Archive for the ‘Humor’ Category.
I spent most of the last week in California at Oracle’s XMonth (it was really a week so I’m not sure why they called it XMonth). Which reminds me of a tuning engagement I did a few years ago. I showed up at the client’s facilities and we started discussing the problem. They told me that their daily job was running too slow and it was causing major problems. So I asked them what time the daily job ran each day. And they told me that it ran every 20 minutes. Ha! “And why do you call it the daily job?”, I asked. They weren’t really sure. The job was taking about an hour to complete as I recall, but I digress.
At XMonth, they had three tracks: Exadata (and two others that I can’t remember). I did learn a few things I thought were worth sharing.
- Exalogic is not shipping yet, but we did cover it in some detail. Exalogic’s biggest advantage appears to be the Infiniband fabric. It can be connected directly to any DB server using IB (Exadata for example) and can communicate with the extremely low latency RDS protocol.
- Oracle has relaxed their “no changes to the Exadata configuration” stance (but only very slightly). They said that it was OK to change out the Cisco switch and replace it with some other equivalent switch.
- A competitive analysis of Sun’s server line was provided. It included T series, X series, and M series servers along with Exadata. Exadata pretty much kicks all other options in the teeth (in my opinion). M series are still suitable for very large applications that are unable to scale out via RAC – such are Oracle’s own MRP package which uses the dbms_pipe package limiting its ability to scale in a RAC environment. But in general, the advice to the sales team was that if you are in a competitive situation, in most cases you should lead with Exadata.
So that’s about it. Oh they also let me talk about our experiences with Exadata. That was fun and I got to try my hand at a virtual presentation, as there were participants all over the world following along with Webex. The software has gotten pretty good for doing these kinds of presentations by the way. It was good practice for the Virtual Oracle Conference we have coming up next month. (note that there are only a couple of days left to sign up at the discounted rate)
Well I stayed at home today to do some writing on a book project while one of my sons and one of my daughters and my wife went to the Fort Worth Natural Science Museum. So I was feeling a little overworked and like I was missing out because I’ve been slaving away writing “scholarly technical material”. Then I got a text from my son. Just a picture that’s all.
I’m sure these two books will probably sell a few orders of magnitude more copies than any book that I contribute to. Kind of puts it all in perspective. I think next weekend I’ll go to the zoo with them.
Well we had to give it a shot.
So we created an Oracle Exadata Storage Server Software CELLBOOT USB flash drive. I’m not kidding, that’s what the Oracle/Sun guys decided to call it. They didn’t even use an acronym in the manual (I guess “ESSSCB USB FD” doesn’t roll off the tongue much better than the whole thing anyway). We used the make_cellboot_usb utility to create the thing off one of our storage servers, which by the way was not that easy to do, since the USB ports are in the back of the 4275′s and they are not easy to get to with all the cabling that’s back there. Anyway, once we had the little bugger created we pulled it out of the back of the rack and booted a Dell Latitude D630 off of it. Here’s a picture:
Notice the thumb drive is all lit up like a Christmas tree.
Here is a close up of the screen (in case your eyes are going bad like mine):
So we tried a couple of different options but eventually got to this screen:
Notice the ERROR line in the middle of the screen. Somebody wisely put a check in the boot procedure to verify the machine type, presumably if it’s not a Sun 4170 it will throw an error. We thought about hacking the system but decided not to at this point as we had real work to do. (maybe later when we’ve got nothing else to do)
Well our new Exadata showed up this week. We had a pretty nice lab environment already. A bunch of Dell’s, some IBM’s, several Sun’s. We have a couple of EMC Sans as well (we actually threw away a whole EMC rack to make room for the Exadata). And of course we have every version of Oracle from 8i to 11gR2. It’s a good learning environment. It also let’s us try things when clients have a specific set of versions that we want to mimic. So now we have an Exadata V2 as well. We’ve had the delivery date on the calendar for several weeks. For some reason it reminded of the Weird Al Yankovik song Weasel Stomping Day.
It’s probably a sad reflection on how geeky we are that everyone is running around all excited like it’s Christmas or something.
Here’s a few pictures:
It’s a really fast machine by the way. In fact, we had trouble keeping up with it from the moment we got it off the truck.
Really fast, and slippery. Well in a couple of days we can actually turn it on (we’re supposed to let it acclimate to our environment). On Friday afternoon we’re going to have a happy hour to celebrate our newest edition. Wade calls it a sip and see. We’ll probably take a few pictures of ourselves with the little bundle of joy and sing a chorus of a festive Weird Al song, or maybe two. Come on by if you’re in the neighborhood!
I went to the Dallas 100 awards banquet last night at the Morton Meyerson Symphony Center. The Dallas 100 is an annual award for the fastest growing privately held companies that are based in the Dallas / Fort Worth area. Enkitec was number 81 this year – not that great, but still not too bad considering the state of the economy over the last couple of years (we were 42nd last year by the way).
Sam Wyly was the guest speaker at the presentation. He didn’t actually give a speech, but rather gave an interview which was interesting. He’s best known as the founder of Michael’s Stores which sold for around $4,000,000,000 a few years back.
As usual, there was a dinner after the presentation. And as usual it was some kind of meat with asparagus. I guess asparagus must be one of those things that can be cooked a little bit ahead of time or kept warm without too much trouble because it seems to be standard fare at these types of events. Anyway, it’s always nice to have a dinner with asparagus because you get reminded of it the next morning. I won’t go into the details here but if you’re interested I highly recommend this article on the Discovery web site. Whew!