Oracle: It’s not for newbies…

I had this comment today related to RAC installation.

“thanks for the feedback, but for newbies this is where it gets confusing. No clear guidelines”

This post is not specifically about this comment, but it does bring up the issue I keep going back to again and again…

One of the things that annoys me about the Oracle marketing machine is they still try to make out all Oracle products are accessible for newbies. Oh really? Are you seriously telling me that Oracle RAC and Oracle Grid Control 11g are accessible for newbies?

I’ve been using Oracle products for about 17 years. I’ve been using Linux for about 13 years. I’ve been administering RAC for about 10 years. I don’t claim to be an international consultant to the stars, but I have a long history with this stuff. I’m not saying this to brag, just to put this into context. With all this experience I still don’t think this stuff is easy.

Check out the Oak Table Members list. Excluding myself, this is a “who’s who” of the people you would love to have on your site to show you how Oracle stuff really works. If you were part of the Oak Table mailing list you would see these people are still struggling with the idiosyncracies of some of this Oracle stuff. There are lots of RAC related issues under discussion all the time.

Knowing all this, do you really think you can roll up off the street and do a good job of installing and administering this stuff in a production environment? Do you think it is OK to be an SQL Server DBA on Windows today and start a job as an Oracle DBA on Linux tomorrow? I see this happening all the time because bosses don’t understand how complicated this technology can be. People do one Oracle installation on Windows and think the logical next step is RAC or Exadata.

I’m happy that Oracle have invested time and money in making Oracle *easier* to install and administer, but trying to tell people that it is easy is totally the wrong message. A week long course or a 2-Day DBA manual is not going to get someone up to speed.

For the next marketing slogan I suggest,

“Oracle. It’s f*ckin’ complicated, but it’s really cool!”

Rant over … until the next time… :)