Don't let kiddies play with Silver Bullets

When publishing about the powerful new holistic features of Oracle (such as the 11g SQL Performance Advisor), it's always important to remember that these advanced tools are perilous in the hands of inexperienced DBA's.

In a real-world corporate shop, one of the first things that a junior DBA learns is that holistic tuning is essential to effective job performance. A typical DBA may have dozens of systems to support, and achieving the proper baseline settings (based on verifiable historical workloads) is essential to all Oracle tuning efforts.

Should the DBA fail to optimize their system for it's workload, any SQL tuning can be un-done with subsequent changes to any of the Silver Bullets:

- SGA pool sizes (shared_pool_size, db_23k_cache_size, etc.) - Pool sizes have a dramatic effect on Oracle performance.

- Materialized Views - To prefetch and pre-compute common summary data.

- Indexing - Ensuring query completion with a minimum amount of buffer gets.

- Optimizer knobs (optimizer_mode, Optimizer_index_cost_adj) - Changing these global parms can have a profound impact on Oracle performance (both good and bad).

- I/O subsystem changes (RAID level, multiple blocksizes) - I/O remains the most significant performance bottleneck in most production databases.

- Optimizer statistics - Applying CBO histograms can have a huge benefit to an entire system.

These "broad brush" settings change the way that Oracle processes data in a profound way, and a single change can either make you a hero or get you fired.

Read more about the huge benefits and dangers of Oracle Silver Bullets here:


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