Oracle Enterprise Manager
Oracle Enterprise Manager proactively monitors the health of all application components, the hosts that they run on, and the key business processes that they support. This comprehensive, integrated management solution helps businesses achieve high levels of performance and availability, and reduce the costs of managing applications.
Q: Why would you say you were nominated for the Oracle Innovation Showcase?
A: I'm on the team that's enhancing the next generation of Oracle Enterprise Manager, improving the diagnosability, maintainability, and manageability of the product stack. My current project is to rewrite the Enterprise Manager agent component; this component gathers information about the computer it's running on as well as various Oracle and non-oracle components also running on that system.
Previously, we've built a diagnosability framework that contains a repository which not only stores in-depth information about incidents, but also does a problem-match to compare how one incident might relate to another. Our goal was to reduce cycle time for our customers by having the system automatically provide related information that helps them understand how failures occurred.
Q: What is innovative about your current project?
A: This sounds odd, but the most innovative thing is that nobody will know that it's there. It will work unobtrusively, gathering information about what's going on in our customers' systems to let them know if they are healthy, or if something's wrong. What's challenging is that we're taking a product that's already been rewritten a few times and has a lot of visible functionality—and we need to maintain that core functionality—but otherwise, it should be as silent as possible.
Q: How will the new Enterprise Manager agent benefit customers?
A: The new Enterprise Manager agent will directly benefit customers by not requiring them to be aware of its existence. We will also reuse the previous work that we've done on diagnosability to reduce the cycle time for debugging problems. The diagnosability framework is designed to be easily embedded in many pieces or components of the existing Oracle 'stack'.
When there's an error, customers want resolution. The framework will gather as much of the related information around the time of the failure so that we can reduce the back-and-forth involved in the resolution process. We're connecting diverse pieces of the Oracle stack together so that we can keep track of the information that Oracle has produced and how it interacts with things that are not Oracle's.
Q: How do you think Oracle's innovative culture benefits customers?
A: I think the key strength of our culture is that most of the engineers at Oracle don't understand the word no. We will continue to pound away at a problem until we come up with a solution that's going to work and work well. We are also are willing to push the envelope and try things that seem a little unconventional. It's a positive thing for our customers that we are given the freedom to try things. I joined Oracle right out of college. Yet, I come to work and still feel challenged. It's a fun place to work. And there are interesting problems to be solved.
Q: How do you define innovation?
A: Not getting stuck in the box and just doing things the way they have always been done. We need to examine our solutions. We need to be able to continually challenge what's there, and say, "Is it correct?" It keeps us on our toes as a company.
Q: Whom do you consider to be the most innovative person at Oracle?
A: Roger Bamford, principal architect in Server Technologies. I've always been amazed at the depth and breadth of his knowledge. Roger's one of the original developers of the Oracle database. He's been a key innovator of ideas at Oracle, and luckily, I've been able to help foster some of those ideas and develop them into working products.
Q: Who in the broader world do you think of as innovative?
A: I was born with Larsen's Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder. Over the years, there have been many people in the medical profession who have impressed me, including the doctor that it's named after. I think it's very innovative that they are able to take a person's DNA and figure out a wealth of information.
Q: What's the most innovative product—not Oracle's—that you know of?
A: My Blackberry—mostly because it's so reliable. I've had problems with my washing machine, my dryer, my digital camera, and I've had a lemon of a car, but my Blackberry always works. So many things somehow don't work, so when something works consistently, it's great.