My Oracle CloudWorld trip is now well and truly over, and all that was left, was to return back home to the UK. I had a 3 leg journey home, Las Vegas to Los Angeles, Los Angeles to Paris and finally Paris to Manchester. Despite the 3 legs, it was the shortest route back that day.
My flight wasn’t till 3pm, so I spent few couple of hours packing, watching Manchester United on TV and having breakfast.
On the way to the Harry Reid International Airport, I could still see the strip as the airport is only 3 miles away from the strip.
Check in was relatively simple, so I spend a couple of hours browsing the shops to try find gifts for the family. No joy, so decided to have lunch before boarding the plane. When I asked for a large meal I didn’t realise the drink is a whooping 1 litre! (excuse the punt)
Once boarded the plane, the pilot mentioned it was a really choppy flight in from Los Angeles and expected it to be the same if not worse going back. So we was instructed to not leave our seats and keep belts on whole journey. It had been pretty sunny and hot for the whole week but that morning it was cloudy and pretty windy. A concert that people all over US had travelled to see got cancelled, quite a lot of guest were in my hotel for the concert and were not happy. I was gutted for them but I didn’t think anymore, clearly it was getting worse as I looked out the window and I couldn’t see the strip anymore as visibility reduced.
Still looking gloomy and we’re stuck on the tarmac as air traffic control staggers the flights in and out.
Then my iPhone and Apple Watch went berserk to get my attention. It was an Emergency Alert, I didn’t event know these existed! Was quite a scary message with emotive words of “Stay Alive!”.
Clearly a dust storm was approaching. We was delayed by an hour and I was getting worried as I was scheduled to land in Los Angeles at the point but was still in Las Vegas! I only had 1.5 hours to get my flight to Paris! We eventually took off at that point as we flew out the dust storm, but it was a pretty hairy take off with the plane immediately banking 20-30% and then the pilot correcting with it banking the other way. Pilot ascended pretty rapidly with a lot of stomach churching drops as the turbulence was the worse I’ve ever experienced.
We arrived at Los Angeles and I had only 30 minutes to get my next flight. I truly believed I wouldn’t make it, but I had to give it a go and pretty much legged it all the way to the gate! What a huge airport as I arrived at the gate 5 minutes before takeoff. At this point I was adamant I had missed the flight, but to my surprise they were still boarding. So I managed to make the flight, albeit a bit bothered and sweaty 🥵
It was a long 11 hours flight, but it wasn’t too bad as I manged to have dinner, then get about 4-6 hours of broken sleep before having breakfast. Arrived in good time at Paris, did some more browsing and managed to get the family some gifts this time. Then it was on to the final leg to Manchester!
I had clearly made it onto the flight to Paris within the 30 minutes I had but my luggage clearly didn’t as it was still showing in Los Angeles via Apple AirTag.
The final flight from Paris to Manchester was pleasant and quick. And I was finally back to home town of Manchester 😎 I filled in the form for delayed baggage and left the airport to go home. Was really looking forward to seeing the family.
It been a brilliant trip, many thanks to Oracle Ace Program for the CloudWorld ticket and to my employer Version 1 for covering travel, accomodation and time out the office.
Till CloudWorld 23, take care and I hope you enjoyed reading this blog post series and apologies for the delay in writing it all up 🙄
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The Oracle CloudWorld conference had finished, but before I went home I had one last thing to do! Attend the Oracle Ace Adventure, whereby Oracle Aces courtesy of the Oracle Ace Program get taken to Grand Canyon 😎
So it was an early start with a 6:25am coach!
This was out tour guide/comedy Anthony
All eagerly listening to the facts that Antony was telling us
This was the first glimpse of the Colorado river 😎
With Osama at the highest point in Grand Canyon at Guano Point!
Appreciating the beautiful view of Grand Canyon!
On the way back, we got to see Hoover Dam!
The white area is where the water used to be against the Grand Canyon wall. There is a water shortage in Las Vegas as they consume more water then is received and hence the waterline has been failing over the years! Anthony said the statue of liberty could fit in the height of the water area, showing how much water has actually drop down!
Final photo of the Oracle Ace Adventure as we headed back to Las Vegas strip.
The main bulk of the conference was over, with all the keynotes presented. Today was more Oracle, partners, customers and end users sessions to wrap up the conference.
20x Faster Analytics, 25x Faster Machine Learning with MySQL HeatWave on AWS
I’m not so familiar MySQL and I hadn’t heard of HeatWave this CloudWorld, so I thought I’d try something different and went to this session. Mandy Pang, Senior Principal Product Manager at Oracle explained how MySQL HeatWave is one database for OLTP, OLAP and Machine Learning.
She went on to explain the continuous innovation in MySQL HeatWave.
It was here where I came to fully understand that MySQL HeatWave is the traditional MySQL database for the backend but has a in-memory layer on top called “HeatWave” which effectively accelerates OLAP and Machine Learning.
It’s very similar to the Oracle Autonomous Database as in many common tasks are automated and it has extreme performance.
Next Nitin Kunal, Director, Software Development at Oracle explains how MySQL HeatWave is faster then RedShift, Snowflake, Big Query and Synapse.
It’s also better price performance than Redshift, Snowflake, Big Query and Synapse.
He also went onto explain:
Innovative in-memory hybrid columnar engine
Massive Parallel Architecture using high-fanout partitioning
Multi engine query optimisation
Auto Query Plan Improvement
Auto Scheduling, reducing wait time for mixed (OLTP & OLAP) workloads
Auto Data Placement, ML prediction of optimal in-memory partitioning column
After the session I had a wonder in the DevNucleus area and saw the RedBull racing simulators and the world’s largest Raspberry Pi cluster!
Using Machine Learning Models to Assist Programming of Cochlear Implants
My next session was one that was an interesting topic as my parents are both profoundly deaf, so I was intrigued to how Machine Learning Models could assist programming of cochlear implants.
It was early days but Max Storr, Data Analytics Engineer from DSP-Explorer explained how a cochlear implant has 22 channels and that they need to be fine tuned which a highly skilled clinical staff would do over several appointments. With the Machine Learning, they were able to predict the settings reducing the overall tuning period. As still early days, there was more proving and convincing the National Institute for Health Research for the Machine Learning to be incorporated into the process and helping patients.
Oracle Database Service for Microsoft Azure Best Practices
Next session was one I was interested in, as would give me better insight into the more recently new services of Oracle Database Services in Azure.
Suzanne Holliday, Senior Principal Product Manager, Oracle Cloud Database Services and Tammy Bednar, Senior Director of Product Manager, Oracle Cloud Database Services presented this one.
The services effectively allows Azure customers to provision an Oracle Database in OCI directly from Azure. It allows direct access to the database over private Azure-OCI interconnect, unlocking all the benefits of Oracle database Services to Azure customers.
All the networking is provisioned automatically, and the Azure ExpressRoute and OCI FastConnect data and port charges are all included.
Some pre-provisioning best practices in both Azure and OCI.
In summary, a lot of automation simplify the user experience, single sing-on using Azure AD credentials, manage from Azure portal with integrated monitoring and finally get collaborative support from Microsoft and Oracle for any issues.
AutoUpgrade 2.0: Internals and New Features
Next session was about AutoUpgrade tool, talking about new features.
Rodrigo Jorge explains the first of many new features, the ability to apply Release Updates via AutoUpgrade.
Next Daniel Overby Hansen, explained how AutoUpgrade can now handle encryption but a keystore needs to be configured.
Next Rodrigo explains when you have multiple PDBs and RAC cluster with low number of CPUs per node, then distributed upgrades of the PDBs can be done over 2 nodes to parallel run PDB upgrades to reduces the overall time by utilising 2nd node CPUs.
Finally went over some new console commands.
Automatic Index Management in Oracle Database
The penultimate session, about Automatic Index Management, which is an exclusive Exadata feature.
Explaining how managing indexes has become a specialist skillset and how we rely on experts to manage.
What Automatic Indexing does, is being that “expert” 24 by 7 at no extra cost.
It works in the background without inputs or action but does allow for preferences and give ability to check activity through reports.
Similar to how manual indexing is done, identify potential new indexes, verify they give better execution plans, decide to implement, validate whilst invisible, then if validated then make visible and monitor for usages. If not used for 3 months, drop index.
Encryption is Easy – Make Key Management Easy Too with Oracle Key Vault
The final session of Oracle CloudWorld is about Oracle Key Vault.
Oracle Transparent Encryption (TDE) has been around since 2005 and has been getting easier over time.
TDE innovations over time, online encryption, column encryption, split TDE in Data Guard, etc.
Encryption introduces key management needs of key governance and compliance, secure key sharing and archiving such as in RAC, key management at scale!
Oracle Key Vault resolve all this with a High Availability and Diester Recovery architecture, so it doesn’t become a single point of failure. No keys no data!
This now concluded Oracle CloudWorld, and it was starting to get empty at The Venetian.
Time to take one last photo!
Also getting empty at the Caesars Forum!
The date for next year, 18th to 21st of September 2023. Hopefully I’m back!
As I go to the monorail to take me back to my hotel, I pass through Hall A-D as they already start to get cleared up!
The conference may have ended but tomorrow is the Oracle Ace Adventure and we’re off to Grand Canyon 😎😁👍🏽
Keynote: What’s New and Next for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure
The day started with the keynote from Clay Magouyrk, Executive Vice President of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Oracle.
Next Kelsey Szot, Co-Founder and Product Lead at Adept came to stage. She discussed Machine Learning with Clay and explain how models for Machine Learning are trained as task specific models. However, now with vast amount of GPU in OCI, this allows for the scale of compute for foundation models. Where they are trained on large scale of data on the internet and then given the specific data, and these model can outperform the task specific models. So rather then many task specific models, we can have generic foundation models. She believed in the future, writing code from human to compute language will be automatically translated with Machine Learning.
After this, Clay then talked about:
Serverless Kubernetes, Container Instances
GPU Super Clusters
MongoDB compatibility in the Oracle database
MySQL HeatWave LakeHouse
He then went onto, how Public Cloud is great, it gives you:
However despite this, Public Cloud adoption in the last 15 years is only 32% compared to Smart Phone, which has a 91% adoption!
Why is this? Well because it can be complicated:
Data residency, security, and privacy
Latency and performance
Expensive to migrate
Expensive to run
Then went onto explain how right cloud partner can make it much simpler
He then went onto explain how customers want the ‘best in breed’ and therefore customer will not just use a single Public Cloud provider but multiple. And how multi-cloud is going to become the norm, therefore with Oracle are making it so ‘You can easily integrate with other clouds’.
He then went onto ‘You can get full functionality where you need it’ and how OCI Dedicated Region is now only 12 racks. ‘You’ve got Public Cloud right where you want it’ with starting commitment of $1M per year.
Next Scott Petty, Chief Digital & IT Officer at Vodafone comes to the stage.
He spoke about how Vodafone is optimising, providing digital offerings and building a scale platform. They have a Cloud First strategy and are upgrading/modernising ‘legacy’ mission critical systems. They have approximately 6,000 databases, and have opted for 6 OCI dedicated regions, of which 1 has already gone live. They are migrating 6 databases per day to the new platform and decommissioning the old kit that no longer needed as they go.
Clay next spoke about Oracle Alloy, one of the significant announcements from Oracle CloudWorld, which is basically Oracle’s Cloud @ Customer but allows Oracle partners to become Cloud providers themselves and offer services built on OCI to their customers. The Oracle partner can set their own pricing, add IP, branding, etc. More information can be seen in the announcement here.
Next he explained how 82% of large enterprises use multiple Clouds, 27% increase from last year. Then proceeded to updated us all on the OCI Azure Interconnect, how it’s in 12 regions with 300+ customers with 2ms latency. Next spoke about the more recent service of Oracle Database Service for Azure, with streamline experience, federated identity and low latency. Following this spoke about MySQL on HeatWave on AWS, how it massively accelerated queries, allowed for OLTP and analytics in one and zero app changes required. HeatWave is a in-memory layer on top MySQL, more info here. He advised MySQL HeatWave will also be available in Azure in November 2022. Next Sudha Raghavan, Vice President, Trust, Observability, and Privacy at Oracle demonstrated MySQL on HeatWave on AWS.
Finally Clay ended with how Oracle wanted to connect their services with other clouds, combine other’s services with OCI and finally want to improve the interoperability between clouds. Closing remarks were that OCI ‘A robust cloud’, ‘Where you need it’ and That works well with others’, ‘That’s the future of cloud’.
Is It Possible to Scale Memory with Less DRAM?
After the keynote I headed to a session by John Hubbard, Cloud Solution Architect at Intel.
Who talked about how tiered memory architecture can be used to expand memory capacity, whilst still have high performance and low TCO. Have same memory for less or double memory for same cost.
Explained how “active” memory is the consumed memory that is frequently in use, where as not all consumed memory is not active but “locked”. His presentation was in the context of VMware vSphere, so these would be Virtual Machines (VMs) that are hogging memory from the host memory.
Explaining how keeping “active” memory in DRAM with the rest of consumed in Persistent Memory (PMEM) is best use case.
Currently PMEM goes in the memory slots in the server, however in the future they could go on PCI via CXL interface.
Closed with tiered memory can give the balance of the best of today’s memory of DDR DRAM and PMEM, most workloads if “active” memory fits within DRAM can benefit with minimal impact.
Oracle Ace Lounge
Before the next keynote, I volunteered to help out at the Oracle Ace Lounge for an hour. On my visit to the Oracle Ace Lounge I went past the Premier League trophy and had to have a photo taken 😎
Always great to meet other Oracle Aces
I then spent an hour at the Oracle Ace Lounge with Abigail, Ron, Kayla and Jennifer, waiting for Oracle Aces to collect their Ace Swag as you can see below:
After this was the Oracle Ace chocolate tasting, which has become a tradition now. Jennifer and Opal on duty.
What’s New and Next for Oracle Fusion Applications
Final keynote was presented by Steve Miranda, Executive Vice President, Applications Development, Oracle. All companies are finding it tricky to navigate an uncertain world, Oracle is therefore pivoting and changing to address new needs and demands. He said “The companies and individuals that embraced change came out better”, “There’s one thing for certain, things will change and the speed of change is only going to get faster and faster”. To help with this, Oracle B2B Commerce launched in partnership with JP Morgan. B2B commerce requires too many steps and processes to complete, Steve said “We’re going to change how all that works”, showing that the changes can be done quicker and more easier.
Takis Georgakopoulos, Global Head of Payments at J.P. Morgan spoke about integrated payment systems with FexEx offering integrated logistics services.
He next spoke about how Fusion Applications solves today’s challenges, by offering nearly everything that your business might need how Oracle is 100% focused on your success.
How it’s build on next generation Cloud Infrastructure.
He next showed how recognisable brand across the global use Oracle Fusion Applications in financial, digital, gaming, grocery, etc.
Next Javier Echave, Chief Financial Officer, Heathrow Airport comes to stage. Heathrow partners with 80 airlines and works with around 400 companies, thus requires technology systems that are malleable and resilient says Javier. He then likened to the iconic quote from spider man “with great power comes great responsibility” as he gives Steve a spider man teddy. Luckily Oracle Fusion Applications offers the support Heathrow needs.
Steve final guest was Jeanine Carlucci, Head of Employee Digital & Service Experience at JP Morgan Chase & Co. She explained she looked after 300K employees across 70 countries, and how 60 different platforms were brought down to just 1, using a whole range of Oracle Services making the Employee Digital and Service Experience much better.
Finally Steve wrapped up with summary of Oracle Fusion Cloud Applications and thanked us all for coming and hopes Oracle can be the key to help all its customers succeed.
Oracle Ace Dinner
After the final keynote, I went back to the Oracle Ace Lounge to kill some time with fellow Oracle Aces. Before finally walking over to the Canaletto Ristorante Veneto, overlooking the Grand Canal at The Venetian Resort, for a private dinner event for Oracle Aces hosted by Oracle Database Product Management.
Prior to sitting down, we had the customary Oracle Ace photo, although you might struggle to spot me 🤦🏽♂️
Food on the menu looked good 😋
Gerald kicked off the Oracle Ace Dinner, by welcoming us all and then introduced Juan, Executive Vice President, Mission Critical Database Technologies who thanks us all.
I’m a fan of Juan as he tends to do all the key/new announcements on Exadata, so I follow him keenly and it was a pleasure to meet him and get chance to speak.
Also got to meet Marc from dbi services, who I spent most of the dinner and evening talking to 😂
Oracle CloudWorld Party
After the Oracle Ace Dinner, we all walked to the Oracle CloudWorld party, which this year was a bit lowkey compared to the past Treasure Island and Chase Center, but then again CloudWorld was much smaller then past OpenWorlds. Oracle along with all conferences globally are suffer post Covid 😥
Nevertheless the party was decent, it was Cloud and Unicorn themed I guess due to CloudWorld and Steve Miller Band who were performing at the party, sponsored by Intel.
Tomorrow will be day 3 of the conference, the last day of the Oracle CloudWorld 🙁
Sorry it’s taken long to get this post up, it’s taken several hours over several days 🤦🏽♂️. Hopefully have the final days out over next coming days.
So my day 3 was actual the first proper day of the conference. I was already registered, so I had breakfast in the Caesars Forum as I passed through this building from the monorail to the Venetian where all the keynotes were. There was a long queue to get into the first keynote.
However, the queue was moving and it wasn’t long before I was in where I headed for the front and managed to find a seat spare.
It was a full house as you can see in the video on my twitter feed.
It was then time for keynote to start and Safra Catz the CEO of Oracle to make an entrance which was done in spectacular style.
Safra was first met on stage by Jensen Huang from Nvidia, who talked about how to accelerate workloads, whilst using less resources and costing less by using AI in the Oracle Cloud
Next was Gordon Mackechnie from Deutsche Bank talking about increasing demand, innovation, governance and scaling Mission Critical systems using Oracle Cloud
Next was Raul Obregón Servitje from Grupo Bimbo talking about their cloud first strategy and their ERP on-premises to SaaS Fusion in the Oracle Cloud journey
Next was Diane Schwarz CIO of Johnson Controls, a 137 year-old company. She talked about their Digital Transformation journey, reducing Tech Debt, Cloud First using Oracle Cloud for their ERP on SaaS Fusion. She spoke about the need to not embark on this journey alone, saying how she had spoken to other CIOs and the requirement for strong governance and leadership. She left with a saying “She who goes alone, goes fast. She who goes together, goes further”.
Next was Mike Macrie CIO and Lee Tsukroff CFO from Melissa & Doug, no. 1 toy brand in US talking about innovation, moving to professional back-end ERP Fusion so they can focus on what they are best at, making toys.
Final keynote speaker was Christian Horner, Team Principal of Red Bull Racing F1. He mentioned how airport immigration had recognised him but not his wife Geri Halliwell, hence how popular Formula 1 had become. He talked about how Red Bull are building their own engine using power of Oracle Cloud OCI, to do millions of simulations per second of fluid dynamics to get the most efficient design. And how they using a competitor’s engine would result at being second best, so they had to build their own as Honda pulls out of building engines.
Oracle Database Directions
After the keynote I headed to Andy Mendelsohn, Executive Vice President of Oracle Database Server Technologies. He talked about converged Oracle database, Oracle Autonomous database and talked about the new Oracle Database Service for Azure. One key point, he alluded to happen next year was the partnership with AWS to interconnect the Clouds together, just like the Oracle Azure interconnect. Watch this space!
Keynote: Solving the Most Complex Problems Across Industries
This was Larry Ellison, the chairman of the board and CTO of Oracle keynote.
He shared how we can take some of the most complex problems across entire industries with the right technology and strategy. Oracle had brought Cerner, more details here, and largely this keynote was talking about the challenges in the medical industry and how Oracle using technology can, with Cerner, resolve complex problems like the sharing of medical records, tracking of covid vaccines and providing systems to medical professionals to do their jobs easier.
Migrating VMware Workloads to the Cloud
Ray Kalmbach from Oracle and Troy Ligon from InComm Payments talked about how to migrate VMware workloads to the Oracle Cloud using Oracle Cloud VMware Solution (OCVS), more details here.
They explained how you can create a VMware ESXi cluster using OCI bare metal compute in the Oracle Cloud. Effectively extending your VMware from on-premises to Oracle Cloud. Allowing your Virtual Machines (VMs), to be migrated from on-premises to Oracle Cloud with a simple vMotion action. Then those VMs can be complimented with other OCI services, and then eventually go Cloud native if desired.
Oracle Database, What’s New, What’s Next
Jenny Tsai-Smith and Dominic Giles spoke about Oracle Database, What’s New, What’s Next. Explaining that Oracle Database 23c was the next long term support release, code name App Simple. Accelerating Oracle’s mission to make it simple to develop and run all data-driven apps. Oracle 23c is sum of 21c and 23c with 300+ new features and enhancements, with key focus on JSON, Graph, Microservices and Developer Productivity.
Also announced was:
One year of waived extended support for Oracle 19c, more details here from my colleague Paul.
Monthly Recommended Patches to replace Release Update Revisions, more details here.