The second day of the RMOUG Training Days event was just as good if not better than the first. I took some notes for some sessions, so before my head explodes from all the information overload, here’s my brain dump of the day’s events.
First session of the day was Tim Gorman‘s “Getting the Most Out of AWR” session. Tim did a great review of the standard interfaces for creating, managing, and purging AWR data as well as the standard reporting available for AWR information. He even reviewed a sample AWR report and AWR SQL report to highlight the information that he typically uses to diagnose issues. After the review of standard components, he offered up several of his custom scripts/reports against AWR data. Those scripts are available on his website too. He did importantly highlight that if you use AWR, even just his custom scripts against some standard views, you must license the Oracle Enterprise Manager Diagnostics Pack which is an add-on license for the RDBMS. Tim is a great speaker and someone I’ll look for at future events.
The second session of the day for me was my friend Cary Millsap‘s new session titled “For Developers: Making Friends with the Oracle Database”. I had already read his whitepaper by the same title, so the information wasn’t new to me, but I wanted to see what he emphasized and how he presented it. As expected, Cary did a masterful job of presenting this relatively complex and sometimes “scary” information in a way that made attendees comfortable, educated, and motivated by the extreme results that such a small effort can yield. I think there must have been many believers in the audience and some of them are (hopefully) performing their first extended SQL traces in the next few days. Cary’s presentation style is always very comfortable and his ability to drive home a key point while still interjecting plenty of dry wit humor makes his sessions a must-see for me. He’s also a Mac convert…another credit to his ability to evolve!
After Cary’s session, I had a very difficult decision in the next time slot. I met Jeff Needham at RMOUG on Wednesday night and instantly knew that I wanted to hear more of what he had to say. Jeff was presenting opposite a good topic from my friend Gaja Krishna Vaidyanatha on SAN performance evaluation. In the end, I decided to attend Gaja’s presentation as I haven’t seen him present before. His session was a two-part session that spanned two one-hour slots before and after lunch. While the material wasn’t unfamiliar to me, I was comforted by the fact that Gaja’s techniques are similar to my own and it was nice getting to hear his speaking style. The biggest take-away from his session was that you need to be absolutely, positively sure that you’re using Direct I/O if your database lives on a filesystem. It will (almost positively) make a large impact on the overall system performance, not just the database.
I had exchanged emails and seen several messages from Daniel Fink on the Oracle-L list that I monitor and occasionally participate in. So, I didn’t miss the opportunity to attend his session about a disciplined approach to problem diagnosis. The session wasn’t quite what I expected, but I did enjoy it. I realize that many of the principles and processes he outlined are not familiar to many technicians. I think that after you hear a good process outlined by a smart person that lays it out step-by-step, it just makes sense. Selfishly, as a consultant, I sort of hope that people don’t follow Daniel’s advice because I think that many consulting opportunities wouldn’t be available if everyone just followed his approach.
Finally, the excellent end to the conference was a dubious pair of presenters, my friends Dan Morgan and Mogens Nørgaard. The session that these two assembled wasn’t so much a session as it was an extended, “open” format Q & A on topics ranging from BAARF to beer (of course) to AWR to data centers at the South Pole. As usual, Dan and Mogens artfully and authoritatively crafted perfect responses to each question in their own special ways.
I’ve gotten to know Mogens especially well over the past few times we’ve been in the same places and this week at RMOUG we shared a hotel room as well. That led to some late-night conversations about many important topics over some fine 18-year-old scotch–I would highly recommend this method for getting to know someone (especially Mogens!) well.
Following the conference, I enjoyed happy hour with a great crowd including Mike Swing, Carol Dacko, John King, Peggy King, Robyn Sands, Debra Lilley, Mogens, Sue Harper, Daniel Fink, Dan Morgan (together, we are the three Dans) and some other people that came and went too fast for me to remember. Once that concluded, I enjoyed dinner and conversation with Kevin Closson, Jeff Needham, and Christo Kutrovsky before officially calling it quits for the conference. Tomorrow it will be off to the airport and heading home!
Only a few weeks until the Hotsos Symposium where I’ll present a new session. Then, look ahead, I hope to attend the ODTUG (Monterey), MOOW (Amsterdam), and OOW (San Francisco) events in June, September, and October, respectively.