The first day of Harmony 2015 started off with a keynote by Graham Wood, talking about performance. Of course, Graham can come in at our company any day and do this talk about real world Oracle performance for higher-up management.
Graham Wood at Harmony 2015
Next up was Martin Widlake, who presented a well thought out, clear presentation about how Oracle works. We learned that the Oracle instance is just like a posh restaurant. The listener is the man or woman that directs you to your seat. The backgroud processes are the kitchen. You do not need to know what goes on in the kitchen. (Usually. But we want to know anyway.)
Real good choice of keynote speakers. I’ve seen much more boring openings of conferences than this.
Simplifying Application Deployment in Cloud using Virtual assemblies and EM 12c
After the keynote it was time to make real hard choices: what session to go to. There were good options to choose from. I went to Kai Yu’s session about Simplifying Application Deployment in Cloud using Virtual assemblies and EM 12c, because at Rabobank I’m responsible for EM12c now and this could help me to set out the course for the future.
I was not let down. Kai showed what he used in Dell Labs to get applications ready in 30 minutes. He uses OVM 3.3 virtual machines, Oracle Virtual Assembly Builder to take a snapshot of existing middleware environments. You can test the created .ova file on Oracle VM Manager.
Kai compared it to setting up a building, which is no free lunch. But when you’ve set up the building right, it’s easy to start renting out rooms for the tennants. His opinion was that Cloud Management in EM12c worked very well (as supposed to in 10g/11g).
One of the listeners commented that if you want to have all the high availablity features, this process can actually be more complicated. Good to know that, because at Rabobank things are a little bit more complex.
Boost Select Performance by Clustering Data
So next I went to another session of Martin Widlake. He was talking called Boost Select Performance by Clustering Data. Was this about clusters in the database, I was wondering? Actually it was. But first he discussed a feature I have rarely considered: the Index Organized Table. And Martin actually has convinced me that it can be useful, if you have a table that has a very bad clustering factor and you’re doing index range scans.
Next he actually talked about clusters (yes, those clusters), and hash clusters. I need to refresh my memory about the rest of the presentation with the presentation as soon as it’s available.
Oracle Database backup and recovery masterclass
Next up, I attended the Oracle Database backup and recovery masterclass from Juris Trošins. Juris provided us with a VirtualBox VM to play with and all the scripts to do the excercises.
During the masterclass Juris did live demo’s of backups and recoveries with a attention for new 12c features, like how to backup a pluggable database and table point in time recovery. Very cool was his demo of the usage of a standby database for datafile and block recovery.
And with that the sessions ended. But not the events, because next we went on a guided tour through the old city. Now I had been in the old city of Tallinn two times before, but our guide had much to tell with many anekdotes and colourful stories. Just of warning though, Estonians like riddles. I was asked to find the five spires of Tallinn. At first I could only find two, but eventually came to four. But the fifth one? There was a little gap in one rooftop that just allowed you to see the fifth spire.
Tallinn is actually well preserved, because in the 17th century, Russia basically boycotted Tallinn and Tallinn suddenly became very, very poor. So there was no money to demonish old houses and build new ones.
Once the Franciscan monks were responsible for education in the city of Tallinn. They used to be begging monks, but after a while became rather prosperous and obese. They started charging more for education and at one point the people of Tallinn kicked them out and took back the money. The monks were begging monks again.
There is a parculiar statue on a building of a peeping Tom. The Estonians seem to find it fitting that this is now the building of the Russian embassy.
After the tour we went back to the Swissotel for a nice diner. They had really good kebabs and good other meals. After discussing astronomy with other guests, I decided to go back to my room and prepare for my session on day two.