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April 2013

A High Performance Architecture for Virtual Databases

Delphix completely changes the way companies do business by removing critical bottlenecks in development productivity. Gone are the days when a simple database clone operation from production to development takes hours or even days. With Delphix database virtualization, cloning of Oracle databases becomes a fast and practically free operation. Additionally, infrastructure costs can be drastically reduced due to decreased disk utilization in your cloned environments; in fact, the more environments you deploy, the more cost savings you will realize.

The old adage is that your options are Fast, Good, and Cheap; pick two of three. But as a recent performance study between Delphix and IBM shows, all three options are within reach.

I’m Back !! Oracle Index Internals Seminar Scheduled in Europe For June.

It’s been quite a while but I’ve recently been asked to present my Indexing Seminar in Europe for Oracle University and at this stage, all the planets seem to be aligning themselves to make this a distinct possibility. Seminar details are as follows: Location: Bucharest, Romania When: 17-18 June 2013 Cost: 2000 RON (approx. 450 […]

Oracle Linux : Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)…

I mentioned in a previous post that my company were planning to move all of our middle tier infrastructure and some of our Oracle databases to Oracle Linux running on a virtual infrastructure. That process is now underway.

Persuading the company to ditch Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) in favor of Oracle Linux took a bit of effort, partly due to some Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) spread by one of the vendors we use. In the process of trying to counter the FUD I put together an Oracle Linux FAQ document. I thought it might come in handy for anyone else in a similar position, so I thought I would make it available on my site.

Ignoring hints

A hint is an instruction to the optimizer

This is what’s written in Oracle documentation. Instruction is defined as

a code that tells a computer to perform a particular operation

Which means Oracle CBO must obey the hints and must perform particular operation. The latter is hard to define correctly and explain precisely because it involves the logic of the block-box (what Cost Based Optimizer is). Some of the operations are mentioned in the standard Oracle documentation, some of them scattered across different places, and there are exceptions as usual. I think I’ll list here these cases which could lead to “ignoring hints” with the links to documentation/blogs.

Everyone should write/present because…

Following on from my post about the ACE program, Yuri from Pythian asked what I get out of presenting that makes it worthwhile. In this post I will tell a few little stories to explain why I think writing and presenting are important skills for people, regardless of their ambitions.


Public Appearances and Exadata Performance Training

I will be doing a lot of (Exadata) talking and teaching in the coming months. Here’s a list of events where you’ll see me speaking, teaching, hacking, learning and hopefully also drinking beer:

Should you aim to become an Oracle ACE?

I tweeted the following yesterday,

“It’s 7 years ago today that I was made an Oracle ACE. Seriously. It was April Fools Day 2006… :)

The followup from that tweet included a number of questions about what you get out of becoming an Oracle ACE and what is the quickest way to become one. In my mind, these types of questions highlight the misunderstanding of what the Oracle ACE program is. You can hear Vikki, Debra, Alex and myself talking about the Oracle ACE program here, but I feel like I want to clarify a few things. This is just my opinion. Others may say different. :)

Should you aim to become an Oracle ACE?

Accelerate SAP Projects with Virtual Databases


  • KLA-­-Tencor Corporation
  • One Technology Drive Milpitas, CA 95035 United States
  • Phone: 408.875.3000
  • Website: http://www.kla-­
  • Industry: Semiconductors


  • 2.5x faster project rollout
  • Consolidated 45 virtual databases across two Delphix Servers
  • Reduced refresh time from 2 weeks to 20 minutes on average
  • Performed 60 refreshes in 6 month
  • Reduced storage needs by 94%
  • Displaced need to purchase >$400K in Tier 1 storage


Business-Critical SAP Projects

Understanding what a hint affects using the V$SQL_FEATURE views

You may have used the Oracle 11g V$SQL_HINT view already – it displays all the valid hints (both documented and undocumented ones) available in your Oracle version, for example:

Understanding what a hint affects using the V$SQL_FEATURE views

You may have used the Oracle 11g V$SQL_HINT view already – it displays all the valid hints (both documented and undocumented ones) available in your Oracle version, for example: