Just a quick note to remind you that the call for papers for E4 is closing in a few days (on April 30). So if you have anything you think is interesting related to Exadata that you’d like to share we’d love to hear from you. By the way, you don’t have to be a world renowned speaker on Oracle technology to get accepted. You just need to have an interesting story to tell about your experience. Implementations, migrations and consolidation stories are all worthy of consideration. Any interaction between Exadata and Big Data platforms will also be of great interest to the attendees. Of course the more details you can provide the better.
Just a quick note to let you know I’ll be speaking at the Hotsos Symposium in March in Dallas. I’ve attended every year for the past 6 or 7 years and spoken at several of them. It has consistently been the best performance oriented Oracle conference I’ve attended. This year will be no different with the likes of Maria Colgan, Karen Morton, Tom Kyte, Tim Gorman, Cary Millsap, Frits Hoogland, Gwen Shapira, Alex Gorbachev, Kyle Haily, Carlos Sierra, Kellyn Pot’Vin, Mark Farnham, Toon Koppelaars, Andy Zitelli, Neil Gunther, Stephan Haisley, Marco Gralike, Steven Feuerstein and a host of others. Looks like several of the speakers (including me) plan to be talking about new performance oriented features of the soon to be released Oracle 12c database, so it should be very interesting. One of the best things about the conference is the chance to talk to people (including the speakers) at the breaks. And by the way, while the speaker list is impressive, there are always a large number of highly talented people in attendance that are not speaking. I routinely learn as much from conversations between the sessions as I do listening to the presentations. I highly recommend the symposium to anyone that is interested in Oracle performance. Here’s a link to the main page where you can find the complete list of speakers and their topics and register for the conference.
The 2012 EnkitecExtreme 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. I got to watch Cary for a few days (along with several of his Method-R guys) when he had his first exposure and we talk about that during the video. Cary made a profound impact on me and my career and I think his insight into the Exadata architecture is worth watching. Hopefully the fact that I have a great face for radio will not deter you (too much). The video has the obligatory Enkitec logo and endless loop, non-descript music intro, but other than that, I certify it as marketing free! ;)
Be sure and check out enkitec.tv for other videos too.
We started on an interesting mad scientist kind of project a couple of days ago.
One of our long time customers bought an Exadata last month. They went live with one system last week and are in the process of migrating several others. The Exadata has an interesting configuration. The sizing exercise done prior to the purchase indicated a need for 3 compute nodes, but the data volume was relatively small. In the end, a half rack was purchased and all four compute nodes were licensed, but 4 of the 7 storage servers were not licensed. So it’s basically a half rack with only 3 storage servers.
Meanwhile, we had been talking with them about Hadoopie kind of stuff. They are in the telecom space and are interested in pulling data via a packet sniffer which captures info directly from the tcp traffic. During the talks we discussed hardware requirements for building a Hadoop cluster as they didn’t really have any spare hardware available to test with. That’s when the crazy science project idea was born. Someone (who shall remain nameless) suggested that we build the pilot Hadoop cluster on the 4 unused storage nodes from the Exadata half rack. Since the storage servers use basically the same hardware as is used in the Oracle Big Data Appliance (BDA), it’s kind of like having a mini BDA. Of course the storage servers have slower CPU’s and a little less memory so it’s not apples to apples, but the servers do have InfiniBand and the same 3T drives so it’s pretty similar. And since they already had the servers sitting there …
So now we have a mini Hadoop cluster installed (CDH3) with 3 data nodes (roughy 100T raw storage). We also set up the Oracle Big Data Connectors on one of the Exadata compute nodes which allows us to create external tables on files stored in HDFS. Pretty cool. Let the games begin!