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Don Burleson Blog 







HammerDB Tips

RAC tuning tips

January 28,  2015



HammerDB is an open source benchmark utility for database systems. In the beginning, this tool went by the name HammerOra but it can now be used on other database platforms as well, hence the more generic name. HammerDB can be found at for the download files and the documentation. Installation is as easy as using an unzip utility to extract the contents.


TPC-C Benchmark

The easiest way to see HammerDB in action is to run the Transaction Performance

Processing Council TPC-C benchmark, which simulates Online Transaction Processing (OLTP) order entry system, very similar to the Swingbench OE test. In the HammerDB unzip directory, run the hammerdb.tcl utility to start the program. After the program starts, expand the TPC-C folder under the Oracle heading, similar to the following.



Figure 10.27 HammerDB TPC-C Options


Before the test can begin, the schema for the benchmark tool needs to be created. The database administrator can double click on the Options under the Schema Build section. This will bring up a dialog box to define the service name, dba user and password, the schema owner (tpcc) user and password, and a tablespace name, as seen in the next example. Note that the tablespace must previously exist which means the database administrator must manually pre-create it.



Figure 10.28 HammerDB TPC-C Build Options


Press OK to accept the build options. The database administrator will then need to double click on the Build item to begin the schema creation. Confirmation is needed before continuing, as seen below.



Figure 10.29 HammerDB TPC-C Build Confirmation


The Virtual User Output window shows the build progress.



Figure 10.30 HammerDB TPC-C Build Creation


The schema creation will be complete when pane below the Virtual User Output window shows a value of ?1? under the Complete column and the Status column shows a green check mark.



Figure 10.31 HammerDB TPC-C Build Complete


When complete, the database administrator will need to close the virtual user connection by pressing the red stop light icon in the toolbar, tenth icon from the left in the image below.



Figure 10.32 HammerDB Toolbar


Now that the test schema has been created, HammerDB needs a script to drive the benchmark test. The database administrator needs to open the Driver Script folder, as seen below.



Figure 10.33 HammerDB TPC-C Driver Script


Double-clicking on the Options item lets the database administrator configure the options used to direct the test. For now, the default options are sufficient. Notice that the Driver Options section denotes a total number of transactions per user that will be executed.



Figure 10.34 HammerDB TPC-C Driver Options


Next, the database administrator double-clicks on the Load item to place the driver script in the Script Editor window, as seen below.



Figure 10.35 HammerDB TPC-C Driver Script


At this point, the database administrator has created the database schema and created the script to define the benchmark tests. Next, the virtual users need to be defined. The database administrator needs to open the Virtual Users folder, similar to the following.



Figure 10.36 HammerDB TPC-C Virtual Users


Double-clicking on the Options item brings up a dialog box where the database administrator can define the number of virtual users to participate in the test. In the example below, forty users have been defined.



Figure 10.37 HammerDB TPC-C Virtual User Options


Next, the database administrator double-clicks on the Create item to create the virtual users. The virtual users will be shown in the tool as shown below. They will be idle.



Figure 10.38 HammerDB TPC-C Virtual Users


To begin the test, the database administrator will press the Run Virtual Users button (green arrow), which is immediately to the right of the Destroy Virtual Users button used after creating the schema. The Virtual User Output pane will show the work being done by the users.



Figure 10.39 HammerDB TPC-C Virtual Users Running


To see the performance of the benchmark test, click on the Transaction Counter icon, two spots to the right of the Run Virtual Users icon in the toolbar. The Transaction Counter pane can be selected. Run the test again to see the graph in action, similar to the following.



Figure 10.40 HammerDB TPC-C Transaction Counter


Unfortunately, other than the Transaction Counter graph, HammerDB does not provide metrics for the database administrator to use, which is the entire point of a benchmark anyway. The Transaction Counter graph provides a pretty picture to look at but for real use, the database administrator will want to leverage the AWR driver script in the next section.

Learn RAC Tuning Internals!

This is an excerpt from the landmark book Oracle RAC Performance tuning, a book that provides real world advice for resolving the most difficult RAC performance and tuning issues.

Buy it  for 30% off directly from the publisher.

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