Secret of Oracle Database Performance Found in 1897 Sears Roebuck Catalog
Redwood City (April 1, 2011) – In between mouthfuls of raw tofu slices delicately dressed with chili oil and shredded seaweed, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison related his game-changing epiphany about database performance.
“My personal ivory buyer was showing me a picture of ivory chopsticks in the 1897 Sears Roebuck catalog when I noticed the following words at the back of the catalog: IF YOU DON’T FIND IT IN THE INDEX, LOOK VERY CAREFULLY THROUGH THE ENTIRE CATALOG.
That’s when the truth hit me like a ton of bricks. Physical database design is hard. There are few good books about it. Why should our loyal customers spend a lot of money on database consultants when they can spend an equal amount of money on Oracle software and hardware instead. We could tell ’em to stop worrying about indexes, clustering, partitioning, and materialization and sell ’em a big honkin’ piece of hardware that can simply scan entire tables every time.”
Mr. Ellison went on: “It’s not that we haven’t tried the traditional route. Consider Multidimensional Clustering for example. We’ve offered it from day one but the only places it is ever used are the Oracle data dictionary and our own TPC-C benchmarks. It’s time to admit that our customers are right and to give them what they want, not what they need.”
When asked how he came up with the “Smart Scan” moniker for what was formerly called a full table scan, Mr. Ellison was equally candid. “When other companies sell fish, they bill it as dead fish. We call it sushi.”
When told that a certain database maverick named Iggy Fernandez had started writing a book with the ridiculously long title of “Expert Oracle Indexing, Clustering, Partitioning, and Materialization for Performance and Scalability in Oracle Database 11g Release 2” that he hopes to release in time for OpenWorld 2011, Mr. Ellison let out a derisive snort and predicted that Mr. Fernandez was unlikely to get rich from it. When contacted for comment, Mr. Fernandez reluctantly agreed with Mr. Ellison’s prediction and quoted American poet laureate Robert Frost “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by.”
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