A Preview of The Oracle Database Firewall

Last year I went to Oracle HQ at The Garden Mid Valley City for a presentation of Oracle Enterprise Single Sign On (ESSO). This year or specifically 18th of May last month, I attended an Oracle DBA Round Table – Database Firewall.

Same as last time, the presentation was done at Langkawi Room located at level 23, The Garden North Tower, Mid Valley City.


The Training Room

The Presenter was Niel Pandya which I believe is from the UK.


The Oracle presenter/trainer of the day


How is Data Compromised?


Why is understanding SQL critical?


Attendees present


Oracle Database Firewall Basic Components


Diagram of Basic Data Center Environment

Now comes the best part, FOOD! The food was prepared by Restoran Rebung (Chef Ismail). Chef Ismail is one of the prominent chef in Malaysia so of course his food is superb.


Lunch! One of the best tasting training lunch I've ever tasted

After lunch was over, it’s time for some action.


The Hands-on training server's IP addresses strip sheet

Each participant was given this strip sheet with 3 IP addresses. The IP addresses was unique for each participants so no participant was connecting to the same server.


Trying to set up server connection on my laptop

At first, I was astounded by how the training was setup. Upon further investigation, I found out that the organizer used Amazon Web Services and setup more than (30 x 3) Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instance for each participants. Now this is new to me.


Instruction on The Hands-on training server's using the IP addresses strip sheet

After setting up the “virtual lab”, its time to test the oracle Database Firewall setup.


Applying the Swingbench Application

If you are accustomed to dashboard style web-based console, you’ll definitely have no problem exploring all its features.


A view of the Oracle Database Firewall Administration Console

The class ended at 3.30pm, the instructor told us that the server can still be accessed up until 6pm before it’ll be shut down. Unfortunately when I got home, the server were inaccessible anymore.


Class ended

This class has been an eye opener for me since I like trying out stuff instead of just listening or reading it. I believe this type of presentation and hands-on training is more meaningful rather than just a talk. In my opinion, the Oracle Database Firewall product is useful in an environment where things has been out of control where developers and system administrator experienced some sort of a battle cracking down each other. Basically it depends on which industry the product is applied in. If it involves financial, this product will become top of the line security add-on. However, with the alarming numbers of breaches, malware, spyware, SQL injections and network security ignorance by the IT people themselves, prevention is better than cure right?


Posing in front of Oracle HQ Malaysia

If you need more information regarding Oracle Database Firewall, here’s two links you can download the product information:

Seagate BlackArmor NAS 110 Centralised Network Storage

I recently read about Seagate buying over Samsung division for its hard disk drive business. I have used several Seagate hard disks so far to store all of my digital stuff. Over the recent years, I only back up all my digital stuff on a portable 160GB hard disk drive. The 160GB was insufficient for me, therefore I had to burn all those stuff using a DVD writer and store it some place else. It was inconvenient and time consuming. I consider myself lucky since I never had any data loss even though my My Compaq Presario V3751AU Laptop ceased to operate anymore. My data back up practice is pretty bad. If for some reason my laptop got stolen or something bad happen, I’ll definitely be screwed.

Therefore I made a decision to search for a back up device. I went for a short trip to Low Yat Plaza, after a few hours surveying numerous back-up solutions, I decided on purchasing this Seagate BlackArmor NAS 110 1 TB Network Attached Storage ST310005MNA10G-RK
device:


Seagate BlackArmor NAS 110 Centralised Network Storage


Seagate BlackArmor NAS 110 Centralised Network Storage

Well 1TB is too large for me. My data accumulated over the years are only half of the size. So far, I’ve only used 26% of what this NAS storage has to offer. There is a few drawback using a NAS, if you are on a wireless network, the data transfer speed rate can only go up to what your wireless device can take. Like mine, I could only transfer 6GB in one hour. That is of course if the signal reception is consistent or when I’m not doing anything on the computer. Other than that, unlike the Buffalo Technology LinkStation Live 1.0TB Shared Network Attached Storage LS-CH1.0TL(Black), this device doesn’t have Bittorrent client to automatically download digital stuff I like.

Well at RM299 price, I consider this cheap for a 1TB personal storage solutions. Don’t you think so?

*Need more information about Seagate BlackArmor NAS 110 1 TB Network Attached Storage ST310005MNA10G-RK you can check it out at this site.

Sharing My Astro With Another TV

Lelong.com.my is one of my favourite online shop whenever I wanted to buy any electronic stuff. Earlier this year I entered a bid to buy a Wireless AV Sender which is compatible with Astro TV decoder. The reason for this was because I wanted to be able to watch Astro TV on another TV without having to buy another decoder or hack my way with those confusing wires and accessories. I won the bid at RM116.


Winning Bid-Genuine OEM Pakite 2.4G Wirelss AV Sender Astro Camera CCTV DVD

For convenience matter, I think for a less than RM150 item is quite reasonable. If you check at Lelong (Type in “astro” on the search box) normally the item is sold between RM180 to RM420. I asked the seller to send the item using Air-Pak since it was an option given by him. I top-up another RM10 on the shipping fee for a more secured delivery. The next week, the item arrived.


Airpak Express packing


One wireless AV sender and one wireless AV receiver


Genuine OEM Pakite 2.4G Wireless AV Sender Astro Camera CCTV DVD packager

After more than 3 months using this device, I am quite happy with it. However, here’s a list of pros and cons on this little item:

Pros

      Easy straight forward setup, lightweight, instant, no confusing wires

Cons

  1. The display and sound reception is easily distorted when interfered by numerous electrical items such as microwaves, fans, blender, drills, washing machine etc
  2. The reception distance gets even shorter when there are walls or solid objects
  3. I still can’t get the IR remote control on the receiver device to work

Parking at The General Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL)

I spend an incredible amount of time at The General Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL) last week. The reason was because my wife had some complications over her pregnancy and we finally had to decide our first baby go. It was kind of hard to accept the recommendation by the doctor at first, however after thinking long and hard, it had to be done sooner or later.

Anyway, what I wanted to write about in this blog post is the parking at HKL. If you’ve never been to HKL before, unlike Selayang Hospital, HKL is an old hospital and the different department are located further apart instead of just in one building. The parking inside HKL is rather limited and you’ll even have to fight for a space with the HKL staff themselves and that was at their open parking which is opened to the public.


HKL Open Parking Space

Here’s a tip for you. If you want to visit any relatives or friends and you want to get a nearer parking space, try and come after 4pm. That is of course if the visiting hours are permissible for the ward you’re visiting.

Alright, here’s the HKL parking rate as of March 2011:


HKL Parking Rate

Information from my brother in law who works in HKL, the parking operator is newly appointed. The previous operator’s contract expired and the HKL management discontinued their contract. Hopefully HKL can improve their facilities in order to accommodate their ever increasing patients numbers.

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