OpenWorld Day 4, 5 & 6…

Day 4

I spent a lot of time in the OTN lounge just talking to people. I guess it’s what I do best.

Later in the day Mary Ann Davidson did an “Ask the Experts” session on security. It was good to see her taking notes and being genuinely concerned about the issues people were raising. This is good for Oracle on two levels. Not only is it going to make the products better, but it’s lets us users feel like we have a voice.

I went to an unconference session by Lutz Hartmann on migrating a database from the filesystem to ASM using RMAN. Lutz is a very friendly and enthusiastic guy with lots of teaching experience, so he looked really relaxed and confident. His demos were clear and simple and I think he got the point across really well.

The evening was the big appreciation party where I met up with Chris Muir and Grant Ronald. The party was a massive event, which was organised really well. Although not a real fan, I was looking forward to Lenny Kravitz. He did an adequate job, but I’m sure he’s capable of a lot more. When you’re facing a crown of non-fans, you’ve got to keep the tempo up and perform all your most popular songs. Doing a 10 minute sax solo is not really going to keep the crown interested. The last song had the crown going nuts, which is what it should have been like all the way through.

Day 5

The start of day 5 was spent back at the hospital filling out forms to request information to send to my insurance company. Not exactly the OpenWorld experience I was expecting. :)

When I finally made it to the event I spent most of the day in the OTN lounge catching up with people. Wim Coekaerts turned up to do an “Ask the Experts” session, which was totally cool. Getting to speak directly with people like this is what OpenWorld is all about. I guess the main points he was stressing were:

  • Oracle have no intention of making Oracle Enterprise Linux a fork of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. They are commited to binary compatibility. When you think about this it makes sense as it must reduce the resources required to produce test and certify the database.
  • Oracle VM is nothing to do with Red Hat. It’s not an RHEL clone and it is not the same as running Xen on top of Linux, like the other Linux distros do. You install it on a bare box and you get the hypervisor and a small Linux kernel running. That’s it, not a full RHEL style installation.
  • Once installed you have console access to create, modify and drop VMs, you can also use SSH to connect to the administration VM. If you want a management UI you have to install the management interface on a separate server.
  • The VM has no noticible overhead on device access, like I/O, but there is obviously some overhead as far as CPU and memory because you have the hypervisor and management VM running, but this is very small. Typically, this should be less than a 10% overhead.
  • Oracle are using this product now. It works great for Linux guests. It will run anything that will run on an Intel box (Windows, Solaris x86, maybe even Mac), but I’m not sure what the support and performance is like on these. At the moment it’s very much directed at the Linux space.

From there I went on to my Unconference session called “The Oracle DBA… A dying breed?” The provocative title did it’s job and the turnout was quite good. This was more of a discussion about the role of the DBA, rather than a presentation. It’s kind of hard to judge the success of this type of session, but the fact people started to join in means it couldn’t have been too bad. Myself and a few others continued the discussion in the OTN lounge for a while afterwards. One of the Oracle guys added some session notes to the page. In the next couple of days I’m going to add some more stuff and try and summarise the opinions voiced. Once I’m done and you can see the form of the discussion, feel free to add to it. There is no reason why the subject has to end with the session.

I hope the Unconference is included over the next few years. As people know more about what to expect, or not as the case may be, and the number and variety of presenters increases, I think this could turn out to be the best feature at OpenWorld. It’s going to take some time for both the attendees and the presenters to get used to it, but it will be worth it.

The evening was more talking with bloggers and the like. Lots of opinions, lots of view points and lots of, “I’m so tired, I really must go to bed…”

Day 6

I had breakfast with a couple of the guys, then headed for the hotel. The plane felt really cramped, but fortunately the Frankfurt leg was 9 hours, as opposed to 11 on the way there. I even managed to sleep a little bit. It’s going to take a few days of bitchin’ to get my body clock back, but that’s the price you pay. :)

Regardless of your opinions about OpenWorld, it is a spectacular event. Everything runs so smoothly and by the numbers. One of the guys, can’t remember who, made the point that they were feeding lunch to 44,000 people and you never had to wait for more than a couple of minutes. That in itself shows the amazing amount of organisation that goes into this event.

So that’s it. Another OpenWorld done. It was really hard, but good fun at the same time. Next year it starts in September, so there’s only 10 months until the next one. Aaaarrrggghhhh! :)

Cheers

Tim…

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