Peer to Peer

Efficiency Experts

In the lab and in the field, these peers focus on getting the job done quickly and well.

By Blair Campbell

September/October 2010

Kai Yu
Peer Specs
Company: Dell Inc.
Job title/description: Senior system engineer, Oracle Solutions Engineering Lab, responsible for architecting, implementing, and publishing Oracle engineering solutions based on Dell Inc. platforms
Location: Austin, Texas
Length of time using Oracle products: 15 years
Oracle ACE Director ace-2
Which new features of Oracle technologies are you currently finding most valuable? Oracle clustering technology such as Oracle Real Application Clusters 11g Release 2 and Oracle virtualization technology such as Oracle VM. These technologies complement each other to provide a great enterprise grid infrastructure with more flexibility and greater efficiency.

What would you like to see Oracle, as a company, do more of? Oracle brings a lot of great technologies to the IT industry. I’d just like to see more efforts on integrating these products—for example, integration of applications and middleware with some features of the database, virtualization technologies, and the grid infrastructure. When I attended the Oracle E-Business Suite Grid Customer Advisory Board briefings at COLLABORATE 10, I was very happy to learn that Oracle is working on this area.

What green practices do you use in your work? We’ve done a lot of research and engineering work on energy efficiency. We’re also using the grid to promote resource sharing and reduce servers and storage, which leads to a great reduction of energy usage in datacenters.

Roel Hartman
Peer Specs
Company: Logica, a business and technology service company
Job title/description: Technical lead architect, participating in presales and sales activities for Oracle projects and analyzing solutions
Location: Arnhem, the Netherlands
Length of time using Oracle products: More than 20 years
Oracle ACE ace-2
What is your favorite tool or technique on the job? At this time, it’s definitely Oracle Application Express—which is, in my humble opinion, the best thing since sliced bread. In all my years using Oracle tools, I’ve never encountered a development environment that’s so intuitive and easy to use. The productivity is simply unbeatable—and with Release 4.0, the productivity will even increase, especially when building more Web 2.0-like applications.

What advice do you have for those just getting into software architecture? Always start with a good data model! That is the foundation for every decent application. If your data model has flaws, you’ll need a lot of code to overcome that—and you’ll always fail.

Which new features of Oracle Database are you currently finding most valuable? I really love the Edition-Based Redefinition feature in Oracle Database 11g Release 2. Since the whole economy is becoming more and more global, 24/7 availability is becoming a basic requirement. We needed a feature to avoid planned downtime due to an application upgrade, and Edition-Based Redefinition fills that gap.

Antonio Jose Rodrigues Neto
Peer Specs
Company: NetApp
Job title: Architect in the NetApp Customer Proof of Concepts Labs
Location: Research Triangle Park, North Carolina
Length of time using Oracle products: More than 10 years
Oracle ACE ace-2
What technology has most changed your life? I’d say technological theorems—in particular Little’s Law, Moore’s Law, and Metcalfe’s Law—have changed my life more than technologies. These laws caused such a big revolution, and without them, we wouldn’t have the technologies we have today. They’re responsible for everything from the internet to faster processors.

What advice do you have for those just getting into Web and database development? All technology today needs to be deployed and architected with a focus on three important pillars: the cloud, virtualization, and efficiency. The world is changing, technology is changing, and we need to be prepared for architecting and deploying solutions to match and address a future where the volume of data produced is huge—and service-level agreements will be more and more aggressive.

If you were going to the International Space Station for six months and could only take one IT reference book, what would it be? My favorite is The Art of Computer Systems Performance Analysis: Techniques for Experimental Design, Measurement, Simulation, and Modeling, by R.K. Jain [Wiley, 1991]. It’s basically a performance bible.