Time to do a quick blog about my impressions from OSI 2014.
It was a great conference, the organizers informed me that there were more than 2000 unique footfalls.
All the tutorial sessions on the first day were sold out. I saw people being turned back since there was simply no space in the rooms.
Our tutorial for MySQL was packed. Attendees remained till the end of the 3 hour long tutorial and Ronnen and Nitin had many engaging questions.
We found the audience to be a mix of open source professionals and some students. The Organizers were careful that the conference was not swamped by newbies.
Oracle’s keynote (slides) was well attended with more than 150 people. The audience listened intently and there were a lot of good questions during the questions slide. Though I had to limit the MySQL part to 25 minutes to allow Ramesh to talk about Oracle Linux, I hope that the highlights of MySQL were sufficiently conveyed. It was heartening to see nearly 90% of the hands going up when asked how many knew and had used MySQL.
There were 3 more MySQL sessions and all were well attended by people with real interest in the MySQL technology and probably ones who would go back and use the information from the talks.
The MySQL High availability with Replication New features (slides) was a very technical session with a deep dive into all that is new in replication. The Group replication part was a high level introduction into a topic that is still nearly a research topic. There were some very intelligent questions to understand how group replication worked, especially the conflict resolution; when multiple masters have conflicting updates.
The Mapping with MySQL (slides) was an introduction to GIS technology and its growing value for the current generation of web products. The terminology used in GIS was also discussed. GIS usage in MySQL was illustrated using an example use-case to find the nearest Thai restaurant close to an address. The presentation included the exact steps to solve this problem using MySQL.
Besides Oracle the other very visible presence was HP Helion with their newest cloud offerings. They attracted a lot of attention with their elaborate stall and many on the spot competitions with attractive prizes.
Wipro was also there to talk about their belief in the future of open source and a plan to have a 10,000 strong team to implement open source technologies for their customers.
I also attended a few MongoDB presentations. Though there is a lot of buzz around MongoDB, there did not seem to be too many actual users of MongoDB. Infact only 3 hands went up when the MongoDB architect asked the attendees how many had used MongoDB. IMHO, there are only a limited number of use-cases where MongoDB is a better fit v/s a relational database like MySQL. The 2 that I deduced from the presentations at OSI :
- Aggregating data from disparate data sources having no common schema
- Rapidly changing schema with historical data not requiring to be changed to fit the new schema
I would love to see real benchmarks with comparisons between MongoDB and relational databases.
There was also a lot of interest in presentations by entrepreneurs who had used open source software to give wings to their ideas. Though I could not attend the Justdial presentation, I did attend the Patterbuzz presentation. The energy and passion of Amit, the CEO of patterbuzz; was infectious. I was delighted to know that both these startups were using MySQL as the database of their choice. Would like to wish them the best so that they grow to a size where MySQL enterprise offerings have value for them.
Will sign off with a special thanks to the organizers, for a well-organized conference. The Oracle team and especially the MySQL engineers who made the effort to make our presence valuable at the conference also deserve a round of praise.
Hope to see you all at the next OSI conference.