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Comment Re: Dubious... (Score 1) 319

Technical concerns? Naw. It's marketing. Apple's feeling Intel's blunder: "Tick Tock... oh, crap. 10nm yield rates suck. Uhh... Tock, again, anyone?" The trickle-down effect of poor yield rates in 10nm is burning everybody in the industry right now, so IMHO they are giving a 16GB option just so they can reveal a "groundbreaking" 32GB upgrade next year. The upgrade gravy train is slowing down as physics reminds the computing industry that she's a harsh mistress. Apple's signaling their intent by leveraging custom chips to drive custom functions in several product lines; Oracle is doing the same by integrating custom programmable functionality into their SPARC line. The long reign of Intel -- while not at an end! -- is fraying at the edges due to the bias of reality against ever-diminishing electron pathways...

Comment Re:Suzie can vote. Suzie can get a pitchfork. (Score 0) 954

> It's impossible to have a society where a large fraction of people can't find work that pays a living wage.

Imagine that food, clothing, shelter, water, health care, and all other essential needs for humans are like air: they exist, freely and in whatever abundance a person can use. We've automated the processes such that we don't "need" humans for any job except figuring out how to automate things further. Imagine that society can easily tolerate a 90%+ unemployment rate.

Do we force people to work? If so, why? Do we plan for such a future? If not, why not?

I want to continue to build such a world, but the way our society is structured today, unemployment is considered a drain on society's resources. What if, instead, unemployment were considered an indicator of our automation success rates?

Comment Re:Oh yeah! (Score 1) 175

> MTBF means nothing, because of the realy stupid way it's calculated...

I'm not disagreeing with you, but isn't MTBF -- when combined with warranty and AFR -- an overall expression of a hard drive manufacturer's engineering confidence in the product?

Backblaze among others have noted that it's really difficult to estimate failure rates because the sample sizes are too small at present (see ). So it's fair to say the jury is still out as to whether the decrease in operating temperature, vibration, and carbon deposits as a result of using a helium-sealed drive represents a real-world improvement in reliability yet, or if it matches AFR rates.

However, MTBF when combined with the AFR estimates -- which I agree are a better measure, and Seagate was an industry leader in implementing them -- the overall picture seems to be higher manufacturer confidence in the product.

Disclaimer: I'm an Oracle employee. My opinions do not necessarily reflect those of Oracle or its affiliates.

Comment Re:Oh yeah! (Score 5, Informative) 175

> These drives will leak.

While technically correct, the rate of static-pressure helium leakage through HGST HelioSeal appears to be measured in decades. They up-rated their enterprise SAS drives from 1.4 million hours MTBF to 2.5 million hours MTBF because hermetically-sealing drives and using helium improves various operating parameters, prolonging life in several ways.

My results in production and the lab bear this out over the past two years: helium drives appear to have substantially lower failure rates than air-filled drives. While nobody has owned a commercial helium drive for a decade yet, the internal helium sensors on the disk farms that I've looked at show no degradation or leakage so far: SMART 22 shows 100.

I'll be watching Seagate's results here with great interest and optimism that their results parallel those of HGST.

Disclaimer: I'm an Oracle employee; my opinions do not necessarily reflect those of Oracle or its affiliates.

Comment Re:Database of the year? (Score 1) 122

For what it's worth, if you use APEX with Oracle DB and have pretty rudimentary knowledge, you can make a DB sing using Oracle DB around as well as you can make it sing using PostgreSQL or MySQL. I just started seriously playing around with it this year (I'm a storage admin & sysadmin, not a database admin) and was flatly astounded that Oracle doesn't advertise APEX more. It's really the killer-app for the kind of mid-scale reporting, data collection, and simple apps most people think of relational databases for.

Disclaimer: I'm an Oracle employee. My opinions don't necessarily reflect those of Oracle or its affiliates. Just because I work for "Oracle" doesn't mean I'm any good at "Oracle Database"; I mostly play with ZFS & Solaris.

Comment Re:It moves... (Score 1) 288

We outsource as fast as possible - We need more h1b visas! -- , kill off management that give a shit about employees, and bend over for our wall street masters and their corporate minions.

Let me translate your translation:

What's I've observed is that we've been onshoring jobs for nearly a decade; most of our offshore growth is from acquisitions and business growth, not replacement of US workers with offshore workers. They pay H1B workers market wages, and by law post the actual wage they are getting on the break room boards for several weeks when those are up for renewal or first hire. I wish I made as much as the handful of H1B guys in my office.

The typical management tenure I observe in Oracle is very long (well over a decade), and though they argue like old women sometimes they get a lot done and focus on their employee's well-being; we're in a knowledge industry, and employees must take care of themselves to remain productive. I argued that a lot of Sun management left for greener pastures pre-acquisition or immediately post-acquisition; many of those because of obvious redundancies, but many others not because of the reality of life with Oracle but because of the imagined bogeyman folks like you pretend exists.

My manager encourages me to get my exercise run in, to take extra time off for my family, to work from home when needed as long as critical coverage needs are met, to turn off my phone if I'm not on-call, to log hours diligently so I get paid overtime, double time, and on-call pay, and by and large makes my job really enjoyable yet challenging. And I get to play in a gigantic storage playground, all day, every day, solving problems and inventing solutions, collaborating with people way smarter than me, and making sure our users can get their work done.

Except when things break and the VP is unhappy. Then everybody's unhappy.

Larry E. resigned his position as President & CEO, appointed a pair of co-Presidents, and then took over as Chief Technology Officer. He did this -- as far as I can tell from my position very low on the totem pole -- because that's where his heart is: in creating great products with a solid revenue model in a sustainable way that fill needs customers don't even know they have yet, while keeping his talent happy and productive making more cool tech. And that focus is obvious in how Oracle treats its employees: pretty darn well.

Comment It moves... (Score 4, Informative) 288

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this post are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Oracle.

TL;DR: I am an Oracle employee. It's an awesome place to work with above market pay, superb benefits, and a demanding but rewarding engineering culture. Virtualbox is one project in a large and growing virtualization team, creating and improving some truly amazing cutting-edge technologies that make your virtualization life better.

I'm going to share some facts as I see them, and let you draw your own conclusions instead of drawing them for you.

1. The Oracle VM and Oracle VM Virtualbox teams are one and the same within Oracle. There's a lot of cross-pollination of ideas and effort, and the virtualization team is frakking huge: HUNDREDS of developers. Not "4", as some have asserted here!
2. There's a ton of stuff happening in virtualization at Oracle:
3. There's a substantial line-up of products that are demo'd to customers as part of "Virtualbox Appliances". Virtualbox demos are a key strategy for introducing many of our products to customers. .
Corrollary: I manage a lot of ZFS appliances. I like them; they make my job easier, particularly at the kind of scale at which one begins measuring one's storage in exabytes. You should download the Virtualbox-based Oracle ZFS Storage Simulator and check it out. Hint: Dig into the REST interfaces and ECMAscript workflows concepts. This kind of thing is Stored Procedures for enterprise-grade storage appliances with absolutely blistering scale, reliability, and performance, and if you don't yet understand how powerful that idea is, you might be insufficiently experienced in high-end storage and databases.
4. Wim Coekaerts is a smart, friendly, and communicative dude. He also happens to be SVP over our Linux & Virtualization efforts. If you're really interested in the details of virtualization development at Oracle, you should check out his blog:

Next, my opinions. No longer facts!

VirtualBox is a mature, stable product that's doing its job and -- as a GPL project -- seems to me like more a vehicle for showcasing Oracle technology than a revenue generator in its own right. That doesn't mean development has ceased! It just means that, in general, Oracle engineering teams are laser-focused on how we can make money so we can stay employed so we can keep creating really unique and useful products for our customers. Responsibilities on teams shift as need demands, and with such an enormous knowledge base in virtualization on our Engineering staff, there's no question that if a product needs a feature to benefit customers, and a good case can be made that it'll pay off, it gets the engineering resources it needs to give it a try.

The Sun transition was tough for some employees. In advance of the merger, a lot of old-timers split. A lot of younger engineers went looking for somewhere hipper and younger to work than what would become a Fortune 500 company. Many Sun managers, sensing the change in the wind as Oracle's intensely results-oriented management team integrated with them, split for positions elsewhere.

I know and work with the survivors of the merger every day. And overwhelmingly, those who've integrated into Oracle culture, shown they belong here through their productivity and attitude, and produce results consistently have built success upon success, and are valued and rewarded.

They're also a bunch of brainiacs who routinely blow my mind with deep insights into operating systems, hardware, and performance optimization.

Those who don't deal well with rapid change, high expectations, and a dogged focus on constantly improving our products at an increasing pace while doing more with less don't tend to thrive here.

From my point of view, Oracle's a great place to work. The focus is always on delivering new benefits -- not just features! -- for our customers. The pace is hectic, every product we work with internally is "eating our own dogfood" to try to figure out why our customers will love or hate it (third content management system in five years, blech!!!), we typically pay above market rate, and we expect a high degree of professionalism, intelligence, cooperation, and problem-solving ability. I'm a busy dad of four with a triathlon habit, and the work-life balance usually comes out just right.

If you think you have what it takes to keep changing the world for the better as fast as you possibly can, check us out at .

Comment Write it! (Score 1) 430

I was really concerned about the sorry state of the Bugzilla documentation a decade ago. So I wrote first an unofficial FAQ, and then later a book called "The Bugzilla Guide" and submitted it to the CVS repository under my own copyright. A few years later when I felt it was in a reasonable state, I released the documentation to the Mozilla Foundation and washed my hands of the project. They've done a pretty good job keeping it updated; SOMEBODY has to do the groundwork to create a framework for the documentation to hang together. It's either a labor of love or a labor of money. Lucky for me in writing The Bugzilla Guide, I had both: first was paid to work on it part-time as part of my job, and then for several years with no remuneration. Eventually I stopped using the product professionally, so therefore had no need to revisit and update any further. The tale is the same for many of us, I believe. I parlayed that experience into a series of lucrative contracts that leveraged the fact that I was the guy who "wrote the book on Bugzilla". These days, I have largely stopped doing contract work on the basis of that anymore; my full-time job -- that, not coincidentally, involves writing a lot of documentation! -- is way too interesting for me to spend more time on that :-) So in short: find a personal or professional reason to use a product and write the docs. If you don't do it, who will?

Comment Re:Better ideas anyone? (Score 1) 393

The myth of explosive decompression from a bullet hole has been long since busted; there's no "suddenly" about it: . The hole would just make a whistling noise until someone put some duct tape over it, and the pilot would probably ask everyone to put on their oxygen masks as a precaution while he brings the plane below 11,000 feet. Now if you equipped everyone with some plastic explosive to blow holes in the side of the plane, your concern would be legitimate. Not saying I think we should equip everyone with guns, but an officer or two on every plane carrying standard police-issue sidearms would be effective and safer than what we're doing today.

Comment Re: maybe (Score 1) 267

Several other people in the thread also mentioned you can pick up 4TB SATA drives for around $150. I was referring to 4TB SAS drives which retail for more like $350-$450 as of this writing. It's a more apples-to-apples comparison; even though SAS is several orders of magnitude worse than tape for bit errors, it's an order of magnitude better than SATA.

Comment Re:but what about cheap disk? (Score 1) 267

I'm going to disagree; have you seen the ZFS appliance sales figures, including as part of the Exalogic and Supercluster bundles? It's kind of phenomenal, from last place to nipping at the heels of Netapp & EMC now. Admittedly, closing new updates to the code was unpopular both internally & externally, but has proven to be a pretty solid business decision from a sales perspective.

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