Collaborate 16: My sessions

I’ll be at Collaborate 16 next month and looking forward to seeing lots of good friends, learning some new things, and sharing a little experience too. For the last of those, I’ll present 3 sessions, er, more like 2.2 sessions:

  • Wed, 13-Apr, 12:45-12:55pm: Oak Table World 10-minute Lightning talk “Tools used for security and compliance on Linux” [slides]
  • Wed, 13-Apr, 3-4pm: Oak Table World session “IPv6: What You Need to Know (with Linux & Exadata references)” [slides]
  • Thu, 14-Apr, 12:15-1:15pm (saving the best for the dead last slot in the conference?): “Exadata Database Machine Security” [slides]

I’ve spent a lot of the last year on security projects and related investigations, so you’ll notice that my topics also trend in that direction. Hopefully, the usually boring security stuff will be a little more fun or at least that’s one goal for my sessions.

Additionally, I’m one of the Oracle Liaisons for the Oracle Exadata Special Interest Group (a.k.a. Exadata SIG) and the group will also have a meeting at Collaborate.

  • Wed, 13-Apr, 4:15-5:15pm: Exadata SIG meeting

I’ll be at the conference all week, attending sessions, hopefully talking with some Exadata customers, and trying to learn a few things about topics foreign to me. Hope to see you there!

Collaborate 09: Don’t miss these sessions

Collaborate 09 starts on Sunday, May 3 (a few days from now!) in Orlando. I’ve been offline for several weeks (more on that later), but will be returning to the world of computers and technology in full force in Orlando. I’ve had a few inquiries about whether or not I’ll be at Collaborate, so I thought I’d resurrect my blog with a post about where I’ll be and some of the highlights I see at Collaborate 09.

First, where I’ll be presenting:

  • Monday, 10:45-11:45am, #301, “Avoiding Common RAC Problems”
  • Tuesday, 9:45am-12pm, #332, “Installing RAC From The Ground Up”
  • Wednesday, 9:45-10:45am, #121, “Troubleshooting Oracle Clusterware”

I’m also currently the President of the Oracle RAC Special Interest Group (RAC SIG). The RAC SIG is hosting several great sessions (I’m moderating a couple of these panels) at Collaborate 09 as well:

  • Sunday, 6-7:30pm, IOUG/SIG Welcome Reception (each SIG will have representatives there–this is open to all IOUG attendees)
  • Monday, 8-9am, RAC SIG Orientation
  • Tuesday, 12:15-1:15pm, RAC SIG Birds of a Feather
  • Tuesday, 4:30-5:30pm, RAC SIG Expert Panel
  • Wednesday, 4:30-5:30pm, RAC SIG Customer Panel (not in online scheduler at the moment, check again later)
  • Thursday, 8:30am-12pm, RAC Attack (University Session – Additional fee required)

The RAC SIG has also assembled this list of RAC-related sessions at Collaborate 09 to help you plan your conference agenda.

Be sure to set up your personal agenda using the agenda builder and add these sessions to your agenda. I think that if you have these in your agenda and details (like date or room assignments) change, you’ll be notified via email (not sure, but I think that’s how it works).

Also, you can follow @IOUG on Twitter (follow me too if you’d like) and that will help you find where the action is during the event next week. It’s going to be a great event and I look forward to seeing you there!

ADV: RAC Attack Hands-on Event at Collaborate09

The RAC SIG, Oracle and IOUG are thrilled to present the hands-on event dubbed “RAC Attack!” at Collaborate09 in Orlando, FL. It is a half-day University Session in the IOUG Forum scheduled for the morning of Thursday, May 7th.

Each participant will have their own private RAC cluster to use. You’ll be able to install a new cluster, test session failover, perform backup and recovery and just about anything else you’d like to try (time permitting). The session will have lab outlines with very specific instructions that cater to beginners. Advanced users are welcome to test anything they like. If you try something that doesn’t work, we have mechanisms in place to help “reset” your cluster in 15 minutes and let you continue working and testing.

Here’s the official conference abstract for the session:

“Whether you’re new to or familiar with Real Application Clusters (RAC), you do not want to miss the IOUG RAC Attack! hands-on lab. The hands-on lab will cover: cluster installation prerequisites on Linux, installing Oracle clusterware, installing Oracle RDBMS, creating RAC database, failure testing and backup/recovery testing.

Also, you’ll have a chance to interact with some RAC experts from IOUG, Oracle and the RAC SIG, as they’ll be available to help you as you navigate the hands-on exercises. These volunteers are sharing their knowledge to help you be successful with your learning experience. This opportunity doesn’t come along often, so don’t miss a chance to pick the brains of our experts!”

There are still seats available for this event, but there is a limit, so don’t delay. It is an additional cost above the Collaborate09 conference registration, but I think you’ll find it to be packed with knowledge and experts to help you get the hands-on experience you need to grow and succeed with Oracle RAC. The session will be staffed with Oracle, IOUG and RAC SIG experts ready to help you and answer questions about RAC and clustering. Don’t miss out!

If you’ve already registered, you can add on the University Session by contacting IOUG. If you haven’t registered yet, there is still time left–sign up now!

Congratulations New Oracle ACE, Jeremy Schneider!

I’ll be the first to offer a large congratulations to Jeremy Schneider on being the most recent appointment to the Oracle ACE program. He certainly deserves it (I nominated him, so I suppose I would think so) and I continue to look for great things to come.

Jeremy is the main creator of the IOUG RAC Attack! event that was held for the first time back in August 2008. He (with help from others) will also be putting it on as a half-day session at Collaborate 09. It’s a University Seminar on Thursday morning. All hands-on, all RAC, all the time. I’m looking forward to the event (I’m volunteering as a staffer). You should sign up now before it’s full! I can almost guarantee you’ll learn something.

Besides his work on this hands on lab/class for RAC, Jeremy has many other community contributions. His blog is full of excellent technical bits that always seem to come from a significant amount of research. He contributes occasionally to the Oracle-L mailing list. He also contributed some code to OCFS (v1) several years ago, so you can guess he understands a thing or two about programming and Linux, too.

His ACE Profile isn’t posted yet, but look for it to arrive soon. In the meantime, read some of the good stuff he wrote on his blog and look for him (and me too) at Collaborate in early May!

Congratulations, Jeremy!

I can haz conferences

I love attending technical conferences for Oracle. I guess that’s obvious since many of you have probably seen or met me at a conference. The best parts for me are meeting so many of those that I’ve connected with on mailing lists, forums, or other online communities. Of course, conferences are a place to share what you know and I find that especially rewarding too. To that end, here are some of the sessions I’ll be sharing in the 2009 conference agendas.
Continue reading “I can haz conferences”

COLLABORATE 09 IOUG Call For Speakers now open

While we’re still busy preparing for Oracle Open World, the IOUG, OAUG, and Quest groups have been busily assembling plans for COLLABORATE 09 happening May 3-7 in Orlando. Today, the IOUG opened their call for speakers on their website. Start thinking now about the topic(s) you’d like to present at the conference. The call for speakers will remain open through the end of October, so you’ve got 6 weeks to think, prepare, revise, and submit your ideas.

You can be sure the RAC SIG will maintain our conference presence with events at the Collaborate 09 conference as well.

To help identify yourself as an attendee, be sure to join the COLLABORATE 09 Attendees group on Mix and/or add yourself to the event on Upcoming. I’ll hope to see you there!

Now back to the regularly scheduled OOW preparation action!

UPDATE (11-Sep-2008): The speaker submission page has a login box, just like previous years. However, if you have had a speaker account in past years you need to know that this year IOUG is using a new system and everyone has to create new accounts in the system this year. Hope you saved that bio somewhere else instead of execting to reuse it again! 🙂

Future Oracle events

This is a quick note about upcoming major events on my Oracle event calendar.

In between these events (hopefully, I’ll get to attend and/or participate in all of them), I’ll also be planning to present at some regional user group events in Charlotte (CLTOUG), Chicago (COUG), Northern California (NoCOUG) and others as time allows.

If you’re going to be at any of these events, please get in touch so we can meet up there. I’m hoping to make more time this year for attending these events and be a little less involved in them so that I can make more time for talking with individuals and/or customers. Hope to see you in the next year at one or more of these venues!

Collaborate 08 thoughts

I took a few extra days to decompress from last week’s events at Collaborate 08 before writing up a summary of my thoughts. I didn’t think it was really possible to be more busy than I have been in previous years, but I think I matched my previous year’s schedule pretty easily. This year, instead of spending a lot of time in the Piocon exhibit hall booth (we had an excellent location this time), I replaced much of the time I usually spend carrying out the corporate duties with volunteer activities for the IOUG Collaborate 08 Conference Committee.

I was one of the three IOUG DBA Track Managers (along with Bonnie Bizzaro and Nick Marcovecchio) whose responsibilities were to select the DBA sessions for the conference, review the whitepapers and presentations for each speaker (with the help of our excellent reviewers), ensure that the speakers made it to their sessions, and provide feedback to speakers after their sessions (especially first-time speakers). These duties, along with coordinating 3 RAC SIG events, giving 2 expert technical sessions, one technical session, and assembling and moderating a panel discussion made for a busy week. I can say, though, that being on the conference committee is a rewarding experience and something that volunteers should aspire to as they become more involved with the IOUG. Anyone can apply for the Collaborate 09 conference committee when the application becomes available later this summer.

As mentioned, I had some extra duties this year that made it almost impossible for me to sit still through an entire session. However, I did get to sit in on parts of many sessions. We had about 400 total sessions in the IOUG Forum this year, up from about 250 last year. So, as expected, we had over 80 first-time IOUG speakers. I was delighted to see parts of many new speaker sessions and found most of them to be very informative, clear, and concise. Some of the speakers were a little nervous and a few finished a little early (due to speeding through their material a little too fast), but that’s about the worst I saw (which isn’t bad at all!).

My own sessions went well and other than the 8:30am session (on Oracle Adaptive Access Manager), they were attended pretty well too. I think my favorite session was the panel discussion I moderated on Thursday morning titled “To RAC or Not To RAC: What’s Best For HA?” The panelists were great and we had a lively discussion and dispelled several myths about RAC. I only wish we had more time to take questions from the audience, but several attendees still commented that they enjoyed the session and the panelists. Everyone seemed to enjoy the Saturday Night Live skits I played prior to the start of my presentations. My whitepapers and presentations are now available here.

There was a great RAC hands-on session put together at the last minute by Jeremy Schneider. Jeremy heard about an opening in the hands-on lab during our new speaker briefing on Sunday and by Wednesday, he had built several complete recipe procedures for installation and configuration as well as 3 sets of RAC virtual machines. Attendees could choose from different options for starting points to make it easier for each skill level to do something productive in the relatively short 90-minute hands-on session. The only unfortunate part of the RAC hands-on session was that it was scheduled concurrently with the RAC Birds of a Feather session and another RAC technical session as well. With 400+ sessions, scheduling two sessions from the same topic area such that they don’t overlap is next to impossible. Even with the scheduling conflict, there were about 15 RAC hands-on attendees and about 15 people attending the RAC Birds of a Feather session.

The RAC Birds of a Feather session was a lively discussion where I was able to gather some good ideas for future RAC SIG events and topics for possible hands-on sessions as well as webcasts. If you have more ideas, please send them to me.
My non-conference highlight of the week was when a group of 16 Pioteam members and friends of Piocon attended a playoff game in the quest for the Stanley Cup (that’s NHL for those that don’t know hockey). The Colorado Avalanche defeated the Minnesota Wild 5-1 with lots of action to make the match entertaining as well as victorious for the home team. It was a good time for all and allowed for some good discussions with our partners and customers that attended. Other than that, we also had a good time at the customer appreciation event on Wednesday night. They had some rock climbing, DJ music, pool tables, and (fake) gambling tables. I played fake Texas Hold ‘Em Poker for about an hour or so.

Of course, probably the most important and rewarding part of the Collaborate conferences for me is the mini-reunion of all the individuals that I generally only see once a year at these events (aside from “seeing” them online). From what I remember, I saw and/or hung out with Jake K, Matt, Jeremy, Bex, Michelle, Vinod, Venkat, Jake V, Paul, Tony, Vikki, George, Alex, Logan, and that doesn’t include all the IOUG volunteers that I worked so closely with since October. To all those that I forgot to mention, I enjoyed seeing you too! And especially to those I met for the first time, I hope to see you again online as well as at future conference events. Thanks to everyone that took the time to say hello and/or introduce yourself.

See you next year in Orlando, May 3-7, 2009 for Collaborate 09!

Collaborate 08, RAC SIG & other sessions of interest

Collaborate 08 is here and I’m in Denver already to prepare for the start of the conference. This year, I won’t be blogging a day-by-day accounting of my whereabouts and happenings. Instead, I’ll save up for a summary of what I saw, heard, and vibes I felt during the week.

If you’re still one of the many that hasn’t quite finalized your itinerary for the week, check out these events from the RAC SIG:

  • Sun, 13-Apr, 7:30pm, Hyatt Granite ABC: IOUG SIG Reception (this is all SIGs, not just RAC SIG)
  • Mon, 14-Apr, 10:30am, Korbel 1F: RAC SIG Customer Panel
  • Tue, 15-Apr, 12:15pm, Korbel 4C: RAC SIG Experts Panel
  • Wed, 16-Apr, 1:30pm, Korbel 4F: RAC SIG Birds of a Feather

Also check out all the great RAC-related sessions happening this week. For convenience, the RAC SIG has assembled a summary of all the Collaborate 08 sessions related to RAC on their website for download.

Of course, I also would love to see you in my own sessions this week. Here is my presentation list this week:

  • Mon, 14-Apr, 9:15am, Korbel 3B: SSL, Load Balancers, Rewrite, Redirect, and More Advanced Configuration (2-hour expert session co-presentation with Matt Topper)
  • Tue, 15-Apr, 3:30pm, Four Seasons 2/3: Building a RAC Test Environment On VMWare For Free (2-hour expert session)
  • Wed, 16-Apr, 8:30am, Korbel 3B: Oracle Adaptive Access Manager: What, Why, How
  • Thu, 17-Apr, 9:45am, Korbel 2A: To RAC or Not To RAC: What’s Best For HA? Panel debate session (I’m the moderator)

When I’m not at one of those sessions or a RAC SIG session, I may be attending other sessions and will also be spending some time at the Piocon Piobooth #1619 in the exhibit hall (I actually have a real job!). My Piocon team members are presenting quite a few interesting sessions as well, so if RAC and IdM aren’t your things, check out these sessions as well.

If you’re at the conference and want to meet up, tweet me using twitter.com (I’m dannorris).

The User Group Conferences Are Coming!

Okay, not for a while, but for those that are presenters at the conference, the US winter is a time of solemn writing. Whitepaper deadlines are approaching for the IOUG program at the Collaborate 08 (April 14-18 in Denver) conference quickly. Soon after, the presentations for those sessions will be due. No rest for the wicked after that since ODTUG‘s Kaleidoscope 08 conference will come soon after, in June in New Orleans (note to self: bring extra sweat rags).

As has been the case for several years, the IOUG and ODTUG have graciously selected some of my submissions for presentation at their respective conferences. While ODTUG has announced that they’ve selected their sessions, they haven’t yet posted them or notified many of the speakers.

For the 5 or so people that probably read this blog :), here are the sessions where you’ll find me at Collaborate 08 this year: Continue reading “The User Group Conferences Are Coming!”