If you were to log in, you'd be able to get more information on your fellow community member.
It didn't occur to me that second edition was just published. Anyway, last Sunday at Berkeley, I walked into a bookstore and seen a familiar photo glancing at me from the shelf. It's like meeting one of your favourite web pages in person. So now I have it, still reading it (3 hours past midnight, ouch!), and truly enjoy it. Great work Philip, you're a real MIT hacker.
Speaking of $10K spending on firewall: save that money for Accura NSX down payment by using IPfilter package from http://cheops.anu.edu.au/~avalon/ which would allow you to restrict connections to your database server, web server, etc. It comes as part of FreeBSD, and can be used on other Unix systems.
Speaking of fast and consistent backups: you may wish to check out NetApp high-performance file servers (now you have to put down all that money you have been saving for buying a Porsche): http://www.netapp.com/technology/apps.html Briefly, these boxes are rackmounted PC-like servers running proprietary operating system with really fast NFS operations and snapshots (complete filesystem images, done in single transaction). Specific page on using Oracle with NetApp filers is at http://www.netapp.com/technology/level3/3023.html