Monday, September 12, 2011

If Someone Says “I Think”; Tell Them to Prove It! – IOUG Real World Performance: A Review

Seems like an odd statement. We always hear people say “I think…” and then they go on to tell you what they have hypothesized. Now you wonder is this story factual? Does it REALLY work? It is then time that you need to ask them to prove it. We don’t often challenge our peers to “Prove It”. We accept thoughts and then experiment on our own to see if this thought proves to be correct.

This past Friday I had the chance to attend the IOUG’s Real World Performance seminar which was held in Toronto. It was at this seminar led by 3 of most knowledgeable Oracle people in the world, where the proof showed us how to change the way we think. As they say there is no reason for things to run slowly today, but that instead that people have made the choice to run this way and not take advantage of new technology and new methods.

Andrew Holdworth, Tom Kyte and Graham Wood, led this amazing day of proof.  The image below is a picture from my chair… of the 3 of them up front in the room(as they were all day)


It was a day where the 3 Oracle database performance gurus showed us a new way to look at performance. They discussed data warehouses and operational systems. So what were some of teh highlights:

  • Showed today’s data warehouses have undersized CPU’s and insufficient I/O
  • Improve data loading, as data size will continue to expand
  • Stop using SQL*Loader, it’s time has passed. Consider external tables
  • Read compressed data if possible
  • Statistics are critical to success
  • Make sure cardinality is accurate in table statistics
  • Use SQL*Monitor to investigate performance of SQL
  • Manage your database and system resources. Use Instance Caging if needed
  • Used set-based operations as often as possible
  • Check your SQL statements for issues

The biggest thing takeaways I came away with is that today we should try to achieve full CPU utilization, we should optimize how we transfer data into a data warehouse, we need to make sure our SQL statements work as expected and that indexes and partitions can be your friends and your enemies.

It is amazing to me to see how we things have changed over time. Today we need to manage our data better, our databases more effectively and the improve the process of loading and retrieval. The tools are there for you, we just need to use them. As Tom Kyte said, “Why would people choose to run their database slowly?” 

There are more of the IOUG Real World Performance being held this year. If you get the chance to attend, you should; as it can change your life or at least the life of your database.