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Don Burleson Blog 







Oracle on Nehalem

Oracle Database Tips by Donald BurlesonApril 22,  2015

There is a lot of buzz about improved performance of Oracle databases using the new Intel Nehalem processors with some benchmarks indicating up to double the throughput for some Oracle application systems.

As large RAM buffers shift the Oracle databases bottleneck from physical reads (db file scattered read and db file sequential read waits) to logical reads (consistent gets), we see that a typical OLTP database is now CPU constrained.

For a CPU constrained database (as per the top-5 timed events), faster processors like the Intel Nehalem can dramatically improve response time and data throughout for Oracle.

See these notes on how to tune a CPU-constrained Oracle database.

The Intel Nehalem quad core processors (part of Intel® Core™ i7 processors) are the latest incarnation of CPU's by Intel, used on smaller Oracle systems running Windows and Linux.  Both Dell and UNISYS are offering Nehalem servers that may be ideal for some Oracle applications:

  • UNISYS - UNISYS is redoing their ES-7000 series to include the "Nehalem EP" Xeon 5500 series processors for two-socket machines.
  • Dell - Dell has the Nehalem EP tower server, which is called the PowerEdge T610 by Dell and the 3560T by Unisys.

The Nehalem architecture is good for database application that push large volumes of data:

"Intel QuickPath Interconnect uses up to 6.4 Gigatranfers/second links, delivering up to 25 Gigabytes/second (GB/s) of total bandwidth.

That's up to 300 percent greater than any other interconnect solution used today."

Throwing hardware at a performance problem

When we see a CPU bottleneck there can be many root causes (overloaded server, poorly tuned SQL, sub-optimal library cache), but one fast fix is the application of faster processors.

While using Nehalem processors does not always address the root cause of a CPU bottleneck, applying faster resources such as super-fast Nehalem CPU's of solid-state disk provides rapid and risk-free tuning for many systems.

For more information on Oracle performance optimization with faster processors, see my book "Oracle Tuning: The Definitive Reference".



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