About the Author
Edward Whalen is vice president and founder of Performance Tuning Corporation (http://www.perftuning.com), a consulting company that specializes in database performance, administration, and backup/recovery solutions. He has extensive experience in database system design and tuning for optimal performance. His career has consisted of hardware, operating system, and database development projects for many different companies. Edward has published two other books on the Oracle RDBMS. He has also written four books on Microsoft SQL Server. In addition to writing, Edward has worked on numerous benchmarks and performance-tuning projects with both Oracle and MS SQL Server.
Mitchell Schroeter is a senior consultant with Performance Tuning Corporation (http://www.perftuning.com) and has worked in the field of database performance tuning for five years. Prior to Performance Tuning Corporation, Mitchell worked at Dell Computer Corporation as a systems analyst in the systems performance analysis group, specializing in database technologies and high-performance storage systems. He has extensive experience with developing client-server and multitiered applications on both Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server in a variety of programming languages. Mitchell specializes in tuning database systems and application code, storage area networks, and Oracle 9i Real Application Clusters.
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Each year, computer systems become faster. At the same time, memory and disk storage are becoming more plentiful and less expensive. Because of this, the means and the budget are now available to store vast amounts of information at relatively inexpensive prices. This has allowed users to increase the amount of data stored as well as increase the amount of processing that is done with that data. Because of this, society cannot simply solve performance problems by throwing more hardware at the problem. It's necessary to analyze, size, and properly configure systems to perform optimally.
For us, performance engineers, one of the problems that we see in the industry today is the introduction of large disk drives. At one time, it would have been necessary to configure 10 disk drives to hold the data that you have generated; you can now store the same data in 1 disk drive. What many people don't know is that this 1 disk drive is 10 times slower than 10 smaller disk drives. In this book, concepts such as this will be explained and explored.
Our philosophy in writing this book is that tuning must be done holistically. You cannot focus on one part of the system and achieve optimal performance. It is necessary to look at the application, the Oracle instance, the operating system, and the hardware and I/O subsystem to achieve optimal performance. In this book, we explore all areas of the system from SQL statements down to the operation of the disk drive.
We hope that you will use this book not only as a guide for learning Oracle performance tuning, but as a reference as well.How to Use This Book
To keep the book interesting, we have added some personal anecdotes relevant to the subject matter. We hope we have conveyed some of the excitement that comes when you push systems to their limits. Those of us who work in the database performance field constantly push the envelope of technology to achieve new levels of performance previously thought impossible. This kind of experimentation can be satisfying when everything works well, but frustrating when it doesn't.
Our hope is that, having read this book, you will have a basic understanding of how the components of the system work together to form the whole. If you have this foundation, you should be able to tackle a performance problem, know what to look for, and know how to fix it. Not all performance problems are alike, and solutions aren't either. It is important that you have a basic understanding of what to look for and what the possible solutions are.
If we have done our jobs correctly, you should finish this book with the ability to analyze the problem, hypothesize a solution, test that solution, and understand the result. We hope this book gives novices an idea of what performance engineering is all about. Seasoned professionals should receive new insight and ideas. By applying this newly acquired knowledge, you will find that tackling even the most complex performance problems can be broken down into simple, manageable tasks. 0672321467P04222002