Complete Guide for Tuning the Oracle Database

Tuning a database is an intensive task. The database changes in a number of ways over a period of time. Sometimes, upgrades may cause performance issues. In order to keep up with the performance, it is essential to tune the database on a regular basis. The changes that are made to improve the performance are evaluated. In this tutorial we will be discussing about different methods to tune the database. The database administrator is responsible for the performance of oracle database. Developers can opt for remote dba services provided by any of the reputed firms. There are a number of services that help you in tuning Oracle database.

The first step is to plan the tuning engagement that covers all the basics of performance tuning. The next step is to determine the current state that forms a baseline for comparison in later stages. Performance tuning is the process of optimizing the specific aspects of your system’s hardware and software. Before that, one should consider some general ideas. Oracle is easily tunable and allows the database to be monitored to enhance its performance. Below are some of the reasons why should you do performance tuning-

  • Reduced speed of computing
  • To keep your system updated and to meet the speed of your business
  • To optimize the usage of hardware to save money

There are a number of tools that can be used to tune Oracle database. Some of the popular tools include – AWR, Statspack, TkProf, ADDM, Oracle enterprise manager and so on. Performance tuning below is a step-by-step guide on how to tune the Oracle database.

Performance planning

Oracle database administrators are required to complete this step, before they proceed with another. Performance planning can be categorized into-

  • Investment options

Most of the DBAs wish to buy more system resources to enhance the performance. New CPUs, more disks, RAM and memory can provide a performance improvement. But, one should always remember that the performance improvement through additional resources is always temporary and there are more chances that the performance problem will occur very soon. Before purchasing additional resources, make sure that serialization is not occurring in the application. It is more valuable to increase the efficiency of your application in terms of the resources used for business transactions.

  • Scalability
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Scalability is the ability of the system to process more workloads. In a scalable system, the system uses double the resources if the workload is doubled. In order to improve the scalability of the system, developers must create the design in such a way that it uses the same resources, no matter whatever is the workload.

  • System architecture

The system architecture can be categorized into hardware and software components. The architecture of the system should be designed in such a way that the hardware and software components are utilized completely.

  • Application design principles

There are a number of methods that are used in designing applications. These applications are no different from any engineered product. The database deign can be said to be poor, if nobody understands the table due to poor design and structure. If you want to tune the database, it is essential to design the tables and layouts with perfection. The tables should be understood easily by the readers. Some of the popular techniques in application design principle include – data modeling, table and index design, appending columns to index, finding the cost of index, using views, SQL execution efficiency and so on.

  • Workload testing

Workload testing is the process of estimating the workloads by testing and validating the design. Database administrators often face the problem of experience errors related to sizing when dealing with data of variable length. In such case, it becomes difficult to predict the growth of the database. In an active database, the tables and indexes grown over time and are subject to individual behavior in terms of deletion of rows, insertion of patterns, etc. To avoid this problem and improve the performance, DBAs should monitor the allocation of space for each and every object and make sure that the objects may not grow beyond the limit.

  • Deploying new applications
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One can deploy new applications to improve the performance of the database. Rollout strategies and performance checklist are the two strategies that are involved in deploying applications.

Instance tuning

In instance tuning, developers need to take care of the initial design of the database so that they can eliminate bottlenecks that affect the performance of the database. For this, one should allocate enough memory to the database structures, determine the I/O requirements and tune the operating system in such a way that it gives optimum performance.

SQL tuning

SQL is considered as a messaging language by most of the developers, as the queries are issued and data are returned. However, most of the client tools generate insufficient statements. For writing an effective SQL statement, it is essential to understand the SQL processing engine. This is very beneficial for systems that process transactions highly.

What are the features of performance tuning

It is essential to collect and analyze the data in an effective manner to correct the performance problems. Oracle database provides a variety of tools that help database administrators and performance engineers to gather as much information as possible on database performance. By using these tools, one can monitor the performance, diagnose the problem if any and tune the application accordingly. Some of the common features of performance tuning includes-

  • Automatic workload repository
  • Automatic database diagnostic monitor
  • SQL tuning advisor
  • SQL Access Advisor
  • End-to-end application tracing etc.

Oracle database tuning is performed by using a variety of tools. V$ performance views is one of the best tools that is used by most of the developers. It is based on the memory structures that are initialized at instance setup.

Author Bio – Samantha Smith works in an IT company called She has helped a number of mid-sized companies in selecting the right kind of hardware and software services. She is the author of a number of Oracle certification guides.

This article has 1 comment

  1. Sujain Reply

    Thanks for providing this guide.
    I have read all the points and loved this guide a lot. I have showed up this guide to our team lead who is one of our remote dba experts and he loved it a lot. As viewing this guide we need not to view the guidelines provided by the oracle and it is bit lengthy but this would be perfect match for the same.
    Thank you once again Samantha.

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