OpenWorld 2014 activities

In just a few days I will be sitting on a plane to San Francisco for this year’s geek festivities of Oracle OpenWorld and the schedule is already pretty full. This is the second time I am invited to the ACE Director briefing at HQ on Thursday and Friday before the conference. This is not only a great opportunity to hear about all the new and upcoming stuff directly from product managers and executives but also two days of seeing a ton of familiar old and new faces.

Sunday will be super packed and propably has enough content and activities to fill a whole week. I am presenting in an early slot at 9am which means that I have to ditch the Golden Gate bridge run organized by Jeff Smith and the SQLDeveloper gang. ODTUG has asked me to talk about how developers can implement a feature like flashback data archives into their own applications and I am happy to be co-presenting on this with Henning who can cover the developer view much better than me.

By the time we are done with the presentation, RACattack will already be in full swing. You can find the ninjas at the OTN lounge. Join us to install a running 12c RAC cluster right on your laptop or stop by to chat with experts or join the ninja ranks and help out fellow DBAs yourself. There is also a very limited supply of RACattack ninja t-shirts, so get there early. And if you already have a cluster on your laptop, you can still join the OTN kickoff party from 3 to 5 and meet likeminded people, including many ACEs.

The EOUC came up with a unique and fresh format for this conference and host a session of two timeslots called 12 on 12c where a dirty dozen techies from the EMEA region will talk about 12 different topics and each speaker only gets 5 minutes. My tiny slice is second to last and I will talk about what 12c can do for existing applications.

The night will wrap up with the ACE dinner which is always a bittersweet affair. On one hand you get to hang out with so many smart friends, on the other there are always a few you wish were there but are not part of the club (yet). It also means that I will only be able to attend the OPN partner reception towards the very end.

If there is one event that you should not miss and you cannot make up for at any other oracle conference in the world, it is the Swim in the Bay on monday morning. Chet oraclenerd Justice started to make this official two years ago and we have grown ever since. Meet the crazy bunch at aquatic park at 7:30 am and secure your own oraclenerd beach ball!

Following the success of RACattack at previous conferences, this year you can experience an attack of the Attacks. The OTN lounge will also be hosting RepAttack and CloneAttack where you can talk to experts and gain hands-on experience with replication and cloning on your own laptop.

I have always loved the OTN night parties and was a bit sad that there was none last year. Well, it is back on. Get your best geek on and join the party on monday night.

The now traditional OpenWorld bloggers meetup is going to happen once more on Wednesday evening, a perfect opportunity to meet fellow bloggers, authors and tweeps before the big party with Aerosmith on treasure island. Check out this video from last years event.

Navigating the session catalog has been a big challenge these past years because of the sheer volume and finding the content that you were interested in was a bit like chasing needles in a haystack. This year, there are focusOn … documents that feature a best-of list of sessions per area of interest. Check it out! Especially this list of all 149 sessions by Oracle ACEs.

And then there is also the Oak Table World right next door with even deeper technical sessions by some of the smartest people in the Oracle technical community. It’s free, it is only 1 minute from moscone and you should not miss it.

OTN interview about #RACAttack at OpenWorld 2013

We had so much fun with RAC Attack during OpenWorld in San Francisco that people soon started to ask questions. Luckily, none of those were about why we were wearing bandanas, carrying an inflatable kangaroo and took jumping pictures with all the participants all day. For most other questions, see this interview between OTN’s Laura Ramsey and me.

OpenWorld blogger meetup video

This is it! The challenge for this year’s blogger meetup was to produce a video of the meetup, and without giving it much thought I just filmed everyone who got in front of my phone and asked them to do silly stuff or answer random questions. While putting together a brief trailer with iMovie was really quick and simple, adding the rest of the material for a “proper” video proved to be much more time consuming. I spent quite a few nights cutting clips, rearranging stuff, synchronizing to music etc. But I loved the process since I love everyone in this film and did not mind seing the same clips over and over again. I hope you will enjoy watching it as much as I did making it and being in San Francisco with this unbelievably energetic and smart crowd.


Continue reading

OpenWorld 2013 blogger meetup video challenge

I love the annual blogger meetup at Oracle OpenWorld and I cannot resist a good challenge. Every year, Alex comes up with a new task on what or how to blog about the event and you can read my past entries here (2010), here (2011) and here (2012). The challenge for this year was to create a video of the event. So I got out my phone and shot a ton a tiny clips at the event without a real idea of how to put it all together. But the first product is here, I created a small trailer with some of the familiar faces. Can you name all the stars in this clip?

stay in shape during Oracle OpenWorld 2013

Just four more weeks until the ultimate geekfest kicks off in San Francisco. Over these past years, a few sporty side-activities have emerged and it seems like some of them are becoming quite a tradition. So in case you missed things on twitter or facebook, this is your guide on how to stay (or become) fit during the OpenWorld week.

Golden Gate BridgeSunday, 9/22/2013 08:00AM: Golden Gate Bridge fun run

Join SQL Developer product manager Jeff Smith and others for an easy jog over the Golden Gate Bridge and back. The distance is about 5-6k (3.5mi) and you should expect a very easy pace, this is not a race. Sign up with this facebook group to let people know you want to participate and also to arrange sharing a ride. If you are too cheap for a taxi and/or simply enjoy running, you can join me and run from Union Square to the Bridge and back. It is an additional 8k either way so the total will be about a half marathon. Meet me on Union Square at 7:00AM or be at the south end of the bridge by 8:00.

SF Aquatic ParkMonday, 9/23/2013 07:30AM: OpenWorld Swim in the Bay

There is no better way to start a conference day other than a refreshing swim in San Francisco Bay. About 20 daring nerds went into the water last year and had a blast. You will feel refreshed, I promise. The lagoon at aquatic park protects against the currents of the bay and has a nice little beach. There are a couple of buoys marking the distance but the experience is more important than the yards and everyone who goes in the water is a champion. Again, there is a facebook group to sign up. Expect some very exclusive swag, a hot coffee and ultimate bragging rights for the whole week. Meeting point is on the beach at aquatic park, next to the dolphin club at 7:30. In case you are still not convinced: Here is oraclenerd’s report from last year.

Friday, 9/27/2013: Hills and Highway 1 bike ride

We’ll be picking up rental bikes for the weekend after OOW in Los Altos on friday and take them out for a ride. The rough plan is to ride at an easy pace from Los Altos over the hills to the beach and Highway 1 (80-100km, 50-55mi) and end up in the Santa Cruz area. Ole will drive a support van with water and some food and also pick us back up in Santa Cruz and give us a ride back to silicon valley. Let me know if you are interested and we can help with bike rental and logistics.

Sunday, 9/29/2013: Santa Cruz Triathlon

All is well that ends well and this OpenWorld trip will surely end in a big bang as I am planning to go all out at the Santa Cruz Triathlon together with Sten Vesterli and Henning. You can still sign up for this olympic distance event and if the whole shabang is not your cup of tea, they also offer relays.

favourite Oracle 12c database features of OpenWorld Bloggers

This year, even though Oracle made huge announcements about 12c, I cared much more about non-database technology and spent most of my time researching desktop virtualization, solaris 11 and systems. So except for Larry’s keynote, I had not heard details about 12c all week. So I set out to ask people at the annual blogger meetup about their single most exciting feature and let them explain what it does. I was afraid that they’d all name the same one or two features but at the end of the event there were only very few duplicates and I had learned a lot from my peers. I may have gotten a few of these explanations wrong and I did not do much additional research (mostly because not much documentation or articles are available yet), so do not rely on the information being correct, rather think of it as how I first perceived them. Continue reading

oow solaris zone cloning demo

At our OpenWorld kiosk we want to show a few of the unique Solaris features that we use every day. One of them is cloning of zones or containers. So I set up a simple demo that I want to share so you can try this at home. You would script all of the steps (and more) to automate the whole process but for the demo I want to show all the steps manually so you get an idea of how simple this is instead of just acknowledging that a script can clone an environment in a few seconds. I prepared this by installing Solaris 11, creating a network bond interface called aggr1 (but you can use your interface of choice) and a zpool called zp01 that will hold my zone roots. Continue reading

portrix at Oracle OpenWorld

These last weeks have been pretty busy at PORTRIX. We have decided to exhibit at Oracle OpenWorld 2012 on short notice. Our booth will be in the Solaris Systems Pavilion in Moscone South right between the Oracle demogrounds for Solaris, Linux and Oracle VM and Database. OOW attendees have the chance to learn how we are leveraging Oracle technology throughout the stack to deliver our GPM software as a SaaS offering. Key technologies include Solaris 11 containers, ZFS, DTrace aswell as database technology. We are also going to show how we used Oracle’s Total Recall feature to implement a powerful function into our own software solution with very little to none development effort. Ask us about how GPM is helping the travel and transportation industry to streamline their businesses. And if you are curious to learn more about Sun Ray thin clients and Oracle’s desktop virtualization portfolio, we are happy to share implementation stories with you.

If you are interested in coming to San Francisco, we are giving away 42 discover passes. These allow you to experience a lot of aspects of the conference. You’ll have access to the big keynotes and can visit the exhibition halls including the Oracle demogrounds where product managers and engineers answer every question you have on pretty much any Oracle product or feature (one of my favourite parts about the conference). You can also join the Oracle Music Festival and the farewell party on Thursday night (yes, there is free beer). Leave a comment, send an email or find me on twitter to get your free discover pass.

Solaris 11

Visiting Oracle OpenWorld this october I´m getting in touch with Solaris 11 for the first time by taking the PreSales Specialist Assessment test and trying out different things on our test server. As beeing someone who has never been involved in system administrations befor it´s quite impressive for me to see, what it´s capable of as Solaris 11 is seemingly automizing many steps which had to be done manually before.

the #oow11 blogger meetup

Meeting up with a bunch of highly energetic, smart and (mostly) young people, free beer, finger-food and a chance to win some nice prices: there is no reason not to love this small yet awesome event. Martin Nash – who gave up a career in snowboarding to become a dba – and I arrived quite early at Jillian’s after they kicked us out of the exhibition hall and started tearing down booths and ripping out carpets. Waiting for us were the usual suspects Alex Gorbachev and Vanessa Simmons of the event’s sponsor and organizer Pythian. Instead of thanking Vanessa for putting this evening together, I enquired about her hair color since both Chet Justice and I noticed that she had abondoned the blonde and went way darker now. She claims that this actually is her natural color and last year’s style was simply the result of ‘bad highlights’. Also, to prove that she was not cheating in the contest, she switched out the shirts for bandanas this year.
So there we were looking like database pirates looking to loot signatures from as many people as possible. And while most of us were happy introducing themselves to new people and getting the occasional signature or two, it was Tim Hall who took this contest to the next level. We only counted one half of his bandana, but that were already 36 signatures, more than runner-up Kellyn Pedersen, the only person in the room brave enough to even challenge Tim and hand in her bandana for counting. I personnaly doubt that there were that many people at the meeting and I think Tim also approached any bypassers that just got lost at the bar. But who knows, random people might also have blogs, so I guess it counts. Tim even gave the price (iPod touch) to Kellyn as he was only interested in showing the rest of us that he can easily win the contest. Arup Nanda had also arrived quite early. He was the one who received a push notice about Steve Jobs’ death, so that is how this news hit our little group. Pythian’s CEO Paul Vallee shared his thoughts in a small and impromptu but very appropriate toast.
The second contest for an apple TV was a double-drawing. First, we drew a number that represented one week of the year and the second round of drawing was between everybody who had blogged in that period. I had not posted anything in the week around February 14th but I was briefly thinking about just faking a valentine’s message to Alex. I did not and the Apple TV went to Pythian employee, blogger and founder of the Sydney Oracle meetup Yury Velikanov. I have met him several times earlier that week and he was pretty beaten up because he said he had some sort of black-out during his first presentation and was very nervous about getting at least his second session. Unfortunately, I did not make it to any of them but it sounded like he was very happy with how the second one worked out. Karl Arao was another one of the guys I met at last year’s blogger meetup and I had already met and talked to him a few times on the previous days. He is a very smart and energetic guy and it was fun to talk to him about triathlons since he is not just another desk nerd but very active outdoors. Oh, and of course his real first name is Kristofferson after the famous country singer because his dad is a huge fan. Odd name for a Filippino.
Debra Lilley showed up with Stanley. This was good since I have not seen that cute little guy at all this year. I guess it must have something to do with his new girlfriend. I hate it when guys abondon their friends like that. “Bros before fusion app vests” is what I am saying.
Gwen Shapira helped out big time with including the one oraclenerd who could not make it out to the conference. She let me record a short message about faxing which I sent out to Florida immediately.
The great Jeremy Schneider was also there. And I say great because he truly is. He set up and ran the RAC Attack lab at the OTN lounge all week and not only does he know an awful lot about Oracle RAC but he is also very good at explaining things to others and insanely patient. At the same time, he is very humble and will propably hate me for calling him great.
Having worked as a bike courier before, Andy Klock decided to reside away from the city, rented a bike and rode it all around town. All week, I was sure that I had already met him last year but when we talked about it at the wrap party, he said that this was his first OpenWorld. oops. These things tend to happen to me a lot these days.
Another OpenWorld virgin was Ido Ben-Ze’ev from Israel. We managed to get him passes to the appreciation event and I hope they enjoyed that.
I met Frits Hoogland but did not manage to talk to him too much because he and Martin would always drift off into exadata nerd-talk. I really have to get my hands on one of those machines just to keep up in conversations. Same thing with Martin and Kellyn Pederson. They just would not shut up gossipping and name dropping about people that I have never heard of. Or maybe I have heard about them but never met.
Øyvind Isene from Norway is in the pictures that I took at the event but I did not speak to him until a day after that. Also from Norway was IPA-lover Espen Barroso-Gomez. A habit that I can not understand and even have trouble tolerating. He, Martin and Vit Spinka joined for dinner at the Tadich grill. He does not get to eat fish a lot but was brave enough to order a seafood platter and enjoyed that.
Now I am just dropping a few names of people that I have met or recognized at the meeting but do not have anything exciting to share about at this time. There were Fuad Arshad, Tim Gorman, Mogens Nørgaard, Cary Millsap and Connor McDonald. Wait, I do have something to share about Connor. But it was big enough to warrant a post of it’s own. Most of the OOW nights ended at the bar of the W Hotel, and this one was no exception. This was also a nice way to meet up again with the people who went out to treasure island. My cab was riding smoothly and taking us back to the hotel when just as a last memory of the night, I heard the fading voice of a groupmember who yelled at a policeman “please don’t taser us!”.

The last contest of the night is still going on and is about the most creative blog post mentioning as many people as possible. It looks like nobody else has put anything together just yet, so I might have a chance here. But then again, it does not take too much to name more people than I did. OTN is sponsoring the price, a free pass to OOW12 which I hope to not need since I am hoping to get invited to speak again.

Connor McDonald a Macca lookalike

Last week I ran into Connor McDonald twice and both times I approached him with ‘dude, you look like Chris McCormack‘. If you don’t believe me, check out the little comparison chart that I have put together below. To me, there are only two explanations:
They could be twins seperated at birth and they should propably get together and thank me for finding this out. Or, it is just one person living one hell of a double life. Which could make sense because each of them looks like their profession comes just natural and without a lot of effort.

name Connor McDonald Chris McCormack
nationality Australian Australian
claimed age just above 40 just below 40
profession Oracle champion Ironman champion
2011 book release Expert PL/SQL practices I’m here to win

good morning San Francisco (5k partner fun run)

About 42 partners got up early today and followed Judson Althoff’s invitation to join him for a 5k run through the streets and hills of San Francisco. I have tried to take part in this event in previous years but this was the first time I actually managed to get up early enough to make it. The hills were taking their toll though as people were too much out of breath to chat with other partners during the run. But it feels really satisfying to have done something before the real start of the day.

There was a little bit of confusion about the route despite several helpers along the way. But I guess at 6AM you really don’t want to make eye contact with people standing around dark street corners yelling at you. You can check the route I took at runkeeper.

But this was not the last sports related activity, the current World Series Champions San Francisco Giants are here with a fan shop and a photo opportunity with the World Series Trophy. And of course, the Oracle Racing team is here aswell, they put up an AC45 in Moscone West and are doing a little bit of exhibition, simulator challenge, tours of the team base here in San Francisco and a session on wednesday about how they used technology to win the America’s cup.