Finnigan writes that when he started the blog, it was getting about 360 visits per day. But that number has risen to about 4800 in the time since. Not bad at all.
Finnigan keeps up to date on the latest happenings in the world of Oracle security, and recently posted a five-part look at Oracle Database 11g security. It’s something you might want to read as your company gets ready for the eventual move to 11g.]]>
That’s a lot of cabbage. And it makes me wonder just what I’d do if I had that kind of dough.
Sure, I could buy up a whole bunch of property, open a restaurant, contribute to various charities or sponsor an America’s Cup team just like Larry, but who needs all that when there’s truly important work to be done. If it were me, I’d get a little bit more constructive with the funds.
And so, without further ado, here’s a list of the top five things I’d do if I somehow became as rich as Larry:
1. Organize a campaign to get William Shatner elected to the U.S. presidency. (The time for change is now.)
2. Fund a consortium of scientists whose sole purpose is to get tasty whipped cream fillings injected into more foods.
3. Educate the world on why the Monkees are way better than the Beatles. (I don’t remember the Beatles ever having a wacky sitcom.)
4. Three words: Police Academy 8.
5. Build a time machine out of a DeLorean.
Well, that’s where I stand. How about you? What would you do if you had Larry Ellison’s bank account? Your choices may not be as high-brow and socially uplifting as mine, but you’ll think of something.]]>
That’s the question several Oracle pros have been asking in the blogosphere recently. For example, consultant Chris Muir’s top 5 is as follows:
5. Fix the email .zip issue
4. Allow more OTN forum markups
3. Regular Oracle XE (Express) updates
2. Free ADF libraries for JDeveloper
1. Open Metalink to the web
And here is Mikael Gueck’s slightly more ambitious list:
5. A new, modern database product
4. Stop using PL/SQL for applications
3. An incredibly valuable support offering . . . for free
2. Get out of the application server and IDE “business”
1. Roll out standardized quality metrics, and automated quality measurement tools for every product and platform
A few more lists are floating around the blogosphere, including:
I know for a fact that Oracle reps do read our blog, so let’s see your top 5. You never know — your wish may come true!
In his latest post, Stonbraker, among other things, reiterates earlier comments on his belief that CIOs are facing some tough problems when it comes to data warehousing. He wrote:
“I have talked to perhaps 50 CIOs and warehouse DBAs over the last year.
Their pain is evident, and is due to:
Warehouse size is going up rapidly, and query complexity goes up at about the square of database size
Load volumes are going up rapidly, and load times increase linearly with volume
As a result, the typical warehouse administrator is:
Saying “no” to ad-hoc query requests from business intelligence users
Having increasing trouble loading data within the load window allotted”
Stonebraker goes on to say that the success of Teradata, Netezza and other hardware appliance is proof of the “extreme pain” in the data warehousing market.
“Organizations who are not feeling great pain would never bring such custom iron into their shop with its resulting hardware lock-in and high prices,” he wrote.]]>
There is a convincing argument these days to classify Oracle’s approach to handling both OLTP and OLAP type load as fundamentally flawed.
The argument is not so much that relational database management systems like Oracle “should be considered legacy technology” since they are more than a quarter of century old, but more to do with the philosophy and the design approach that they were created for. Twenty five years ago, and even ten years ago, databases were far smaller, on the order of a few gigabytes in size. They were dealing with a smaller community of users that were equally adding and reading data. This was the era of the transactional base databases in which the user — for example, a trader – was only interested in his/her own portfolio. Adding a few trades and reading them with some aggregates was fine and within the capability of the old optimiser, relying purely on nested-loop, join, etc. At that time, most RDBMS engines, including Sybase and others, did not even bother implementing sort-merge joins, never mind the hash-joins.
Things have moved on since then. Today’s systems and users deal much more with non-transactional (read) activity than with transactional (write/update) activity. An average trader today is not only interested in his/her portfolio but also interested in other portfolios and analytics, which requires sifting through millions of lines of records.
If I were to design a new database engine today, I would gear it towards OLAP type rather than OLTP type. I would probably make the deign *column-based* as opposed to row-based. A column-oriented system is a database management system that stores its content by column rather than by row. This has advantages for databases that most read data, such as data warehouses, plus adds the convenience of data compression, as Sybase IQ does. My argument would be that in today’s read-hungry world, an average user will read far more than he/she writes.
Going back to the approach of Oracle, it is becoming increasingly clear than *one size/one philosophy* does not fit all. When it comes to OLTP applications, we know well that Oracle is slower compared to Sybase (or Microsoft SQL Server for that matter). On the other hand, its transactional and concurrency approach is better suited for large volume of data. However, what it cannot do (although it tries very hard) is to adapt the relational model, which Oracle (much like Sybase and Microsoft SQL server) is based on, to handle what a column-based system inherently does much better!
Does that mean that Oracle and for that matter Sybase and Microsoft SQL Server are legacy systems? I don’t think so. All it means is that there is a limit that and you can take the relational model only so far. The RDBMSs are perfectly OK for certain things. However, the column-based systems are good for heavy read, low volume, transactional activity.
So what is the solution in a business world that is growing increasingly distributed and has to deal with the increased use of heterogeneous systems and proprietary databases across different levels of business? I genuinely think that we need to deploy tools for the purpose and relying on one engine philosophy (say RDBMS) solution is no longer viable. The solution is not to bolt a Ferrari and a bus together and create an all purpose vehicle, but more to use a Ferrari and a bus where appropriate. Today’s technology perfectly allow us to use a good RDBMS system like Sybase ASE for transactional activity with a column-based system like Sybase IQ. For that matter, you can use Oracle as an RDBMS and bolt it to Sybase IQ, if that’s what you have to do.
Mich tells me that he drives a Ferrari.]]>
This is not from some random disgruntled crackpot. It’s from Mike Stonebraker, a relational/SQL DBMS pioneer in the 1970s and the co-creator of the influential Ingres and Postgres DBMSs, written in his new blog.
Essentially, Stonebraker is saying that column-oriented databases are much faster than “traditional” RDBMSs, especially in OLAP and data warehousing applications. He claims that the new design (which is not really that new, since Sybase IQ and others already use it), combined with new compression techniques, result in performance that is 50 times better than row-oriented systems like Oracle.
But are column-oriented databases inherently faster, or is bad Oracle database design the root cause of the apparent difference?
Regardless, it turns out that Stonebraker has a new start-up whose product is (surprise!) a column-oriented DBMS. (I do like their clever slogan, however: “The tables have turned.”) Obviously, he has a vested interest in the downfall of Oracle, DB2 and the like. But is his critique just marketing bluster, or does he have a valid point? The blogosphere reaction is mixed: some are certainly crying foul that he is just pushing his product, while others agree that the RDBMS is dead. Still others take the middle road, agreeing that a row-wise design is better for OLTP, while column-wise is better for OLAP.
One wonders what Chris Date thinks about this “progress”?
This week we asked Punita Pandey, the CEO of netCustomer, to make an argument for third-party support. Before Oracle acquired PeopleSoft, netCustomer provided support for PeopleSoft customers through a direct contract with the CRM giant. The firm has since parted ways with Oracle and now offers its support services as a third-party.
Give it a read and let us know if you think she makes sense. Also, we’d like to know if you or your company would ever consider going with a third-party support provider? Why or why not? And if you have gone with a third-party support provider like netCustomer, Rimini St. or TomorrowNow, what has that experience been like? I’m interested to hear your opinions, because I’m sure they’ll be a big help as we continue to cover the Oracle-SAP case.
From Punita Pandey:
What’s wrong with this picture?
You consumed a good chunk of your IT budget in buying an enterprise applications suite. You hired an IT consulting firm to implement the software. The implementation cost over 10 times what you paid for the software and took over a year to complete. Since the product had several shortcomings, you had to apply various patches, again using expensive IT consulting resources. Then you invested in upgrading your IT team skills to manage this applications environment. The vendor then asked you to upgrade to the next version to get all the features you had wanted. Again, the upgrade project chewed up a lot of time and money. Then you realized that several functions you needed were still missing in the latest version and you ended up customizing the code to suit your needs.
It took a few more years in building all the features you wanted and stabilizing the applications environment. Then you run into an issue and you call the vendor for support. As soon as the support person finds out that your issue may be located in the customized portion of the code, they wash their hands off. You also realize that you may not want to upgrade to next version of the software since you have spent all this time customizing the setup. Besides your applications environment is now stable and you do not want to deal with new bugs and instability that the new version will bring, not to mention the added cost of consulting services.
But you realize that you are still paying a hefty amount (up to 22% of your license fee) to the product vendor as support and maintenance fee.
And you wonder why?
In a scenario like this, won’t you, the customer, think that you should a pay minimal fee for support and maintenance and be able to run your applications for as long as you want? After all these years in the software industry, won’t you expect the product vendor to innovate on the support front so it is hassle free and cost effective? Won’t you expect your IT consulting firm to offer you a pay-for-performance model and be able to deliver services on-demand without having to foot expensive hourly rates and travel expenses.
For years we have been behind-the-scenes support provider for several leading ERP vendors including PeopleSoft and JD Edwards. With the ongoing consolidation in the ERP space, we believe the time is right for us to offer our services directly to the end customers. After all, what’s good for the goose should be good for the gander.]]>
Does that concern you DBAs? Is this the beginning of the end of the in-house DBA?
For managers, Oracle’s pitch is compelling:
With more than 1.7 million users, including enterprise customers with the most rigorous requirements, Oracle On Demand simplifies enterprise computing by reducing the need to handle software upgrades, patches, and the day-to-day maintenance required to keep customer solutions available and secure.
. . . not to mention a lower TCO, including no six-figure salaries to those pesky senior DBAs. It’s the “best of all worlds” as the Oracle site melodramatically puts it.
Unfortunately for DBAs, SaaS is likely to grow in the forseeable future. Oracle’s upcoming Fusion application suite is said to be heavily SOA- and SaaS-enabled. And Oracle is certainly not alone: other hosted apps include SAP’s A1S, IBM, NetSuite.com, SalesForce.com, Workday.com, and many others. Gartner predicts that the industry will be worth $10 billion by 2010, with 30% of software delivered using a SaaS model. It’s already a $400 million business for Oracle.
Worried yet? Perhaps you DBAs should think about moving to Austin, where Oracle’s massive data center for hosted apps is located. The 10,000 Linux servers running 10g and 2.5 petabytes of storage there should keep you busy until this whole SaaS thing blows over . . . or not.
Do you think that Oracle DBAs’ days are numbered because of the growth of On Demand? Or will it never really catch on due to security, reliability and customizability concerns? Do you think DBAs will always be needed, regardless of SaaS? Let’s hear your thoughts.
SearchOracle.com is planning a new case study series designed to spotlight Oracle professionals who have used Oracle in effective and innovative ways in various operating environments and industries, from government to education, healthcare to finance. And we want to hear from you.
If you would like to show off your Oracle accomplishments and how they have benefited your organization, e-mail us. Please include answers to the following questions:
If you’d like some recognition from your boss, or bragging rights for your peers, send in your nomination today!
Looking forward to hearing from you,
Useless? Not really . . . you get a free pass to OpenWorld. –Laurent Schneider
Oracle may well believe that it is nothing more than a badge for those who advocate Oracle, etc. However, some ACEs obviously see it as a meaningful and well-deserved Oracle accreditation of their amazing skills . . . Now that the “truth is out there,” I would expect any real Oracle pro who has an ACE award to send it back, and do something to rid themselves of the title. Including HJR! –John
I’m always suspicious of these self proclaimed ‘gurus.’ Most of them, in my experience, are your stereotypical glory hunters. The type who has to be the center of attention. “O look at me, I wrote a book” . . . “O look at me, I’m so underutilized at my job that I’ve had time to respond 5,000 times on OTN.” Smug, arrogant, full of their own sense of self importance and quite irritating. –Steve
Last December I received an ACE award. I have no clue who nominated me, or on what basis I was rewarded an ACE award . . . My first reaction when I received this award was: someone is making fun of me, this cannot be true. –Jacco Landlust
In plain language, it used to be a requirement to have technical proficiency to be an ACE, but that requirement has been dropped and transferred to the ACE Director level instead. That is why I called my original piece ‘Devalued.’ It’s got nothing to do with wanting to sneer at the peasants, look down my nose at people, etc. etc. It’s just an observation that when I got my ACE it meant one thing and now it means something else. –Howard Rogers
Thanks to all for commenting on this issue, especially Howard who raised the topic in the first place.