Log Buffer #166: A Carnival of the Vanities for DBAs

Posted in: Technical Track

This week the Log Buffer is a little more challenging for two reasons: a) Oracle Open World 2009 and b) the controversy around Monty Widenius‘ opposition to Oracle owning MySQL due to the Sun acquisition, so let’s go straight to the articles.

Oracle – Oracle Open World 2009

There is so much material about OOW09, that I’m giving a full subtitle to it.

Let’s start with a quick recap of the keynotes by Scott McNealy and Larry Elison in this article by Andrew Clarke: The return of The Scott And Larry Show. The recap suggests that the presentations aimed to show how Sun & Oracle (aka Team Red) would challenge IBM (aka Big Blue) head-on. Larry didn’t fail to mention Oracle’s intention to invest in MySQL.

Of course the conference wasn’t short on technical issues, and these articles prove it. Jason Arneil talks about 11 Things about 11gR2. Chen Shapira discusses one of the lessons she learned, and shares with us some Shell Script Tips.

Apparently one of the most exciting event was the Bloggers’ Meetup, and Pythian‘s T-shirts—which had to be signed by the attendees to win a netbook—were a great success. You can read all about it in Doug Burns’s article OOW 2009 – Blogger’s Meetup (don’t miss the links at the bottom for more of his articles); and in Richard Foote‘s Day 3 Highlights. And of course our own Alex Gorbachev’s blog Pythian OOW09 Diaries: Bloggers Meetup with plenty of pictures.

Last but not least is Oracle Magazine’s DBA of the Year: Husnu Sensoy. Congratulations from the folks at Pythian, Hunsu!


Let’s start with Chris Foot’s The Art of Being a Successful DBA – Finding Information Quickly.

I agree 100% with all Chris’s criteria, so here are my links for the MySQL DBAs: 1) Planet MySQL or it’s Twitter counterpart @mysql_community, 2) MySQL online documentation (remember to read the manuals), 3) MySQL Forums & 4) Twitter’s #mysql RSS feed. I have more resources bookmarked, but these are a great starting point. Jonathan Lewis’s article Experts is somewhat related and has great advice as well.

How many DBAs face the question of recovering data that has been accidentally deleted? Luis Moreno Campos presents Reversing the effect of a TRUNCATE TABLE in Oracle 11gR2. And still on typical DBAs’ tasks, we also have articles by Richard Foote: How To Rebuild And Make An Index Bigger, Not Smaller (Carry That Weight), Miladin Modrakovic’s Blocking locks history, Marco Gralike’s HOWTO: Partition Binary XML, XMLType Storage and Slavik Markovich’s important recommendation on security Blind SQL Injection in Oracle. The latter one has Oracle in the title, but I believe the concepts he discusses can be applied to any database.

MySQL … Or Should That Be Oracle?

Monty Widenius, one of the three founders and creators of MySQL wrote an interesting press release concerning Oracle/Sun explaining why he believes that the European Unionconcerns about Oracle owning MySQL are justified. This created quite a stir in the MySQL community, with many people writing their own open letters, recommendations, and editorials on the matter.

Zak Greant’s Letter to the EC on the Oracle/Sun Takeover, Lukas Kahwe Smith’s MySQL needs to be saved from Oracle? and Brian Aker’s RMS, GPL, The Peculiar Institution of Dual Licensing are just a sample of what’s out there. If you are interested in the subject, I recommend you browse the articles in Planet MySQL.

In my opinion, I don’t believe that the community and customers should be concerned—there are enough companies in the ecosystem with MySQL branches and and/or providing services, that any Oracle action to de-activate or damage MySQL would be pointless. The only companies that could be affected, are those who use MySQL embedded in products which are not released under GPL (OEM customers). These companies hold commercial licenses, but could still open their software under GPL or compatible licenses and concentrate in their core values to avoid any issues that Oracle may cause.


To finish on a high note, I’d like to highlight a few good MySQL-related articles that I came accross while preparing this blog.

Percona has published two good articles that help us to understand some of the decisions that a typical MySQL DBA has to face sooner or later. The first article describes when storing the data in the DB might not be a good idea and memcached would, in MySQL-Memcached or NOSQL Tokyo Tyrant – part 1. The other article discusses different High Availability strategies to use with MySQL in Finding your MySQL High-Availability solution – The questions with plenty of comments. Kris Buyaert decided to comment on the article in a blog of his own: Nines , Damn Nines and More Nines.

Finally, Lenz Grimmer invites us to submit talks for FOSDEM 2010 in Brussels, Belgium: FOSDEM Call For Participation opened – submit your talks now!. This might be a good excuse to visit Europe.

I hope the SQL Server folks don’t feel dissapointed that we left them out on this edition, but Oracle Open World and Monty‘s press release gave us too much material to sift through. I’m sure Dave will come up with plenty of cool highlights for you on the next edition of the Log Buffer.



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About the Author

I have been working with databases for the last 20 years. Prior to Pythian worked for MySQL for 6 years.

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