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Oracle: Soul sucking daemons?

2004-03-05 00:25:31.894576+00 by Dan Lyke 11 comments

As I read through the installation docs, I think I've realized that the answer to why DBAs tend to walk through life looking slightly dazed and why Oracle seems have something over other database systems: Clearly Oracle feeds off the souls of those who administer it.

[ related topics: Dan's Life Databases ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2004-03-05 10:47:00.055592+00 by: meuon

Oracle feeds off of those companies that have already made a considerable investment in it, and must continue because the cost of re-tooling is too high. It's also an agressive marketing company, in the dot-com boom, we got told we MUST use it for a project for VC to take us seriously. We were using Sybase 11.0.3 on Linux on 6way SMP systems and could not create measurable server load. Like Microsoft, Oracle has a FUD department aka Marketing.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-03-05 17:03:24.712226+00 by: markd

I've got an Oracle 8i DBA cert, mainly using it as a curriculum to learn the guts of the db so I could be self-sufficient. I *hate* having to go to someone saying "it's bwoke. fix it for me!." My admins loved it when I could say "it's broken, the TMP tablespace has filled up. Here's how to fix it, and here's what the developers need to do to keep it from happening". But yes, there was a necessary soul transfer into the Collective, not to mention the mandatory partial lobotomy.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-03-05 19:04:55.79421+00 by: Jerry Kindall

I'm shocked that Microsoft hasn't produced an Oracle quirk-compatible version of SQL Server and priced it to undercut Oracle. Seems like it's something they would do. Maybe that's because nobody knows all of Oracle's quirks.

#Comment Re: oracle development made: 2004-03-05 22:19:55.238475+00 by: flushy

One of the companies I worked for in Florida, whom I will not disclose, even though it is based in Kissimee, and backed by one of the founders of HSN, spent about a mil on developing their warehouse management, pic ticketing, inventory control and e-commerce solution completely on top of Oracle.

Problem is - it never worked. They even had Oracle paid developers working in-house, trying to finish something that Oracle had said was "good to go right out of the box". It ran on every peice of hardware that was suggested by Oracle. This company didn't cut corners, they had the money, and they bought whatever they were told to buy.

In the end, the big man sued the shit out of them and won. They eventually went back to Microsoft's Great Pains, but I believe they dropped that and went with "something" eagle? This has been eons since I was involved, but they are happy with what they have now.

The company Oracle DBA was a good guy, and knew his way around Oracle. I was amazed at the number of hoops he had to jump through in order to perform administration of the system. He didn't know much else outside of that world however. Perhaps it is the old saying that you learn more and more about less and less till you know everything about nothing?

#Comment Re: made: 2004-03-05 22:58:44.11101+00 by: Dan Lyke

Ages ago there was a Heinlein (I think) short story about the ultimate power source which was run by people who had developed a feel for it. This feel couldn't be automated, and any screw up would destroy a large portion of the planet. But, of course, the amount of power generated meant that the world depended on it and the people who had the skills to run the system were gods.

Unless they ever screwed up. I forget if in that case there was enough of humanity left that their names would then forever more be remembered, or not.

I have the same vision of the Oracle DBA, this person with highly developed reflexes tuning almost limitless amounts of power on the barest edge of turning your enterprise into just another sun.

/root/Disk1/runInstaller is telling me that I need "redhat-2.1, UnitedLinux-1.0 or redhat-3". I just downloaded the damned thing, and am trying to install it on something modern; I've no idea where I'd come up with any of those distributions, and I've a feeling it'd laugh at me if I did...

#Comment Re: made: 2004-03-06 00:09:30.53174+00 by: Shawn [edit history]

United Linux is [supposedly] a modern distro. It was a partnership set up by Caldera[Wiki](now SCO) before they completely lost their minds. The stated objective was to create a "standard" distribution that companies could develop against (for drivers and such).

#Comment Re: made: 2004-03-06 03:29:36.808086+00 by: markd

I'd go look at SuSE for decent oracle Support documents.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-03-06 13:50:02.370068+00 by: ghasty

The thing about Oracle, quirky as it is for DB, is that it works. Now don't get me started on any Oracle applications. My unnamed company has spent millions on various Oracle applications and then spent millions killing them after Oracle experts leave. They promise the world in their applications and never ever produce...

#Comment Re: made: 2004-03-06 16:00:20.838803+00 by: John Anderson

I need redhat-2.1, UnitedLinux-1.0 or redhat-3

I think RedHat 2.1 and RedHat 3 are referring to the enterprise (RHEL) versions.

Generally speaking, with commercial Linux software and non-RHEL Linux, you end up poking around in the installer script (which is inevitably some ghu-forsaken shell shite), figuring out what it would do if it thought it was on the proper sort of system, and then doing that same thing by hand. IME, anyway.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-03-10 14:43:24.273561+00 by: ebradway

Red Hat and Oracle teamed up to create the RHEL. This is also the only current distro that ESRI ArcIMS claims to run on - that and RH 7.2. I'm stuck running ArcIMS on Apache on Win2K as screwed up as that sounds...

I worked for a while with a certain snack cake manufacturer. In the early 90s they decided to change from an all-FoxPro, in-house developed app shop to a purchased applications, based on Oracle shop. The first thing they did was send all of their IT staff to Atlanta for training. The second thing they did was hire an entirely new IT staff at double the salary because their old staff all bolted once they were able to double their salary as Oracle trained pros.

They were heavily dependent on Oracle applications and when I saw what I mess they were, and the kind of dollars companies are willing to part with to get them to work, somewhat, I almost shifted my career to focus on Oracle Apps. In 1998, conservative companies were paying $300/hr without limits to people who could help them make heads or tails of the Oracle applications.

And yes, the Oracle DBA is the ghost in the machine that makes it all work. I like Oracle's model much better than Microsoft's though. Too many people feel that because SQL Server can be setup with a couple clicks of the mouse, that they can run it and are database administrators. Running a large database for a large company REQUIRES intimate knowledge of the system. Just like on the production line, you have engineers who know who each machine works and knows how to tweak each one while it's running to maintain efficiency.

#Comment SF story thing made: 2004-03-12 06:37:40.854024+00 by: baylink

I believe, Dan, that you're thinking of Spider's 'relativists', who meditate on the star drive to make it happy enough to function. From a short story in either By Any Other Name[Wiki] or the other collection.

On the Grait Pains replacement topic, I'd be interested to hear what that client ended up with; I have a client who might be going there shortly.