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August 2012

What’s next

For an interesting read that includes a discussion of what Exadata is and isn’t, the arithmetic of data processing, and the balance of power between hardware and software, you should visit Kevin Closson’s website where he’s republished the interview he gave to the Northern California Oracle User Group a couple of months ago.

The posting includes a list of the questions he answered, and a link to a pdf file of the magazine. Topics that come out of the interview include: what was all that flash cache really for, how much benefit should you see from a hardware upgrade whether it’s to Exadata or to non-proprietory hardware, how much more can you read from a proof of concept than the authors thought they were putting into it, how does a symmetrical system differ from an asymmetrical system.

Do you like to watch TV? Watch Enkitec.TV from now on! :-)

I’m happy to announce Enkitec TV which is a video channel/aggregator of some of the coolest stuff we do here at Enkitec. I have uploaded some of my videos there, including the previously unpublished Oracle parameters infrastructure hacking session and Kerry’s & Cary’s E4 Exadata interview is available there as well!

Xplan: now with “self” measures for row source operations

One of the most useful information that the Oracle kernel attaches to plans in the library cache are measures of various resource consumption figures, such as elapsed time, consistent and current gets, disk reads, etcetera. These can be made available for each plan line (aka "row source operation").

These figures are always cumulative, that is, include both the resource consumed by the line itself and all of its progeny. It is very often extremely useful to exclude the progeny from the measure, to get what we could name the "self" figure (following, of course, the terminology introduced by Cary Millsap and Jeff Holt in their famous book Optimizing Oracle Performance).

E4 Wrap Up – Part II – Cary Millsap Interview

The 2012 Enkitec Extreme Exadata Expo is behind us now. Our video guy (Bob) has been working diligently for the last week or so to get the presentations edited. They will be made available to the attendees shortly. We have already posted a video of the opening session. It is me interviewing Cary Millsap about his impressions of Exadata. One of the things I have found most interesting about Exadata is how it makes very experienced Oracle performance guys re-think things. It’s fun watching them being exposed to Exadata in an intimate way (not just Power Point). The reactions are interesting. There is usually a desire to try to break it although  it’s generally harder than it appears, at least initially.

On the Topic of Programming 1

August 26, 2012 (Forward to the Next Post in the Series) As those of you who have read this blog’s About page probably know, my day to day job responsibilities involve a lot of activities that are not specific to Oracle Database performance tuning, or even remotely Oracle DBA type activities.  Those extra acttivites are part of what [...]

phpBB 3.0.11 Released…

phpBB 3.0.11 has been released. You can find the downloads and changelog in the usual places.

Happy upgrading… :)



The Expendables 2…

I was dissapointed in The Expendables, but I hoped they would make another film and try to get it right this time. I’ve just got back from The Expendables 2 and I’m glad to say they got it completely right this time!

If I’m honest, many of the elements of this film are the same as the previous one. The difference is this one is done with a lot more humor. The film and the cast don’t seem to take themselves too seriously and that pays dividends in the enjoyment factor. In the previous film there was a lot of violence, but this film has even more. What makes it better is it is taken to almost comic book proportions. Some of the grizzliest scenes had people in the audience laughing.

I’m looking forward to The Expendables 3!



Job Update and New Articles…

One of my reasons for taking a regular DBA job was to reconnect with the day-to-day of being an Oracle DBA. It’s very easy to get rose-coloured spectacles when you are not in the trenches. If I ever had them before, they have certainly been removed now. :)

Probably the most frustrating thing about my current role is my employer and I can’t agree on what an Oracle DBA is. I have a very firm idea of my skill set and what value I can add to an organisation. My employer seems to think an Oracle DBA just does whatever random thing that is asked of them. I’ve had a number of discussions with them about this, but it looks like we will have to agree to disagree. Despite this frustration, it’s a really cool group of people and I really look forward to going to work every day.

Friday Philosophy – Work Inside Life

I know, the usual phrase is “Life Outside Work” but I like to think that, no matter how much we may like our jobs, our overall life is the key thing.

Exadata vs. IBM P-Series

Earlier this year I participated in a Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) study that was run by a company called the FactPoint Group. The goal was to compare the cost of purchasing and running Oracle on Exadata vs. the cost of purchasing and running Oracle on IBM P-Series hardware. The findings are published here:

Exadata vs. IBM P-Series