IOUG-A Live! 2002 - Day 1 (Sunday)

by Stephen Andert

Greetings from San Diego, the site of this year's IOUG-A Live! conference.

My day today consisted mainly of attending Gaja Krishna Vaidyanatha's University Seminar "Oracle Performance Management - A Radical Approach" which presented new ways to tune a database. The radical part is this process is done WITHOUT USING A SINGLE CACHE-HIT RATIO!

"Hi. My name is Stephen and I suffer from CTD." Gaja coined the acronym CTD for Compulsive Tuning Disorder. It is a common malady among Oracle DBA's. Today I heard a recommendation that before you start tuning, you should establish a baseline so you know when you can stop tuning, go home and get reaquainted with your family & friends. Yet another RADICAL thought presented today.

One way to look at your system is to use the Oracle provided BSTAT/ESTAT (STATSPACK is much better if you are on Oracle 8i). The output from these tools can be uploaded to for easier analysis.

Tuning using wait events can be seen as daunting since there are hundreds of wait events. Gaja said to start by looking a the "Dirty Dozen" wait events & then over time learn how to deal with more.

Gaja coauthored a book called Oracle Performance Tuning 101 that shows how to use wait events for tuning. I have used this book very successfully to help in troubleshooting performance problems.

I think the format of the University session is a great way to learn. In addition to a knowledgeable presenter, the audience is made up of people with real experience who participate in discussions that add a lot of value.

After class, a group of people from the oracle-l mailing list got together. Some were faces that I remembered from last year at IOUG and others were names I knew that I finally got to put faces to.

Marlene Theriault led about 20 of us that gathered there to a Thai restaurant for food, drinks and discussion. I know I didn't get everyone's name, but besides Marlene, some of those that were there (in no particular order) Rachel Carmichael, Kirti Deshpande, Jim Howerton, Gaja Vaidyanatha, Alex Feinstein, Tony Aponte, Brian McGraw, Stephan Faroult, John Beresniewicz, Peter Robson. Meeting some of these people in person for the first time was fun. Getting re-acquainted with others is always fun. Amazingly, there was even some discussions that didn't involve Oracle.

This year is promising to be a conference full of learning opportunities. If my brain stops throbbing from everything I learned today, I should be able to learn alot this conference. Unfortunately, with Oracle, the more I learn, the more I find I have to learn.