What’s your favorite tool on the job? Oracle Trace File Analyzer for Oracle Real Application Clusters [Oracle RAC] environments is the best log-mining tool available. In an Oracle RAC environment, sometimes with more than 10 nodes, Oracle Trace File Analyzer has the capability to highlight all important events, warnings, and errors that occurred on each of the cluster nodes during a specified time range. Such feedback at a glance speeds up any troubleshooting activities and allows me to get valuable information about the health of any known or unknown environments.
Job title/description: Oracle RAC DBA and data architect, working on customer projects and engineering and evolving complex architectures and database cloud solutions
Location: Lausanne, Switzerland
Oracle credentials: Oracle Certified DBA (Oracle9i Database, Oracle Database 10g, Oracle Database 11g, Oracle Database 12c), Oracle Certified Expert (Oracle Exadata X3 and X4 Administrator), and Oracle PartnerNetwork Certified Specialist (Oracle Real Application Clusters in Oracle Database 12c, Exadata Database Machine X3-2 and X3-8), with more than 16 years of experience using Oracle products
Oracle ACE Associate
You’ve taken Oracle University [OU] classes in the past. What led you to do this? I took my first OU class for Oracle Advanced Backup and Recovery, and it marked the beginning of my conversion from developer to DBA. My then-manager had asked me to start taking care of the company’s Oracle databases. I took one week of reflection before answering him, and in the end I decided that it was a good move—risky but interesting. So I accepted the responsibility, but on one condition: that I could attend the backup and recovery training courses. I remember telling him, “We can afford poor performance from time to time, but we definitely cannot afford to lose data.”
How are you using social media in your work these days? I’m quite active in professional social media, such as LinkedIn and Twitter. I mainly post recent analysis and troubleshooting, with the explanation of the steps performed. I personally find that describing in written form what happened gives me the opportunity to reanalyze the problem with a clear mind. And it may be useful to someone else in a similar situation.
Which new Oracle technologies are you currently finding most valuable? At the moment, I’m looking at VPNs [virtual private networks] and networking as part of IaaS and PaaS [infrastructure as a service and platform as a service]. If anyone is thinking about Oracle Cloud, then they need to take a look at the VPN space—and this is everything from Oracle Bare Metal Cloud FastConnect Service to a standard IaaS VPN. Combined with IP networks, VPNs are going to be a cornerstone of all cloud deployments—and it’s the thing you need to get right from the start.
Job title/description: Director of cloud strategy, enabling clients to transition into the cloud and ensuring that they get the most value out of the technology and the investment
Location: London, England
Oracle credentials: Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Certified Implementation Specialist, Oracle Certified Professional (Oracle9i Database, Oracle Database 10g, Oracle Database 11g), Oracle Database 11g Security Certified Implementation Specialist, and Oracle Infrastructure as a Service Cloud 2017 Certified Implementation Specialist, with 15 years of experience using Oracle products
Oracle ACE Associate
What advice do you have about getting into database development? For core DBAs, you need to gain an understanding of the technology ecosystem outside of the core database and understand the challenges that developers face. It’s no good explaining to application developers or IT staff that what they are doing is “wrong” or “not performant,” or that there’s a better way to do something, unless you understand both what they are trying to do and why they are doing it that way. This will help you understand the broader array of challenges faced in software and architecture and recognize the challenges and constraints everyone is working around.
What would you like to see Oracle, as a company, do more of? I’m interested in seeing the further developments in the Oracle Cloud space in IaaS and PaaS. There is clearly a lot of investment going into Oracle Cloud Platform and a lot of new capabilities coming along soon, both in the technology and the consumption models and how that can further ease cloud adoption.
How did you get started in IT? When I was a child, my mother had a job doing what was called data processing, which at the time involved keypunch cards. I got to do things like put the cards into the feeder, carry tapes and disk packs, and make holiday wreaths from used keypunch cards. When I was in 10th grade, we learned BASIC programming on Apple II computers in our math class. Over the next two years, I made a little side money charging people to do their programming homework for them. Career-wise, after college I went to work for a major bank, and my first assignment there was a mainframe general ledger implementation.
Job title/description: Consultant, functioning as a solution architect of Oracle Hyperion Financial Management and related modules
Location: Hickory, North Carolina
Oracle credentials: Oracle Certified Specialist (Oracle Hyperion Financial Management 11), with 24 years of experience using Oracle products
Oracle ACE Associate
Which new features in an Oracle application are you currently finding most valuable? In Oracle Hyperion Financial Data Quality Management, Enterprise Edition, one of the new features is called Universal Data Adapter, where you basically hook up the application to any relational table or view. Oracle Data Integrator is working underneath Oracle Hyperion Financial Data Quality Management to make things happen—and while that sounds pretty basic, there’s a great value to the end users. It’s simple to set up, and it just works.
What technology has most changed your life? Definitely the Oracle Hyperion consolidation products—first the now-defunct Hyperion Enterprise product; then Oracle Hyperion Financial Management; and, most recently, Oracle Financial Consolidation and Close Cloud Service, Oracle’s cloud solution for financial consolidation. These technologies have helped me build a career around financial consolidation consulting. With Oracle Financial Consolidation and Close Cloud Service, I’ve noticed that although the technology and platform are new, the design lessons learned over the years are being applied. For example, the intercompany matching report format uses the “same row” format from the Hyperion Enterprise product. I’m glad to see the return of what worked best.