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Ontario Technoblog

Ontario Emperor technology blog.

This blog has been superseded by the mrontemp blog
Location: Ontario, California, United States

Sometime audio artist. Email comments on this blog to the gmail account mrontemp.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Oracle Database 11g Additional Blog Coverage

Here's what others have written about Oracle Database 11g (or whatever the database after 10g will be called).

Tom Sanders:

The next 11g version of Oracle's flagship database applications will offer a total of 482 new features, the company's executive vice president of server technologies, Chuck Rozwat, said at the Oracle OpenWorld conference in San Francisco.

In addition to increased speed and performance, the application will introduce features spanning areas including content management, high availability, business intelligence and compression technology. The latter could reduce an enterprise's storage need by up to 66 per cent, the company touted.

The software is currently in beta and Oracle didn't provide a projected launch date.

Justin Kestelyn:

Andy Mendelsohn offered some more details about Oracle Database 11g Beta:

If the key theme of 10g was "lowering the cost of ownership" (by 50% in fact), that of 11g is "lowering the cost (and risk) of change management" (or providing "change assurance", as Andy calls it), which by most reckoning is a major cost in IT. Hence Rozwat's focus on scalability, availability, and database operations in his keynote yesterday.

Key features include a new Data Guard infrastructure that supports "Flashback Standby" - the ability to create a standby snapshot for the purpose of regression testing and to keep it in sync with your production database; "Replay Workload" for capturing all (or just SQL) DB activity and then moving it to a testing environment (with no midtier tool required); rolling Online Application Upgrades - install app upgrades or patches online with no downtime!; hot patching; "Quick Fault Resolution" via the capture of all diagnostics related to a fault automatically; and a DB Repair Advisor, a wizard/expert system that guides DBAs through the fault diagnosis and resolution process.

Other features include more robust partitioning options to help manage VLDBs (such as partitioning by logical object and automated partition creation); a brand-new high-performance LOB infrastructure; native Java & PL/SQL compilers; and a re-engineered driver for PHP.

Mark Rittman:

The morning started off with the Chuck Rozwat keynote on Oracle's database technology, a run through of the new 10g products launched this year (Content Database, Records Database, BI Suite EE) and with a formal announcement of Oracle Database 11g, currently in beta and with a production release during the second half of 2007.

Rozwat mentioned some 482 new features in 11g, but with no specific details in this presentation....

[S]ome of the new features in 11g previewed in the [Andy Mendelsohn] session included:

A new data warehouse initiative called "Oracle Information Appliance", a package of hardware and software offered by third-parties...that aims to provide a turnkey, ready-to-run DW appliance based on commodity servers, RAC, ASM and 10g....

ILM Assistant, a Application Express utility downloadable from OTN that leverages partitioning, compression and 10g to help customers move less-used data onto lower cost storage.

New partitioning schemes coming with 11g, including more ways to combine range, list and hash partitioning, plus new schemes such as REF (creates partitioning scheme based on another table that has a FK relationship to the table being partitioned), Interval (automatic creation of time-based partitions), Virtual Column (partitioning based on a function - I wonder if "virtual columns" is a general feature coming with 11g?), and a new Partition Advisor.

Change Assurance capabilities, where new features in 11g will allow you to deploy a new database application, have the existing version run until such time as you're happy with the new release, and then have users switch over to the new one with no downtime. This idea was then extended to include online, live hot-patching of the Oracle database....

Automatic Diagnostic Repository, a feature that collects (like AWR) diagnostic data for later analysis and uploading to Oracle Support - aimed at making the SR process easier by [automating] the collection of diagnostic data. I wonder if this will be open to non-Oracle support use....

Oracle OpenWorld, October 24

I don't really have much of technical value to add to my previous post, other than to note that the features of Oracle Database "11g" (or whatever it ends up being called) are now being publicly announced.

By 11:30 I was eating lunch in the middle of the street. Yes, one interesting wrinkle this year is that they have closed off Howard Street between Moscone North and South, and set up huge tents for lunch. This is good, because last year there weren't enough seats to go around at lunchtime, and I spent one lunch perched on a wall.

For more extensive coverage of Oracle OpenWorld, go to the collection of links to 2006 blog posts. (You may recall that they did something similar in 2005.)

P.S. My pillow from last year is still right behind me, providing over five nines of uptime.

P.P.S. I was re-reading my post last year about beanbag chairs, I saw a reference to last year's Sun keynote. What a difference a year makes....

P.P.P.S. At some point I'll post a bit about one of the technology tools that I employed for the first time at this conference.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Oracle OpenWorld, October 23

As I mentioned previously, I probably won't be blogging a ton of profound observations from Oracle OpenWorld - primarily because I'm only here for 1 1/2 days. But I'll drop a few things here and there.

I was scheduled to arrive in San Francisco (from Ontario) before 11:00 Monday morning. However, it turned out that I was just *taking off* from Ontario at that time. We were held on the ground for more than an hour because of "air traffic" conditions (presumably fog) at SFO.

Finally got here a little after noon, BARTed in, and headed toward registration at Moscone West. Last week, I got an email from the folks at MegaCorp warning all of us MegaCorpians to get to registration really really early, because it could take an hour to register, bla bla bla. Turns out that I was registered within five minutes, which gave me time to check into my hotel. (Since I was running late, I didn't know if I'd have time to do this.)

Aside - I had stayed in this same hotel in 1999, when a co-worker and myself came to San Francisco for a training session. Because of a booking mixup, they did not have non-smoking rooms for us. We were finally able to obtain one non-smoking room, which I gave to my co-worker - I took one of the rooms that they spray to make wonderful, and it actually turned out OK.

On this trip, I am happy to say that I got a non-smoking room.

Back to Oracle OpenWorld. I spent the late afternoon in several meetings that I'm not going to tell YOU about, and then attended an evening "thank you" event. I figured that this would just be a small wingding with 20-30 people or so - I was wrong. We took over the entire Gordon Biersch on the Embarcadero for the evening. I ended up sitting with a couple of other customers, and we had a good time and enjoyed good food. (Oracle is profitable, and it shows.)

The task of the Oracle folks at this event was to make sure that the customers got face time with the bigwigs at the event, and the other customers and I spent some time talking to Jeff Henley, Chairman and former CFO of Oracle. (For the record, Larry Ellison is Oracle's CEO.) I'm more knowledgeable on the technology end of the business than the other portions, so I wasn't really involved with the conversation, which focused on Oracle's recent acquisitions over the last few years. I enjoyed his insights, however. And it wasn't all business - we also talked about the Grateful Dead (this is California, after all), the Stones, and various other musical topics.

Speaking of music, I will not be attending the Cow Palace event tonight with Elton John, Joan Jett, Devo, et al. By the time Devo dons their energy domes (I still call them flowerpots), I should be on the way to Ontario - unless, of course, my flight is delayed again. I'll attend one session this morning, then more meetings, and possibly other stuff. If you're at Oracle OpenWorld, I hope that things are going well for you.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Oracle OpenWorld 2006

I probably won't be blogging much from Oracle OpenWorld 2006. I'll only be attending for 1 1/2 days, and will be participating in so many meetings that I really won't have time to attend many sessions.

You may want to check out the following blogs for Oracle OpenWorld 2006 information.










Monday, October 16, 2006

Technology Access

From Gallaudet University's Technology Access Program:

The recent disasters caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita along the Gulf Coast have highlighted the importance of access to emergency communications by people with disabilities.

On November 2-3, 2005 the RERC on Telecommunications Access sponsored a state of the science conference on the accessibility of emergency communications to people with disabilities. This timely conference brought together experts in accessibility, mass media, emergency communications, telecommunications, Internet, and government policy to analyze barriers and technological solutions for effective emergency communications with and for people with disabilities.

Attendees included representatives from federal, state, and local government; industry representatives; consumer representatives; and accessibility experts.

Provost Jane K. Fernandes made the following opening remarks:

We face situations as other people have faced them in the United States but the challenge is greater at Gallaudet because our community includes people who are deaf, hard of hearing and deaf-blind. It is our responsibility to communicate quickly and effectively with them during emergencies.

For example, during 9/11, it was a shock here to those of us on Gallaudet's campus as it was throughout the D.C. area. We had the added responsibility to communicate clearly with students, faculty, and staff about how we were handling the situation and what our response was to that emergency. After 9/11 came the anthrax scare, followed by the sniper attacks in the D.C. area; the Crisis Management Team worked throughout those various crises.

The biggest crisis that some of you do remember was approximately five years ago when two students were murdered here on campus. Six to eight months went by during which we did not know who the perpetrator of those crimes was. The Crisis Management Team had to deal with ongoing fear and assumptions of who might have committed the crimes. We could not call a cancellation of the emergency. We were in a state of emergency that lasted six to eight months until the perpetrator was arrested.

The students were scared. The faculty and staff were scared. Parents were scared. Our response was to use every possible avenue of communication to keep everyone informed. We understand that communication is the key. Even if we don't know everything that’s going on, we communicate as much as know. We communicate the facts about the situation. We want to be clear what we expect people to do, how we can assist them, and how they can assist us through the emergency.

During 9/11, the anthrax scare, the sniper period, and a host of other things that were happening, there were some deaf people who worked in different federal government agencies and who contacted me here and asked if Gallaudet would allow them to come on campus during an emergency, during a crisis. They didn't want to stay within their own government agencies. We were shocked that these workers wanted to come to Gallaudet. We thought that it might be dangerous for them to leave their offices and travel to Gallaudet. We tried to explain that to them but they wanted to come here to Gallaudet University because there would be communication. A lone deaf person in a government agency, or a deaf-blind person, or a hard-of-hearing person would likely receive little or no information and what was actually happening around them would be left to their own imagination. Thus they would prefer to come here to Gallaudet University where communication would happen. Communication is critical for people who are deaf and it probably just as critical for all people. It is key, especially during an emergency.

Monday, October 09, 2006

57,000 Channels and Nothing On

Things have changed during my 44+ year lifespan. And Anne Sweeney is trumpeting this fact:

TV viewers are now in the driving seat in today's new digital media world, which promises to bring more varied entertainment to fans around the world in whatever way they want to consume it.

That was the powerful message by Anne Sweeney, one of the entertainment industry's most powerful and influential executives, to thousands of TV and digital media execuatives who have flocked here for the annual MIPCOM audiovisual show.

"Nobody can predict the future of the digital business because the viewers will drive that," Sweeney, who co-chairs Disney Media Networks and heads up the giant Disney-ABC Television Group, told a packed conference hall at the opening day of the five-day event.

"Viewers now have the upper hand and show no sign of giving it back," she added after outlining the group's strategy. This includes wheeling out a slew of new platforms ranging across mobile phones, to online and new broad-band players for viewers worldwide to view their favourite telly shows where, when and how they want.

And, despite the pretensions of myself and others to provide content (my content consisting of some pigs filmed at the L.A. County Fair), there are still people running around providing...um...quality entertainment.

With the world TV market booming and the digital entertainment revolution starting to reach consumers, this year's five-day MIPCOM show looks set to be particularly busy.

Almost 12,300 top TV, film, and digital content executives from 91 countries are due to jet into Cannes.

All the major telecom companies are also due in town. And they will be joined by all the heavyweight Hollywood studios, keen to supplement box office revenues on a plethora of new platforms.

Buyers will be out in force -- a good sign for TV fans. A total of 3,818, or 11 percent more than at the same time last year, have already signed up to attend and the final number could be higher than that.

But if the content providers can't provide, I have "Why I'm Glad I'm Male" waiting in the wings.

Get this video and more at MySpace.com

Sunday, October 01, 2006

ESB Benefits and Disadvantages

The Wikipedia writers have assembled a list of the key benefits and disadvantages of enterprise service bus implementations. This is what they said. This is what the Wikipedia writers said. [citation provided]

Key benefits

  • Faster and cheaper accommodation of existing systems.

  • Increased flexibility; easier to change as requirements change.

  • Standards-based.

  • Scales from point solutions to enterprise-wide deployment (distributed bus).

  • More configuration rather than integration coding.

  • No central rules engine, no central broker.

  • Incremental changes can be applied with zero down-time; enterprise becomes "refactorable".

Key disadvantages

  • EMM is usually mandatory.

  • Value of the ESB requires many disparate systems to collaborate on message standards.

  • Without forward planning, the versioning of messages between systems can cause tight coupling instead of the intended loose coupling.

  • Vendor depending, it requires more hardware to run.

  • New skills needed to configure ESB.

  • Extra translation layer when compared to regular messaging solutions.

  • Rarely realizes ROI (Return On Investment) witin first few projects; next few projects generally refine messages and services; the fifth project may begin to realize ROI.[citation needed]

  • For effective implementation, requires a mature IT governance model (such as ITIL) and a well-defined enterprise strategy to be in place already.