Speaking at Oracle OpenWorld 2014, San Francisco

presentationThe last  years I’ve attended Oracle OpenWorld every second year. And this year it’s again time to visit the big Oracle gathering in San Francisco. The big difference this year is that I’m going to be a speaker. Kind of scary, but I’m really looking forward to the experience. My session “Performance doesn’t happen by accident – Database performance for DBAs” was scheduled for Thursday at 09:30 at Marriott Marquis Hotel.

About 60000 attendees all together is rather impressive. But still it doesn’t feel to big. I meet friends and colleagues all over, and really get time to relax and enjoy between the sessions. And of course spend some time at the Exhibition Halls.


San Francisco from the air

Friday 26th of September

At four o’clock in the morning my alarm clock fulfilled it’s horrible duty of waking me up for the long travel between Bergen, Norway, and San Francisco, USA. After 14 hours of travel I arrived at San Francisco International Airport at about 12 o’clock with my travel mate Jan Bondkall from the same company (EVRY). A quick taxi into town and found our Serrano Hotel – just next to Hilton near to the Union Square. Excellent location. After some walking around in the city of San Francisco, I was ready to meet the other OUGN board members at the Waterbar restaurant. An excellent experience, but really started to feel the fact that I had been awake more than 30 hours. The 9 hours of time difference between Bergen and San Francisco was going to make this one of the longest days of my life. I managed to push the bedtime to a little past eleven o’clock, but then I fell asleep as a rock. But because my body being used to another timezone I woke up again at about 3:30, and feeling really awake. It was not easy to get anymore sleep, but I managed to lay in bed until 6:30.

Saturday 27th of September


Beautiful view at the morning run

The second day in USA was celebrated with a beautiful morning run along the bayside of San Francisco (See picture). Beautiful view! After this Jan & me went for breakfast at Lori’s before the planned Wine Tour to Napa Valley with Oracle User Group Norway (OUGN).

The first stop at the wine tour was at the Twomey Winery, where we tasted a white and some excellent red wines. I particularly enjoyed the Merlot. This was the first time I’ve seen real wine grapes. I thought they tasted aweful, but these ones was actually pretty sweet and nice to eat. The grapes I tasted was used for the white wine. Then we went to Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen for lunch, and from there to the Domaine Chandon where we tasted some excellent sparkling wines.


Sparkling wines at Chandon



The wine trip was very popular with a waiting list, and I really understand why. Napa Valley really lived up to my expectations. Beautiful country side, and to my surprise I saw  a lot of cyclists on the road. Last time I was at the OpenWorld in San Francisco in 2012, I never got the change to go outside the city. So this was really a good experience, and something I want to repeat if I go to OpenWorld again.

When we arrived back at the hotel at about 5 o’clock it was time to register at the OpenWorld Conference. Living next to Hilton this turned out to be very easy. Being Saturday we managed to register and get the material (back carry & water bottle) without standing in any line. This is what I enjoy so much with coming early for the conference. And of course the fact that you manage to get a little used to the time difference – if you ever actually get used to this.


Sunday 28th of September

Sunday was the first day with conference sessions. My first session “Demystifying Hadoop for Architects, BI Teams, DBAs, and Developers” started at 8 o’clock at the Moscone South. A absolutely good start! Then I took a little break looking around on the OpenWorld “campus”. I located the Speaker rooms, which should turn out to be very handy. The speaker rooms was equipped with power supplies, coffee, soft drinks and some food. Excellent for a Norwegian on tour 🙂

The second session today “Scaling to Infinity: Partitioning Data Warehouses in Oracle Database” was with Tim Gorman. Just when the session was about to start, one of the attendees made clear that one of the previous sessions had claimed that Oracle can not scale to infinity. Tim answered this in an excellent way. “Well. Oracle CAN probably scale to infinity, but nobody can actually afford it”. That’s just about true! As usual Tim delivered a very nice presentation. Just love the way you can load and massage data in a regular Oracle table and exchange this into a partition.

Then I watched the session “Understanding Storage: The Latest Trends and Technologies” and “Partitioning and Compression for Performance and Manageability”.

Then it was definitely lunch time. After eating some lunch I went to the speakers room working a little on my presentation for Thursday.

After some work I was ready for the last general session “Expert Oracle Exadata: Then and Now” with Andy Colvin, Martin Bach, Tanel Poder and Professor Osborne. I have never touched an Exadata Machine yet, but I’m looking forward to the day we have one in Financial Services. I really think it has some very nice features on the storage side. And I’m really curious to see how this could affect our performance in Financial Services.


And at last the opening key notes featuring Larry Allison. I must say it’s rather impressing. The guy is 70 years old, and looks nothing more than 50. But he has gotten a little softer bye the years. The competitors used to get a whole lot of more dirt in earlier years. But honestly I like this approach better. It’s better to beat the competitions in quality than in dirt digging.

It seems like the air-conditioning on the buss ride to Napa Vallay have given me a cold. I’m starting to get a little worried for my voice for my presentation at Thursday. Traded the bar and beer with an early going to bed. I went to sleep at about ten o’clock, but I still wake up around 3:30.

Monday 29th of September

After some more hours of sleep we once again went to Lori’s for breakfast. After this Jan & me hurried away to get to a presentation with Tom Kyte at Moscone South. When we finally arrieved it turned out to be later that same day. Instead I watched the session “Booting Oracle WebLogic” with my Norwegian friend Jon Petter Hjulstad in OUGN, and his colleague Cato Aune. Quite strange to watch a presentation where you really have no clue what they’re really are talking about, but still nice to support a Norwegian speaker.

After this I went over to the OakTable World to watch some presentations and meet Cary Millsap. When I arrived Martin Bach was talking about “A deep dive into HCC internals and mechanics”. After this it was lunch and “Ted talks”. I got a sandwich and said hello to Cary. Then it was time for some Ted Talks with Jonathan Lewis, Jonathan Gennick and Cary Millsap. Very flattering to be mentioned in Cary’s presentation. After Cary I watched “Calculating Selectivity” with Jonathan Lewis.

Then it was time for the “Oracle Exadata, Systems & Storage and Managebility EMEA Partner Forum”. Felt that this was mostly for sellers, but still interesting to see how the big guys sell Oracle products.

Finally it was time for the Norwegian Partner pub at Golden Gate Tap Room. Cheers!

Tuesday 30th of September

us_breakfastToday we finally went to Sears for breakfast. I just love these American pancakes. Wonder how I would look if I lived over here. The good thing is that you don’t get hungry again the first 5-6 hours.

Tuesday morning and ready for “SQL is the best development language for Big Data” with Tom Kyte. The analytic functions I’ve used for years, and I think they are awesome. I’ve also known about the MODEL clause for years (just as Tom Kyte), but I’ve never taken the time to dive into how they can be used. I guess it’s about time to give it a try. The same thing with pattern matching. Just need to find some time fiddling around with these features. The Oracle SQL Connector for HDFS is also something I need to check out.

Then it was time for another session “Top Five Things to Know About Oracle Database In-Memory” with Maria Colgan, Sudhi Vijayakumar and Francois Bermond. Maria always delievers, and this was another very nice presentation. The In-memory option really looks promising. This is something I really think we could take advantage of in EVRY.

Sushi time! I just love that stuff. Remembered a place from OpenWorld 2012 near by the Moscone center. And it was still there. Then lunch was

After lunch it was time for another visit to the OakTable World, and to see the session “Profiling the logwriter and database writer (with version update)” with Frits Hoogland. I did have a small talk with Frits afterwards. In EVRY we have had some issues with “log file sync” on a database running on AIX power7 machines. The application consist of about 200 perl processes polling different MQ queues every 10 ms. If anything found on the queue then there is activity towards the database. The machine is configured with LPARs using CPU folding. I have a feeling that the very brief peeks in CPU needs and the CPU folding is not a good combination.

As much as I was enjoying the OpenWorld and OakTable World, my throat was not feeling to good. And in 2 days I was going to do a presentation! So to make myself shut up for a while, I went to the  speakers room at Moscone North. I worked with my presentation for a while, and then I went back to the hotel. On the way back I grabbed a burger at a small place called Pearl’s. Great burger! Then I jumped in bed (yes .. at six o’clock), watched TV for a while, and fell asleep. And didn’t wake up before 13 hours later.

Wednesday 1th of October

After I long nights sleep I did feel a lot better. And after some pancakes the feeling was upgraded to great. The first presentation today was “Database Consolidation on Oracle Exadata: Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Analysis”. Then I went to see the session “Design Applications for Planned and Unplanned Downtime”. This is something I’ve worked quiet a bit with lately, but you always pick up something new. Another session that I had been looking forward to was the “JPA Gotchas and Best Practices: Lessons from Overstock.com”. I already new about some gotchas with Hibernate, but this lesion introduced even more of them. Some lunch before I went to the two last sessions “RESTful Web Services and Oracle Database” and “Be a Hero: Secure Multitenant Cloud on Oracle SuperCluster”.

After a long day with session what’s better than some food and beer. Right Consulting & DataEss were offering both at the Golden Gate Tap Room. So of we go! After a couple of beers I went back to go through my presentation a last time. Then I was of to the “La Trappe” Belgian restaurant with some friends from Right Consulting. “La Trappe” have more beers that you ever knew existed. And some of them are quiet all right too. Great evening! But a big day tomorrow so can not be to late (that’s why I skipped the Appreciation Evening on Treasure Island).

Thursday 2nd of October

The big day! My first presentation at Oracle OpenWorld. I had a great breakfast at Lori’s. No pancakes to day, but the spinach omelet was great. I got to the Marriott Marquis Hotel, Golden Gate B, 30 minutes before the session started at 09.30. The microphone was put in place, sound check, presentation loaded over to the presenter PC, and then I was ready to go. But it was still 09.10. So then it was nothing else to do than wait, and see the conference hall getting filled.

Just to make time go by, I looked at my mobile phone. Jonathan Lewis made this tweet:


Great to get visited by such experts, but I did feel the pressure rice a little. Finally the clock turned 09:30, and it was time to start.
“Welcome to the ‘Performance does not happen by Accident’. … ” It’s nice to see people nodding and agreeing when you do a presentation. I had a good feeling after the presentation, so hopefully it went ok (but that’s not me to say). After the presentation a lot of people came up with questions, and wanting to have a chat. That’s excellent! I really enjoyed it. Thanks to everyone watching my presentation!

After my presentation I went to see “Oracle Database In-Memory in Action” with Tanel Poder & Professor Osborne, and “Oracle Database In-Memory Meets Oracle Optimizer” with Mohamed Zait,William Endress & Dinesh Das. More excellent stuff about the in-memory option. I’m really looking forward to test this feature when I get back to Norway.

One presentation I had been looking forward to was the “Performance/Scalability with JDBC, Oracle Universal Connection Pool, and Oracle Database 12c” with Douglas Surber and Nirmala Sundarappa. Not very new stuff here, but I did get to talk to Douglas Surber about the end-to-end metrics feature after the presentation. I was kind of surprised about the attitude towards the end-to-end metrics. This was obviously nothing they pay much attention to, and which was actually not meant to be public. That’s probably why the documentation is so absent. The good part was that Douglas assured me that JDBC driver is supposed to set 64 bytes for all the metrics (not 48 bytes for module and 32 bytes for action tag). So when I get home this will be reported as a bug (SR 3-9692641991).

Well – That was all I had time for this year. Now I needed some food and some hours flying around in shops looking for something to take home to my two girls.

Open World 2014 was great as expected. Very nice to combine new knowledge, with new friends and old friends. Now I’m looking forward to the TECH14 in Liverpool in December. Hope to see you there!





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