Friday, February 10, 2006

So what was the answer... Part I

So, what was the answer...  Last time – I mentioned that I had been meeting with a series of customers, one after the other (after the other…).  I discovered they all had the same four questions over and over.  I should have realized I would get comments to the effect “so, what did you say”.

You’ll likely find my responses to mirror fairly closely the comments on that blog entry.  I’ll take them one at a time over the next few days…

As for Windows versus Linux, I have a very well known, stable answer – one I’ve been giving for a long time in any “X” versus “Y” situation.  What do you know? What are you (your company, your group) competent in.  What have you invested in.  If you are a Windows shop (now that there is 64bit especially), it would not be in your best interest perhaps to do a radical about face and just turn everything into Linux.  And if you are a Unix/Linux shop already – the same is true.

Many people think the Windows versus Linux decision comes down to “which will Oracle perform better on, which will run more reliably”.  Experience has shown that if you take a bunch of Windows experts – they can make Windows run fast, they can make Windows run reliably.  If you take that same group and put them on Linux, you’ll likely have a slower than average Linux implementation that has certain stability issues – unless and until that group becomes a bunch of Linux experts.  

And the reverse is true.

I am convinced that much of the rap Windows has in the performance/stability arena is as much a function of the attitude/capabilities of the people managing it (although, the same can increasingly be said of Linux I think).  If you take into your system a mindset of “big”, “reliable”, “performance” – you can achieve it.  If you take into your system a mindset of “this will be soooo easy, backup is a push button, things self tune, I don’t need to understand how things function – just that they do function”, you will get unreliable, you will get lackluster performance, you will likely lose your data one day.

In short, you can be successful on either, the choice should be based on what you have, what you know and just realize that it is the attitude and maturity of the people doing the implementation that will decide your success or failure more than anything.

I said “the same can be increasingly be said of Linux” simply because I am starting to see more and more systems just “whipped out there”, with little thought given to reliability, availability, recoverability.  The “never time to do it right, never time to do it over, let’s hope it doesn’t crash” process.  It used to be “never time to do it right, always time to do it over”, but that seems to have become passé as well – just never time to do it right, never time to do it over, cross fingers.

On an unrelated note – it is really good to be home.  Although I don’t often get to see things like this Elvis diner sign here in the US.  The pictures are a little dark (it was getting late), but seeing this statue in the middle of nowhere in Israel – with the Elvis music going – had me laughing out loud.


Blogger Jeff Hunter said....

I didn't even bother to asktom, because I've seen you say it a bunch of times.

Fri Feb 10, 02:16:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

If you don't got Mojo Nixon then your desert need some fixin'!

Mojo Nixon used to have an "Elvis is Everywhere hotline," which was an answering machine with a message from Elvis in his hot tub, and you could leave Elvis a message.

Fri Feb 10, 02:17:00 PM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

because I've seen you say it a bunch of times.

I am nothing if not consistent :)

When I get to the availability one, I'll have a story to relate to that comment as well...

Fri Feb 10, 02:27:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

I know you are an oracle employee. However, do you think you can build a good scalable system with Sql Server?

Fri Feb 10, 03:31:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Did you learn anything new, outside of Oracle, in terms of life etc., about this Israel visit?

Sun Feb 12, 02:13:00 AM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

Did you learn anything new

Learn new stuff about everything everyday...

I had no idea what to expect in Israel and it met all of my expectations. Yeah, I learned new things, have new opinions on things. Reinforced some ideas I had, opened my eyes to somethings I didn't know about.

Just a normal day :)

Sun Feb 12, 08:14:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

ELvis in the Desert - well, when I am in Israel on work (I work for an Israeli company), we live in a hotel at a place called Disinghoff Circle. That is a Circular platform on top of a junction with several roads running under it and a fountain on top. Nice place, especially because very often they play some really cool rock from the 70's on the PA -I remember Doors ('riders on the storm' etc).

There's nothing to be surprised on seeing Elvis in Israel (the statue that is ;). The Israelis are fairly into the American thing - in fact, when I joined this company, we had a lecture on Israeli culture (ancient and Contemporary) - and the trainer told us that on 4th July, you have a lot of Cars moving around with American flags (in ISRAEL that is).

Sun Feb 12, 09:13:00 AM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

Speaking of listening to the Doors - on the very first morning, as we were driving past Jericho on our way to the Dead Sea (not too far from where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found), we stopped for a coffee/bagel.

I thought it was strange to be sitting in the middle of a desert like place, with Jericho off in the distance, camels tied up not too far away, the dead sea on the horizon - listening to "Wish You Were Here" being pumped in over the PA system.

Sun Feb 12, 09:45:00 AM EST  

Anonymous TimT said....

Tom, of course you must know that Wish You Were Here is Pink Floyd, not the doors?

Fri Feb 24, 02:19:00 PM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

Of course wish you were here is Pink Floyd, I was responding to the comment immediately above - they said "the doors pumped over a PA" and I said "speaking of the doors.." meaning, speaking of music from that generation/time frame. Sorry about that.

Fri Feb 24, 02:30:00 PM EST  

Blogger Luis Melgar said....

Hey Tom, what about this scenario.

We have no Linux Experts,
our Microsoft Admiminstrators have the same skills of bad trained fat monkeys with IT shirts.

what would you choose from a zero ground?

Linux (Can you suggest a Distro) or Windows?


Thu Mar 09, 11:32:00 AM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

Hey Tom, what about this scenario.

run away....

not much else to say, you cannot do either windows or linux apparently without a new staff.

Thu Mar 09, 11:49:00 AM EST  


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