Discoveries

I’m not into cutting-edge things. I drive an old car, use an old computer, I still have Oracle 9i installations hanging around, and I use gadgets only when my boss forces them on me. I like the tried and true stuff. But sometimes even people like me have to realize that the technology world is advancing and they should join the crowd and use the latest innovations (or rather old innovations in my case).

This week I discovered three new and amazing technologies – LCD TV, Facebook and VMWare. I realize that for most of the world these are as new and exciting as last year’s snow, but I managed to avoid them until now.

Our infrastructure team has been pushing VMWare for the last two years, because like every other infrastructure team they are trying to cut on electricity. Production databases make poor candidates for virtualization though,  we use all the CPU and RAM on the machine anyway, so I never worked with VMWare up close.

Well, today I finally received a new desktop machine, and I decided to use it to try out VMWare, RHEL4, Oracle 11g and ASM – all at once. I got as far as installing VMWare and RHEL4, and so far so good.  VMWare is by far the most exciting technology I’ve used since I found out about Netapp. I spent a good hour creating different machines with different configurations and then deleting them just to see that I can. I add disks and network cards, played with their configuration and then dropped them. It is truely a joy.

Redhat installation also got much easier than I recalled. On the other hand, the last RH I personally installed was 2.1. I was surprised to discover that the “Editors” packages was not part of the default installation – I don’t think Linux is all that useful without VI. I also opted to install MySQL on the machine, another amazing new technology that I should really get more experience with.

I do remember seeing some folks on the blogsphere bragging about how they install Oracle on Linux in under an hour and MySQL in about 10 minutes including the Linux installation. I have no idea how they do it. I already spent around half a day with VMWare and Redhat and I’m still not done.  But now that I have VMWare there is no excuse not to practice.

My other two discoveries are not nearly as exciting. TV is nice, you can see movies in it. Facebook is interesting – there are lots of people there, including few VPs from the company I work in, but I still didn’t figure out what I’m supposed to do there.

Lucas Jelma, at the great AMIS blog, describes how to use virtual columns to enforce business rules and gives terrific examples. The post is simply perfect – both innovative and practical.

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5 Comments on “Discoveries”

  1. Adi Stav says:

    Yeah, VMware is good. We use it to distribute our appliance as if it were software — you can install it on your own machine, yet we run on our own tested “hardware”. Way cool!

  2. Freek says:

    Putting Oracle production machines on vmware is not very interesting in terms of licenses, since you would have to license the cpu’s of the host machine (oracle is not recognizing software partitioning).

    It gets even more expensive if you have a vmware infrastructure.

    Take for example the following situation:
    Vmware infrastructure on a 5 server blade farm, with each 2 quad-core cpu’s.
    On this vmware farm you have 3 vmware instances with an oracle database.

    In this situation you whould have to license 3 physical servers as your 3 vmware instances could each be running on a different server.
    This would mean that you have to buy a total of 12 cpu licenses for enterprise edition (3 servers * 8 cores * 0,5) or 6 cpu licenses for standard edition (3 servers * 2 sockets).

  3. mdinh says:

    VMware is definitely popular.

    Off topic, take a look at its IPO.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=VMW&t=3m

  4. prodlife says:

    Freek,

    I’ve no idea Oracle licensing was so confusing and made so little sense. It seems like we will be paying double for using VMWare.

    I’m sure that Oracle will be forced to rethink the model as VMWare is becoming more popular.

  5. prodlife says:

    Adi,

    I’ve seen this model often. I also saw that you can download from BT or eMule completely installed Linux with apache, mysql and other servers already configured. Very neat – why spend the time configuring the server correctly if someone already did it once?

    Maybe once Oracle gets over the licensing issues, they will allow us to download VMWare images with everything already installed.


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