Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Vista wins PC World's 15 Biggest Tech Disappointments of 2007

I know it has nothing to do with Oracle, but Windows Vista is one of my pet hates - an OS for the dumb, and the first time a new MS Windows release is slower than its predecessor. Microsoft are now working a a light-weight kernel, that will hopefully make it into the next Windows desktop release. In the mean time, I am staying with XP Pro, and CentOS in a virtual machine.
clipped from

#1. No Wow, No How: Windows Vista

Five years in the making and this is the best Microsoft could do?

It's just that Vista isn't all that good. Many of the innovations the operating system was supposed to bring--like more efficient file and communications systems--got tossed overboard as Microsoft struggled to get the OS out the door, some three years after it was first promised. Despite its hefty hardware requirements, Vista is slower than XP.

And at $399 ($299 upgrade) for Windows Ultimate, we couldn't help feeling more than a little gouged.

No wonder so many users are clinging to XP like shipwrecked sailors to a life raft, while others who made the upgrade are switching back. And when the fastest Vista notebook PC World has ever tested is an Apple MacBook Pro, there's something deeply wrong with the universe.

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Sunday, December 2, 2007

PLATO - PL/Sql Package for Auditing and Tuning Oracle

DBA Village has a great tool for Auditing Oracle and getting reports of System Configuration. PLATO is available for 8i,9i and 10g. To download it you need to sign up to the web site (free). The web site itself has some very useful stuff on it, including a news page that has top Oracle news from a range of sources. Recommended.

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Friday, November 2, 2007

Manual Standby Database under Oracle Standard Edition

Oracle Enterprise Edition, while it has some nice extra features over standard edition, they are not worth the 3-4 times the price of Standard Edition.

Oracle forces you to license Enterprise Edition once you have a certain number of users, or over 4 CPU sockets on the server.

Standard Edition is available for servers with 4 or fewer processor sockets, and "Standard Edition One" for up to two sockets, and is very cheap.

Anyway, one of the minuses though of going with the Standard Editions is the loss of Dataguard / Standby database.

While there are commercial solutions which provides the functionality for SE, I just saw an article on which steps you through the requirements to write/script your own solution. Well worth a read: Manual Standby Database under Oracle Standard Edition

BTW - watch out for Oracle licensing if you are running Oracle on VMWare - licensing is based on the number of sockets on the PHYSICAL HOST, NOT the number of virtual CPUs of the virtual machine in which Oracle is running.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Oracle 11g available for Windows

After 11g only being available on Linux for what seems ages, Oracle has released 11g for another platform - Windows!

I had been betting it would be Solaris, as Solaris use to be the primary development platform for Oracle. Clearly things have changed. Windows use to always play second fiddle to UNIX, with releases usually appearing for Linux and Solaris almost simultaneously, and then Windows 6 weeks later. May be Oracle has finally got serious about Windows as a server Operating System rather than a Desktop Operating System?

Any way, you can download 11g for Windows here, I'm about to!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Is Oracle "The Borg"?

I have just been looking at the page, looking for product info on OID, and saw that Oracle are now BRAGGING about the companies they have taken over. This is what the list on the main page:

  • 360Commerce
  • Agile
  • AppForge
  • Bharosa
  • Crystal Ball
  • Demantra
  • G-Log
  • Hyperion
  • iFlex
  • JD Edwards EnterpriseOne
  • JD Edwards World
  • MetaSolv
  • Oblix
  • OctetString
  • PeopleSoft
  • Portal Software
  • ProfitLogic
  • Retek
  • Siebel
  • Sigma Dynamics
  • Sleepycat Berkeley DB
  • Stellent
  • SPL WorldGroup
  • Sunopsis
  • Tangosol
  • Telephony@Work
  • TimesTen in Memory DB
  • Thor Technologies

Has Larry Ellison gone mad? I guess, if you can't beat'em, buy 'em? Imagine trying to integrate that lot.

Full details of their acquisitions here:

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Virtual Iron kicks VMWare

From Network World: 

Virtualization software vendor Virtual Iron (VI) is looking to undercut established player VMware saying that the cost of VMware's software is hindering the virtualization market.

VI has joined HP's new invitation-only ProLiant Partner Program  and HP's BladeSystem Solution Builder Program.

VI's marketing manager Mike Grandinetti said that HP "took VI 3.5 into its labs and tested and validated it on servers and high volume storage arrays -- EVA8000 Enterprise Virtual Array and the MSA1000 Modular Smart Array -- before inviting us to join."

Trumpeting the superiority of his technology, Grandinetti said: "We can manage 96GB of RAM per virtual server compared to VMware's 16GB, and our enterprise edition is the only enterprise solution with advanced workload migration abilities to move live virtual servers from one physical server to another in real time, such as in the event of hardware failure of some kind.

Also the image of the VM can be expanded from 0.1 of a CPU to 8 CPUs simultaneously."

Source: Virtual Iron kicks off virtual spat - Network World

Not bad!

Now I wonder if I can get a copy for my notebook?


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Virtual Iron Freebie and Virtualization

I love virtualization technology.

As servers have become more powerful, there is usually more processing capacity than what is required.

By using virtualized servers, one can consolidate servers onto a single physical host, making better use of its resources.

VMWare has been the major player for years, however Microsoft are joining the band wagon with a Windows only solution (of course) and now the Xen opensource VM on Linux is gaining some acceptance, especially by Novell and Red Hat.

A new startup, Virtual Iron Software, rolled out a Xen-based server virtualization platform, Virtual Iron 3.0, in October 2006.

Now it has just rolled out version 3.1 with support for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003.

Not sure if anyone has tried running Oracle on it but I think I'll give it a crack.

Anyway, here is the news article about Virtual Iron from Redmond Developer News:

Virtual Freebie
Virtual Iron Software Inc. released version 3.1 of its enterprise-class virtualization platform. The Lowell, Mass.-based startup rolled out its Xen-based server virtualization platform, Virtual Iron 3.0, in October. That release supported Novell SuSE and Red Hat Linux. The 3.1 version adds support for Windows XP and 2003. It comes with a suite of management tools, including LiveMigration, which lets users move running VMs between physical servers; LiveCapacity, which supports dynamic reallocation of resources to VMs; LiveRecovery, which provides automated failover; and LiveMaintenance, which lets physical machines be taken offline without disturbing the VMs running on them.

Virtual Iron version 3.1 is priced at $499 per socket. That's about 20 percent of the cost of a comparable offering from VMware. But that's not all. The Virtual Iron product can be downloaded and licensed free when run on a single physical server with up to four sockets. Microsoft and VMware have made similar offers, but both Virtual Server and VMware Server must run on top of a host operating system. Virtual Iron's freebie comes with a hypervisor that runs on bare metal.

Virtual Iron's new pricing scheme brings its products within striking distance of XenSource's XenEnterprise product, which starts at $750 for a two-way server license. Both XenSource and Virtual Iron use the open source Xen hypervisor for server virtualization.

For its part, Palo Alto, Calif.-based XenSource is following the recent release of its XenEnterprise with two new products: XenServer, for Windows standard server environments, and XenExpress, a free offering that enables single virtual machine test environments.

The company bills XenEnterprise as the market's first enterprise-grade, commercially packaged virtualization solution based on the open source Xen hypervisor, which supports both Windows and Linux.

Both Virtual Iron and XenSource are competing with a market monster in VMware. The EMC Corp. subsidiary pioneered virtualization for x86, and it was the only game in town for ages.

"VMware definitely has that first-mover advantage," says IDC analyst John Humphreys. "... So it's going to take a lot to get customers to think about switching. Virtual Iron's pricing is a great first step."

Why is the virtualization market so hot right now? "I don't know that the timing is particularly significant," says Gordon Haff, principal IT advisor at Illuminata Inc., a Nashua, N.H.-based research firm. "But the fact is, users really like this technology. VMware has been growing by leaps and bounds, and [it's] making a lot of money for EMC. The question that remains to be answered is, 'Will the competition's products work as well?'"
John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Palo Alto, Calif.