First, a note about how I’m going to write up this year’s UKOUG Conference. There was a looooot happening this conference, both socially and learning-wise, so I’m going to break things up – first, I’ll write up my thoughts on the presentations (over several blog entries!) and then I’ll write up my networking/social/fun thoughts.
So anyway, this year, UKOUG and the Oak Table guys got together and put on an extra day’s worth of sessions (which were repeated later on in the conference). Despite National Express East Anglia/Network Rail’s best efforts (Cambridge train station was closed!) I managed to get to Birmingham in time for the start of OakTable Sunday – mainly due to the fact that my other half very kindly drove me to Milton Keynes so that I could catch the train from there! This had the bonus side effect of me not having to get up early enough to catch the coach from Cambridge station at 5:50am!
Anyway, on with the presentation write-ups:
Tales From The OakTable – Mogens Nørgaard
I’ve never seen Mogens before, though I’ve heard plenty about him, and it was somewhat of a shock! He was incredibly laid back, and started off by saying that we were probably not going to learn anything over the conference, or at most, about 5% would stick with us after the conference.
He treated us to a few stories about the OakTable and its members, encouraging stories from Oakies in the audience too. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of this, really, as it was a very strange talk! Perhaps if I’d seen Mogens present before, then it wouldn’t have been a surprise!
About Multiblock Reads – Frits Hoogland
This was about the changes to multiblock reads in 11g, and how you cannot rely on scattered reads anymore – sometimes it will choose to do direct path reads, which means that you lose the advantages of query results being cached. This could be a good thing or not, but it was something I was unaware of (even though Doug has apparently already blogged about it!). Given that we will hopefully be migrating our 10g databases to 11g next year, I’m very glad I went to this session!
Optimizer Statistics – A Fresh Approach – Connor McDonald
Having seen Connor present at the 2009 UKOUG conference, I was determined that I was going to see as many of his presentations as I could. Thankfully, he presents on topics that are relevant to me, but even if he didn’t, I’d go along and see him in action! Honestly, if you’ve never seen him present, if you should ever get the chance to do so, do! He is *a* *maze* *ing!
Connor talked about statisics, both object and database stats, such as how you should gather stats, etc. There were some ideas in there that I’d never considered before (pending stats), but I’ll definitely go back to work and think about our stats strategies etc!
Statistics Gathering and Histograms – DOs and DON’Ts – Wolfgang Breitling
Following on from Connor’s presentation was Wolfgang’s. He went into more detail on histograms and was of the same opinion as Connor – don’t use histograms if you don’t need to; set them explicitly. Another talk I shall consider when looking at our stats gathering!
Performance and High Availablility Panel Session
Finally, the OakTable Sunday was topped off by a panel session of various OakTable members who took questions from the audience and wanted to know about the longest prod outage that people were brave enough to own up to! Thankfully, I’ve never caused a prod outage, but someone had had an overnight outage and someone else had had 18 hours although I don’t think it was caused by them. Connor won on the monetary outage front – he managed to hose a 10 million Aussie dollar truck through a bit of dodgy code!