Mike Ault's thoughts on various topics, Oracle related and not. Note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are not contributing to the overall theme of the BLOG or are insulting or demeaning to anyone. The posts on this blog are provided “as is” with no warranties and confer no rights. The opinions expressed on this site are mine and mine alone, and do not necessarily represent those of my employer.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Heading Home

Here it is day two of SEOUC. It is going to be a booth day since my second presentation was moved from day 2 to day 1 so I was able to do both presentations yesterday. I had good attendance for both talks and folks seemed real interested in the new technologies and test results I presented. My first presentation dealt with testing disks verses SSD for identical databases, of course the SSDs won hands down. The second dealt with using Oracle Automatic Storage Manager's preferred read group to maximize performance in Oracle by mirroring SSD to disk and setting the PRG to the SSD.

So, after 1:45 Susan and I jump back in the car for the 4 hour drive back to Alpharetta. We'll be swinging by Susan's folks and picking up the signed books for Dr. Kuntz (he purchased 10 of my father-in-law's books) and dropping them off on the way home. If anyone is interested in the book, it is called a"A Kick in Your Caduceus" and can be found here. 50% of all proceeds for the book go to Alzheimer's research.

The next stop for conferences and shows is the TMS Roadshow in San Jose. Hope to see you there!


Friday, February 19, 2010

Making the Best of Both Worlds

Well I just got back from RMOUG and week-after-next am off to SEOUC in Charlotte. While I was at RMOUG I spoke about Tier zero usage and our new proposed architecture known as OPERA. Now OPERA stands for Oracle Performance Enhancing RamSan Architecture but it might as well be OpenSource database Performance Enhancing Architecture or Omni-Performance Enhancing Architecture (sorry, I can't find a way to tie in SQL Server to this but, it would also benefit from the architecture!).

Why am I so enthusiastic about this new architecture? In tests, by only switching on this architecture in an existing structure we were able to achieve a 9-10 times performance improvement. Time to execute a test run of 2,000,000 SQL statements dropped from 12 minutes to 1.3 minutes. Latency dropped from 13 ms to less than 1 ms. Here is a link to the entire paper describing this architecture:


While the paper describes an Oracle based architecture, the concepts it describes could be used for any read-intensive application with the use of a disk management system that allows preferred-read mirrors to be utilized.

of course the beauty of this architecture is that it makes use of and accelerates your existing IO subsystem without any changes to the tables and indexes or your application.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Ready for Day 2 of RMOUG

Well, here it is 5:30 AM local time and I am wide awake. Of course it is 7:30 am back in Atlanta and my body insists I be up. Today I present: "The Ultimate Oracle Architecture: OPERA", a pape about "Oracle Performance Enhancing RamSan Architecture" OPERA for short. I thought I should make that clear since someone asked if Opera the web browser was really the best architecture for Oracle...

Of course in this more generic version of the paper I have reworked the OPERA acronym into "Oracle Performance Enhancing Reliable Architecture" an removed specific references to the RamSan-620 (other than in the pictures) to be able to give this great presentation and not come across as an advertisement which of course is a no-no at almost all Oracle conferences unless you are doing an allowed and sanctioned product presentation. Fear not, whether the paper uses RamSan or SSD the architecture it espouses is just as valid and performance enhancing!

In speaking with some of my contacts here I found out something interesting for you MySQL folks out there. MySQL as it sits right now can only properly utilize about 4 CPUs before not so good things start happening. Well, there should be a new release soon that will properly handle up to 32 CPUs. Looks like Oracle is keeping their word not to interfer with the further advancement of MySQL in the OpenSource environemnt.

Well, I have to pack and then do the normal morning duties so I can meet Lee Miles for breakfast at 6:50 (the showroom floor opens at 07:30) so that is all for now.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Day 1 of RMOUG

The convention opened with breakfast with the ACE Directors. For thoes not familiar, the ACE program is a group of Oracle experts from the industry that help on the Oracle Technical Network by answering questions and generally being good people to know and ask questions to. Most of the questions revolved around the SUN-Oracle relationship, APEX and other new release items generating interest as well.

My first presentation "Going Solid: Determining What in Oracle to Put on Tier Zero" came off without a hitch with lots of interest and great questions. We've seen lots of activity at the booth with many people very curious about the benefits of SSD technology in their environment.

Well, it is off to lunch, I will try to post more later in the day after I see a few presentations.


Monday, February 15, 2010

A Valentines Day Surprise

As you all may know I have been happily married to my wife Susan for 36 years. Due in no small part to the love and support from her mother and father. Her father was actually my Doctor before I knew her...buts that is another story! Anyway, Doctor Hamilton, Susan's father spent 47 years as a country doctor in Georgia and the surrounding area. Doc wrote a book about his experiences about 10 years ago. After a few attempts to get it published it languished in a cardboard box for the last 10 years.

So...I published Doc's book, a collection or anecdotes from his 47 years as a country doctor. It started as a roughly printed manuscript that lingered for 10 years in the back of a closet. I scanned it in to my computer and used OCR (optical character recognition) software to recover as much of the text as I could then spent several nights correcting, editing and typing in hand written changes and additions that didn't make it in to a final printing the first time. Doc also painted, scenes for his life, scenes for day to day living. I then added pictures of Doc's paintings where I could find some that were at least tangential to the story being told.

2 years ago Doc was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Luckily it isn't a severe form...yet. He still recognizes us but his memory stops short of his second great-grandchild, Hannah Marie, my grand daughter. Anyway, to try and do my bit for helping to eliminate this brain stealing disease, half the royalties will be donated to Alzheimer's research and the other half to help cover Doc's future medical and care costs in the future.

Doc wasn't aware (neither was Mary) that I was doing this, Susan, Marie (my oldest daughter) and I did a real good job of keeping it secret. We gave a proof copy to Doc on Valentines day. At first he didn't know what it was, until he recognized his drawing on the cover and saw his name as author! His eyes lit up and he spent then next several minutes paging through, reading here and there and remembering. Mary (his wife of over 50 years) got wide eyed and I think she was about to cry, if you could know Mary you know how much that is saying. Anyway, they both gave their support to making it publicly available.

Here is the books website, have a look!



Friday, February 05, 2010

Loading in Oracle

Well, in the past several weeks I have done some interesting tests in loading in Oracle. It seems there is something inside Oracle itself that is limiting the amount of data that an be loaded through a single instance in a given time frame. About the best numbers for a single instance, parallel DML or not, was between 70-100 megabytes per second.

Now using RAC and going with multiple instances I was able to increase that number as a factor of the number of nodes. However that seems to be a very complex method.

So, anyone out there have some good tips for loading data quickly into Oracle? Currently I am going from a memory cache (filesystem) using external tables directly into an internal table, use of APPEND made no difference since the table is new.

Eventually I would use the table to do a partition swap as soon as the table reaches a specific size and start a new table loading. For right now I just have to maximize the load speed going from an external table to an internal one.

Anyway, I will post more information as I find more.