Monday, March 06, 2006

Hotsos 2006: Day 1

Well, the education portion for Day 1 at Hotsos 2006 has ended (at least formally). There was some very good information given today. However, I think the keynote speech given by Ray Lane, former President and COO of Oracle Corporation, was potentially the most interesting. It was not a techy, nuts and bolts delivery but he shared some very fresh ideas borne from his vast experience in the industry.

Mr. Lane spoke of the software paradigm shift in which we are currently in the midst. He quoted his seven laws for successful software in the future:

  1. Serves Individual Need
  2. Viral/Organic Adoption
  3. Contextual Personalized Information
  4. No Data Entry/No Training Required
  5. Utilitizes Community, Social Relationships
  6. Delivers Instantaneous Value
  7. Minimum IT Footprint

In a nutshell, Mr. Lane contends that the innovations to come, and indeed already present in many open source products, will dictate the way corporate America invests in its enterprise software. He stated, "All the things we desire in our enterprise software are already understood by the individual user community." Essentially, if software is to survive in the future it needs to meet the seven conditions listed above. For example, many people really value their wireless phones as they can serve as a planner, camera, web browser, text messenger, etc. And to quote Mr. Lane, "When was the last time you bragged on your new enterprise software?"

James Morle delivered a very good presentation titled "Sane San." I think a couple of really good ideas to take from his presentation are:

  1. Disks are getting bigger and faster. But, the bigness is growing faster than the fastness. That is definitely something to keep in mind when capacity planning is on the table.
  2. We tend to price our DASD by the gigabyte/megabyte. Why aren't we costing I/O? That is, what does an I/O cost in our production environments?

I do have a couple of thoughts on Julian Dyke's presentation. He delivers technical topics with great humor. I really appreciate that in a technical presentation. Moreover, his animations for buffer cache management in RAC and non-RAC environment were awesome! It is really a talent when you can present technical ideas in such a basic manner, using animations, that it renders the notion nearly trivial. Animations are much easier to remember than an endless array of bulleted items. While RAC buffer cache management is not nearly as profound as, say, astrophysics I can't help but think about Richard Feyman's famous quote given to one of the few freshman classes he taught. He was asked by a professor attending one of his lectures to comment on a particular phenomenon. Feyman obliged and stated that he would present a freshman lecture on it for the next class. When the day arrived to give the lecture Feyman opened with, "I couldn't do it. I couldn't reduce it to a freshman level. That means we really don't understand it." I love that quote.

Lastly, I attended Rijay Shamsudeen's Redo Internals and Tuning by Redo Reduction presentation. Of course, this topic is near and dear to me so I was very excited about this presentation. He delivered a very clear and concise expose into redo internals that was both elucidating and informative. I learned several new redo internal tidbits and look forward to reading the accompanying white paper.

All in all, it was a very good first day at Hotsos 2006.


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