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RAC Attack – Oracle Cluster Database at Home

First of all, the RAC Attack deep dive at Collaborate went great – thanks to everyone who participated! The room was full (20 participants) and I got evaluations from about half of them. Here’s a summary of the eval results:

  • 100% class met expectations, would recommend to others
  • 66% easy to follow, could use skills in working environment
  • 100% already familiar with oracle, 90% use oracle daily
  • 0 negative reviews of instructor (phew!)
  • 1 negative review of curriculum: said practice exercises weren’t relevant but training manual was still above average.
  • 0 negative “comments”

There were several positive comments such as this: “I would recommend this class to others. This setup is perfect to pick up new skills and expose what ifs w/out worrying about pressing the wrong button.”

There were also some suggestions for improvements which I’ve taken note of. The most common suggestion was this: “More time to practice / explore new concepts.”

What’s Next

The RAC Attack curriculum has been around for over three years now – and I’m still getting requests to put it on.  Seems that a number of people have felt that it’s a decent quality class and handbook.  I talked to several other Oracle instructors and speakers at Collaborate this year about the RAC Attack curriculum – including an in-depth conversation with Arup Nanda.

As a result of these conversations, I did some careful thinking and I’ve been very busy for the past few weeks since Collaborate.  And I now have three major announcements about RAC Attack:

  1. Last week, I published an updated RAC Attack Lab Handbook.  The handbook is now completely self-contained for home use.  I’ve added significant new content:
    • Detailed hardware requirements (taking into consideration optimal I/O and memory configuration)
    • How to install and setup VMware environment (including networking and storage)
    • How to create the RAC Attack Classroom DVD (this is actually scripted now)
  2. This means that you can now (finally) setup RAC Attack on your own computer – without needing any external assistance!

  3. Although I created most of the labs for RAC Attack, some labs were also contributed by Dan Norris and Parto Jalili.  Last week I also obtained their permission to move all RAC Attack content under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license – which you will see in the latest handbook.The RAC Attack lab handbook has now been donated to the Oracle professional community with a solid copyleft license.
    • New DBAs are invited to use this material at home.
    • Experienced DBAs are invited to make corrections and enhancements to the textbook.  Also you can add your own labs which work on the RAC Attack “platform”.
    • Instructors are invited to use this material partially or completely in their own classes, as they wish. You can even run your own class based solely on this material – without needing anyone’s permission. Also, you can charge for these classes – there isn’t a “non-commercial” limitation on the terms of our license.
  4. On a related note, all code related to RAC Attack (including the jumpstart scripts and supplemental DVD build script) is now under the GPL and has been published on github for easy downloading, copying and branching.

  5. Finally… how are you supposed to make corrections, enhancements and additions if you’ve only got a PDF version?  Right now the textbook sources are in OpenOffice format (with a master document and about 50 lab documents).  Although this is very well suited to print media, it’s difficult to coordinate with very many authors or editors.  I’ve decided that the best way to truly encourage collaboration with other teachers & instructors is to use the best platform on the web for collaborative open-content textbook projects: the RAC Attack lab textbook has a new home on wikibooks.

    http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/RAC_Attack_-_Oracle_Cluster_Database_at_Home

    I’m just getting started now – but I’m hoping to have all existing RAC Attack content on this wiki textbook by the end of the month.  Please have a look at the project page and consider getting involved!

Feedback

I consider these to be some major changes.  I’ve put some careful thought into them, and I’m excited about the new direction for this class.  Let me know what you think.