Enough Trace

Question:      How many Database Server trace files does it take for Oracle Support to change a light bulb?

Answer:      We need 2 more Database Server trace files to tell you.

Larry Ellison's answer on September 14, 2017:      "we are doing a log inspection, where we are looking at people and the logs we look at unlike anybody else, we are in the applications business, we are in the database business, and we are in the Cloud infrastructure business looking at network logs and operating system logs, and storage hardware logs, we are also looking at database logs, we are looking at people trying to log on to application systems and the passwords they are reducing."

Enough Trace comment:      This change from Larry is a very welcome development. Going back and forth for months, uploading Oracle Database trace files has resulted in wasted time and unresolved problems. Reference checking all other areas or processing, including real, non trace file activity will produce great benefits.

Vicken Khachadourian

Do these things look funny to you as well?

1 - Have you realized that the cloud is a great equalizer for tech workers?

Let us first itemize the relevant facts

30 years ago, in addition to the salary we collected, our managers rewarded one employee and penalized another by giving one an attractive project to develop skills, and gave the other menial tasks, where no skills could develop. The cloud changes all of that.

If I spend $75 - $200 a month, I can get myself a pretty good Oracle environment on AWS or Oracle Cloud. I can keep my skills sharp. In 1987, I could only purchase Oracle v4 or v5 on the PC, or as an employee, I could get a free copy only on the PC, but to get an Oracle license on a MicroVax mini computer, I had to spend my yearly salary. Getting Oracle in bigger servers on an employee's budget was impossible.

So, if a manager wants to pay me only $60 / HR so I can be sacrificed for his incompetent IT mafia's actions, or wants to get me stuck in a dead-end position, I can use the cloud to keep my skills sharp, and ask him to pay a fair price for my skills. Let him deal with his unproductive, IT mafia. If Oracle shops were not having budget over-runs and delays, Oracle's license sales would not have been dropping for the 4th year in a row now. I'm very comfortable with my observations.

Today, for $10,000, I can build an in-house, 4-node Oracle RAC system, running Oracle or Red Hat Linux. You could not do that 30 years ago.

Companies are using the price efficiency of the cloud to their advantage. Technicians can do the same. You no longer need to cowtow to a corrupt and misguided manager to give you a project to keep your skills sharp. Use the cloud and use the fact that computing resources are inexpensive for everyone.

After you finish your work, you can put it on the internet or on Youtube for the entire world to see. When I was at Oracle, I got great performance appraisals, but this setup makes performance appraisals by a single manager kind of irrelevant, does it not?

2 - How big of a solution is an elastic environment by AWS, Oracle or other Cloud providers?

In an elastic environment, you can snap your fingers and get more memory, more CPU or more disk space, what problems will that solve? What problems will it leave in place? What new problems will it create?

I have solved over 400 catastrophic Oracle failures with 100% success, and I welcome the new advantages of the cloud, but I strongly caution against the euphoria that people are going into.

On one of my Oracle cases, the implementer used non shared SQL in their application. It filled up the shared pool in no time, ORA-04030 errors all over the alert.log. When the entire system froze, they blamed inadequate hardware for the failure and asked the customer to spend $200K on new hardware. Thank God I stepped in, and they backed off. The customer's CEO did not know anything about Oracle's Shared Pool, and had I not been there, the implementer would have gotten away with it.

If you design a reckless traffic flow system for a city, and encourage drivers to drive drunk, and the company that provides the asphalt and other material lies to everyone about whether the road will be slick and cause accidents, or lies about whether the construction material creates sudden sinkholes. If those are the conditions that you're operating in, is it possible that sudden increases in highway lanes, sudden widening and narrowing of streets, sudden realingment of buildings and streets will cause even bigger traffic jams and worse accidents?

I agree that the cloud has a relevant future. Oracle DBA's who think installations and applying patches are the central activities of Oracle based computing are in for a rude awakening. My projection is that in-depth skill about the Oracle Database Engine is going to be very valuable in the upcoming years. It's gonna make or break implementations.

Cloud or no cloud, you're still dealing with the same Oracle Database Engine. If you implement in a way that conflicts with it, you're gonna have problems.

Managers and purchasing agents solved their problem of getting us resources as fast as possible, but us, the tech guys, still have to deliver proper actions.

3 - When did talking to Oracle Support become a skill to be listed on job ads?

When it comes to getting help from institutions, I can understand why we need skilled handlers, lawyers, lobbyists, etc. to deal with the justice system, the government or the media, but I'm seeing one job ad after another, specifically mentioning the ability to talk to Oracle Support as a special skill to have to qualify for the job.

Has Oracle Support made it difficult for customers to talk to Support reps?

When I was an Oracle Support rep, the burden was on me to understand the customer and help them. What happened?

4 - Larry Ellison about Oracle's Database Engine and The Cloud:    ... because the database that you run on-premise is pretty much identical to the database that you run in the cloud... (per Seeking Alpha at Oracle Shareholders Annual Meeting on November 15, 2017)

Enough Trace Response:    Thank you Larry. Cloud or no cloud, the Oracle Database Engine is still the most complex and impressive piece of code in our data centers. Implementers and DBA's still have to deal with the same Oracle Database Engine.

Enough Trace is convinced that the cloud is the future, but the cloud will:

The failing Oracle projects did not take place because the installations and configurations failed. After years of effort, the implementation code and high availability setups eventually conflicted with Oracle's Database Engine. In many cases the damage was irreversible.