I arrived back in the UK yesterday after my second time at the Oracle User Group Norway’s Spring Seminar. I had a great time and even those that suffered with sea-sickness enjoyed themselves when they weren’t praying to the porcelain god. It was definitely a rougher sea on the first night this year compared to last, but lucky for me I was pretty much unaffected. However, the “Martin Cluster” suffered some major node failures with outages from Bach and Widlake.
The first day of the conference is on land in Oslo and some guy called Justin Bieber did a really good job of making sure that hotels in Oslo were in demand. I heard reports that his guys has fans that booked rooms in multiple hotels in the hope of one of them being the same hotel that Justin was staying in… Madness and an inconvenience of some of the conference attendees.
On day 1 Martin Bach and I ran a workshop on client connectivity to RAC databases under the banner of “RAC Attack II”. We covered Fast Connection Failover (FCF) for both Java and C# clients with particular focus on the bugs and gotcha that await those attempting to use the feature. On day 2 I did a presentation entitled “How Virtualisation Changed My Life” that aims to encourage attendees to make active use free virtualisation products on their own hardware in order to increase their knowledge and hands-on experience with the technology they work with or want to work with.
Outside of my speaking commitments I attended some great sessions and the following is a selection of my notes:
“Happiness is a state change” – Cary Millsap. Without the context of the rest of the keynote presentation (“Learning about Life through Business and Software”) this quotation might not make much sense. The point that Cary is making is that it is development and progression that we humans find rewarding rather than our state at specific point.
e-Vita employees Cato Aune and Jon Petter Hjulstad co-presented a session on “Weblogic 12c – experiences”. My only exposure Weblogic is when installing or managing Oracle Enterprise Manager and Oracle Identity Management products, neither of which use/support Weblogic 12c at this time, but I wanted to hear about what the latest Weblogic will surely bring my way in due course.
Joel Goodman gave a very good presentation on “RAC Global Resource Management Concepts” revealing the complexity of what goes on under the covers of your RAC database. Unfortunately the slides are not available even to conference attendees.
Connor McDonald‘s “Odds & Ends” was very enjoyable and it’s definitely worth grabbing the slides. My notes include:
- Use of oradebug suspend/resume as an alternative to killing a resource hungry session is an appealing idea
- I wasn’t aware of the use of “#” to run SQL*Plus command mid way through typing a SQL statement in SQL*Plus
- Making use of “set errorlogging on” isn’t something I currently do, but will look at
- The unsupported, but interesting “overlaps” clause in SQL is worth being aware of and Connor provides an associated MOS note ID in the slides
Frits Hoogland gave 3 presentations during the conference. Unfortunately the first (“Exadata OLTP”) was at the same time as mine. Fortunately I saw the other 2: “About multiblock reads” and “Advanced Profiling of Oracle Using Function Calls—A Hacking Session”. These work very well together and the hacking session was the highlight of the conference for me. There were no slides, so you can’t download them, but Frits and documented what he covers in “Profile of Oracle Using Function Calls (PDF)“. Notes from the sessions include:
- Frits prefers to set db_file_multiblock_read_count manually rather than unset or setting to zero
- The “physical reads” in autotrace output is number of blocks read not number IOs, which is a mistake he sees others making
- Direct path reads don’t stop at extent boundaries and a single request can read multiple [contiguous] extents
- Use perf to break out what CPU is being used for
Kai Yu presented “Optimizing OLTP Oracle Database Performance using PCIe SSD”. He shared his experiences and covered the use cases for this type of storage in an Oracle database infrastructure. Very significant performance improvements are available, but as always it depends on your implementation/workload.
Bjoern Rost‘s “The ins and outs of Total Recall” covered his experiences using Total Recall aka Flashback Data Archive (FBA). Does it really need 2 names? He showed how it had been used for what I understood to be a slowly changing dimension use case without the need to change existing parts of the application. They had been bitten by the change covered by MOS Note “Initial Extent Size of a Partition Changed To 8MB From 64KB [ID 1295484.1]“. The most interesting part of presentation was detailed coverage of DISSOCIATE_FBA so grab the slides if you use FBA. It’s also worth noting that Total Recall/Flashback Data Archive is included in Advanced Compression so you might find you have the option of using it without specifically purchasing it.
Cary Millsap‘s “Millsap’s Grand Unified Theory of ʺTuningʺ” emphasised the point that end user experience is what really matters and covered what tools are appropriate in specific phases of performance analysis.
If the agenda for next year is anything like this year then it’s definitely worth considering a trip to Oslo for a boat ride to Kiel and back.
A massive thank you to OUGN for putting on the seminar, accepting my presentations, excellent organisation and fantastic hospitality.