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September 2010

OpenWorld 2010: ACE Director’s Meeting – Day 2

Day 2 was full of stuff I can’t speak about again, so I’ll keep this brief. The highlight for me was Wim Coekaerts speaking about Linux and Virtualization. I love listening to Wim speak about technology. It feels like you are chatting with your mate about technology stuff. He’s a real low-temperature guy. There were a few people there who were hearing Wim speak for the first time who are now converts. Perhaps I should start a fanboy club… :)

I intended to go to bed early, but ended up chatting until after midnight.

The following day (Saturday) was an off day. I had oringinally intended to do some stuff with a couple of the guys, but was so tired I gassed out. I woke up in the morning, got some food and went back to bed. At about 18:00 I ventured out for some food again, then went straight back to bed. Amazingly, I managed to sleep all night as well.

Cheers

Tim…

Alternative Pictures Demo

Note - features in this post require the Diagnostics Pack license

Not long after I'd finished the last post, I realised I could reinforce the points I was making with a quick post showing another one of the example tests supplied with Swingbench - the Calling Circle (CC) application. Like the Sales Order Entry application, CC is a mixed read/write test consisting of small transactions. As always, there's more information at Dominic's website.

One of the main differences to the SOE test is that the CC test consumes data so you need to generate a new set of data before each test using the supplied ccwizard utility. I won't show you the entire workflow here but enough to give you a flavour of the process. The utility is the same one used to create the necessary CC schema in the first place but the option I'm looking for here is "Generate Data for Benchmark Run".

I'd already decided that my CC schema is populated with data for 1 million customers when I created it so I just need to specify the number of transactions the next test will be for. I happen to know that on my particular configuration, a 1000 transaction test will take around 5 minutes to run.

I ran the test twice. I've highlighted the first run here in the Top Activity page.

It should be clear that CC suffers significant log file sync waits on my particular test platform, just like the SOE test. Therefore I'll regenerate the test data set, enable asynchronous commits and re-run the test. Here I've highlighted the second test run.

As well as seeing a similar change in the activity profile according to the ASH samples (the log file sync activity has disappeared as has the LGWR System I/O), there's a significant difference to the SOE test. Because this test run is based on a specific workload volume, as defined by the size of the test data, rather than a fixed time period, the second test run completed more quickly than the first run. The activity only fills the 5 minute activity bar partially, rather than the first test which filled the whole bar.

If you test a specific and limited workload volume it is much clearer from the Top Activity page which test is processing transactions more quickly, based on the Time axis. That's why I didn't pick this example the first time - it's too obvious what's going on!

MOTS Mini – Stop whining about early…the Michigan football game is about to start!

Chips. I had an accidental delete from this mini blog post while clicking and editing it via my Android WordPress app on my phone, so here after searching some blog aggregates I have “re-builded” it. Leaves me to say that, if I am correct the games was won, if I am correctly informed, by 42 to 37 by Michigan… I really, Really liked it !

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Got all those tweets from OOW ACED people in San Francisco while we here, the OakTable MOTS speakers, in Michigan got up at 6 am for a small breakfast and out the door at 8 am to join the 120.000 Michigan Football fans in “the Big House”.

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So stop whining about early, I am sitting here in the rain, early, but with great people and warm coffee… Let the game begin…

Some attempts at “Live broadcasting” the event, via my mobile, here b.t.w.: http://bambuser.com/channel/MGralike

Wish List of Oracle OpenWorld 2010 Announcements: Exadata v3 x2-8, Linux, Solaris, Fusion Apps, Mark Hurd, Exalogic Elastic Cloud, Cloud Computing

It’s Sunday morning early in San Francisco and the biggest ever Oracle OpenWorld is about to start. It looks like it’s also going to be the busiest ever OpenWorld for me — my schedule looks crazy and I still need to do the slides for my Thursday sessions (one on ASM and one on cloud computing). Fortunately, my slides for today’s presentation are all ready to go.

OK. Don’t let me carry away — I started this post with the intention to write about what I expect Oracle to announce at this OpenWorld and it seems like the most important announcements happen at tonight’s keynote. I hasn’t been at the Oracle ACE Directors briefing so unlike them, all I can say is pure speculation-based and my wishes of what should be covered. Actually, unlike them, I actually CAN say at least something. :)

  1. Oracle Exadata Database Machine v3 (x2-8) — well, that shouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody by now. I fully expect upgrade of the hardware — new Intel CPUs (probably with more cores), more memory, possibly more flash (this technology moves really quick these days). Maybe 10GbE network can be introduced to address some of the customers demands but I don’t think it’s needed that much. InfiniBand might just stay as it is — I think there is enough throughput but Marc Fielding noted that moving InfiniBand to the next speed level shouldn’t be very expensive. Other then cosmetic upgrade, I believe that hardware architecture will largely stay the same — it works very well, it’s proven and very successful. Maybe something should be done to let customers integrate Exadata better into their data-centers — folks keep complaining of inflexibility (and I think Oracle should stay firm on this and don’t let customer screw themselves up but who knows).
    On the software side, I expect new Exadata Storage Software release announcement that will be able to offload more and more on the storage side. The concept of moving data intensive operation closed to the disks has proven to be very effective. I also expect to have more Exadata features for consolidation. If you didn’t notice, 11.2.0.2 database release few days ago has Exadata specific QoS (Quality of Service) feature. I think this is what’s going to make Exadata to be a killer consolidation platform for the databases — true private cloud for Oracle databases or a true grid as Oracle insists calling it’s private cloud idea. Speaking about software… hm — see Linux and Solaris below.
    And back to consolidation, there must be the new platform similar to Exadata that integrates Oracle hardware and software and that should fill the gap as a consolidation offering for anything else but databases — Fusion Middleware, Fusion Apps and whole lineup of Oracle software. Whether it’s going to have Exadata in its name — I don’t know. It’s going to be names Exalogic Elastic Cloud. It would make sense to support both Solaris and Linux virtualization technologies on that new platform.
    Oh, and I hope to see Oracle start offering vertical focused solutions based on Exadata. Like Retail Database Machine. Maybe it won’t come at the OpenWorld but I think it would be a good move by Oracle.
  2. Solaris and Linux — I’ve been preaching for a while that having acquired Solaris engineering team, it would be insane not to take over Linux distribution from RedHat and start providing truly Oracle Linux. I was expecting Oracle to do that for a while. Either that or change Oracle’s commitment from Linux to Solaris on x86 platform. If Oracle is serious about Solaris now then the best indication of that would be Solaris x86 powered Exadata. In other words, the future of Linux and Solaris at Oracle should be made clear during this OpenWorld.
  3. Fusion Apps — god, I really hope something will be out. After all those years talking about it, I can’t stand anymore hearing about the ghost product (or line of products). I think it’s also confirmed by Debra Lilley’s increased activity over the past year — she is buzzing unusually strong about it. ;-) Of course, Fusion Apps will be all about integration of zillion of Oracle products into one system (which is a very difficult task). Oh, and if Fusion Apps are announced then they will run best on Exadata, of course. Oracle Fusion Apps Machine?
  4. Mark Hurd — finally, I’d be very keen to see the first serious public appearance of Mark Hurd as Oracle’s co-president. I think he will set the tone for the future of Oracle’s hardware business. So far it’s been all about profitability which is probably the best thing Oracle could do with otherwise dead Sun hardware business.

That’s all. I’m sure there will be more. I didn’t mention SPARC and that’s not because I forgot.

This OpenWorld promises to be very interesting!

Index degeneration

There’s a thread on OTN that talks about a particular deletion job taking increasing amounts of time each time it is run.

It looks like an example where some thought needs to go into index maintenance and I’ve contributed a few comments to the thread – so this is a lazy link so that I don’t have to repeat myself on the blog.

MOTS Mini – Stop whining about early…the Michigan football game is about to start!

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Got all those tweets from OOW ACED people in San Francisco while we here, the OakTable MOTS speakers, in Michigan got up at 6 am for a small breakfast and out the door at 8 am to join the 120.000 Michigan Football fans in “the Big House”.

image

So stop whining about early, I am sitting here in the rain, early, but with great people and warm coffee… Let the game begin…

Live broadcasting here btw:

http://bambuser.com/channel/MGralike

“>http://bambuser.com/channel/MGralike

Seven Fundamentals Everyone Should Know About Exadata Before Attending OpenWorld 2010 Sessions.

I speak to a lot of customers, prospects and co-workers about Exadata.  Even though Exadata has been in production for two years I still do not presume everyone has a grasp of some of the more important fundamentals of Exadata. I’ll routinely get asked about how very large SGA buffering can enhance Exadata Smart Scan [...]

MOTS Mini – Learning from failures, design errors, problematic recoveries and downtimes…

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A long presentation title, “Learning from failures, design errors, problematic recoveries and downtime’s. Experience from CERN” from Eric Grancher about, indeed, experiences they learned while trying to handle those 19 Pentabytes of data produced at the CERN institute (?) in Switzerland. As Carol Dacko said just before I entered this session, this conference has so many high level, great quality presentations it is just a joy to be here and learn from those people, despite I had to skip more than half while preparing my presentations.

It’s a same that this one is already the last one this week…

MOTS Mini – Visual SQL Tuning

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OK, next one which looked interesting, and apparently I was not the only one, was Kyle Hailey’s “Visual SQL Tuning”. It’s funny to hear him tell that visual presentation is very important in seeing very quickly correlations which remembers me at a discussion I had with a smart colleague that he wanted to go for more numbers/text driven reports regarding monthly reporting instead of using OEM graphical customer overview statistics regarding progression of architecture behavior… Failures and success values are important to correctly interpret or see even more quickly what the problem is or searching for answers. Another great session. Thank god I haven’t a presentation to do anymore…

SQL Server 5

SimpleTalk have just published another of my SQL Server articles – which looks at the way that SQL Server stores data in “clustered indexes”, and the variation that appears depending on the pattern of data.