Winter Conference 2010

February 11, 2010

CarrAmerica Conference Center
4400 Rosewood Drive
Pleasanton, CA 94588


See directions to the conference location near the bottom of this page.


8:00 - 9:00 Registration and Continental Breakfast - Refreshments Served
9:00 - 9:30 General Session and Welcome - Hanan Hit, NoCOUG President
9:30 - 10:30 Keynote: Why Are There No Giants? - Neil Gunther, Performance Dynamics Company
10:30 - 11:00 Break
  Auditorium Tassajara Diablo
11:00 - 12:00
Session 1
Performance Analysis for DBAs Who Can't Wait
by Neil Gunther, Performance Dynamics Company
make.sql - Script Management for Oracle
by Ahbaid Gaffoor, Amazon
Cloud Computing: Enabling Global Business Services Utilities
by Bradley D. Brown , Rolta TUSC
12:00 - 1:00 Lunch
1:00 - 2:00
Session 2
Top 5 Tips For Reducing Storage Cost While Improving Performance
by Jean-Pierre Dijcks, Oracle Corp.
Case Study in the Importance of Reaching Recent Rows First
by Dan Tow, SingingSQL
Building a User Definable and Flexable UI with ApEx - Case Study
by Bradley D. Brown , Rolta TUSC
2:00 - 2:30 Break and Refreshments
Last chance to visit the vendors
2:30 - 3:30
Session 3
Best Practices for Data Loading with Oracle Database 11g Release 2
by Maria Colgan, Oracle Corp.
Measuring for Robust Performance
by Robyn Sands, Cisco Systems Inc.
The Challenge of Virtualizing Databases
by Jedidiah Yueh,
3:30 - 4:00 Raffle
In the vendor area
4:00 - 5:00
Session 4
Optimize Enterprise Applications With Oracle Content Management and Portal Solutions
by Daisy Te, Oracle Corp.
Next Generation SOA Platform
by Kevin Clugage, Oracle Corp.
What Every DBA Should Know About TCP/IP Networks
by Chen Shapira, HP
5:00 - ??? NoCOUG Networking and No Host Happy Hour at FAZ Restaurant (bar area), 5121 Hopyard Road, Pleasanton. 925-460-0444
(Directions: Leaving the conference, Head west on Rosewood Dr toward Owens Dr 0.6 mi. Turn right at Owens Dr 0.2 mi. Turn left at Hacienda Dr 0.3 mi. Turn right at Gibraltar Dr 0.5 mi. Turn right at Hopyard Rd.)

Mark your calendar for NoCOUG's Spring Conference:
May 20, 2010 at Oracle in Redwood Shores



Speaker Abstracts for Winter Conference


“Why Are There No Giants?” - Neil Gunther, Performance Dynamics Company

Why do we not see any 30 foot tall giants, like the one in the "Jack and the Beanstalk" fairytale? Come to think of it, why are there no beanstalks that are thousands of feet high, either?

As Galileo realized 400 years ago, and Caltans engineers recently rediscovered on the Bay Bridge, the relationship between mechanical weight and the strength of materials is such that when they reach a critical point, things collapse. Scalability is about sustainable size.

What about Oracle applications? What about the size of the Oracle database? How big can they be before they undergo performance collapse? In this presentation, I'll show how the scalability of software applications behaves differently from typical engineering applications.

All of this leads into the Universal Scalability Law (USL), which can be applied to performance measurements to quantify application scalability. Since the USL is firmly rooted in the queueing theory principles of performance analysis (Gunther 2002, 2008), Galileo would probably like it.

“Performance Analysis for DBAs Who Can't Wait” - Neil Gunther, Performance Dynamics Company

Do you know the difference between various performance metrics such as: throughput, latency, residence time, and utilization? More importantly, do you know they are related to one another? If not, you're not alone but you are probably flying blind when tuning that Oracle database.

Using some simplified queueing theory as a framework, I'll show you the essential performance relationships and demonstrate their usefulness with some examples taken from Oracle performance metrics Oracle Wait Interface. I may also bust a few performance myths along the way.

“Top 5 Tips For Reducing Storage Cost While Improving Performance” - Jean-Pierre Dijcks, Oracle Corp.

Enterprises are experiencing an explosion in the volume of data required to effectively run their businesses. Administrators are challenged by the need to control technology costs while continuing to realize application performance and scalability objectives. Join us as we explore how Oracle Partitioning and Advanced Compression can help you manage the data volume explosion while ensuring your cost not to explode while still meeting your performance goals. Among other things, you will learn about how a combination of these technologies can help you reduce your storage requirements by three to four times and overall cost by up to 10x by enabling the use of a tiered storage approach.

“Best Practices for Data Loading with Oracle Database 11g Release 2” - Maria Colgan, Oracle Corp.

This session details the requirements and specifications for data loading and sizing of the hardware. Based on this foundation, Oracle experts will discuss the technologies available for fast bulk loading of a data warehouse, with an emphasis on flat files and how load them quickly and efficiently using the DBFS infrastructure new in 11g R2. With the release of OWB 11g Release 2, you'll also gain new insights around cool new features of the product. Attendees of this breakout will also get a comprehensive understanding of how to best apply Oracle's data warehouses to your unique data loading needs - including practical tips and real examples as to how to use and leverage these powerful tool.

“Optimize Enterprise Applications With Oracle Content Management and Portal Solutions” - Daisy Te, Oracle Corp.

Organizations are trying to automate manual processes, increase processing speed and visibility, better utilize institutional knowledge, and improve customer satisfaction and retention. WebCenter Suite 11g and Oracle ECM Suite more effectively deliver vital information in the context of your enterprise applications to enable fast, well-informed and accurate front and back office business processes ranging from customer support to accounting to employee training. See how organizations like yours are using these transformative technologies to address the current business challenges and poise themselves for growth in the turnaround.

“make.sql - Script Management for Oracle” - Ahbaid Gaffoor, Amazon

How do you manage your Oracle schema? Upgrades and Downgrades can be tricky, how do you control the order of the scripts? Do you have a consistent methodology for distributing schemas? Do you have methods to roll forward or roll back a schema? This presentation aims to share a method you can apply to ease the management of your schemas by demonstrating a SQL script framework which requires no additional tools or licensing from Oracle. All you will need is your SQL*Prompt.

“Case Study in the Importance of Reaching Recent Rows First” - Dan Tow, SingingSQL

Recent rows tend to be the focus of most business queries, and most well-tuned queries reach recent rows, only, through some indexed path driving to a condition correlated with "recentness" of the rows. I present an unusual case study of an apparent exception to this rule where the query drives first to a pair of conditions poorly correlated with recentness, where, nevertheless, I found much-improved performance by ensuring that I hit recent rows first, and I propose a new type of execution-plan step, the "reverse full table scan" that would better handle cases like this, and, for that matter, almost all cases where a full table scan is needed.

“Measuring for Robust Performance” - Robyn Sands, Cisco Systems Inc.

The first step in any performance improvement project is benchmarking the existing performance level. What you measure, how you measure it, how you analyze the results and how you define your goals will have a significant impact on your project's success. Do you measure an individual process or the overall throughput? Do you use the 10046 trace, Statspack, ASH or AWR? And how do you identify the critical information within your performance data and provide proof of the improvements to the business? The answers to these questions usually depends on your experience, the available tools and the opinions within your workgroup. The answers should be based on the profile of the system under evaluation and the business needs. This session will present multiple measurement methods and how they can be used most effectively to achieve robust performance.

Paper: Thinking-Clearly-About-Performance.pdf - Cary Millsap
Book link: Expert Oracle Practices: Oracle Database Administration from the Oak Table

“Next Generation SOA Platform” - Kevin Clugage, Oracle Corp.

Rapid adoption of SOA is resulting in extensive service enabling of IT systems. However, this is only half the story - the only way to achieve IT goals of lower costs and greater efficiency is through rapidly assembling these services into modular and flexible business applications. As a by-product, these automated processes emit streams of business-critical information exposing developing opportunities and risks. Companies that tap into these information streams in real-time can capitalize on emerging opportunities or mitigate developing risks and gain significant competitive edge. Attend this session and learn how Oracle SOA Suite 11g simplifies the lifecycle of next generation business applications while providing out-of-the box real-time business and operational visibility.

“Cloud Computing: Enabling Global Business Services Utilities” - Bradley D. Brown , Rolta TUSC

As the concept of cloud computing rapidly gains momentum, it is generating a mix of excitement, fear and even confusion among the IT community. If you're struggling to separate the hype surrounding cloud computing from reality, this Web briefing is tailored specifically for you. We'll discuss the most pressing concerns of today's IT managers and CIOs including security risks, integration with legacy systems, and changing business needs; how to overcome these concerns; potential benefits; and leading practices for adopting the architecture and integrating data using SOA. Whether you're a potential consumer or provider of the cloud, you won't want to miss this insightful briefing.

“Building a User Definable and Flexable UI with ApEx - Case Study” - Bradley D. Brown , Rolta TUSC

Brad will discuss how he built a GUI and GIS application with ApEx for Independent Nation. Independent Nation is a company that specializes in provide intelligence to independent voters. The application is used to provide that intelligence. Merging voter registration, voter contribution and numerous other data sources, Brad built an application that is dynamic and flexible. The application can easily be used for any other GIS-type applications. It's built on data about people, their properties or addresses they live at, and other information about them. This case study will demonstrate Brad's approach to designing and developing applications that allow customization by changing data, not code.

“The Challenge of Virtualizing Databases” - Jedidiah Yueh,

Datacenters are changing - fast. New technologies like server virtualization and data de-duplication improve efficiency and eliminate under-utilization, providing cost and management savings to enterprises. These technologies face significant challenges, however, as they approach the heart of the datacenter: the database ecosystem. Server virtualization relies on hypervisors to mask hardware components and create virtual machines, but hypervisors add drag to I/O performance, which is critical to databases. De-duplication solutions identify and eliminate redundant data, but databases store data in blocks with unique IDs and other information that resist de-duplication, decreasing the efficiency of such solutions. Even worse, migrating to a new infrastructure requires multiple stages of development, testing, and QA, all of which depends on lengthy refresh cycles of the database. In this session, we'll examine the challenges of improving efficiency and utilization for databases, and we'll look at the next generation of technologies designed to overcome these obstacles. Database virtualization can radically consolidate infrastructure requirements, enable instant provisioning and refreshes, and provide powerful performance management - but only if designed properly for today's datacenters.

“What Every DBA Should Know About TCP/IP Networks” - Chen Shapira, HP

Databases do not run in a vacuum. Clients and application servers connect to the database, databases connect to storage systems and to each other. All those systems are communicating through (mostly) TCP/IP networks. It should be obvious that quirks on the network level will have a profound effect on the availability and performance of your database. Can you diagnose those problems? Do you know for sure when the problem is in the network? What do you do when your network admin will not listen? Armed with knowledge on how TCP networks really work and how database responds to changes on the network layers, a DBA can diagnose performance problems faster and communicate with the network admin in a more effective way. Oracle ACE, Chen Shapira, will share her stories of network-related mysteries. She will explain the underlying principles of network performance, explain how to use network diagnostics tools to approach database problems, and dive into the fine details of the SQL*Net protocol.


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Area Map and Driving Directions to the conference.

BART/Bus Information

From BART -
Take Bus 1B from BART and this will drop you off at the CarrAmerica Corporate Center property in the morning. Bus stops are located on Rosewood Drive across from the Conference Center at 4400.

To BART - Bus 1A will take you from the CarrAmerica Corporate Center to BART in the afternoon. Bus stops are located on Rosewood Drive across the street from the Conference Center at 4400.

For a map and schedules, see wheelsline01.pdf and

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