Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Oracle exadata InfiniBand connections

Oracle Exalytics is the Oracle appliance for running business intelligence in memory. Oracle Exalytics can be deployed in existing IT environments by itself or in conjunction with Oracle Exadata and/or Oracle Exalogic to enable extreme performance. A general Exalytics machine equipped with 1 terrabyte of memory which can be used for in memory operations. Even though it is capable of running 1 terrabyte in memory it will still require that data is provided to the system. When you have “stable” data which is not changing frequently this is not a direct problem however if you have a dataset which changes rapidly you can experience performance that is not up to what you expected. In those cases when you have a dataset with a high number of changing data it can be beneficial to connect your Exalytics appliance, or a cluster of Exalytics appliances, to an Oracle ExaData appliance.

One of the benefits of connection you Exalytics appliance to a ExaData appliance is that you can connect them via infiniband. Both appliances are equipped with infiniband connectors. InfiniBand is a switched fabric communications link used in high-performance computing and enterprise data centers. Its features include high throughput, low latency, quality of service and failover, and it is designed to be scalable. The InfiniBand architecture specification defines a connection between processor nodes and high performance I/O nodes such as storage devices.

By default a Oracle ExaData (full rack) setup is equipped with 3 infiniband switches, one spine switch and 2 leave switches which are connected a shown below which hardens the setup against the failure of one of the switches. This makes the appliance setup more resilient and enables you to update firmware of your switches without the need for downtime.

When connecting a single Exalytics to your exadata appliance it is common practice to connect to both leave switches. You will have 2 infiniband ports on the back of your Exalytics appliance, those will be used to connect to the spine switches. This helps you to make the connection resilient against the failure of one of the switches.

More information can be found on the slidedeck about this subject shown below.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Oracle NoSQL and Eclipse

The Oracle NoSQL database is a very simple to deploy NoSQL key-value store which requires almost no setup. In a previous blogpost I have showed how you can setup your Oracle NoSQL database quickly and ready to be used. However, having your Oracle NoSQL database up and running is only the first step. The second step will be actually doing something with it. That will be coding a application for it in most cases. The Oracle NoSQL database ships with a couple of examples of code.
In the below example you can see how to use the Eclipse development platform with your Oracle NoSQL database and how to use the Oracle NoSQL examples.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Integrated SOA gateway generate WSDL

Oracle e-Business Suite ships with an Integrated SOA gateway which can be used to generate webservices. This will help you to expose Oracle eBS functionality to other applications via a webservice.  The Integration repository is filled with possible API’s you can use however which are not deployed by default. If you like to deploy them you will have to generate a WSDL for them.

Issue is that by default you will not have the option to create a WSDL when you grant yourself the Oracle eBS responsibility “integrated SOA gateway”. If you select this responsibility and search for a API you would like to turn into a webservice you will see a page like the one below. There should be a button stating “generate WSDL” however as you can see this one is missing.

You need to take some steps before this button will become available.

1) Login to the system as the user SYSADMIN or as a user who has been granted the role “security Administrator”. On how to grant this role see this blogpost

2) Select the responsibility User Management and query for the user  you would like to grant the “generate WSDL” option.

3) Grant this user the role “Irep Administrator”.

Now you should be able to generate a WSDL and expose the functionality to other applications via a webservice.

Couchbase database overview

Robert Scoble is running a nice interview on CouchBase. CoucheBase is JSON store NoSQL database. CoucheBase is one of the upcomming NoSQL implementations and is seen more and more in the big-data field and is used by quite some startups.

Couchbase is a privately held company funded by Accel Partners, Ignition Partners, Mayfield Fund and North Bridge Venture Partners. It’s the simple, fast, elastic NoSQL database technology for interactive web applications. Couchbase is the NoSQL database market share leader, with production deployments at AOL, Deutsche Post, NTT Docomo, Salesforce.com, Turner Broadcasting Systems, Zynga and hundreds of other organizations worldwide. Couchbase products enable a more flexible, scalable, high-performance, and cost-effective approach to data management than relational database solutions and are particularly well suited for web applications deployed on virtualized or cloud infrastructures, and mobile applications requiring real-time data synchronization between devices and the cloud.

“NoSQL really started a few years ago when people started having increased problems with relational databases and technologies like MySQL and the proprietary technologies from the big guys,” explains Bob Wiederhold, CEO of Couchbase. “A lot of application developers were starting to look for something different. They wanted something that provided them a much more flexible data model, something with much higher performance and something that would scale a lot more easily to deal with the huge amount of data.”

Couchbase Server makes it easy to optimally match resources to the changing needs of an application by automatically distributing data and I/O across commodity servers or virtual machines. It scales out and supports live cluster topology changes while continuing to service data operations. Its managed object caching technology delivers consistent, sub-millisecond random reads, while sustaining high-throughput writes. As a document-oriented database, Couchbase Server accommodates changing data management requirements without the burden of schema management. Getting started with Couchbase Server is easy. Linux, Windows and OSX packages can be installed and configured in minutes.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Oracle network sniffer tool

For all developers who have been working on software that is doing “something” on the network there has been a moment that you have been analyzing what really happened between two points. Your code should make sure a certain set of data is send from A to B however you have a strange feeling that it is not doing quite what you want it to do during runtime. A common way of checking what really happens is diving into the network stream and capturing the network traffic with a network sniffer to find out. Most people how have been looking into the network communication have been using like Ettercap for example. Ettercap is used by a wide group of developers, network experts, security experts and hackers to capture all things traveling over the network. Other tools are also available however Ettercap is one of the more know tools and easy in use.

When you are developing Oracle ADF applications you do want to check what is really happening on a network level from time to time. Especially when you are trying to speed up your application and are looking to remove all overhead in the network layer to keep it as lean as possible.

Oracle is providing a HTTP analyzer and is shipping it with Oracle JDeveloper. In the below video you can see a quick example of how to setup the Oracle HTTP analyzer for ADF round-trip monitoring. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

The new social media is 3D

Do you think social media is cool, you think you know all about the ways to interact with social media platforms like facebook, google+, twitter and Weibo. Most likely you do if you are a frequent user of social media platforms. However, do you also know how the future of presenting the social media networks might look like. And it is good to know that a lot of people are already interacting on social media platforms and the number of them is still rising. Upcoming generations will see it as one the normal ways of interacting. Where we now have a large set of people who will never join a social network online in the future the adoption (in online countries) will be coming to a almost 100% in my personal opinion. Below infographic is showing the usage of social networks in 2011.

You can see some concepts online of how the future might look like. For example brandrepublic.com is showing a new way of interacting with facebook in a 3D setting. Just watch the video below which is made together with LG and is making use of a LG screen.

Now mix this thought with Google glasses (watch the movie below) and it will not come as a surprise that in the near future you might see people standing in the street making strange gestures. They might just be rearranging some topics in their 3D social media feed or responding to a message.

Missing the mobile hype

Mobile usage is skyrocketing and especially the use of apps on smartphones is already in overdrive for quite some time. That would suggest that companies are investing heavily into the smartphone and apps. One would think that mobile apps are the talk of the town at many corporate marketing departments and due to this a hot topic at many CIO meetings. You could expect that mobile is on the combined strategic roadmap of both IT and marketing.

A recent study done by Forrester shows that only 40% of the companies actually do have a mobile roadmap.

“Successful mobile road maps require investment in supporting activities. Making specific investments in mobile education and skills development, maintaining organizational flexibility to increase speed to market, and adapting to local markets are key to the success of a mobile road map.”

source: Service2Media
Indeed this is true however having a good mobile strategy can put your company on top of the food chain which is a comfortable place to be in the current economical period. When in a economical downturn market you want to make your brand (B2B and B2C) as visible as possible and you would like to offer your customers as much easy service as possible against a price as low as possible.

For example, you run a reservation line for restaurants. A common practice of people is to decide where to eat when they are with friends and such events are not planned well in advance. Due to the nature of the decision cycle a phonecall is commonly the quickest way to find out if there are still tables available. Every phonecall to a service agent costs you 50 cents. Calculating your ROI is quickly done and you also provide a second service to your customers who now can quickly browse available restaurants in the area from their smart phone.

The examples are numerous and the options are endless. Missing the boat on mobile can put your company at the bottom of the food chain. There are quite some good companies around that can help you plan your mobile strategy and do the full execution of this plan. Some good examples are Capgemini and Service2Media.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Oracle Data Integrator failed Checking operating system certification

Oracle Data Integrator is a comprehensive data integration platform that covers all data integration requirements: from high-volume, high-performance batch loads, to event-driven, trickle-feed integration processes, to SOA-enabled data services. Oracle Data Integrator can be used to communicate between Oracle databases and the Hadoop platform. When working on big-data projects ODI can help you to quickly develop and deploy map reduce solutions within your enterprise landscape.

ODI can be installed on several platforms including Oracle Linux. One of the issues with installing on Oracle Linux is that the latest version of Oracle Linux is currently not supported and will result in an error during installation. The installer will state (in my case Oracle Linux 6.3) the following:

Checking operating system certification
Expected result: One of enterprise-5.4, enterprise-4, enterprise-5, redhat-5.4, redhat-4, redhat-5, SuSE-10, SuSE-11
Actual Result: redhat-6.3

Meaning the Oracle Data Integrator is not certified currently on Oracle Linux 6.3 and secondly the Oracle Universal Installer is identifying the operating system as a redhat-6.3 distribution.

You can resolve this by adding Oracle Linux (redhat) as a certified system to the file used to check what is certified. In the past you could do so by adding a line to the file $basedir/Disk1/install/linux/oraparm.ini . However, in the newer versions of the Oracle Universal Installer a new way of working has been introduced and you have to edit a different file.

You will have to edit the XML file where the prerequisites are stored. You can find this file at $basedir/Disk1/stage/prereq/linux/refhost.xml in the refhost.xml file you will find a couple of configurations which are allowed. I have added the below lines to the file to make Oracle Linux 6.3 a valid configuration.

After changing the XML file and saving it you can restart the installer and you will see that the check is now completed without any issue. I have noticed some differences in different machines where sometimes it is needed to restart the installer and sometimes you can just do a retry. To be on the safe side it is good practice to start the installer again.