Friday, March 23, 2007

RAC and getting involved

For the past couple weeks, we have been scrambling to figure out if we can implement RAC for a new, but ambitious, project. We have finally concluded that due to the deadline coming up so fast, we do not have enough in-house experience to push RAC as a fully-supported technology at this point in time.

However, that does not prevent us from reading books (K Gopal's "Real Application Clusters Handbook" is my current favorite), asking questions and essentially cramming our heads with information. Ironically, the hardest part has been acquiring the right hardware. A buddy gave me access to a VMWare installation, but getting the Cluster software installed and configured is a real pain in the but if you do not have console access. Must be other problems; one should be able to tunnel an x11 through ssh even for root, but I just have not gotten the right pieces in place yet. Our own department has been slow to provide hardware, not because the sysadmin do not want to, but because we are waiting to clear up the red tape. Grrr!

Regardless, I find the whole venture very exciting. I am glad we decided not to go with RAC, mostly because I feel it would make our DBA group look foolish. We have some really intelligent people on our team, and I believe in time we will have no problem supporting RAC (myself included). But to fast-track the whole thing and hope we will be ready is simply the wrong way to do a major project with national exposure.

In other events, I have started getting more involved with our local Oracle User Group a bit more. I am hoping that we can beef up the reputation of our OUG a little in several ways; brining in experts to talk about relevant and practical technologies (staying far away from product Sales!), present in-house white papers and provide an atmosphere of knowledge transfer and group learning in our technical community. Aside from our organization, we have some other high-tech companies around town, and I would love to bring the collective intelligence together.

But right now it is quite grass-roots. The current OUG president of our community started this thing about 2 years ago; even though it had a great start, I think interest has dwindled a little. Time to fuel the fire! =)