Oakies Blog Aggregator

pete.sharman's picture

Schema Consolidation in EM – Setup

Schema as a Service provides database consolidation by allowing administrators to host multiple application schemas within a single database. This offers Database as a Service to possibly hundreds of application users without creating database sprawl. Users can perform day-to-day actions like provisioning, monitoring, and backup, all from a single Self Service console. Schema as a […]

pete's picture

Coding in PL/SQL in C style, UKOUG, OUG Ireland and more

My favourite language is hard to pin point; is it C or is it PL/SQL? My first language was C and I love the elegance and expression of C. Our product PFCLScan has its main functionallity written in C. The....[Read More]

Posted by Pete On 23/07/14 At 08:44 PM

khailey's picture

Delphix 4.1 releases! Oracle 12c PDBs, Sybase, Amazon AWS and Developer Jetpack

Delphix 4.1 just came out last week. It may sound only like a point release but there is an amazing amount of new technology:

  • #999999;" href="http://docs.delphix.com/display/DOCS41/What's+New+for+Delphix+Engine+4.1#What'sNewforDelphixEngine4.1-AmazonWebServices/EC2Support">AWS: Amazon Web Services / EC2 Support
  • #999999;" href="http://docs.delphix.com/display/DOCS41/What's+New+for+Delphix+Engine+4.1#What'sNewforDelphixEngine4.1-Oracle12cPluggableDatabaseSupport">Oracle 12c:  Pluggable Database Support
  • #999999;" href="http://docs.delphix.com/display/DOCS41/What's+New+for+Delphix+Engine+4.1#What'sNewforDelphixEngine4.1-ApplicationDataVirtualizationonWindows">Windows:  Application Data Virtualization
  • Developers: Jetstream
  • #999999;" href="http://docs.delphix.com/display/DOCS41/What's+New+for+Delphix+Engine+4.1#What'sNewforDelphixEngine4.1-SAPASESupport">Sybase: and SAP ASE Support

I’m most excited about Amazon AWS support, Oracle 12c PDB support and developer jet pack , aka Jetstream. More coming on these features in upcoming blogs.

AWS Support

AWS support is super exciting because as a cloud enabling technology, Delphix is a perfect fit for AWS. AWS is currently hosting a replicated Delphix appliance replicating from our labs in Menlo Park. This means that I can provision in minutes into AWS any database linked into the Delphix appliance in our office in Menlo Park.  For customers wanting to migrate and/or sync database in the cloud this makes it a breeze. As I’ve blogged before, Delphix replication makes datacenter migration easy, fast and efficient. If I have a source database of 3 TB and 4 clones of the source that I want to move to the new data center then that would be 15 TB of data to move (3 TB x 5 copies – 1 source + 4 clones). In the case of Delphix replication it’s about 1 TB! yes 1/15 the space because Delphix compresses by 1/3 and all the clones use most of the same blocks in the source!  Also Delphix comes with masking so if you are using AWS for testing and QA those databases being replicated to AWS can all be masked databases.

If you want to use AWS for your database testing, QA or even for tbings like elastic compute, then how (the heck) are you going to get the data to AWS?  Delphix provides that solution, not to mention the speed and agility of using virtualized data in the cloud.


Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 4.13.58 PM

Oracle 12c PDB support

Oracle 12c PDBs are cool. They reduce the memory consumption by about 400MB per database, but what about the storage space? The storage space of clone PDBs is still the full size unless you use Netapp or ZFS storage appliance. Now for anyone on any storage the clone storage can be almost negligible and the memory usage minimum, allowing one to put many databases as PDBs on the same hardware and storage infrastructure. This is awesome for teams of developers and QA  who want to spin up a either a PDB for each developer and/or multiple PDBs to to QA and testing in parallel.

Jet Stream

Jet stream will get it’s own blog post but for now suffice it to say that Jet Stream is an interface created specifically for developers. Up until now Delphix had self service access through the same interface that a Delphix admin would use. A Delphix admin of course sees more and has access to more than a developer. A developer has their own log in which limits what sources they see, how many virtual databases (VDB) they can create, how much storage they can use etc, but the developers use the same UI to take their actions of spinning up a VDB, represhing, rolling back etc. Now there is a UI made specifically for developers that will graphically show the lineage of their VDBs, allow them to graphically branch VDBs and share those branches with other developers.

Sybase Support

Delphix interestingly enough supports any database, but to support any database requires that a user of Delphix manually take a lot of time consuming steps. Delphix automation for supported databases makes all the steps required a few clicks of the mouse. Delphix continues adding automation and management support to more and more databases. Sybase support is awesome for those companies using Sybase and SAP with Sybase.

Performance Benchmarking

In past blogs I’ve talked about I/O subsystem benchmarking we’ve been working at Delphix. Now Delphix includes the other half of the performance benchmarking which is built in network latency  and throughput benchmarking. The network benchmarking combined with the I/O benchmarking immediately informs us upfront what the performance characteristics of the installation hardware will be before launching into a deployment.

Additional Features

  • #999999;" href="http://docs.delphix.com/display/DOCS41/What's+New+for+Delphix+Engine+4.1#What'sNewforDelphixEngine4.1-SQLServerAlwaysOnAvailabilityGroups">SQL Server AlwaysOn Availability Groups
  • #999999;" href="http://docs.delphix.com/display/DOCS41/What's+New+for+Delphix+Engine+4.1#What'sNewforDelphixEngine4.1-RedGateSQLBackupSupport">Red Gate SQL Backup Support
  • #999999;" href="http://docs.delphix.com/display/DOCS41/What's+New+for+Delphix+Engine+4.1#What'sNewforDelphixEngine4.1-RemovalofReservationsFeature">Removal of Reservations Feature
  • #999999;" href="http://docs.delphix.com/display/DOCS41/What's+New+for+Delphix+Engine+4.1#What'sNewforDelphixEngine4.1-AdditionalSecuritySettings">Additional Security Settings


pete.sharman's picture

Plagiarism and Posting

I received an interesting question as a comment on another post (which I’ll approve as soon as I post this one) and I thought it was interesting enough to add a completely separate post on my thoughts. In essence, the comment was along the lines of this: “With so much content and articles do you […]

oraclebase's picture

Oracle Linux 7 Released

With all the excitement around the release of Oracle Database 12.1.02, it’s easy to forget that there is other stuff going on as well.

I’ve just noticed that Oracle have announced the release of Oracle Linux 7. You can download it now from eDelivery.

Just remember, it takes quite a while to get products certified on this stuff, so although I’ve already tried installations on the beta versions, I would not install any Oracle products on this stuff “for real” until the official certification is announced for each product.



Oracle Linux 7 Released was first posted on July 23, 2014 at 4:26 pm.
©2012 "The ORACLE-BASE Blog". Use of this feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this article in your feed reader, then the site is guilty of copyright infringement.
oraclealchemist's picture

The Customer Experience

The Apple Experience

I’m going to kick this post off by taking sides in a long-standing feud.

Apple is amazing.

There. Edgy, right? Okay, so maybe you don’t agree with me, but you have to admit that a whole lot of people do. Why is that?

NOT part of the Customer Experience. Image from AppleFanSite.com

Image from AppleFanSite.com

Sure, there’s the snarky few that believe Apple products are successful due to an army of hipsters with thousands in disposable income, growing thick beards and wearing skinny jeans with pipes in mouth and books by Jack Kerouac in hand, sipping lattes while furiously banging away on the chiclet keyboard of their Macbook Pro with the blunt corner of an iPad Air that sports a case made of iPhones. I have to admit, it does make for an amusing thought. And 15 minutes at a Starbucks in SoHo might make you feel like that’s absolutely the case. But it’s not.

If you browse message boards or other sites that compare PCs and Apple products, you’ll frequently see people wondering why someone would buy a $2,000 Macbook when you can have an amazing Windows 8.1 laptop with better specs for a little over half the price. Or why buy an iPad when you can buy a Samsung tablet running the latest Android which provides more freedom to tinker. Or why even mess with Apple products at all when they’re not compatible with Fragfest 5000 FPS of Duty, or whatever games those darn kids are playing these days.

Part of the Customer Experience. Image provided by cnet.com

Image from cnet.com

The answer is, of course, customer experience. Apple has it. When you watch a visually stunning Apple commercial, complete with crying grandpas Facetiming with their newborn great-grandson and classrooms of kids typing on Macbook Airs, you know what to expect. When you make the decision to buy said Macbook Air, you know that you will head to the Apple Store, usually in the posh mall in your town, and that it will be packed to the gills with people buzzing around looking at cases and Beats headphones and 27″ iMacs. You know that whatever you buy will come in a sleek white box, and will be placed into a thick, durable bag with two drawstring cords that you can wear like a backpack.

When you get it home and open the box, it’s like looking at a Tesla Model S. Your new laptop, situated inside a silky plastic bed and covered in durable plastic with little tabs to peel it off. The sleek black cardboard wrapped around a cable wound so perfectly that there’s not a single millimeter of space between the coils, nor a plug out of place. The laptop itself will be unibody, no gaps for fans or jiggly CD-ROM trays or harsh textures.

All of which is to say, Apple provides an amazing customer experience. Are their products expensive, sometimes ridiculously so? Of course. But people aren’t just buying into the product, they’re buying into the “Apple life.” And why not? I’d rather pay for experiences than products any day. I may be able to get another laptop with better specs than my Macbook Pro Retina, but there will always be something missing. Not the same Customer Experience.Maybe the screen resolution isn’t quite so good, maybe the battery doesn’t last as long, or maybe it’s something as simple as the power cord coming wrapped in wire bag ties with a brick the size of my head stuffed unceremoniously into a plastic bag. The experience just isn’t there, and I feel like I’ve bought something that’s not as magnificent as the money I put into it, features and specs be damned.

Customer experience isn’t just a buzz phrase, and it doesn’t just apply to how you deal with angry customers or how you talk to them while making a sale. It also doesn’t mean giving your customer everything they want. Customer experience is the journey from start to finish. It’s providing a predictable, customer-centric, and enjoyable experience for a customer that is entrusting their hard-earned cash in your product. And it applies to every business, not just retail computer sellers and coffee shops. What’s more, it applies to anyone in a service-oriented job.

Customer Experience for IT Professionals

In a previous post I mentioned how important it is to know your client. Even if your position is Sub-DBA In Charge of Dropping Indexes That Start With The Letter Z, you still have a customer (Sub-DBA In Charge Of Dropping Indexes That Start With The Letters N-Z, of course). Not just your boss, but the business that is counting on you to do your job in order to make a profit. And you may provide an exceptional level of service. Perhaps you spend countless hours whittling away at explain plans until a five page Cognos query is as pure as the driven snow and runs in the millisecond range. But it’s not just what you do, but how you do it that is important.

I want you to try something. And if you already do this, good on you. Next time you get a phone call request from someone at your work, or have a phone meeting, or someone sends you a chat asking you to do something, I want you to send a brief email back (we call this an “ack” in technical terms) that acknowledges their request, re-lists what they need in your own words (and preferably with bullets), and lists any additional requirements or caveats. Also let them know how long it will take. Make sure you don’t underestimate, it’s better to quote too much time and get it to them early. Once you’ve finished the work, write a recap email. “As we discussed,” you might say, “I have created the five hundred gazillion tables you need and renamed the table PBRDNY13 to PBRDNY13X.” Adding, of course, “Please let me know if you have any other requests.”

If the task you did involves a new connection, provide them the details (maybe even in the form of a TNSNAMES). If there are unanswered questions, spell them out. If you have an idea that could make the whole process easier next time, run it by them. Provide that level of experience on at least one task you accomplish for your customer if you do not already, and let me know if it had any impact that you can tell. Now do it consistently.

The Apple ExperienceFrom what I’ve seen, this is what separates the “workers” from the “rockstars.” It’s not the ability to fix problems faster than a speeding bullet (though that helps, as a service that sells itself), but the ability to properly communicate the process and give people a good expectation that they can count on.

There’s a lot more to it than that, I know. And some of you may say that you lack the time to have this level of care for every request that comes your way. Perhaps you’re right, or perhaps you’re suffering from IT Stockholm Syndrome. Either way, just give it a shot. I bet it will make a difference, at least most of the time.


Recently, I became the Director of Customer Education and Experience at Delphix, a job that I am deeply honored to have. Delphix is absolutely a product that arouses within customers an eager want, it solves complex business problems, has an amazing delivery infrastructure in the Professional Services team, and provides top notch support thereafter. A solid recipe for Customer Experience if there ever was one. But it’s not just about the taste of the meal, it’s about presentation as well. And so it is my goal to continuously build an industrialized, scalable, repeatable, and enjoyable experience for those who decide to invest their dollar on what I believe to be an amazing product. Simply put, I want to impart on them the same enthusiasm and confidence in our product that I have.

I hope you have the chance to do the same for your product, whatever it may be.

The post The Customer Experience appeared first on Oracle Alchemist.

marco's picture

Oracle Database – New Features

The world around us is changing and new stuff in the Oracle database arena is nowadays released on patch level. Although not many new features...
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oraclebase's picture

Oracle Database 12c Release 1 ( Patch Released

I just read this post by Dirk Nachbar, saying that is now available from edelivery.oracle.com. I’ve downloaded it, so the rest of the world is now allowed to start their downloads. :)

I assume it will be available from MOS also at some point.



PS. It will allegedly be made available on OTN at some point in the future.

Oracle Database 12c Release 1 ( Patch Released was first posted on July 22, 2014 at 2:53 pm.
©2012 "The ORACLE-BASE Blog". Use of this feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this article in your feed reader, then the site is guilty of copyright infringement.
pete.sharman's picture

Using the Self Service Portal with PDBaaS in EM

Following on from my earlier blog post on setting up Pluggable Database as a Service (PDBaaS) in EM, this post will cover how you actually use the Self Service Portal to create on demand an empty pluggable database within the container database I created for that earlier post. You’ll no doubt be pleased to […]

khailey's picture

Advance your career contest

Want to advance your career ?

We’ve seen DBAs become managers, managers become directors, directors become VPs and CIOs go from lesser known companies to some of the best known in the world. Why did they get promoted? Because they brought in Delphix.

Delphix increases the speed, the agility of IT often enabling development teams to go twice as fast, an increase that is unprecedented.

Companies that have this advantage will outperform the competitors.

How do you learn Delphix? Up to now you had to buy Delphix but now for a short time we will be giving a few people copies of Delphix for learning purposes.

#222222;">Here’s the deal:
#222222;" />
#222222;" />#222222;">   – We will  provide 15 smart techies with a copy of the Delphix Engine good for 6 months 
#222222;" />#222222;">   – Then, we want to see who can demonstrate the coolest or whackiest use-case for Delphix involving…
#222222;" />#222222;">        * creating virtual environments
#222222;" />#222222;">        * securing or hardening environments
#222222;" />#222222;">        * improving analytics
#222222;" />#222222;">        * improving DevOps using Puppet, Chef, or your favorite scripting package
#222222;" />#222222;">   – Demonstrate and blog about it
#222222;" />
#222222;" />#222222;">The three coolest use-cases will be awarded prizes at Oracle Open World, #222222;">featured in video interviews, and their blogs will be promoted by Delphix.

More information coming.

For now feel free to send your information, who your are, what your blog is,  to kylelf@gmail.com if you are interested in being 1 of the 15.

What is Delphix?


#222222;" />#222222;">Delphix is a software solution to enable thin-cloning of Unix/Windows file-systems and databases (i.e. Oracle, SQL Server, PostgreSQL, and Sybase) to enable self-service provisioning of entire application stacks, eliminating the biggest infrastructure constraints in development and testing, thus increasing the tempo of DevOps for project, and allowing dedicated environments even for the most trivial of tasks (such as testing changes for tuning a single SQL statement).  This technology also provides new alternatives for backup, high-availability, and analytics/reporting/ETL, as well as data masking to reduce the surface area of risk in non-production environments.
#222222;" />
#222222;" />#222222;">Of course, that’s just me saying all that.  I work for Delphix, so you’d expect us to say any old thing, right?
#222222;" />
#222222;" />#222222;">But it really is true, and it really changes a lot of things.  Think cold fusion.  Think sliced bread.
#222222;" />
#222222;" />#222222;">And we’re looking for a few good folks to prove it.
#222222;" />
#222222;" />#222222;">This technology is fast becoming the new norm.  Right now, shops using Delphix have a distinct competitive advantage, but a year or two from now, shops not using Delphix will be falling behind faster, because they will be at a distinct disadvantage as more people settle into the new norm.
#222222;" />
#222222;" />#222222;">The same is true for database administration skills.  As talented as you are personally, you’re only one person, and even if you did nothing but script and automate all day every day, you can’t fight the changes in the very laws of physics that virtualized storage brings.  You need to learn new tools, to stay ahead.
#222222;" />
#222222;" />Businesspeople Running Towards Finish Line Two businessmen jumping and celebrating on the beach