RMOUG Presentations

Like many other DBAs, I’ll be attending RMOUG training days conference on Feb 17-18 in Denver. I’ll give two presentations in the conference. On the same day, just thinking about it makes me exhausted.

The first presentation is “Everything DBAs need to know about TCP/IP Networks”. Here’s the paper and the slides. I’ll also present this at NoCOUG‘s winter conference in Pleasanton, CA. Maybe you prefer to catch me there.

The second presentation is “Analyzing Database Performance using Time Series Techniques”. Here’s the paper and the slides.

I still have time to improve the presentations and papers – so comments are very welcome 🙂


I Love NoCoug Training Days

Sometimes, life kind of loops on itself. A circle closes. You find yourself at the same spot you were two years ago, but from a completely different viewpoint.

Flashback two years and few month back: I’ve recently relocated to the US. I’m somewhat of an Oracle newbie, but I know that there are all kinds of cool DBA stuff going on, and I desperately want to be part of it. My colleagues tell me that HotSoS seminars are the best, so I asked my boss to send me to one. The request was left hanging in the air for weeks, just to be rejected. Because it was far away and I had to fly there and it was just too expensive. I was in tears.

And then I got this email from the local user group – NoCoug. They said they are doing a training day with Kyle Hailey. Kyle Hailey of Oak-Table fame was my hero at the time. I just finished reading Oracle Insights, and I was deeply impressed by his story of the program that could connect to the SGA directly through shared memory. I was all “Wow! Kyle Hailey! Only an hour drive away! And it costs just 250$! My boss will have to approve it! Hell, I’ll even pay for it myself!”.

And my boss did approve it. I went to the training day, and it was amazing. I learned more at that day than at the week long classes I took when I learned to be a DBA. What I learned then is still useful to me, almost every day on the job.

Obviously, I was deeply thankful to NoCoug for making it possible for me to attend this amazing event for a price my boss agreed to pay.

Back to present day: I am the training day coordinator for NoCoug. I want to create the same experience for every other DBA in our region. Top-notch training event at a price that won’t make your boss blink.

Everyone who knows me will laugh at the idea of me coordinating a training day. I usually can’t coordinate my own breakfast. But this is so important to me – every DBA should be able to be better at his job by learning from the best experts.

I also knew just who should lead my first training event – Tanel Poder is one of the best experts I know (Probably at the top 3 of my personal ranking), his blog and scripts and systematic troubleshooting ideas completely changed the way DBAs work. In a very good way.

And he agreed to give his famous “Advanced Oracle Troubleshooting” at North California, and we agreed on dates and prices, and I found a location. The impossible happened and I almost coordinated a training day.

Now I just need people to register so the event can really happen. I desperately want everyone to know about this event. I know it can improve the way people work so much its really a shame if someone will miss the opportunity. So even though I’m just a simple DBA and not a marketing expert, I’m going to do my best and annoy the hell out of everyone just to make sure that every single DBA in North California will know about this event. I even put a small funny looking ad in my blog.

If you can help me here by spreading the word to your NorCal friends – I’ll really appreciate the help.

Advice on how to do non-annoying marketing for the event will also be appreciated. I know some of you have been promoting your own events for years. Please share your experience!

NoCoug Winter Conference and Method-R Seminar

North California DBAs – Mark your calanders because May is going to be a busy month 🙂

On May 19-20 Cary Millsap and Karen Morton will give their famous “Oracle Performance for Developers” seminar in Pleasanton. Register on Method-R website, but don’t forget to register to NoCoug first, so you’ll get a member discount on the seminar.

Then, May 21 is NoCoug’s Winter Conference. Cary Millsap will give the keynote, Karen Morton will talk about managing statistics (and hopefully do her magic tricks!), Gaja Krishna Vaidyanatha will give two hours of stand-up comedy about the SAN, Dave Abercrombie will talk about the user of session tags for end-to-end troubleshooting and monitoring.

I’ll also be there, this time presenting “Troubleshooting Streams”. It is an updated version of my OOW presentation. There won’t be a live demo this time, and I’ll talk much more about the way streams work and how to build systems that will require less troubleshooting in the future.

News from NoCOUG

Some updates regarding my favorite user group.

  1. Our next conference is at February 12 in Oracle’s location at Redwood Shores. We’ll have keynote and two presentations by Tom Kyte! This doesn’t happen often and I hope you won’t miss it.
    I’ll also give a presentation, but since it is parallel with one of Tom’s sessions, I won’t be surprised to find myself speaking to a very empty room.
  2. If you live in North California, enjoy learning about Oracle technologies and did not yet register for next year’s NoCoug membership, you should definitely do so this month. NoCoug membership rates and conference fees will go up starting Feb 1st, so you can save real money by joining now.
  3. NoCoug members get special discount at HotSos. The discount is actually higher than the NoCoug membership fee, so if you plan to attend HoSos, it will be absurd not to join NoCoug.
  4. I created a facebook group for NoCoug, you can join to recieve updates about our activities.
  5. After half year of volunteering at NoCoug, I finally joined the NoCoug board. I was voted the training day coordinator. Wish me luck 🙂

Concurrency at Hotsos

Everyone says that the best way to go to a conference is to be a speaker. For the last 2 years I’ve been trying to go to Hotsos symposium, but I never got the time and budget for this.

So when Hotsos published a call for papers for the 2009 symposium, sending in an abstract or two with my ideas seemed to make sense. Nothing to lose, right?

I did not expect to have my abstract accepted. And now my name is up there in the speakers list, between Cary Millsap  and Chris Date. Somehow, I don’t feel like I fit in. Its been few month since I heard the news and I can still barely believe it.

Of course, now management had no choice, and I’ll get to go to HotSos and listen to terrific technical sessions from very smart people. Yay!

My  session is going to be about concurrency errors. Its a HUGE topic and it was discussed a lot in the past, so I’m working hard to find a unique and interesting angle on this, and to avoid reiterating topics that were discussed to death. My unique take on concurrency is taking classical concurrency problems from OS research, translating them to Oracle and show how they can be used to solve common issues in DB development. There will also be a fair bit of statistics and web servers thrown in because thats what I know, do and love.

I’m planning to talk a lot about testing because concurrency problems are notoriously difficult to test for. I’ll mention some statistical techniques to find concurrency problems, because this is something I didn’t see mentioned before, and I’m very happy whenever I can use my statistics education in real life.

I want to discuss lots of OS theory because so much of it applies directly to Oracle and I want everyone to benefit from the research that was done in a related field. This means talking about queuing and also about process management overheads.

I want to talk about the problems that many application servers inadvertly cause on the database side – such as allowing a user to click refresh on a large report again and again. I see these all the time.

I’ll also talk about starvation a bit, simply because I didn’t hear it discussed yet. And there is a very special case of deadlock that I’d love to talk about, if I could just get a good test case for it.

Thats quite a lot of stuff I want to talk about, and I’ll probably have to make some painfull cuts. This is after I already had to painfully cut a bunch of stuff that I decided not to talk about.

For example, deadlocks are the most well known and well researched concurrency mistake, so I’ll not spend lot of time on it. Why waste time when I can just point to Mark bobak’s presentation from HotSoS few years back (http://www.oaktable.net/userFiles.jsp)?

I’ll also have to skip talking about concurrency problems on RAC. Its a fascinating topic, but its a huge one on its own. Maybe next year? I’ll also have to skip talking about undo+redo overheads caused by many concurrent updates, and latch contentions, and hot blocks… these are all fascinating and relevant aspects that I just could not fit in.

I hope I’ll manage to pull all of these ideas into a good presentation. I hope lots of people will show up and enjoy it. I’m sure HotSoS will be an amazing conference. Its in two month, but I’m already very excited about it.

Advert – NoCoug Fall Conference

NoCoug, the North California Oracle User Group, will hold its fall conference on Thursday, November 13. You can read the full details in our website.

If you are in the area, you really don’t want to miss this. Jonathan Lewis will give a keynote and a session about partitioning, Dan Tow will explain tuning for recent data and Jeremiah Wilton will give two session. In short, you’ll have trouble choosing which session to attend. Just the way a good conference should be.

I volunteered to be a track lead, so you can find me in Tassajara room, fixing the projector, giving announecements and introducing speakers. Drop by and say hello 🙂

Streams Replication At Oracle Openworld Unconference

I’m planning to give a session about Oracle Streams at the Openworld Unconference. Thursday at 1pm.

I’ll give a short “intro to streams” and then I’ll demonstrate basic troubleshooting techniques. I have streams configured on my laptop, and I’m planning to break it repeatedly for your amusement 🙂

Please drop by. Oracle Unconference looks very empty this year, and I’m worried about an empty room even more than I’m worried about speaking in front of people. I’ll be very happy to answer lots of audiance questions, even if not directly related to streams.