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Don Burleson Blog 







Oracle Performance Tuning Analyzer tips

Oracle Database Tips by Donald BurlesonFebruary 7, 2015

Oracle Performance Tuning Analyzer Details Announced

Christine Arthur is officially announcing (at RMOUG 2015) details about the undocumented PTA, the Oracle Performance Tuning Analyzer that was developed by Hector Pujol from Oracle's Center Of Expertise (COE), and used by Oracle Technical Support personnel for many years.

In her presentation on PTA, Arthur notes that reactive tuning has been fraught with peril and that PTA exposes the hidden details from Oracle tuning reports, much the same as the defunct OraPerf and the new  hAWR Analyzer:

"Reactive tuning is one of the most difficult problems to tackle in a database environment if you have had minimal or no training in performance and tuning.

Oracle's new tool, the Performance Tuning Assistant (PTA), was designed to assist anyone faced with a performance and tuning problem in an Oracle database environment.

The tool is designed to be of assistance for both proactive and reactive tuning issues.

The new Performance Tuning Assistant can assist you to identify and tackle a tuning issue and learn the proper methodology for approaching any tuning problem you may be faced with in the future!"

All of these systems to interpret Oracle performance tuning reports use an "Expert Systems" methodology, using software engineering techniques to the well-structured decision rules from the problem domain and present the findings. Note that no tool thusfar is a true Decision Support System" because the software does not interact directly with the human tuning expert.

 According to Arthur, Oracle's PTA "uses a combination of information from the wait even interface, CPU utilization, IO and ratios". 

Oracle performance tuning software Unlike the StatspackAnalyzer (SPA) expert system developed by BC and TMS, where you can paste-in any STATSPACK or AWR report online for instant advice, PTA is hosted internally by Oracle and the Oracle professional never gets to use the tool directly.


Not perfect yet - experts still required

Arthur notes that PTA is hosted by Oracle Support and only metal-level customers (those with access to Oracle MOSC or telephone support) may have indirect use their PTA tool.  She also notes that PTA is not a substitute for an Oracle expert, and that some of the "Top 5 Wait Event" reported in STATSPACK may not appear in the "Response Time" breakdown of PTA report" and other opportunities for enhancing PTA.

  • PTA breaks down all wait events into "Foreground Time" and ?Background Time?.
  • Some idle wait events which are reported in Statspack are not seen in PTA because PTA filters out some idle wait events that Statspack does not.
  • There are some wait events that are considered idle in some situations and not idle in other. PTA does not have a way to discern between these yet.

Arthur also notes that future versions of PTA hope to analyze OS data and that limited PTA functionality may be incorporation into Oracle Enterprise Manager (OEM).  Personally, I suspect that this will not happen because both PTA and SPA require a human expert to interpret and act upon the findings, a liability exposure for Oracle.  I suspect that there are no current plans to Release PTA to the public, since PTA is not available for MOSC users, and PTA does not appear inside the Oracle Software Configuration Manager.

Arthur notes that PTA IS NOT A substitution for consulting services, and statement that we have found to be true in the development of the expert system which eventually became AWR Analyzer.

For independent Oracle tech support, call the number to the left, provide your CSI number.  Once your paperwork is done, a BC expert can assist you with any Oracle technical support issue.




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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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