IOUG Collaborate – Tues aft and Wed

Somehow my Tues afternoon notes disappeared.  Crappy.  I attended a session on tuning RAC performance, and one on using a free built-in Oracle tool to create a dblink from Oracle to SQL Server (suitable for smaller SQL Server datasets only, but a good tool in the toolbox nonetheless).  There was an hour off for exhibit hall.  I just typed a lengthy paragraph about my chat with netapp about SSD but stupid luxor ate it when I hit save, since I guess my daily internet lease expired.  The ONE time I don’t select-all/copy before hitting submit … argh.

Wednesday was another packed day.  Today was a day mostly full of exposure sessions for me, ie. “I should know something about this aspect” rather than learning more deeply about things we could use or do use right now, so I took fewer notes.

Attended a session on TimesTen in-memory database by Susan Cheung from Oracle.  Interesting product, not something we need but good to understand how it works. Then, Oracle Advanced Compression and Hybrid Columnar Compression by Bill Hodak from Oracle.  Again, good presentation, interesting info.  He mentioned that he had done research and found that most companies have non-prod data that is 5-10x the size of their production data.  We see at least 5x so it is good to know we are not alone.  (This also says something subtle about limited QA data sets, etc — to get that much duplication, the vast majority of companies must still be just making copies of Production to test against.  Not surprising.)  As well the average data growth per year is 20-40%.

Then hit another Mike Messina/TUSC presentation, Centralize Your AWR Data for Better Analysis.  Excellent again.  Between Tim Quinlan’s AWR trending stuff and Mike’s AWR centralization stuff, I know what I’m coding in my ‘spare’ time for the foreseeable future.  Very jazzed to get home and start.  (Can’t hit it now … 4 days of vaca coming, spouse is joining me, and I will get smacked if I try to code while on vaca.  😉   My only question is – how soon is Oracle going to notice everyone centralizing their AWR data, and build it as an EM pack?

Met up with a guy from my city there whom I met on Tuesday, we had lunch and ended up talking database right through the next session.  Smart guy, hopefully we’ll be in touch again.  Next, hit virtual private db and application contexts with Robert Corfman from Boeing.  Very detailed.  I  like presentations like this that show actual commands run in sqlplus, it puts my brain in the right mode to remember commands and understand how they work and what their output means.  I had not dug into this before and the presenter clearly had tested out a lot of poorly or unclearly documented things about how it works.  This may have some applications for us in non-production environments; not sure.  Good to know about and be able to throw out as an option to projects.

Finally, hit DBA 2.0: The Future of Database Management with Mughees Minhas from Oracle.  I was sorry to miss the Amazon data guard pres, but this one was pretty darn funny.   I laughed a lot.  He had prepared an entire dramatization showing DBA 1.0 (scripts) versus DBA 2.0 (EM) and had them duke it out onstage to solve the same problem with their favorite tools — with a six minute time limit.  Of course it was staged but it was pretty believable and exactly what my coworkers/I think about EM vs scripts — use the best tool for the job.  The fact is, graphs aren’t just pretty or easy.  (Well, they are easy, but that’s not a bad thing.)  Graphs take related information, sometimes on many vectors, and put it in one place where the human brain can easily spot sudden changes, spikes, and other trends.  When we have a performance problem it is the FIRST thing we look at, including our senior DBA who has 10 years of Oracle experience.  He told all of us: use EM but don’t be totally reliant on it.  Know the scripts, have your own set of scripts for when you don’t have EM.  Hit the “show sql” button in EM whenever you can and just read it.

Falling asleep, so done for tonight.

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