2016 holiday parody song

Happy holidays! Hope you enjoy this year’s song as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Sing to the tune of “Auld Lang Syne”

For all the data you forgot
To back up with RMAN,
For all tables you just dropped,
With no DR plan.

For all the exports you now need
And in fact have not got,
For all you try to make it right,
Your data’s shot.

So now the ERP is down,
And your boss is hopping mad.
The end users think you’re a clown.
Oy vey; so bad!

For all the paychecks you still need,
To get your kids through school
Oh, please don’t throw me, you do plead,
Into the labor pool.

Wait! Flashback Drop can save your hide
And get those tables back.
For all the data you just fried,
Somehow, it’s back on track.

Your boss now loves you once anew,
Quick, write a backup job.
You got away with it this time,
Now don’t be such a slob!

One last verse, from McNeely Tech, to you:

For all the DBAs out there,
You’re always on our minds.
We send our richest blessings out,
For auld lang syne.


(Mary Elizabeth McNeely, 2016)

McNeely Tech is now an Oracle Reseller

Happy New Year!

Would you like to buy your Oracle products from someone in your network? Would you like attentive, courteous service even for small Oracle orders?


We’re ready to help you with that. McNeely Tech is now a commercial sector reseller of Oracle products.

If you have an Oracle order in your future, call us today at 214 349 9994.

2015 Christmas parody song – enjoy!

“A Database Christmas Carol”
(Sing to the tune of “The Twelve Days of Christmas”)
By Mary Elizabeth McNeely, 2009

On the first day of Christmas,
My true love sent to me
An index that’s a b-tree.

On the twelfth day of Christmas,
My true love sent to me
Twelve cache hit ratios,
Eleven time zone patches,
Ten consultants a-sleeping,
Nine sysops dancing,
Eight scripts a-spooling,
Seven users a-squawking,
A six-digit salary demand,
Five function calls,
Three corrupt blocks,
Two raw devices,
And an index that’s a b-tree!

McNeely Tech President Honored as Woman in Technology

We’re pleased our president Mary Elizabeth McNeely has been named as a Dallas Business Journal Women in Technology honoree. Press releaseHonoree list – Article front page. Woo hoo!

“Tech pros say they’ve had IT up to here”

Dallas Morning News: “Tech pros say they’ve had IT up to here”

This article resonates.

From the vantage point of our consulting practice, since the recession started, we’ve watched the IT atmosphere become leaner and meaner (the bad kind of meaner, not the good kind). Managers, seeing no other options, foist additional responsibilities on their technologists. Faced with longer work days, more after-hours calls, burnout, increased likelihood of errors, now-sharper IT internecine warfare, and sometimes even resentment from their spouses, well, who can blame technologists for being at the breaking point?

How are things at your IT shop?

2014 Silly Christmas Song

Here’s your holiday database song – sing it to the tune of “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer:”


The disk drive got run over by a reindeer
While we were running backups Christmas Eve
You can say there’s no such thing as RAID-10
But as for me and the SAN admin, we believe

We’d been drinkin’ too much eggnog
And we should have locked the cage
But we’d propped it open with a brick
And then we got distracted by a page

When they found the disk drive Christmas mornin’
At the scene of the attack
There were hoof prints on its spindles
And the DBA had gotten lots of flack


Now we’re all so proud of the SAN admin
He’s been takin’ this so well
See him in there at the console
Drinkin’ beer and swappin’ over to the spare

It’s not Christmas without the disk drive
All the department’s dressed in black
And we just can’t help but wonder
Should we repair the disk or send it back?


Now the RAID stripes are reassembled
And we all took one last swig
And the cage is now locked tight
The sys admins put Santa in the brig

I’ve warned all my IT colleagues
Better watch out for yourselves
They should never loan their card key
To a man who drives a sleigh and plays with elves


by Mary Elizabeth McNeely

McNeely Tech wins growth grant


Donna Hegdahl
972-717-3500 ext. 222

McNeely Technology Solutions Receives Lillie Knox Award
McNeely Technology Solutions Receives Cash Grant from Women’s Business Council -Southwest to Fund Growth Initiatives

Dallas, Texas, September 5, 2014 — McNeely Technology Solutions President, Mary Elizabeth McNeely, along with five other expansion-minded Women’s Business Enterprises (WBE) is a recipient of this year’s Lillie R. Knox Investing for Growth award, presented by the Women’s Business Council – Southwest (WBCS). The five businesses will receive a cash grant each to be used to advance their businesses.

The awards were presented at the Lillie R. Knox Memorial luncheon during the WBCS Annual Harvesting Partnerships event on September 4 at the Hyatt Regency DFW Airport Hotel.

The winning companies were selected based on how they would use the funds to help take their businesses to the next level, as well as their involvement in WBCS.

The Lillie Knox Investing for Growth award began in 2005. WBCS established the award as a tribute and memorial to founding member Lillie Knox. Lillie passed away in November, 2003, after a long and courageous battle with cancer. The award is an annual cash award, open to a certified woman-owned WBCS member, to fund a critical growth or business development need.

“Each of these businesses is indicative of the type of successful WBEs that Lillie Knox sought to develop,” said Debbie Hurst, president of the Women’s Business Council – Southwest. “This award will help take these businesses to the next level of success.”

About McNeely Technology Solutions
McNeely Technology Solutions offers Oracle database administration services, serving clients ranging from single-location enterprises with only one or two databases to publicly traded nationwide corporations with complex technical issues, but focused mainly on mid-sized clients in fast-paced environments with complex technical needs. McNeely Technology Solutions, Inc. is a Texas corporation, based in Dallas, and a certified Women’s Business Enterprise/Historically Underutilized Business. For more information, visit

About WBCS
Headquartered in Arlington, Texas, WBCS is dedicated to increasing mutually beneficial procurement opportunities between certified woman-owned businesses, corporations, businesses, government entities, institutions and other organizations. With more than 1000 WBE members and 80 corporate sustaining members, WBCS is in its 19th year of providing national certification to women-owned businesses. To find out more about the WBCS please visit WBCS is a regional affiliate of Women Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) covering Oklahoma, central and north Texas, Arkansas and New Mexico.

Hotsos Symposium 2014 – the heavy and the light of it

I went to Hotsos Symposium 2014, in Irving, Texas, last week. If you’re an Oracle technologist and you’re not going to the Symposium each year, you’re really missing out. Not only is it a chance to see some excellent presentations, it’s also a chance to interact with the presenters on an ongoing basis for a few days, as the conference is small enough to allow for that.

It’s also a chance to enjoy camaraderie from Oracle professionals from around the world. Yep, this conference is so good that people fly in from overseas to attend.

Plus the food is great, and there’s a party on Tuesday night.

On the lighter side, here are some non-technical highlights:

During Tom Kyte’s presentation, someone’s Siri piped up, “I’m not sure what you’ve just said.” I didn’t have any expectation that she’d understand index cluster factors. Actually, she probably wouldn’t have liked the discussion about type casting or pushing predicates, either. Can you imagine being Tom Kyte’s Siri?

This is an intelligent crowd, so it wasn’t surprising to hear of their children’s admissions to medical school, other children in their medical residencies, and other children abroad in exchange programs.

At the party on Tuesday, several tables had Jenga games going. I’m very impressed at the steady-handedness of those DBA/developers!

I already mentioned the food was good. This of course didn’t go unnoticed by the other attendees. We somewhat jokingly discussed having walking treadmills installed in the back of each presentation hall. Truthfully, I bet people would use them, if only they were quiet enough.

I saw purposeful inclusion of cultures further east, and it made me smile – I’ve seen vegetarian food at the Symposium for many years now, but I noticed kulfi (the Indian equivalent of Western ice cream) available in the frozen treats cart during an afternoon break, and I noticed the deejay at the party was playing some Bollywood hits.

One attendee’s laptop had a sticker which said, “My other computer is a data center.”

Kerry Osborne’s presentation was about problem-solving styles. One slide divided people into quadrants, with the two axes being smart-or-stupid and industrious-or-lazy. Kerry had read that a military leader said there was good use for all the combinations, except stupid and industrious, which was a downright dangerous combination!

I hope we’ll see YOU at Symposium next year!

Mary Elizabeth McNeely

Oracle voodoo doll – good or bad?

A client and his wife bought me this voodoo doll while they were on vacation (see picture).

It is a “Watchover Voodoo Doll”, and the labeling says “Oracle – Gives you insight into your future and points you in the right direction.”

I thought voodoo dolls were for sticking pins into and putting curses on enemies. Let’s look on the bright side and assume for the sake of argument that the doll is well-intentioned.

So, assuming the garnered insight is about Oracle databases, how does the doll point us “in the right direction?” Can it access my clients’ databases? Does the insight get delivered to me, the database consultant, or directly to my clients? How is the insight delivered – email, Twitter, telephone call?

And, when it opines, “If you don’t change to a more acceptable CURSOR_SHARING setting, you’re going to run that database right into the ground,” would anyone believe a voodoo doll anyway? Does it get angry if we don’t heed its advice? What does a voodoo doll do when it gets angry?

Hmmm … just in case, I think I’ll keep the sewing pins a safe distance away!

Mary Elizabeth McNeely

Don’t break my heart! (Valentine’s Day, 2014 Edition)

An oldie, but goodie – I haven’t trotted this story out in a few years, and it’s worth considering on a regular basis, so here we go again!

It was a sickening moment.

“We should have listened to you, Mary Elizabeth,” the client said. He didn’t look well.

I had been pestering this client for quite a while to remedy their inadequate database disk mirroring and backup/recovery practices.

A few hours ago, his production database had been obliterated in a hardware failure. He tried but failed to recover any recent backup. Finally, he called to see if we could find any way to salvage recent transactions. Unfortunately, we couldn’t. The damage to the database was too extensive, and, additionally, there were no usable recent backups. The client hadn’t been recover-testing his backups, so he didn’t realize he had a problem until he tried to use them in an emergency. He had no other option than to recover an older backup.

The client was in the embarrassing position of having to ask partner organizations for re-sends of transactions made since the last good backup. Word eventually seeped out onto the street that a grave technical failure had occurred at his company.

It was no salve to my ego to have been proven right – yes, the client should have fixed their inadequate practices. But it was painful to me to even watch a situation like this unfold.

Please don’t break my heart by being the next one to call me with an unsalvageable loss. When was the last time you tested your backups?