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Oracle Questions of the Month Archives

» Some customers have reported changes to the performance profile of their applications after upgrading to Oracle8i. Are there reasons such changes have been observed?
» What can customers do to tune for performance?
» Is it true that Oracle 9i AS going away on OpenVMS?
» How has Rdb 7.1 been enhanced to support Web application development?
» Will Oracle commit to support Itanium Processors on OpenVMS?
» Do you have any dates on Rdb support for ES45?
» Why can't I use the current compilers when building an Oracle application?
» Will Oracle on OpenVMS offer Real Application Clustering (RAC)?
» What are the plans for certifying Oracle Rdb on new versions of the Alpha processor?
» Will Rdb be ported to Itanium?
» Why should I upgrade from Rdb version 7.0 to Rdb version 7.1?
» How difficult is the upgrade to Rdb version 7.1?
» Do Oracle 8i and 9i take advantage of the OpenVMS Galaxy architecture?


Q: Some customers have reported changes to the performance profile of their applications after upgrading to Oracle8i. Are there reasons such changes have been observed?
A: Oracle on OpenVMS is currently optimized to support older Alpha chip sets. Oracle and Compaq are jointly working/testing in various areas, including switching to a newer Alpha chip set (EV56 or later) in Oracle 9i Release 2 to achieve optimal performance.

A number of internal architectural enhancements were released with Oracle8i, aimed at improving performance for a wide class of customer applications. Even though they underwent extensive testing prior to release, some changes had unintended impact on certain customer applications, especially when run in slower network environments or slower hardware environments. In some cases performance can be improved through minor database or application change, or by tuning the instance. In other cases, patches to Oracle8i may be advisable to provide the most benefit.

   
Q: What can customers do to tune for performance?
A: Please consult MetaLink as your starting point for researching tuning tips for Oracle8i. Oracle also recommends that customers stay current with all software maintenance, both from Compaq and from Oracle, to ensure that your applications continue to run smoothly.

Oracle Worldwide Support maintains a document, accessible from MetaLink, which lists all Oracle patches and Compaq ECOs (please see Note 154427.1 - List of patches for Oracle 8.1.7.1.0/8.1.7.1b on Alpha OpenVMS, Note 174247.1 - List of patches for Oracle 8.1.7.3, and Note162502.1 - List of patches for Oracle 9.0.1.0.0 on Alpha OpenVMS).

Also, there are some basic tuning steps known to benefit overall OpenVMS system and Oracle performance:

  • Distribute Oracle datafiles and redolog files across all available disks; the document at http://technet.oracle.com/deploy/availability/pdf/oow2000_sane.pdf contains useful tips and guidelines.
  • Ensure those files are not fragmented.
  • Ensure tables and indexes have as few extents as possible.
  • Ensure table rows have no or little block chaining.
  • Ensure proper Working Set quota settings for both the Bequeath and the TNS listener slave processes. Files are BEQLSNR.COM and TNSLNR.COM, both residing in ORA_ROOT:[NETWORK]. We suggest ORA_LSNR_WSDEFAULT be set to 4096 and ORA_LSNR_WSQUOTA and ORA_LSNR_WSEXTENT each be set to 102400.
  • Ensure Automatic Working Set Adjustment is enabled.
  • Ensure proper tuning of the various components within the SGA, keeping in mind that "bigger = better" is not true per definition. Too large can in fact have an adverse effect on overall performance! For example, having a buffer cache that is too large incurs overhead that can be more than the benefits of having more data blocks in memory. Similarly, a SQL pool that is larger than the sum of all unique statements is a waste of memory that is better used elsewhere.
Q:

Is it true that Oracle 9i AS going away on OpenVMS?

A: Customer and field responses made us aware of the concern that 9i AS Standard Edition (Portal) without Forms/Report tools (Enterprise Edition) would not address the business needs of the majority of our OpenVMS customers. In reviewing the release plans earlier this year with Oracle, OpenVMS management agreed to reposition OpenVMS as a back-end, highly reliable database for our e-business computing environment and position Tru64 UNIX and NT as the application server for those customers who want a total Oracle e-business solution on OpenVMS.

9i RAC (database) will be available on OpenVMS at the end September 2001.

Q:

How has Rdb 7.1 been enhanced to support Web application development?

A: Several new features in Oracle Rdb 7.1 enhance application development and improve compatibility with the Oracle server and Oracle tools. SQL*Net release 7.1.5 for Rdb provides technology for Oracle 9i AS connectivity to Rdb. SQL*Net for Rdb allows you to run existing SQL*Net applications to access data in an Rdb 7.1 database. SQL*Net applications use the Oracle Call Interface (OCI) API or software such as Oracle Developer, Oracle Designer or Oracle Discoverer™ to access and manage data in an Rdb 7.1 database.

Release 3.0 of Oracle ODBC Driver for Rdb will support Microsoft ODBC V3.0. Oracle ODBC Driver for Rdb enables Windows 95, Windows 98 and Windows NT Intel applications that implement the Microsoft Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) API, to read from and write to Rdb 7.1 databases.

In addition, the JDBC OCI Driver and JDBC Thin Driver provide support for Java application access to Rdb databases.

OpenVMS customers with Rdb can now more fully participate in e-business solutions including those integrating with Oracle 9i AS, Oracle rdbms or other application servers.

Q: Will Oracle commit to support Itanium Processors on OpenVMS?
A:

"Oracle and Compaq have a long and successful history of delivering enterprise solutions to our OpenVMS customers. In July, Oracle released Rdb V.7.1 for OpenVMS. In September, Oracle9i for OpenVMS was released. Given Compaq's recent announcement to consolidate its 64-bit servers on the Itanium Processor Family ™, Oracle's current plan is to team with Compaq and work toward a delivery of Oracle Rdb and Oracle 9iRAC for OpenVMS on Itanium Processors based upon Compaq's current engineering roadmap."

Juan C. Jones, Vice President
System Platforms Division
Oracle Corporation
October 10, 2001

Q: Do you have any dates on Rdb support for ES45?
A:

Qualification of Rdb 7.0.6.2 and 7.1 was done on a GS-series EV68 processor, the largest system we have. Oracle's preference for requesting this is that the certification would then cover any and all OpenVMS systems that run EV68 processors, including ES45.

 

Q: Why can't I use the current compilers when building an Oracle application?
A: Oracle has now certified the compilers currently shipping with OpenVMS V7.3:

Compaq FORTRAN V7.4B
Compaq C V6.4A
Compaq C++ V6.3
Compaq COBOL V2.7

This means that developers of applications running on Oracle/OpenVMS can now use the compilers that come with OpenVMS rather than having to download earlier versions.

Q: Will Oracle on OpenVMS offer Real Application Clustering (RAC)?
A: Oracle9i Real Application Clusters run a single database on a group of servers clustered together to provide increased scalability and reliability without any change to applications.

Oracle plans two versions of RAC. The first version, 9i RAC, will ship on all Compaq platforms. It is scheduled to be available on OpenVMS in September 2001- far exceeding the goal of shipping 90 days after Tru64 UNIX. RAC is essentially the renaming of OPS (Oracle Parallel Server) with some performance enhancements.

The second version is called Extended RAC. It further improves scalability and reliability by incorporating TruCluster technology. Present plans are to ship this exclusively on Tru64 UNIX in the fourth quarter of 2001. Oracle is evaluating the need for making Extended RAC available on non-UNIX platforms.

Q: What are the plans for certifying Oracle Rdb on new versions of the Alpha processor?
A:

Oracle is presently in the process of certifying Rdb 7.0.6.2 on Alpha EV68. This will be available mid-September 2001.

Q: Will Rdb be ported to Itanium?
A:

Yes. The Oracle Rdb product will be available on Intel Itanium Processor Family 90 days after OpenVMS is released on the Intel Itanium Processor Family, that is mid-2004.

Q: Why should I upgrade from Rdb version 7.0 to Rdb version 7.1?
A:

Rdb version 7.1 offers a number of significant benefits, all reasons to upgrade:

  • Galaxy support leverages OpenVMS clustering for flexibility and scaling while still using Rdb's remarkable Row Cache and other single node performance optimizations.
  • The new release of SQL*net for Rdb allows you to build applications with Oracle's 9i Application Server using tools like jDeveloper. Web clients can access high volumes of data stored in your Rdb database.
  • Significant improvements in SQL help you develop reliable, high performance applications at lower cost.
  • New parallel index and partition management features allow you to manage huge indexes in parallel operations, reducing down time.
  • Optimizer improvements take better advantage of bit-mapped indexes. This means dramatically lower costs for queries that specify many different conditions.

Check the Rdb web site, http://www.oracle.com/rdb/, for details on all these improvements.

Q: How difficult is the upgrade to Rdb version 7.1?
A:

Upgrading is very easy. Using VMSINSTAL, you can install Rdb version 7.1 without removing version 7.0. You can test each database while the production database continues to operate and, if necessary, return to the version 7.0 structure. When you are ready, it is easy and safe to make the upgrade permanent. Detailed instructions are in the Installation and Configuration Guide included in the software, and Oracle Support is available to answer your questions.

Q: Do Oracle 8i and 9i take advantage of the OpenVMS Galaxy architecture?
A: Yes. Oracle 8i ran in a Galaxy environment, but with Oracle 9i Real Application Clusters (RAC), configuring the database instances to communicate over shared memory has been simplified via the cluster_interconnects parameter. You just load the OpenVMS shared memory LAN driver, configure a private LAN among the Galaxy instances with TCP/IP, and you're all ready for Oracle 9i RAC to use Galaxy shared memory. Enhancements to cache fusion in Oracle 9i make the low latency and bandwidth of the RAC interconnect even more important to the performance of your database. Dirty database cache blocks are transferred to other database instances through the RAC interconnect. When the Oracle 9i RAC interconnect is in Galaxy shared memory, cache coherency is maintained at memory speeds.

Although Oracle's distributed design precludes putting the SGA in shared memory, having a separate SGA for each instance benefits from the scaling of RAC. This is especially true with the extremely fast algorithms in Oracle 9i RAC for keeping the separate caches coherent.

In addition, you can use the OpenVMS Galaxy resource management capabilities with Oracle 9i RAC to load balance system resources and to accommodate instance shutdowns or failovers.

For all these reasons, Oracle 9i RAC and OpenVMS Galaxy make a great combination for scaling and managing your database.