Oracle RDBMS Performance Tuning Tips

A relational database is often preferred over hierarchical databases or flat files as it’s capable of handling a wide range of formats and processing queries efficiently. Oracle is one such relational database used by most organizations owing to the benefits it offers, such as portability, market presence, high performance, backup and recovery, SQL dialect, and more. Despite having significant advancements in supporting platform infrastructure and database optimizers, Oracle database admins still face performance issues across a diverse range of workloads. To make the best use of any relational database, organizations need to eliminate common performance-related gaps by continuously monitoring and maintaining the database. There are several tools and well-documented methodologies like performance tuning in Oracle designed to diagnose and resolve performance issues. It’s essential to have basic knowledge of Oracle relational databases to understand performance tuning.

What Is Oracle Relational Database?

Oracle Relational Database helps to collect, store, and retrieve enterprise’s sensitive data. It uses SQL as its database language, which can manipulate, input, retrieve, and delete data in a database. Oracle RDBMS helps in providing a considerable amount of information during performance issues. It’s explicitly designed for enterprise-grid computing (a pool of industry-standard, modular storage, and servers) and is one of the most flexible and cost-effective ways to manage information. It offers a powerful combination of technology and comprehensive, pre-integrated business applications. Oracle is a reliable and adequate RDBMS with the following properties:

  • Consistency
  • Atomicity
  • Isolation
  • Durability

What Is Oracle Performance Tuning?

Performance tuning is a process through which the Oracle database’s performance can be optimized. Tuning helps to streamline the execution of SQL statements. The information stored in the Oracle database can be altered by teams to improve query response time.

How Does It Work?

Performing tuning considers various elements of the relational database to identify the root cause of an issue and fix it. An intensive performance tuning process starts with a system-level approach to track each component of the database. Further, database experts tune SQL statements one by one to see the impact on performance. Optimizer parameters and statistics, instance settings, input, and output (I/O) measures are some crucial elements needing to be assessed before the SQL tuning.

Top 5 Oracle Performance Tuning Tips

  1. Importance of Baseline
  2. Utilization of Automatic Workload Repository (AWR)
  3. Checking Stats
  4. Ensure Maximum CPU Utilization
  5. Monitoring Oracle via SQL Tuning

1. Importance of Baseline

Baseline details of Oracle and its components are essential for taking reference while resolving performance issues. An established performance baseline helps teams to identify peak usage periods, set performance targets quickly, and have an in-depth understanding of system capabilities. Continuous performance monitoring provides information about the database and its components and whether it’s running as expected. All this information helps database engineers to find out the bottlenecks and resolve issues faster.

2. Utilization of Automatic Workload Repository (AWR)

Automatic Workload Repository, or AWR, is a built-in repository in every Oracle relational database. The purpose of this repository is to collect and process performance statistics to generate a report at regular intervals. This statistical data is used for self-tuning purposes and helps to resolve performance issues. AWR provides valuable information about the overall health of the Oracle database using the Automatic Database Diagnostic Monitor (ADDM). The role of ADDM is to locate the root cause of the problem by performing accurate and timely diagnoses and offering recommendations for the resolution of the issues.

3. Checking Stats

A full compilation of the statistics related to the operating systems, applications, and databases is important when performance tuning. Continuous tracking of statistics should be the first parameter teams focus on. Any component behaving differently compared to its regular activity must be checked and fixed. The information gathered by AWR and ADDM needs to be refined to understand the issues hidden within the data.

4. Ensure Maximum CPU Utilization

Sometimes, manual detection of performance issues is required for performance tuning when Oracle diagnostic tools or features aren’t able to solve the problem. Monitoring CPU utilization is the first thing teams need to check. It helps verify if the non-database tasks are consuming the CPU in the system, which is hampering the performance of the database by limiting the number of shared CPU resources. Once the CPU utilization information is known, it not only brings clarity in decision making but also helps in taking care of performance issues.

5. Monitoring Oracle via SQL Tuning

SQL statements are generally used to retrieve data from the Oracle database. Different SQL queries are written to retrieve data and get accurate results. However, these queries can have a massive impact on the performance of the database. Therefore, the best query is chosen with the help of SQL tuning not impacting the performance and gives the expected results. SQL tuning involves three basic steps:

  • Identification of the top SQL statements responsible for a large share of the application workload
  • Verification of the query-generated optimizer execution plans for the performance of the SQL statements
  • Implementation of effective measures for the better execution of poorly performing SQL statements

SolarWinds Database Performance Analyzer for Performance Tuning

screenshot of solarwinds database performance analyzer's performance report

SolarWinds Database Performance Analyzer is one of the best tools to check the SQL query performance of Oracle. DPA collects real-time information and alerts teams regarding critical issues. Query wait times have the most significant impact on system performance, which can also be monitored by DPA through hierarchizing the chaotic workload. DPA helps to find the root cause of the performance issue by consolidating and analyzing data and making it genuinely actionable. It also generates custom and precise reports, metrics, statistics, and sends alerts to the teams in case of any critical issue. The custom dashboard provides comprehensive information in the form of visualizations for easy understanding.

Using tools like SolarWinds DPA not only helps to boost the performance of the relational database but also helps to track potential issues. DPA is available free for 14 days.