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9/23/2008
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Oracle Mum On 11g Refresh, Eyes Complex Event Processing

Instead of fresh news, Andy Mendelsohn, senior VP of database server technologies, offered a clinic on Oracle 11g best practices at Oracle OpenWorld.

The Oracle 11g database system is due for a refresh, but Oracle officials at this week's Oracle OpenWorld user group meeting in San Francisco said no announcement of Oracle 11g, release 2, will be forthcoming at this event.

Exactly what Larry Ellison, Oracle chairman, will have to say about "Xtreme performance" will be determined in his keynote Wednesday, but no hints were forthcoming in advance.

Databases, however, lend themselves to parallel operations. Multi-core blades and servers have the CPU capacity to execute parallel processing on a scale not previously available on low cost hardware. With new multi-core servers pouring out of IBM, HP, Dell, Sun and Intel, who's to say -- but Oracle has been quick to jump on the possibilities of parallel database processing and is able to provide some tools for it. Attendees may find out Wednesday afternoon when Ellison is scheduled to speak.

Instead of fresh news, Andy Mendelsohn, senior VP of database server technologies, offered a clinic Monday on Oracle 11g best practices.

Oracle's SQL Performance Analyzer can be used to aid an Oracle 10g user in a migration to Oracle 11g, Mendelsohn pointed out. The analyzer can take existing 10g queries and indicate how well they will perform against 11g, where they can be improved, and how to optimize them for maximum performance.

For both Oracle 10g and 11g, the TimesTen in-memory database system from Oracle can serve as performance booster by serving as a front end to Oracle as a back end. In-memory databases load frequently used data or anticipate needed data sets from queries and loading it into server memory, speeding response times by avoiding trips to disk.

The first patch set for Oracle 11g is now shipping, Mendelsohn told a crowd of Oracle users at the Moscone Center.

He advised listeners to consult the Maximum Available Architecture document on the Oracle Technology Network to learn the most skilled approaches to working with the database. "People don't understand best practices. We have a document that is updated frequently on OTN call MAA," he said. The document's editors cull best practices from a variety of users, Mendelsohn said.

The MAA is beginning to advise Oracle users on how they can use its automated, encrypted backup feature to do backups in the cloud. An Oracle user can commission a backup to Amazon S3 storage environment over the Internet, avoiding added capital cost and storage management, much as he would initiate a backup over his corporate network. The flow of data to the cloud is secure because of Oracle's encryption, he noted. A large Oracle customer has asked Oracle to customize the feature so that it can use it with a non-Amazon cloud, Mendelsohn said.

In an unrelated session, Thomas Kurian, senior VP of Fusion Middleware, said Oracle will introduce complex event processing into its middleware suite. Complex event processing identifies and monitors software events as if they were discrete transactions. CES can be programmed to watch for sets of software events or periodically query an event stream for exceptions or irregularities that might trigger alarms of possible compliance or security breaches, such as a Barclay's Bank trader undating its accounting system on his trades.

Complex event processing heretofore has been primarily the domain of startups, such as StreamBase Systems and Riverglass.

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