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Don Burleson Blog 







Oracle Exadata benchmark uses bizarre initialization parameters

Oracle Tips by Burleson Consulting
June 5, 2009

Oracle and HP recently announced this TPC-H Oracle Exadata HP world record benchmark.  

This new data warehouse benchmark test emphasizing the Exadata hardware shows amazing data throughput.  The test used a $2,500,000 hardware and got over 120,000 queries per hour, super-fast throughput!

The performance metric reported by TPC-H is called the TPC-H Composite Query-per-Hour Performance Metric (QphH@Size), and reflects multiple aspects of the capability of the system to process queries.

Benchmark tests involve millions of dollars ion hardware sales, and consequently, the benchmark vendors test and re-test, always trying to make the tests run as fast as possible.  Hence, reviewing these benchmark full-disclosure reports are a GREAT way to learn how to optimizer your own database.

Note that the TPC-H full disclosure report shows the Oracle initialization parameters used in this benchmark, and many of them don't make much sense:

  • log_buffer = 268435456 – What’s up with this super-giant log_buffer?

  • db_block_size = 32768 – Oracle experts cite bugs when using a non-8k blocksize

  • optimizer_index_cost_adj=200 - Some Oracle experts are reluctant to adjust this "silver bullet" parm.

  • db_file_multiblock_read_count = 64 – This sizing automated in 10gr2

  • optimizer_mode = CHOOSE – Optimizer_mode=choose was deprecated in 10g

Tip! - One secret for Oracle database tuning is to search for your release level and server on the web site. 

Vendors spend a fortune tuning their database performance for benchmark tests (millions of dollars in potential sales are at stake), so the TPC benchmarks are a great place to see how to optimize your Oracle database.  I highly recommend the book "Oracle Benchmarking" for more details on conducting and interpreting Oracle benchmarks. 

Here are the other parms from the TPC full disclosure list for this Exadata Oracle benchmark: 

instance_type = rdbms
aq_tm_processes = 0
audit_trail = FALSE
compatible = #for 070801
control_files = (+DG1/control1,+DG1/control2)
cpu_count = 64
db_block_checksum = false
db_block_size = 32768
db_cache_size = 24g
db_file_multiblock_read_count = 64
db_files = 2400
db_name = 1tb
db_writer_processes = 16
dml_locks = 40000
global_names = FALSE
hpux_sched_noage = 180
instance_name = tpch
job_queue_processes = 0
log_buffer = 268435456
log_checkpoints_to_alert = true
log_checkpoint_interval = 18000
max_dump_file_size = unlimited
nls_date_format = YYYY-MM-DD
open_cursors = 1024
optimizer_features_enable =
optimizer_index_cost_adj = 200
optimizer_mode = CHOOSE
parallel_adaptive_multi_user = TRUE
parallel_execution_message_size = 65535
parallel_max_servers = 2560
parallel_min_servers = 2560
parallel_threads_per_cpu = 2
pga_aggregate_target = 60g
processes = 5000
recovery_parallelism = 32
replication_dependency_tracking = false
session_cached_cursors = 0
shared_pool_size = 100g
undo_management = auto
undo_retention = 200000


Also, see my notes on Oracle benchmarks and for other tips on learning from Oracle benchmarks, see my notes:

A previous TPC-H Oracle benchmark

The previous world record for Oracle TPC-H (data warehouse) benchmark was 1,500 QphH (query per hour), and this record has now been broken with an HP Superdome at 1,700 QphH.  This benchmark also used many non-standard parameters:

  • large data blocks - 32k blocksize

  • Huge PGA - 50g PGA region size (pga_aggregate_target)

  • Huge SGA - 90g SGA target (sga_target)

  • optimizer_index_cost_adj=200



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