I’m clearly doing something wrong. Doug Burns is off cruising down a Scandinavian fjord, while I’ll get to do Solihull! I’m afraid I thought the venue was quite poor, a bit of a pain to get to via train and boy was the lunch stingy!

Support Update: Phil Davies

Phil asked the audience how many were on 9i, and astonishingly 3/4 of the audience were on 9.2! This is completely and utterly at odds with the RAC SIG. I wonder if with RAC you have more incentive to upgrade, or perhaps it’s the case that most RAC installs are more recent, therefore the choice being 10gR2.

rman do or die Roland Brown and Emily Taylor

This was a real user experience story. It really reminded me how much I do not want to work in the public sector. They were using Veritas Netbackup for backing up their databases but they did not have the Netbackup Oracle agent. So as late as 2004/2005 they were backing up their databases by having Netbackup do a cold backup of their database files. They then had a nightmare trying to persuade their management to fork out for the database agents (total cost £20K), even though they were demanding 24×7 access to the databases! I also found it interesting the timeframe they stated that it took them to upgrade Netbackup to version 6, seems like they had as much hard a time at persuading all the interested parties (management, SA’s) to move to rman as they had actually with rman.

Lets get Virtual: Clayton Blake & Tom Dale

This was an amusing talk regarding using VMWARE at BERR. Again another presentation from the public sector, and again they had real hardware limitations so they chose to run several tiers of an application on the one box and use VMWARE to perform the virtualisation. They clearly had done the virtualisation quite well in terms of cloning from a “golden copy”. It seemed to make their deployment far more agile. This was quite an amusing talk and though the dolly the sheep metaphor for cloning is not new, the dolly with a red hat I found quite funny.

Oracle ILM – Lilian Hobbs

Lilian used to be the product manager for ILM inside Oracle but has recently left Oracle to become independent. She obviously new her ILM and presented it well. The basic idea is not to delete old data but to move it to cheaper storage. The way the size of disks are going this is obviously becoming cheaper and cheaper. This was the first time I had heard of the concept of MAID (Massive Array of Idle Disks). The idea behind this being that you have a big cabinet of cheap disks but only have some spinning at a time and if you want to access data on a disk that is idle, you just have to wait a bit longer while the drive spins up. This is a clever idea for read only or archive data.

I could not help thinking that if you are storing these huge quantities of data that ZFS and disk scrubbing might really be of benefit.

11g partitioning new features: Joel Goodman

This was a fairly comprehensive look at partitioning and in particular new features available in 11g. I must confess I did not hear much of this of talk, even though I was in the room, as I was far to alarmed at my presentation which was after Joel’s.

Comparing ASM with ZFS: ME
It’s not fun being last presenter of the day. The audience had thinned quite substantially I thought, though I don’t think the events in the Midlands attract quite the same numbers anyway. This was the first presentation zen style presentation I had done and I must say I found it a little harder than a traditional bullet point presentation. Twice I completely forgot what I wanted to say, both times on ZFS content – I was a little disappointed I did not really get across all I wanted to regarding the design of ZFS. I thought the ASM content went much better. I also found people asking questions during the presentation really, really put me off my stride and I found it difficult to remember after answering the question exactly where I had got to.

It will be interesting seeing the feedback on this.


3 thoughts on “UKOUG UNIX SIG

  1. Pingback: UKOUG UNIX SIG ~
  2. Thanks for the update Jason!
    The idea of MAID seems quite interesting. I was thinking of testing something similar with the goal of figuring out if one can SAFELY and ECONOMICALLY replace tape backups with disk-based solutions.
    Although one would need a cluster FS for that, in the case where the backup area is a pool for several (RAC) DBs, and I am not sure ASM is the best solution in this case. Any thoughts?

    BTW, do you have a whitepaper of your ASM vs ZFS talk?


  3. Hi Luca,

    Thanks for reading! Yep, Lilian Hobbs said she was working on a proof of concept with these MAID devices while working at Oracle – the db is happy it just stalls a bit while the device spins up. BTW the replacement for tape was the initial thrust for MAID companies – oracle’s thinking was ILM and of course shifting more partitioning licenses.

    This will be far to much a crankpot solution for you, but I wonder if you could get away without a cluster filesystem for backups?

    I don’t backup from multiple nodes in my cluster, do you? Have rman running on 1 node or do you need to spread over multiple nodes for performance? if you need to access the backups from multiple nodes – that is easy mount it read only on those nodes.

    I expect you want something more elegant though!

    White paper yep, coming up in the next blog post, wordpress willing!



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