Scaling Oracle8i(TM): Building Highly Scalable OLTP System Architectures

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This feature enables tables and indexes to be split into smaller, more manageable parts to enhance performance, without requiring changes to the applications. Data Mining. Advanced Queuing. This feature is similar to a messaging bus that allows message exchanges with applications based on the well-known publish-sub- scribe messaging protocol.

XML DB. This feature relates to navigating and querying XML data. Oracle has introduced numerous enhancements to improve performance and scalability of various XML DB tasks. Oracle designed this feature to meet the needs of advanced geographic information system GIS applications. No matter which subset of Oracle features are used by a customer, there exist a common set of performance and scalability challenges that every customer has to deal with.

On the other hand, many colleges offer database courses to educate students about some basic database concepts in classrooms. Oracle has been far more than an academic research topic. It has been helping countless organizations solve real world day-to-day operational problems for severaldecades. The objectives are summa- rized in the next section. It is designed to help the reader achieve the following objectives at a minimum:. Getting an opportunity to see how various abstract database concepts are implemented in a multi-billion dollar, leading commercial product.

Acquiring the skill set needed in installing or getting an Oracle database up and running as part of the requirements for conducting your performance and scalability tests. Production databases are managed by experienced, full-time DBAs. Databases in development and testing environments, however, are managed by developers or testing engineers themselves.

Getting a good understanding of how Oracle works as one of the most typical database backend systems that you are most likely to encounter or you have been using with the product you are developing. Computers execute the instructions they are given to execute. This text, written in a concise, self-consistent, coherent and accurate manner, can help accelerate your process of acquiring knowledge and experi- ence in the context of Oracle performance and scalability.

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Being comfortable with taking care of some of the most basic tasks in main- taining an Oracle database for your application development and performance and scalability tests. Some examples include logging into your Oracle database server from a client interface GUI or command line , checking and making changes to some of the Oracle initialization parameters, checking and adding extra storage for those heavily used tablespaces when needed, and so on.

Knowing most of the Oracle tuning knobs that are performance and scalability sensitive. Being able to interpret and trouble shoot Oracle performance and scalability bottlenecks related to your applications. This will involve some more advanced concepts and skill sets.

Note that this text is not intended to be a comprehensive coverage of all aspects about Oracle. If you are a computer science student, this text provides you with plenty of opportunities for you to see that a commercial quality database product like Oracle has been built with so many concepts you learn in classrooms. The Oracle performance and scalability skill set targeted for software practitionersshouldbevaluable as well in helping precondition astudent for a brighter future career.

In addition, when an important concept needs to be emphasized, it is typed in italics. This should be self-evident contextually. So, an Oracle Server runs on an Oracle server. Next, we clarify the subtle differences between performance and scalability. Simply speaking, per- formance is a measurement of the time taken to complete a user action or a computing task.

With an online transaction processing OLTP application that involves real time interactions between a user and a system, the performance of the application is typically measured in terms of the response time in seconds. With a batch-job application that processes computing tasks in background, a different metric of throughput is used to measure the performance of the application, which measures the number of objects processed within a certain period of time.

With a mixed application that has both active users and batch-jobs to service, both metrics of response time and throughput are used to quantify the performance characteristics of the application. Scalability captures the performance of an application system in a variable scale. From the hardware perspective, adding more resources e. However, Oracle has more and more features built-in as a result of evolutions from generation to generation. Based on my experiences, the best way to learn about a software product is to actually put it up and test-drive it.

As soon as you become familiar with it, apply some load and increase load intensity gradually. Then watch how it behaves and even how it breaks. Figure out how you can make it undergo larger and larger loads by making adjustments to its various tunable parameters.

After a few rounds of test drives like this, you could quickly become an expert. But we need to take baby steps one at a time. Therefore, consider an Oracleinstallation experience avaluable opportunity to learn about how to set up an Oracle environment for a high potential of high performance and scalability down the road rather than merely a boring task of getting it up and running. Chapter 3 gives you a complete overview of all the options you have to access your Oracle database server.

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Knowing about those options up-front can save you a lot of guessing work and frustrations. Chapter 4 walks you through all major aspects of an Oracle server with a tour of an Oracle setup I installed on one of my systems. This would include a brief introduction to what SQL is, and then a comparison between relational and object-oriented databases. This is a necessary preparation before we take off on optimizing and tuning Oracle perfor- mance and scalability.

Standard versus Flavored SQLs. Relational versus Object-Oriented Databases. SQL is a language for querying data, which is structured in relations, with both data and relations stored in a data store or database. Most college students as well as computer and software professionals have had some exposure to SQL, and some of them are experts in this area. Our purpose here is not to delve deeply into SQL, but rather to review the components of SQLs divided into a series of subsets as described below:.

Such SQLs allow users to query and manipulate data stored in a database. Such SQLs are used to create and modify tables, views, and indexes, and so on. One needs to learn the proper SQL with a given database product. This has created a disparity between the language used for coding object-oriented application logic and SQL for operating on relational data in a relational database. Thus, the need for storing objects rather than relational tables in a database arose accordingly. Most major database products, including Oracle, started supporting objects a few years ago.

We will concentrate on the relational side of Oracle only, mainly because the relational model will remain the mainstream for many years to come. Standard technologies such as Hibernate in the Java camp exist today to take care of object to relational table mapping.

Besides, most application development frameworks support issuing SQLs directly to relational databases using technologies such as JDBC Java database connectivity , which has proven to be effective in alleviating the object-relational gap. An Oracle Server consists of an Oracle instance and an Oracle database. An Oracle database is a logical entity from the data perspective. For example, the constituents of a database include schemas, tables, indexes, views, triggers, stored procedures, dictionaries, as well as users, and so on.

An instance can operate on one database only, whereas a database can be operated upon by more than one instance in a clustered environment for high-availability. We will elaborate more on the concepts of database and instance later when we discuss Oracle architecture. There is no better way in learning a software product than actually getting your hands dirty and experimenting with the product with the guidance of the well-written product documents or a more pertinent text such as this book. The purposeis to help you see the forests before seeing the trees to which the remainder of this book will be devoted.

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SQL multimedia and application packages - Part 5: Still image. SQL multimedia and application packages - Part 6: Data mining. If you are interested in learning more about object-oriented features of Oracle, refer to the following text: W. Use examples to explain. Mathematicians go mad, and cashiers; but creative artists very seldom.

With such a hands-on exercise, you would know what components and features got installed, what settings went into your setup, and so on. In a typical development environment or performance and scalability test envi- ronment, there are two scenarios with setting up a fresh instance of database for your application. The other scenario is that setting up a database is an integral part of an entire application installation process, and by the time the application setup is completed successfully, you already have a database set up as well.

This second scenario does not require that a database server has been set up a priori. In this case, the database is most likely an embedded one that can only exist on the same system as the application server.


Installing an Oracle server could be a smooth or a very frustrating process, depending on how much one knows about the general installation procedure and what the application needs exactly. We will expand into these areas in later chapters. Assuming that you have sized your Oracle server hardware resource requirements properly or you are setting up an Oracle environment just for self-training or exploration, this chapter shows you the following basic tasks involved in setting up a working Oracle database environment:.

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Installing the Oracle server software without creating a database. Creating an Oracle listener for receiving client connections. Creating an Oracle database. The version you obtain should match the specs of your system, including the OS type and version as well as the hardware architecture.

System Design Basics: Horizontal vs. Vertical Scaling

For instance, Oracle 11g R2 supports the following platforms:. Solaris x HP-UX Itanium. Assuming that youare installingthe Oracle serversoftware ona Windows system, you can start your installation by clicking on the setup.