Friday, April 22, 2005

Outside Oracle

Good to have you outside the Oracle domain. We have heard a lot from you on Oracle. Will you write on other technical or work related topics like books, Linux, testing, other technologies.... list is endless.

Yes I think so, as time permits. One of the applications I’m totally into right now is VMWARE. One my laptop I have seven databases now. 3 in windows vm (8i, 9ir2, 10gr1), 3 in a small linux vm (9ir1, 9ir2, 10gr1) and one in a big linux vm pretending to be a 2 instance RAC cluster using ASM and OCFS (you can get the last one from here yourself, just have bandwidth. Click on the database link on that page. Comes with 90 Trial of vmware).

Using vmware, I don’t install software on my base laptop, I install it in a vm – I cannot “damage” anything, it is a very safe environment. I can do OS/database patching, upgrades, whatever without fear of accidentally knocking myself out. Vmware has this neat “snapshot” and “revert” feature. As someone that likes to play and test – this environment rocks. As someone who needs to setup a strawman – try something out, beat it to death and start over, this has been a big change for the way I work. Doing training and other things are really easy now. Instead of a single machine trying to run 20 instances, each desktop runs it’s own virtual machine and everyone, everyone has the same exact setup. No install this database/app server/whatever on 20 machines, do it once and copy the vm’s.

I even use vmware on some of my larger machines – as playground. Something to look into. If you wanted to play with 10g RAC, ASM, OCFS, Grid control, the whole thing and have the bandwidth, you might check it out. If you do training, it is definitely a piece of software to have. If you have a single machine and need “test areas” (test that upgrade, test that patch, test that new code) in a single test machine, absolutely something to look into.


Anonymous Anonymous said....

from a previous post, Found it interesting you were looking for something "next" and going to get a masters degree and then wrote the book.

I would rather have a published book that is a success then a masters degree.

However, is a masters degree something you would ever seriously consider in the future? Reasons?

Fri Apr 22, 10:43:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

Like I said, it was the year 2000 -- I was sort of "idling". Asktom was not there, I was a very different entity back then. I was looking for "what do I do next".

Obvious choice: get an advanced degree.

Happy coincidence: write a book, get a column, help others in the Oracle community.

Had Tony contacted me say 6 months later -- My life would be a tad different than it is now I think.

Would I personally consider it in the future... Probably not, not asking me right now. I'm really busy as it is, and for what I'm doing now -- I don't see the benefit *for me*. It just doesn't fit in with "me" right now.

But, if you were to have told me in High School that I would write a book, I would have laughed at you very hard. Even in college. So, who knows what the future holds. I've taken courses over the years and plan on doing that in the future, but to sit down and dedicate so much time to a MBA or something -- not in the next 10 years (my kids will be in college themselves by that time)

Fri Apr 22, 11:07:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous denni50 said....

Back in 2000 I was where you were.
Going through a mid-life crisis
after serving 13 yrs as an 'accountant' for a non-profit org and having a background in programming in the '80's I was bored to hell and said "I can't do this anymore". I enrolled in a technical college, went back to school full-time, graduated 18 months later...discovered Oracle and am the happiest camper walking the planet right now.

Every time I hear someone say "I'm
too old to learn or too old for that...blah, blah"...I just cringe.

You're never, ever too old to learn something new, do something totally different than you ever imagined yourself having the aptitude your case it was
writing a book and creating me it was learning
DBA stuff and waking up every
morning looking forward to the next
challenge and next project.

I am now enrolled in an online
program taking Computer Security
Courses paid by my employer. I will
never stop having the drive and ambition to learn new things and new technologies...even when I reach 100 years old.

Thanks for sharing other facets
of yourself with's great reading about your other life's experiences and getting to know a little about the 'personal' Tom.

Fri Apr 22, 01:45:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

What are your stats on that Laptop?


Fri Apr 22, 04:23:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

What are your stats on that Laptop?

This was my christmas present to myself...

It is nine pounds in weight. hp pavilion zd7000.

Full size keyboard (numeric keypad and all).

3.2 Ghz P4 Extreme Edition with hyperthreading. (works like a 2 cpu machine)...

2 gig of ram.

80 gig hard disk (i should have gotten the 60 and still might, the 80 gig while having a 16mb cache spins at 5400 rpm, the 60 with the same cache goes 7200. A couple of usb external drives to hold the vm images would have been a better choice).

The screen is awesome. 17" ultra widescreen (1680x1050). At home/work I stretch that out onto my 21" LCD running 1600x1200 and have screen real estate that cannot be beat.

The big bummer -- just a 10/100 network, no gigabit :( My last laptop had gigabit and moving the VM's around was really fast. Now not so fast, but bearable. Faster than the WiFi that is for sure...

Fri Apr 22, 04:39:00 PM EDT  

Blogger David Aldridge said....

Fancy specs -- as long as you don't think that you can prove anything about Oracle performance on it.


Fri Apr 22, 04:44:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Doug C said....

Tom - I've always thought about playing with vmware but I can only get a 30 day license. Can you elaborate on why it is so great for instructional use? You mentioned "No install this database/app server/whatever on 20 machines, do it once and copy the vm’s." Sounds like re-imaging. Isn't that just what they do in Oracle education anyway? What makes it easier?

Fri Apr 22, 04:52:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

I've always thought about playing with vmware...

Lets say you are going to teach a class. You have a room with 20 pc's in it. You have a server in the backroom. You have 20 people coming into the class. The server is smallish (2/4 cpu, 2/4 gig of ram). They each need their own environment. We are going to practice backup and recovery today.

You could either run 20 instances of Oracle.... on that server, or...

You could ignore the existence of the server and have the 20 pc's run your Linux VM. Each student has their own cpu, their own memory, their own everything. If they destroy something totally -- they are not logged in as Oracle on a machine with 19 other instances they could damage. One of them "runs away" -- great, kill it -- didn't affect the other 19.

At the end of the day, have everyone hit the reset button and you are done.

I build demos sometimes. For this demo you need Linux version x with patch Y and a network setup Z. What -- you don't have linux? or you do but it is patch A? and networking is M. And you need to have A and M for your other setup? Vmware, OS in a file.

Great for education -- "here is a vm, log in and fire up the browser and walk through the OBE's (oracle by examples), do it yourself, I don't need to worry about you not being able to install, configure and startup RAC, it is already done -- just play with it and see what you see".

I don't know what they do exactly in the education centers, I do training on the side outside of education (as part of an extended sales process sometimes). Just for demonstrating something it is awesome.

Fri Apr 22, 05:11:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Howard J. Rogers said....

I second and third that vote for VMware. At US$189, it is worth every cent. And that from an Aussie's whose fake cents don't buy as many real ones as they might.

How many questions have you seen along the lines of "How do you install Oracle onto Fedora 33x/Debgot 6.7/WhateverDistro 9.2"? The answer is always the same, now: you don't. Instead you install onto RHES3 or RHES4. And I know you're not running RHES3 or 4, but with VMware you can be. Without harming anything you've already got. Standardisation, flexibility, safety, portability: re-imaging doesn't come close.

Oracle Education re-image. And sometimes it works, And sometimes it doesn't. Monday morning when 12 out of 13 PCs have failed to load the RHES3 image they were supposed to load over the weekend isn't funny.

I might just mention, too: the two biggest reasons for not switching to Linux that I can think of are (a) Photoshop and (b) Dreamweaver. Yet I have just (re!) switched to Linux, and I still run those two programs for the Dizwell site, and I pull that trick off with VMware. Neat.


Fri Apr 22, 05:24:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....


Have you ever had any interaction with Franco Putzolu?

Sat Apr 23, 10:01:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

I've heard of the name in the industry, but no, I've not interacted with him personally.

Sat Apr 23, 10:58:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Jim Gray in his famous book (one of your favourite)
'Transaction Processing' have these words for Franco Putzolu in the preface.

Quote :
One implementor, Franco Putzolu, has deeply influenced our field in general, and the authors in particular. Franco has never written a paper or a patent, but his ideas and code are at the core of System R, SQL/DS, DB2, Allbase and NonStop SQL. These designs have been widely copied by others and are repeated here. Franco Putzolu deserves much of the credit for this book.

I saw his name in the Oracle Manuals and thought Franco is working for Oracle. Boy, an interaction between Tom Kyte and Franco would be a dream conversation.

Jim Gray's words about Franco reminded me
of Tom's view 'what a person did is more important' than the number of papers he presented or academic credentials he has.

An interesting link for the history of SQL and RDBMS

Thanks Tom for the wonderful job u do.

Sat Apr 23, 11:44:00 AM EDT  


<< Home