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Oracle Pros say Silver Bullets make jobs run faster

October 18, 2005

Oracle silver bullet tuning is a top-down approach where a global change can have a profound positive impact on Oracle database performance.  Jeff Moss, an Oracle DBA from the UK reports in a publication titled “IO problem!” that an external disk bottleneck was hurting his overall Oracle performance:

“the temporary tablespace datafiles were on a filesystem which was marked as a archive redo log area on the RAID array and were set up as a concatenated volume rather than a stripe….with obvious performance impact!” 

By analyzing statistics and creating a prediction, Moss was able to predict that his I/O was about 50x too slow:

“It will take a while to organise the array reorganisation to fix the problem but it should boost performance since the current stats are showing that it’s about 50 times slower service times on that part of the array than the place the files are supposed to be at.”

In a subsequent publication titled “What a boost!", Moss notes that this single reorg made his batch suite run time go down from 12 hours down to only 4 hours:

“The temp tablespace area on that IO issue was reorganised a few days ago and the batch suite has reduced in time from 12 hours to 4...with more to come from the ability to parallelise more of the jobs now that the system isn't bottlenecking on temp.

Much Better.”

The idea behind Oracle Silver Bullet Tuning is an approach where a suboptimal system-wide element is identified and the “Silver Bullet” is the single action that results in a profound positive change to an entire Oracle database. 

Laurent Schneider notes in Oracle MOSC an Oracle silver bullet technique where changing two Oracle initialization parameters made his SQL query performance increase more than 8x faster:

"I set appropriate values for pga_aggregate_target and _pga_max_size...

alter system set pga_aggregate_target=6G; 
alter system set "_pga_max_size"=2000000000; 

...and I gave the query some hints "NOREWRITE FULL USE_HASH ORDERED".

As a result, it boosted my query performance from 12 hours to 1.5 hour."

  Oracle Silver bullets can be external remedies such as fixing sub-optimal RAID or they can be internal techniques such as adjusting Oracle parameters, adding super-selective indexes or using materialized views.

Don Burleson notes these Oracle Silver Bullets and many more in his latest book “Oracle Silver Bullets:  Real-world Oracle performance Secrets”.  It’s only $19.95 and you can buy it directly from the publisher at this link:


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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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