I stood on the sidelines of this thread too long. Today, Justin Kestelyn these original posts where Justin posed that although there is a lot of blogging activity around Oracle, there doesn’t seem to be the same Web 2.0 buzz that someone like Robert Scoble would take notice of. Fellow OakTable Network member Doug Burns stepped in with this post. So what’s my take?This thread goes back to
Aristocracy or Meritocracy?
I started this blog in October 2006 and at one point found a reference to my blog on blogs.oracle.com. Not that it generated any traffic, but I thought that was interesting because I didn’t ask to get a reference there. But the fact that it generated no appreciable traffic to my site is what I think Scoble is talking about. When I think about it, it seems my blog more than deserves at least a link from blogs.oracle.com, the bigger question is what criteria goes into that blogroll? Is it aristocracy, or meritocracy?
These days when I find myself sitting with Vice Presidents or members of the technical staff in Oracle Server Technologies Division (ST) or doing something like writing a jointly produced whitepaper with ST (as I am right now on a cool Oracle11g feature), I wonder why there are those small circles of relative late-comers to this Oracle stuff that mistake me for being an “Oracle-basher.” Folks, I spent an entire decade as a member of a small team of platform engineers optimizing Oracle at the port level for improved SMP, and later, NUMA. I also participated in the most important benchmarks that made Oracle money in the 1990s—customer-defined benchmarks where bake-offs between, say, Informix PDQ and IBM SP2 or Teradata or Sybase were at stake. I spent so much time in building 400 (Server Technologies) of Oracle’s HQ that I maintained a fully furnished apartment right down the street on Marine Parkway. I’m an Oracle basher? No.
Let’s say I was to state matter-of-factly that Miscrosoft Windows 3.1 was a complete pile of garbage. Does that actually make me a Microsoft basher? No, it simply means that there was an offering from Microsoft that I didn’t like. Big deal. I wasn’t much of a fan of Oracle SQL*Calc either—and neither was anyone else so Oracle discontinued it. I bet there will be no more than about 42 readers of this blog that even remember SQL*Calc.
Automatic Storage Management. Bashing?
I have taken a position that in its current form, Automatic Storage Management (ASM) is often times over-positioned. Let me be clear about this. I have never taken a stand against any Oracle revenue-generating product. It turns out that ASM is optional software that eases storage management pains most common to SAN environments that are also devoid of any optional software such as clustered filesystems. Indeed, install Oracle10g sometime and pay close attention to the fact that the default DBCA placement for a Real Application Clusters database is in fact cluster filesystem. You have to cursor down to select ASM. What is my point? My point is that either way the customer using DBCA with RAC has already paid Oracle the same amount of money regardless of where they put their database—whether in the default locale of cluster filesystem or ASM.
ASM is routinely referred to as a “replacement for filesystems and volume managers.” That is incorrect. You still have to install Oracle and do things like imp/exp, SQL*Loader, BFILE/UTIL_FILE, logging, trace, scripts, etc, etc, etc. Until such time as ASM is a part of a fully-baked general purpose filesystem—which anyone skilled in the reading of tea leaves should easily be able to foresee—I prefer NFS. And, get this, Oracle makes the same amount of money when you deploy on NAS (NFS) as they do if you choose iSCSI or FCP with CFS or ASM. These choices don’t affect Oracle’s bottom line. I make my points about my preference for NFS over block protocols (and therefore ASM) in this set of postings. No, I am not an Oracle basher. But do my views fit in the aristocracy that blogs.oracle.com seems to be? It doesn’t seem so.
More on ASM
I am excited about where ASM will make a showing in the future. It is a component of bigger and better things that I cannot discuss openly. In those future technology offerings, ASM will perform wonderfully and provide vital functionality—and I’m not just talking about some passé short-term market vision like displacing Veritas VxVM from Oracle implementations. There are much bigger and better things ahead for ASM…’nuff said. In the meantime, choose success, go with NFS. Ok, I’m off that soapbox. Back to this Web 2.0 mystery.
The Popularity Contest
So if Justin is honestly concerned about building a vibrant Web 2.0 community, it seems blogs.oracle.com should be more in tune with the readership. Let’s consult Technorati.
In defense of Oracle’s Web 2.0 community, I saw Justin mention blogs such as Steve Chan’s blog and Doug Burns’ blog. I think I’ll walk through Technorati for those and, of course, the ueberblog (where’s my umlaut?): Jonathan Lewis’ blog. To spice things up, how about comparing to one of my favorite blogs, StorageMojo.com. Of course I’ll have to include Scobleizer to show Web 2.0 weight. Be aware that of the following blogs, Jonathan Lewis’ and mine are the youngest blogs—by a long shot.
Now, just to put things into perspective, consider a true Web 2.0 phenomenon: I CAN HAS CHEEZBURGER. This site—which has a Technorati authority of 5,025 and rank of 98—is proof positive that the Internet and social networking are as mainstream as Pet Trusts(for real), designer pet supplies, fluffy with a sniffle, pets with stress and of course Barbi with a scooper.