Martins Blog

Trying to explain complex things in simple terms

RAC SIG 09/2009

Posted by Martin Bach on September 11, 2009

The last RAC SIG meeting before the conference, in an Oracle building in Solihull near Birmingham. I dreaded the food (all you ever get are sandwiches, no comparison to the London meeting), but it wasn’t that bad after all.

I was really delighted to see some of my friends after some time, and David had a great agenda for the day.

Phil Davis’s deputy gave a refreshingly open service update, the main highlights were:

  • 11.1.0.7 is the terminal release
  • 11.2 is out (no surprise)
  • 10.2 reaches end of premier support July next year

There was a little discussion about which of the dot releases was buggier – 10.2.0.2 or 10.2.0.3. I’d personally consider 10.2.0.3 as a really terrible release.

Next on the agenda was me, and this time I was much more pleased with how the presentation went. Finished in time, but very few questions. I hope I didn’t annoy the very knowledgable Steve Shaw, author of hammerora who happened to be in the audience by a comment about his tool. I’ll certainly have a closer look at it when there is time. Oh, by the way, I presented about the Oracle Linux Test kit.

Then we had Steve Shaw’s presentation as an answer to a slighly weaker presentation at the last RAC SIG meeting in London. Steve introduced Oracle VM in the context of cheap computing resources for HA (without RAC) based on OEL and OCFS2. So far so good, I have done a similar presentation in the past. It got more interesting when Steve-who works for Intel-gave insights in how their new processors use more than just vt to deliver better performance for (hvm) guests. However cool these features are, I can’t help thinking they were made for hyper-v and vmware rather than xen. Also it seems as if Oracle would stick to xen 3.1 (ancient!) while trying to improve the management interface. I pointed out that there is a lot of room for improvement. Ever tried to mount an iSCSI target in an Oracle VM (2.1.5) domU? You are in for a surprise. Steve presented the usual xen networking diagram which isn’t state of the art anymore. Check out opensuse 11.1/SLES 11 for a more modern approach. Nevertheless this was an interesting presentation especially in regards to cloud computing and virtualisation.

Another virtualisation presentation, this time by Carl Bradshaw who was the only presenter to use a Mac. Cool. The contents wasn’t that thrilling for me mainly because of a lack of depth. Most interesting for me was the part of cpu fragmentation, something paravirtualisation can manage better. I can bump up my pv-domU to 32 cpus-try this on vsphere! Also vmware is penalised badly by Oracle licensing making it more unattractive than necessary. This plus a bit of an overhead won’t prompt me to introduce it soon.

After lunch a stand up panel was set up to discuss anything about virtualisation. The original invitees couldn’t make it unfortunatly but their replacements surely were equally capable.

Last one for my day (had to pull the escape chute as I’m from Brighton, a good 3 hour drive from Birmingham) was Deepak Singh’s introduction to extended distance RAC. Nice introduction to the subject, for those of you who didn’t know you now can do this with SE RAC in 11g.

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