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Overview of Oracle Application Server Performance Tuning

Oracle Tips by Burleson Consulting


Being complex, an Oracle Application Server environment has a huge amount of tuning opportunities.  For example, the Oracle database back-end has more than 250 initialization parameters, each Oracle Application Server component has many interrelated parameter and configuration settings, and each server has dozens of tuning options.  Tuning any one of the Oracle Application Server components is challenging by itself, but when we consider the complex interactions between Oracle Application Server components, there can be an overwhelming amount of tuning activity.

We must start by noting that every Oracle Application Server system has a bottleneck.  Even a well-tuned Oracle Application Server system will have some resource that comprises the majority of the response time.  The best approach is to identify the component that is the bottleneck and then drill-down and identify the component resource that is responsible for the latency.  The bottleneck may be hardware related (CPU, RAM, Disk I/O, or Network shortages), or software related (locks, latches or contention).

There are two approaches to Oracle Application Server tuning, the reactive and proactive approach.  In the reactive approach, we receive a response time complaint from the end-user community and we use tools such as OEM to ascertain the cause of the performance problem.  In the proactive tuning approach we collect detailed statistics from all Oracle Application Server components, analyze the data, and develop predictive models that can predict those conditions that will impede performance.

Let?s start by examining the tuning ?knobs?.  By altering a knob, we adjust the configuration and resources for the Oracle Application Server farm and change the processing characteristics.  Common knobs or Oracle Application Server include three areas, server tuning, parameter tuning and RAM cache tuning:

Server tuning

?         Hardware configuration ? Adding RAM of CPU resources to existing servers will improve the throughput on the server

?         Hardware load balancing ? The addition of new servers to the Oracle Application Server farm and relocating Oracle Application Server components onto the servers allows for scalability during times of peak usage.  Spare servers can be configured with both Web Cache and App Server, and the appropriate components can be started as-needed.

?         Server parameter tuning ? Adjusting the parameters on your server can have a huge impact on the performance of the Oracle Application Server components running on that server

Parameter tuning

?         Oracle Application Server parameters - Adjusting the Oracle Application Server configuration parameters for each Oracle Application Server component has influence performance and throughput.

?         Database parameters ? Because most Oracle Application Server systems are disk I/O intensive, adjusting the Oracle database parameters for the Infrastructure database (iasdb) and the back-end database can heavily influence performance.

RAM cache tuning

?         Data buffer tuning ? Adding RAM to the database db_cache_size on the Oracle Infrastructure and back-end database can greatly reduce disk I/O and improve throughput.

?         Web cache tuning ? Adding RAM to the Oracle Application Server web cache can improve the delivery rates of HTML and XML though the Oracle HTTP Server (OHS).

As we mentioned, proactive tuning is the best approach for the tuning of Oracle Application Server because we can analyze historical database and observe trends and identify performance thresholds.  In order to do proactive monitoring we must develop data collection mechanisms for the servers and each Oracle Application Server component. 

If you like Oracle tuning, you may enjoy the new book "Oracle Tuning: The Definitive Reference", over 900 pages of BC's favorite tuning tips & scripts. 

You can buy it direct from the publisher for 30%-off and get instant access to the code depot of Oracle tuning scripts.



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Note: This Oracle documentation was created as a support and Oracle training reference for use by our DBA performance tuning consulting professionals.  Feel free to ask questions on our Oracle forum.

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