UKOUG Tech14 slides – Exadata Security Best Practices

I think 2 years is long enough to wait between posts!

Today I delivered a session about Oracle Exadata Database Machine Best Practices and promised to post the slides for it (though no one asked about them :). I’ve also posted them to the Tech14 agenda as well.

Direct download: UKOUG Tech14 Exadata Security slides

New job, lots of exciting stuff

It’s been a week since I started my new job at Oracle Corporation. I’m a remote worker which means that the first day of work wasn’t the usual event since I just went to my home office and got on a concall with my new manager. After getting connectivity and accounts set up properly, I was able to pretty quickly work through the new hire checklist of forms and mandatory training.

My new Oracle-provided laptop arrived around mid-week and I realized that, at least for now, I’ll have to revert back to using the Windows-based laptop and (hopefully temporarily) put my MacBook Pro on the shelf. Actually, my wife is very excited since she’ll get the MBP to use now and we’ll do the usual “trickle down” to the kids so that the oldest computer in the “fleet” will get ditched. Continue reading “New job, lots of exciting stuff”

Oracle’s latest acquisition: Me

I’m definitely the type of person that gets excited by new opportunities and always loves a new challenge. Without challenge, I get bored quickly and boredom makes me a little crazy.

So, this new opportunity came along a little while ago and I thought it sounded just perfect for me. Many of you that know me will recall that I’ve had trouble finding the right company that fits with all aspects of my personality, goals, and philosophy which has led me to “try” a few of them in the past several years. I don’t regret the choices I’ve made and I’ve learned an awful lot from each of my employers. Most importantly, I’ve created new relationships at each of my past companies that I still maintain today.

In looking at all the past experiences, I’ve concluded that I am ready for a change in direction. Things I enjoy:
Oracle products
People (customers and Oracle employees) that work with Oracle software
RAC
High Availability
Large, complex environments
Servers, OS, and storage infrastructures
Working with lots of new people, especially creating, managing, and growing new relationships
Presenting my knowledge to others, both one-on-one and to groups (and conference events that surround such gatherings)
A little bit of travel (which helps support my love of…)
Scuba diving

So, when an opportunity came along to get paid to do something that combines almost all of the things I enjoy (except scuba), I couldn’t pass it up. Starting on May 18, 2009, I will be the newest member of the new group at Oracle that’s known as the “X-Team”. This team is responsible for working with customers and prospective customers of the Oracle Exadata and HP Oracle Database Machine products to help them adopt these new technologies. The group is a part of the Maximum Availability Architecture group at Oracle that authors many of the best practices whitepapers and presentations you have likely seen online. For those at Oracle that know what this means, the group is a part of the Server Technology development organization under Juan Loaiza.

For those of you that have been my past consulting customers, first of all, Thank You. I’m no longer consulting and while I won’t be able to provide an “Oracle-sanctioned” recommendation to other consultants that may be able to help, I do have a large network of friends and one of them can likely help you. Please never hesitate to keep in touch!

On a logistical note, I’m not moving and will hopefully continue to be involved with local events in Chicagoland. However, I will be traveling part of the time to visit customers and other Oracle facilities, so keep an eye on my twitter feed, Britekite location, and Tripit plans and let me know if there’s a chance to have a meeting IRL.

Finally, this decision to join Oracle means that I’ll be sacrificing several things. First and probably most near and dear to me is the RAC SIG. In September 2008, I took over as the RAC SIG President. The RAC SIG is as strong as ever and there are a good group of volunteers involved in leading the group as it continues to grow and evolve. I’ll always be a member of the RAC SIG and will continue to watch it closely and volunteer when and where I can. The RAC SIG is associated with the IOUG, the Independent Oracle User Group, and Oracle employees shouldn’t be too involved in “independent” groups. So, this year, the RAC SIG will once again elect a new president. I will remain president until Oracle Open World in October 2009 in order to provide continuity to the group’s leadership and ensure a smooth transition. You can nominate yourself for a RAC SIG office soon via our website nomination form (nominations will be open soon and stay open until July 31, 2009).

I’m also going to relinquish my appointment as an Oracle ACE Director. While I think I’ll still be considered an Oracle Employee ACE, I’ll remember fondly the fame that Oracle Technology Network affords the Oracle ACE program and the individuals that are given the honor. Thanks to Justin, Vikki, Lillian, Todd, and the others at Oracle for allowing me to be a part of that program. I’ll certainly miss the perks!

That’s about it for now, I’m off to the new job and will once again begin learning. Luckily, I’m apparently the only person named Dan Norris at Oracle (last someone checked for me), so you can contact me at dan.norris@oracle.com in a couple weeks.

When I conduct an interview…

This post is a follow up to a thread (“How do you conduct technical interviews?”) that carried on for quite a while on the Oracle-L mailing list (you should consider joining if you aren’t already on the list). Here is my contribution to the discussion that started with the eternal question “How do you find the person with the right attitude, not just technical skills?”

As has been said often, there are no silver bullets and your “gut” feeling has to play at least some part. Here are some of my thoughts (in no particular order) on how I typically conduct interviews (I interview consultant candidates, but IT candidates wouldn’t be much different):

  • My mindset in the interview is about determining whether this person has a high capacity to learn new things quickly and apply/adapt them. This is almost always more important than the knowledge they have in their head now, because at least some significant part of the detail they know will be obsolete or changed in the coming months/years. Continue reading “When I conduct an interview…”

Paying the bills

As some of you already know, I’ve recently changed jobs. I now work at Piocon in Chicagoland. Our office is currently in Naperville (pretty close to my house). I’m a Practice Manager and will be working with a couple of other fine technologists (read some of their good stuff at SingleQuery) leading efforts in the Enterprise Solutions Architecture (ESA) practice.

I’d like to keep most things here technical, so pardon this interruption. I’m still available for consulting, so contact me at dannorris(at)dannorris(dot)com if you would like to engage me or one of my team members. Please update your address books if you have my old contact information in there. As you’ve read, I’ll be at OOW (shaping up to be a busy week already!) and I’m also going to be participating heavily in pre-conference activities for Collaborate 08 as one of the IOUG DBA track managers, so you can count on seeing me there as well.

Oracle OpenWorld, IOUG, and New Job (oh my!)

I’ve been MIA for a while as I’ve had a number of events all happening at the same time. They say when it rains, it pours, and the last 2 weeks or so have been pouring!

First, I’ve been busy working with the IOUG to help coordinate some sessions for the IOUG Forum event on Sunday (November 11) at Oracle OpenWorld. I’m going to be involved with two sessions that day, first will be a repeat of the “High Availability Options for Oracle Database” session and the second is a co-presentation with my friend Matt Topper titled “Is That Really You? Prove It!” detailing some of the new features available in the Bharosa product set acquired recently by Oracle. During the regular conference, I’ll be presenting an updated “RAC For Beginners: The Basics” session (not sure when yet).

I’ve also been invited to join the IOUG SIG Council. This is a group within the IOUG that is focused on advancing and developing the various IOUG Special Interest Groups and a great team of people to to work with. Judi Hotspillner and Michelle Malcher lead this group and I’m excited about joining and becoming more active in the IOUG.

Last week, I was also informed that I’ll be one of the three IOUG DBA Track Managers for the Collaborate 08 conference in April 2008. Of course, my work will be long over by the time April rolls around as the track managers are responsible for reviewing and selecting presentations to fill the session slots at the conference. Watch for the call for presentations on the IOUG website in the next few months.

I’ve been busy with transition duties as well since I’m leaving IT Convergence for another opportunity. Don’t worry–I’m still going to be lurking in the usual places and working on Oracle-related things. More about my new gig once I get started there in another week or two. Stay tuned. Obviously, this move and the period leading up to such a decision make for a busy time even when there’s nothing much else going on. So, now that the choice is made, I’m looking forward to writing a bit more often than I have recently (which shouldn’t be too hard!).