February 8, 2011 Leave a comment
Wow I am feeling a bit excited – pushing the button “visible to everyone” on the blog admin area.
Although I have written some articles, emails and internal blog post for EMC before, this is the first time I go public – sharing my knowledge and experience with everyone instead of colleagues and some customers.
Let me introduce myself first.
I am a Dutch guy who works in ICT since 1995 after getting a bachelor’s degree in Avionics (Aviation Electronics). I started my career as Novell and desktop administrator and quickly moved on to manage one Unix server that was running Progress database, to support a client/server application at a small organization. One is not that many and I took the chance when I was offered a job as Unix system engineer at a Dutch investment bank – being responsible for systems that were running mission critical Oracle databases for financial transaction processing.
Have to say it was a steep learning curve. Suddenly I got the long-term assignment to keep the organization’s #1 application performing – which was near to impossible because the business was growing and they were deploying lots of new business functionality against the same infrastructure. So although not being a database administrator – I quickly had to learn Oracle performance tuning skills and advanced troubleshooting.
In the meantime I had to improve availability, make sure disaster recovery procedures were in place and working (which is challenging in such a dynamic environment) and deal with backup, security, database upgrades, and much more.
Finding out that having business analysts running free-format reports on a transaction-processing system is not always the best idea for consistent performance levels, I managed to convince the management that making a daily full database copy using EMC Timefinder technology could solve most of our performance issues and they let me deploy that feature.
Being one of the first customers in the Netherlands implementing Timefinder (around 1998), we got a DAT tape from EMC with the software that is now called SYMAPI or Solutions Enabler. The host software component was less than 5 megabytes and was pretty expensive in those days. In the email I sent out to the organization announcing the daily copy was now available for reporting, I joked that this was – by far – the most expensive software per megabyte that I ever implemented ;-)
The analysts were now using the copy database – and no matter how ugly their database SQL statements were constructed – it could no longer harm normal business processing anymore. Huge improvement.
A few months later we managed to clone the whole database online – using Oracle hot backup technology. The whole copy of the 30 GB database (pretty big for an OLTP database in those days) took no more than a few minutes and users never experienced serious performance issues.
After finishing the project it was time for a new challenge, and the guys at EMC who now knew me, offered me a job at EMC The Netherlands.
In EMC, I have been working since 2000 as pre-sales consultant, and later as solutions architect (I thought it was time to prove myself that the stuff I was talking about in front of customers, actually works ;) and since a few years now I work for the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region of EMC as Oracle and Data Warehouse “subject matter expert”.
In this role I frequently visit our customers all over Europe (and sometimes outside of Europe), to talk about database stuff. Often it is the first time applications and database engineers talk to people from EMC (as we often tend to talk to server and storage guys more than the applications people). Sometimes they are skeptical, sometimes they have serious concerns or objections, and sometimes they are just very happy that finally they can discuss database stuff with an EMC guy and ask all they ever wanted to know.
Life’s like a box of chocolates – you never know what you gonna get ;-)
But after a while they often start to see the value a high-end storage infrastructure can bring, and the amount of cost or repetitive work they can save by using our smart tooling.
Something about my personal life – I live in the south of the Netherlands with my wife Yvonne and two small pet rabbits. When I’m not working I like to mess around with computers at home, travel around the world or ride my motorcycle with my wife, or get a birds eye view from the sky – flying small propeller aircraft. Currently I am taking pilot’s training and I hope to get my pilot license sometime this year.
I’m always open to good feedback about the stuff I write – so by all means let me know what you think!
If you want to contact me directly, drop me an email at
bart [dot] sjerps [at] emc [dot] com
Oh and don’t forget the About page!