for Oracle software.

The Oracle Processor Core Factor Table is occasionally updated to reflect new processors that come into the marketplace. For example, the table was updated on October 2, 2010, September 6, 2011 and again on March 26, 2013 to correspond with the availability of Oracle’s T3, T4 and T5 processor respectively.  As per the table, the T3 processor was assigned a Licensing Factor of .25 whereas the T4 and T5 are recognized as being more powerful and thus assigned a .5 factor.  This means, of course, that any customer who migrated from T3 to T4 had to ante-up for higher-cost software—unless, of course, the T4 allowed the customer to reduce the number of cores in the deployment by 50%.

The World’s Fastest Microprocessor
According to dictionary definition, something that is deemed fast is a) characterized by quick motion, b) moving rapidly and/or c) taking a comparatively short time. None of these definitions imply throughput as we know it in the computer science world. In information processing, fast is all about latency whether service times for transactions or underlying processing associated with transactions such as memory latency.

The TPC-C specification stipulates that transaction response times are to be audited along with throughput. The most important transaction is, of course, New Order. That said, the response time of transactions on a multi-processing computer have little bearing on transaction throughput. This fact is clearly evident in published TPC-C results as will be revealed later in this article.

Figure 1 shows the New Order 90th-percentile response times for the three most recently published Oracle Database 11g TPC-C results[4]. Included in the chart is a depiction of Oracle’s SPARC T5 demonstrating an admirable 13% improvement in New Order response times compared to current[5] Intel two-socket Xeon server technology. That is somewhat fast. On the contrary, however, one year—to the day—before Oracle published the SPARC T5 result, Intel’s Xeon E7 processors exhibited 46% faster New Order response times than the SPARC T5. Now that, is fast.

This is a Caption

Figure 1: Comparing Oracle Database TPC-C Transaction Response Times. Various Platforms. Smaller is better.

Cost Is Still All That Matters
According to the Oracle Technology Global Price List dated March 15, 2013[6], Oracle Database Enterprise Edition with Real Application Clusters and Partitioning has a list price of USD $82,000 “per processor.” As explained above in this article, one must apply the processor core factor to get to the real list price for a given platform. It so happens that all three of the processors spoken of in Figure 1 have been assessed a core factor of .5 by Oracle. While all three of these processors are on par in the core factor category, they have have vastly different numbers of cores per socket. Moreover, the servers used in these three benchmarks had socket-counts ranging from 2 to 8. To that end, the SPARC T5 server had 128 cores, the Intel Xeon E7-8870 server had 80 cores and the Intel Xeon E5-2690 server had 16 cores.

Performance Per Oracle License
Given the core counts, license factor and throughput achieved for the three TPC-C benchmarks discussed in the previous section of this article, one can easily calculate the all-important performance-per-license attributes of each of the servers. Figure 2 presents TPC-C throughput per core and per Oracle license in a side-by-side visualization for the three recent TPC-C results.

Figure 2: Comparing Oracle Database TPC-C Performance per-core and per-license. Bigger is better.

Figure 2: Comparing Oracle Database TPC-C Performance per-core and per-license. Bigger is better.

The Importance of Response Times
In order to appreciate the rightful importance of response time in characterizing platform performance, consider the information presented in Figure 3. Figure 3 divides response time into TPC-C performance per core. Since the core factor is the same for each of these processors this is essentially weighing response time against license cost.

To add some historical perspective, Figure 3 also includes an Oracle Database 11g published TPC-C result[7] from June 2008 using Intel’s Xeon 5400 family of processors which produced 20,271 TpmC/core and .2 seconds New Order response times. It is important to point out that the core factor has always been .5 for Xeon processors. As Figure 3 shows, SPARC T5 outperforms the 2008-era result by about 35%. On the other hand, the Intel two-socket Xeon E5 result delivers 31% better results in this type of performance assessment. Finally, the Intel 8-socket Xeon E7 result outperformed SPARC T5 by 76%. If customers care about both response time and cost these are important data points.

Figure 3: Performance Per Core weighted by Transaction Response Times. Bigger Is Better.

Figure 3: Performance Per Core weighted by Transaction Response Times. Bigger Is Better.

Parting Thoughts
I accept the fact that there are many reasons for Oracle customers to remain on SPARC/Solaris—the most significant being postponing the effort of migrating to Intel-based servers. I would argue, however, that such a decision amounts to postponing the inevitable. That is my opinion, true, but countless Oracle shops made that move during the decade-long decline of Sun Microsystems market share. In fact, Oracle strongly marketed Intel servers running Real Application Clusters attached to conventional storage (mostly sourced from EMC) as a viable alternative to Oracle on Solaris.

I don’t speak lightly of the difficulty in moving off of SPARC/Solaris. In fact, I am very sympathetic of the difficulty such a task entails. What I can’t detail, in this blog entry, is a comparison between re-platforming from dilapidated SPARC servers and storage to something 21st-century—such as a converged infrastructure platform like VCE.  It all seems like a pay-now or pay-later situation to me. Maybe readers with a 5-year vision for their datacenter can detail for us why one would want to gamble on the SPARC roadmap.

[4] Oracle SPARC T5 3/26/2013 http://www.tpc.org/1792, Intel Xeon E5-2690 http://www.tpc.org/1789, Intel Xeon E7-8870 http://www.tpc.org/1787

[5] As of the production date of this article, 2013 is the release target for the Ivy Bridge-EP 22nm die shrink next-generation improvement in Intel’s Xeon E5 family

Filed under: oracle

MAA tests on Exadata… demystifying availability tests

MAA tests on Exadata… demystifying availability tests

I have not had a lot of time to post recently due to various reasons and a switch in jobs at Oracle.  I currently am 100% dedicated to working in the Oracle Solution Center to help customers test the performance on Oracle’s engineered solutions.  So, why am I sending this link?

Regardless of the performance tests that are performed, I often spend a fair amount of time showing the Availability aspects as well.  Hopefully this video will help to demystify the availability aspects of Exadata.

Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: Exadata, Oracle

How to Compose New Gmail Messages in Full Screen (instead of the tiny compose box of new Gmail)

I’m writing this (unusual) post as I am a long time Gmail user and recently I’ve seen plenty of people & articles complain about the Gmail’s new compose window (the one that shows up as a small hovering window in the bottom right of your screen):

gmail_new_compose3

The top google hits so far only return tips to disable the new editor completely, but I want to use the new one, just in a bigger window! There is a very easy workaround for that – and there’s no need to switch back to the old compose mode at all!

If you are using your mouse, then just:

  1. Hold down SHIFT key when clicking the Compose button to get a stand-alone new window for composing a message.
  2. Hold down CTRL (on Windows) or Command (on Mac OSX) key to get a full-screen new browser tab for composing a message.

Examples 1 & 2 below:

gmail_new_window_composegmail_full_screen_compose

If you use Gmail keyboard shortcuts for productivity (they’re awesome!), then you can just:

  1. Press “c” for the new (small) compose box
  2. Press SHIFT-C (capital “C”) for the stand-alone new window for composing a message
  3. Press D for a full screen new browser tab for composing a message

Note that you can view the Gmail shortcuts reference, if this feature is enabled, just by pressing the ? (question mark) key:
gmail_vim_navigation_keys
So, there’s no need to switch back to the old compose mode completely, just remember SHIFT, CTRL and the “D” keys :)


Exadata Article as NYOUG's Article of the Year 2012

The Editors of New York Oracle User Group (NYOUG) publication - TechJournal - chose my article Exadata Demystified as the Article of the Year. Here is the snippet from the Editorial:

And the Award Goes To …


The Editor’s Choice Award for 2013 (for papers written and/or presented in 2012) is awarded to Arup Nanda, author of the paper, Exadata Demystified, published in the current issue of the NYOUG Tech Journal.  Arup presented this topic at the December 2012 NYOUG User Group meeting.  A long-time DBA (17 years, so far), Arup is a consummate database professional, two-time recipient of Oracle Magazine’s annual excellence awards (DBA of the year, 2003, and Technologist of the Year, 2012), prolific author (coauthor of 4 books and author of more than 300 articles), and a tireless mentor.  Arup consistently delivers well-researched and engaging papers and presentations, and is a marvelous educator.
His attention to detail and clear expository style help to make each one of his articles an informative read and his presentations an enjoyable educational experience.  If Arup’s Exadata paper had not been chosen for the Editor’s Choice award, his paper, Partitioning: What, When, Why and How, (also published in the current issue) would have taken its place. Whether you agree with my choice of which of his papers is actually more useful for your (or general) purposes, I think you will agree that both are well worth a read, and a re-read, and a forwarding-on. It is a pleasure to have Arup Nanda associated with the NYOUG.

Thank you, per usual, for all of your huge contributions to the Oracle community.

Thank you, Melanie Caffrey - the Editor of TechJournal. I am humbled and without words. Your recognition of my work is very much appreciated.

If you are not a member of NYOUG, would you like to read the paper? Well, Melanie (and NYOUG) has graciously provided the permission for me to reproduce this article on my blog. Here it is. Please feel to download and read. As always, I would very much like to know what youthought.

While on that topic, you may also want to check out my four article series on Exadata Command Reference on Oracle Technology Network. It describes various tools, utilities and commands to become an expert Database Machine Administrator (DMA) of Exadata.