Friday, September 21, 2007

The big news for Canada

Most of the news last week in Canada has been on the fact that the Canadian dollar is almost at par with the US dollar. The last time that it was at par was in 1976 (more than 30 years ago). What is so special about it? Well, depending on which perspective you are coming from, there are ramifications. For example, as a consumer there are savings to be had depending on what products are being purchased. Produce and diary products are way cheaper in the US than in Canada but not everything could be brought back into Canada. Books are cheaper in the US, for example, Steven Feurestein's Oracle PL/SQL Best Practices retail for US$19.79 on but it's CAD$48.95 on!

A friend of mine recently got all his paperwork completed to bring a brand new Honda CR-V back into Canada from the US. The savings to him was about $10,000. Music CDs and DVDs are not cheaper but airline flights are. I know that the car manufacturers have provided directives to the US dealers to ensure that they don't sell new vehicles to non-US residents which I thought was absurb and there is currently a class action lawsuit launched in Toronto against the car manufacturers associations in both the US and Canada alleging price fixing and collusion.

Me, I am going to enjoy doing some shopping (big ticket items) to save some serious $$$. ;)

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Latest supercomputer!

I found this news very interesting indeed. The latest supercomputer is here and it is not controlled by government or private agencies. Instead, it is under the control of (most likely) criminals and the question being asked is "what do they planned to do with it?"

It's scary but just imagine the possibilities and none of them are good at all. I think it might be prudent for the white hats to look into distributing a "good" virus to undo the botnet.

Concurrent Usage for E-Business

Blogger seems to have lost the last entry that I posted earlier this week. I didn't check and now I can't even remembered what it was that I posted about.

Anyhow, there was a number of stuff to post but I thought I would focus on a current technology issue that we are facing with our Oracle E-Business project. Our test lab has been running some performance scripts on our E-Business test environment and found that it was lacking. For example, one of the test was to see how many concurrent users the environment can support. According to the results, the environment maxed out at 80, 81 concurrent users with the systems statistics showing that all four CPU were at 100% max and subsequent attempts to increase the users resulted in failures (i.e. Error 404 - Page Not Found). Now, I'm perplexed as our initial sizing done with Oracle and HP showed that our old server (application tier) was able to support 200 users (i.e. 2 CPU x 650MHz with 16Gb RAM - PA-RISC processors) and our new server (application tier) is a 4-CPU x 1.6GHz with 32Gb RAM - Intel processors). My expectation was that we should be able to support 100 users without any problems but the results showed only 80 (at the very max). Now I understand that it's an apples and oranges comparison but surely a 4-CPU x 1.6GHz Intel Processor can't be slower than a 2-CPUx650MHz PA-RISC Processor or were there something else afoot that I am unable to grasp. Obviously there is a disconnect somewhere and I need to find that before we can say that our current hardware for the E-Business environment is unable to support our internal usage much less allow us to expand in the future.

This is causing a fair amount of concern for us as we are scheduled to go live with the Order Management modules within the next four weeks. For those readers who has E-Business Suite at their place of work, what are your hardware specifications for your application tier? We are debating whether we will be able to scale horizontally by adding another node (application) and a load balancer to the environment and have everything ready (tested) within 4 weeks.