About

This is the blog site of flashdba.

The first fifteen years of my career in Information Technology were spent working with databases and their use in enterprise IT. I started as a C programmer and developer, then became an DBA and finally an “expert” troubleshooter working for Oracle Corporation in the UK. This involved being parachuted into critical situations at Oracle’s largest customers to try and fix systems which were down or where service had been interrupted in some way. I learned a lot but it was also quite stressful.

Flash

Up until that point, I had always worked in the Delivery organisations in IT. The other side of the coin is Sales – and I had begun to notice that the people in sales appeared to be having more fun: they met lots of customers, usually over nice lunches; they drew boxes on whiteboards but didn’t have to do the actual hard work of implementation (that’s what Delivery is for!) and they never got woken up at 3am because something had crashed at a customer site. Oh and they apparently got paid more, too… So I decided to move into sales.

Cash

My first role was in technical “Presales” at a flash memory startup, drawing the boxes on the whiteboard and helping to design multi-million pound solutions for customers all around Europe. This was great fun until they went bankrupt (hey, we were winning when I left). My next role, however, was in sales (my first ever non-technical role) and this involved being on the front line of winning or losing big deals with big customers – a different kind of stressful, but lots of fun. After all, when the going is good, the sales person does earn more money than everybody else on the project. But, when the going gets tough, the sales person is the first one to get fired. However, I never get woken up in the middle of the night… and I do get to go for lunch.

The Blog

Splash

I started this blog in 2012 because I had just moved from career as a database guy into the new and strange world of flash storage. Everybody in this new world seemed to be talking about the same concepts as database admins, but using different words – so this blog was born as an attempt to explain storage concepts to DBAs. Over time, as flash became the de facto standard in the on prem data centre, I began writing about other new concepts, like the public cloud. In the future, I may turn to other technologies and trends that are making a splash, but whatever the topic I will always endeavour to stick to my four core blogging principles:

  1. Bad jokes are an essential part of my writing style
  2. Every article has more words than is strictly necessary
  3. I don’t publish sponsored content, even from my own employers
  4. My principles cannot be bought*

So that’s me: I sell, I blog, I lunch. But not necessarily in that order.

Twitter: @flashdba        Email: flashdba @ gmail

* This is simply not true.

7 Responses to About

  1. Khwaja Imran says:

    Very nice article. Read each & every article with lot of interest. I have been a DBA for 9 years & have entered into a IT Manager role. I can now really think of suggesting & implementing the flash storage concept for my organization’s newly implemented Oracle ERP databases running SUN Sparc M4000/M5000.

    Regards
    Khwaja Imran

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  3. Hi Dominic here… Just curious did you ever mention who you are? Is the FlashDBA a mask of mystery?

    By the way you don’t have to say if you don’t want to and I won’t out you. Just curious for the reason.

    • flashdba says:

      Hello Dom, no it’s no big deal. When I first started blogging, shortly after leaving Oracle and joining Violin, I didn’t really have much to write about on the topic of flash memory… I was still learning the subject the hard way. So inevitably my first posts were all on the subjects I knew more about, such as Exadata. I’ve never disclosed anything confidential on that topic, nor any other related to my employment at Oracle, but a friend of mine in Club Ex-Oracle gave me some excellent advice and pointed out that since Oracle probably has more lawyers than Violin has employees it might be best not to poke the wasps’ nest, so to speak.

      I gave up on the idea of anonymity pretty early on but the name flashdba stuck and offers certain benefits, like being easier to remember and having a shorter URL. Also, I quite like the description in this dictionary definition from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/flash:

      flash (adj.)
      1. Happening suddenly or very quickly: flash freezing.
      2. Slang Ostentatious; showy: a flash car.
      3. Of or relating to figures of quarterly economic growth released by the government and subject to later revision.
      4. Of or relating to photography using instantaneous illumination.
      5. Of or relating to thieves, swindlers, and underworld figures.
      Idiom:
      flash in the pan
      One that promises great success but fails.

  4. Ken Fisher says:

    Thank-you for “Understanding Flash”. Give me a year or two to digest all this, and I’ll drop in again with a meaningful comment. B-)

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