How To Build Scalable Database Architectures

No one has ever come out and formally asked me for a document that states “Best Practices to Scale Application X”. It is an unusual demand, since it’s something many of us at Pythian have implemented, but it’s been more of an ad hoc, iterative process — and rightly so, since architectures must be so organic, and so tailored to the application. What’s more, no one has ever brought us on board so early in the game that we have a hand in actually — gasp! — doing the design and data-model from the get-go. Woo hoo!

How To Connect to an Oracle Database and Much More

I’m amazed what people are able to do with Oracle technologies. One of the things I’ve liked the most is to spend some time (not enough!) with Kuassi Mensah. The guy is awesome! As a Product Manager at Oracle, he knows probably everything about JServer (the JVM in Oracle 11g), and he is one of the best guys on the subject of some of the key connection layer to access an Oracle database, including JDBC, OCI, and Web Services.
If you’re interested by any of those subjects, you should subscribe to his 360° blog and read his book.

Bind Peeking, Ad Hoc Queries, Stable Performance

I got to troubleshoot an amazing situation a few weeks ago. I think it is essentially inconceivable that allowing a single query to run on your system can flip another query’s plans and cause major performance issues (and in this case even downtime!). Sometimes it’s coincidence, sometimes it’s load, and sometimes it’s a single ad hoc query with a new predicate that starts the slowly-ticking time bomb. Here is how it happens and how to fix it.

Good Database Design is Mightier than Hardware

Have you ever heard the one about throwing hardware at a software problem? I have this nifty RAC system that supports some very public and very mission-critical apps, and one day (it was Sunday night) it starts choking. We’re getting enqueues. Slowly they start climbing. Ten nodes came to a crashing halt. I have now seen a ten-node RAC cluster come to crashing halt and completely lock up. Why, you ask? A simple SQL statement: DELETE FROM a WHERE b=c AND d=e;.

Hotsos Symposium 2008 — Still On

The symposia is still ongoing and my head is slowly filling up — relieved from my presentation, finally, I’m able to focus on others’ sessions. I attended Wolfgang Breitling’s presentation on “Active Statistics”. He provided a lot of insights into statistics gathering options and emphasized lots of new features in 11g. Have a look at my post to read about some of the other great presentations I attended.

Oak Table Network

I’m a member of the Oak Table Network now! I’m so delighted and proud to be the part of that group and also very grateful for the invitation to join those bright people.

Hotsos Symposium 2008 – The Before

First of all “the before” time is over — I’m done with my presentation. It’s been the first slot of the day — 8:30 and Cary Milsap was presenting in another hall so what chances do I have to get people in? It turned out that some people actually did show up and quite a few considering the circumstances. To find out more about the other great presentations I saw today keep reading. If not, stay tuned — more to come.

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