RAC Attack — Day 2 by Alex Gorbachev

Posted in: Technical Track

It’s all over now and I can’t describe how tired I am. As I type it, my flight from Chicago is delayed by 1.5 hour so far (the third delay already, 30 minutes each). I should say that I hate Chicago airport but I digress.

Last night, I left my presentation in a good state and verified the first batch of demos — all worked fine. This morning turned into a disaster as I found out that the rest of my demos stopped working — my 11g RAC cluster on Ubuntu (I have the reason for such unusual setup) got issues with network connectivity. I should probably blame VMware Fusion 2.0 beta combined with Ubuntu but the net result was failing network connections with weird TNS errors and hanging connection requests. Obviously, I couldn’t demonstrate advanced connection management without *simple* connections working.

Well, I didn’t have any other choice but to add new slides with some demo results. Since I did it in a rush, there were some overlaps and I ended up with way too many slides. Good news that the first demo generated sufficiently enough interest about services automation and connection load balancing so we spent significant time there. Well, nothing comes for free so the rest of the presentation had to be covered too quickly but I did manage to go through the failover scenarios and failover technologies available. Run-time load balancing and load balancing advisory wasn’t left aside either so I did make it till the very last slide!

All in all, today’s session wasn’t as good as yesterday but I managed to avoid a complete failure with the demos so I guess I shouldn’t complain.

This morning I checked how the labs went on the 24th floor and I should say that labs agenda looked very impressive and it seems that lab part was probably the best feature of the event. The amount of material Jeremy Schneider prepared was huge and there would be enough labs for 2 full days, not just one. The attendees could choose the areas they are interested in most and work on different threads with their own pace. Great job Jeremy!

Back to the reality and the airport… The flight Chicago-Ottawa is 3+ hours late and they moved us to another gate. Oh… Do I hate Chicago airport! In the meantime I managed to transfer this text from my MacBook to the Blackberry and publishing it from there. The Blackberry syncronisation utility for Mac is a big shame. Can’t wait for iPhone…

To finish on a good note — I’m very glad I came to RAC Attack! What a pleasure to see old friends and make new ones. I just hope I can actually *leave* this place…

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About the Author

What does it take to be chief technology officer at a company of technology experts? Experience. Imagination. Passion. Alex Gorbachev has all three. He’s played a key role in taking the company global, having set up Pythian’s Asia Pacific operations. Today, the CTO office is an incubator of new services and technologies – a mini-startup inside Pythian. Most recently, Alex built a Big Data Engineering services team and established a Data Science practice. Highly sought after for his deep expertise and interest in emerging trends, Alex routinely speaks at industry events as a member of the OakTable.

5 Comments. Leave new

Bradd Piontek
August 6, 2008 8:14 am

Wish I could have made it down for the event. At least my colleague, Daniel, was able to attend. I agree whole-heartedly on your ORD assessment :) I avoid flying through chicago at all costs. Hope you made it back to ottawa in a ORD reasonable amount of time.


It was great seeing you again and I hope you finally got home last night. Departing (or arriving at) ORD is always an adventure. I usually use ORD for my travels and while there are isolated (very) negative experiences, overall I have had pretty decent luck there. I like the fact that once you get on the plane (when it eventually leaves), you rarely have to connect to get just about anywhere in the world.

Anyway, I appreciate your participation in this event and I think it was more valuable due to the participation of the great speakers like you. The labs were great as well, but the speakers and their engaging style was a great benefit to the participants! Looking forward to seeing you at OOW next month too. I hope your move goes well!


I would have loved to have gone. I’m hoping to do some self-training by setting up a 2-node RAC using VirtualBox machines running CentOS5 (including a HOWTO blog post, probably a HOWNOTTO to follow).

And at least you weren’t stranded in Chicago O’Hare overnight a mere 3 hours from home!

Jeremy Schneider
August 6, 2008 12:29 pm

I’ve had both good and bad experiences at O’Hare too and I agree with Dan… it is nice to get a direct flight anywhere. Just be glad you didn’t fly out one night earlier:

“Travelers at Chicago O’Hare, one of the busiest U.S. airports, were evacuated into the lower levels of the complex’s buildings. All flights were temporarily halted, and travelers who had already boarded airplanes were taken off and also were sent to the lower levels as a precaution.”


I lost power at home sometime Monday and we were still in the dark when I came to work this morning!

Anyway, I also had a great time at the RAC Attack event! I enjoyed meeting everyone and catching up with people I’d met before – and I had fun putting the labs together too. I love helping people do this stuff hands-on because I think it’s such a great way to learn. Best of luck with the move and I’m looking forward to the next time we run into each other!

David Edwards
August 6, 2008 2:07 pm

See also this item from August 4, by Dan York: The incredibly sorry state of our expectations around air travel in 2008.


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