sheds light on performance tuning in Oracle9i
Contributor | May 13, 2003
Although my initial thought was that you
would need to be an Oracle DBA to get much out of this book, I now think
that CIOs, CTOs, systems administrators, DBAs, analysts, and programmers
should all read Oracle9i High-Performance Tuning with STATSPACK.
This is an excellent book
that contains a wealth of information on Oracle database performance
issues—not all of them solely the concern of DBAs.
The introduction and first couple of chapters address external performance
issues of servers, disk I/O subsystems, and networks that can directly
impact the database—all issues that don't necessarily fall into the
realm of the Oracle DBA. The author, Don Burleson, then cuts to the chase
on the real issues of Oracle performance and tuning and discusses the
information and utilities you need. He provides the reader with the
pertinent information along with realistic examples and scripts that are
on the money.
much does STATSPACK cost?
Oracle’s Performance Pack was pricey when
it first came out; so you may be asking, "How much is this going to
hurt?" In its basic form, STATSPACK replaces the Utlbstat/Utlestat
utilities from previous Oracle versions. STATSPACK delivers with the
Oracle software and it's free.
The author does a great job of covering the installation prerequisites,
the installation, and configuring of STATSPACK. And he offers some
extensions that really beef up the usability of STATSPACK.
The book also provides the URL to the site where you can download scripts
for STATSPACK, and the extensions are included—you don’t even have to
retype the scripts from the book; just modify some statements for your
hardware and other personalized attributes.
I especially appreciated the coverage of the server utilities (e.g., sar,
vmstats, glance, top, nice, priocntl). The book discusses why you need to
know about these utilities, how to get information on them, and what to do
with that information. The author also provides the information needed to
execute and understand the output on several platforms including Linux,
AIX, HP/UX, and Solaris.
The book discusses traditional reorganization utilities as well as the
pros and cons of Create Table…As Select (CTAS) with scripts to
accomplish this task.
The author also provides excellent coverage of freelists, percent free,
and percent used. This topic is critical to understanding table and index
performance issues and considerations. I found this to be very informative
and a great refresher.
Good proactive vs. reactive approach to performance
It has been my strategic directive to proactively monitor and tune the
database environment. It is refreshing to see this same approach embraced
and reinforced as the de facto standard as it is in this book. It is true
that from time to time, reactive tuning may be dictated or may make sense
under some circumstances. Having the proactive history in STATSPACK tables
should be an asset in your decision-making process as you proceed.
this book to your library
Although the first chapter may seem elementary, it offers an excellent
review of the correct approach to tuning your database and a firm
foundation for understanding the progression of the book.
I read early in the book that the author has extensive experience as a
senior-level expert in Oracle, editor in chief of Oracle Internals, and as
a professor. His experience is obvious by the placement of helpful hints
and tips that are sprinkled throughout, including undocumented parameters,
such as QUEUESIZE, used in the Listener.ora file. His vast experience on
multiple platforms is unselfishly shared, which enhances the versatility
of this text (e.g., UNIX is the platform of choice for examples, but
commands for other platforms are included or discussed, such as HP-UX,
AIX, Solaris, Linux, NT, and DEC-UNIX).
The information here is presented in a very readable and understandable
format. The scripts alone are worth the cost of the book. This book is a
valuable reference in my technical library, and I highly recommend it to
other developers and IT pros.
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