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Don Burleson Blog 


 

 

 


 

 

 

DBAs advance with Burlesons Oracle9i Tips
Nov 22, 2002
Donald Burleson
Author's Bio | E-Mail

(c) searchdatabase.com

 
SAN FRANCISCO Oracle database expert and author Don Burleson hosted the most popular technical session at this month's OracleWorld, drawing more than 500 experienced DBAs to an advanced session on maximizing the self-turning features of the newest 9i release.

Burleson, an independent consultant who heads Kittrell, N.C.-based Burleson Oracle Consulting, is also a SearchDatabase.com contributor. At Oracle's annual conference last week, Burleson whisked experienced DBAs through a one-hour session on how to save millions with the newest 9i database by conserving Random Access Memory (RAM).

Among the new 9i internal features are bitmap-free lists, redo log based replication, dynamic SGA, and the ability to support multiple block sizes.

With his trademark showman style, Burleson teased Oracle for renaming some old database features and introducing them as new. "It took me a while to figure out that RAC was OPS dusted off," he said, prompting guffaws from the audience.

In a recent article, Burleson conducted an analysis of Oracle's new Real Application Clusters and the Oracle Parallel Servers they replaced, and he reported that RAC was the result of Oracle having reconstructed OPS so that it can run faster and more reliably.

The new 9i version 2 has impressed Burleson, he said. "The Oracle 9i (release 2) is super stable," Burleson said. "Self-tuning Oracle 9i is a reality."

Burleson highlighted one of his favorite 9i self-tuning features, Statspack. Burleson said that Statspack provides a complete picture of everything that's going on within the Oracle database.

The Statspack utility is the evolution of Oracle's utlbstat.sql and utlestat.sql utilities. In Oracle 7, those utilities were used to gather an elapsed time report of Oracle performance. In Oracle 8, the concept was enhanced by Statspack to allow for the capture of the elapsed time report into a set of tables.

"I'm a Statspack bigot," Burleson said. "I'm not selling anything (although you could buy some of my books)."

The first order of business, Burleson said, had to do with self-tuning disc I/0.

"All Oracle parameters can now be dynamically modified," Burleson said. That means no more PGA memory regions, he told the audience. "No more init.ora file, no more PGA memory regions, and multiple block sizes can be supported."

Referring to Oracle 9i's 7 RAM data buffers, Burleson said: "When a data buffer hit ratio falls, Oracle can 'de-allocate' RAM from a data buffer and reallocate RAM to another buffer." Adjusting the RAM frames between the data buffers will reduce disc I/O and improve RAM efficiency, he said. Changing RAM is easy, promised Burleson, who guided DBAs through the process.

"When Oracle 9i detects an object with significant sequential block access, that table, or index, can be scheduled for a move to a larger tablespace," Burleson said. A simple index move can cause a huge reduction in physical disc I/O, he said.

A good part of Burleson's presentation was dedicated to determining optimal data buffer size. "In Oracle 9i, we have a new view that can predict the benefit of additional data buffers in the data buffer cache," he said.

Norman Jackson, a DBA with St. Louis-based Amdocs, a supplier of software systems and applications for the directory-publishing industry, said he caught some of Burleson's enthusiasm for Statspack as a monitoring tool. "I've used it a little bit, but not to the extent he suggested," Jackson said.

Stephanie Palmer, a San Francisco-based developer, took plenty of notes, and said the presentation was remarkably practical.

"There really is no good documentation on MOSC on how you tune RAM," Palmer said. Like most attendees, Palmer is dedicated to 9i.

"I have to test with Sybase, DB2 and mySQL," she said. "But I will always be an Oracle girl."


 

 

 

Burleson is the American Team

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