Oracle RAC Performance Tuning by Brian Peasland
When reading ORACLE RAC PERFORMANCE TUNING, don't be too quick to quibble because the author is suggesting a method that you don't use. Try to be open to other ideas. Here's what I mean: DBAs are a smart, but tough lot of characters. If you get 10 DBAs reading a book on performance tuning, each of the 10 will be jumping up and down shouting, "That's not how I would do it," or "That's not what Tom Kyte says," etc. Instead, look for ideas that are something new--some new technique that you haven't seen before. By having this attitude, I was able to glean some really great ideas--things that honestly I had not thought of. For example, page 93 has a script to find what object is being sent back and forth the most between nodes. Honestly, I never thought of looking at the object names. That's just one example. The chapters on benchmarking tools is pretty much new territory for me.
There is a really great thing in this book, that I haven't seen in other technical books. Chapter 14 is entitled, "Book Summary," where Brian gives the essential points in the book. This is a GREAT idea. In fact, I think readers should actually read this part first. I bet the author used Chapter 14 as the outline for writing the book. (Am I right, Brian?) The only nit I have here, is that I wish the author would have included the chapter reference for each major point.
The author, Brian Peasland, makes an excellent point in the "Book Summary" section: "Tune the system as if it were a single-instance database. All of the single-instance tuning techniques still apply to Oracle RAC. An application that will not scale with a single-instance Oracle database will not scale with Oracle RAC." (I would add that if it doesn't scale on a single instance, it will likely be much worse with RAC.) This is a great insight--I came to the same conclusion as Brian. Of course, our scripts will be a little different, but the tuning concepts are the same.
On the overall quality of the book: To design and produce a quality book on an extensive topic is not a simple task--especially a book of this magnitude. Let's face it, most techies are TERRIBLE at writing and presenting. It's such a pleasure to read a book that is clearly written and thoughtful. The author has clearly spent an ENORMOUS amount of time researching scripts, wait events, concepts, etc. I was very impressed with the quality of the work. Scripts nicely formatted, concepts clearly explained, etc. Again, a really nice job for both writer and editor.
In addition, someone (the editor, Don Burleson, I think) has spent a lot of time getting the design of this book right. The physical formatting of the book is excellent--good font size, good margins, clear and easy to read. If you remember some of the very early Rampant Press books, you are in for a pleasant surprise. As another example of the quality of this book, I note the cover design. Again, someone (Janet Burleson, cover designer) has spent a TON of time producing a quality book. The end product clearly reflects a lot of hard work--books like this do not just happen by accident.
There are a huge number of technical ideas--I recommend skipping around to the topics that interest you. I liked especially the chapters talking about the interconnect, and various scripts to spot interconnect problems. In addition, I quickly found one topic that really startled me, because I haven't seen it documented this thoroughly before. I mean, "Bloom Filters" on page 202. Brian illustrates this concept nicely. This is important to me because we had encountered bugs related to this feature, but none of us DBAs knew what in the world the "Bloom Filter" meant.
√ All in all, ORACLE RAC PERFORMANCE TUNING is an outstanding accomplishment. Tons of great ideas in every chapter, clearly explained, with lots of nice charts and diagrams. I am sure I will be using this book as a reference for a long time. I am recommending to my boss that she get copies for our group. Highly Recommend!
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Review copy courtesy of Rampant Press in exchange for impartial review.
Photos courtesy of Pexels.