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September 18, 2003

"Optimizing Oracle Performance": Dispel the Curse of Poor Oracle Performance

Sebastopol, CA--Harry Potter, a wildly popular wizard created by J. K. Rowling, spends his fictional life studying sorcery at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. In his third year, his best friend, Hermione Granger, enlists the use of magic to add to her already heavy academic load. With the blessing of the deputy headmistress, Hermione employs the Time-Turner, a charmed necklace that allows her to hop back through time in order to take two classes at once. While her scholastic endeavors prove to be a bit more taxing than she anticipated, the Time-Turner is instrumental to the climax of the story: Hermione and Harry use it to right some terrible wrongs, saving the day once again.

Thankfully, you don't need magical accoutrements or special wizard training to get the most out of your Oracle database--that includes fixing some horrible inefficiencies that have been cowering within the system for years. The methodology for recovering swift, finely honed Oracle response time is contained within the pages of Optimizing Oracle Performance (O'Reilly, US $34.95), authored by renowned Oracle scientists Cary Millsap and Jeff Holt. Their book cuts a path through the complexity of current tuning methods, and streamlines an approach that focuses on optimization techniques that any DBA can use quickly and successfully to make noticeable--even dramatic--improvements.

"A significant cultural change is taking place in the Oracle performance management community," contends coauthor Millsap, "I view this book as an important step in Oracle performance revolution." Armed with a background in mathematics, computer science, and business administration, as well as years of service as vice president of a large performance group within Oracle Corporation, Millsap is unflinching in his parsing of the problems. "Businesses waste enormous amounts of time and money because the industry-standard 'Oracle performance tuning' methods don't work. With this book, I hope to nudge the revolution from 'tuning' (sloppy, inefficient, component-level trial-and-error fiddling) to 'optimizing' (scientific, repeatable, efficient method that maximizes a system's economic value)."

Oracle DBAs and developers are all too familiar with the outlay of time and resources, blown budgets, missed deadlines, and marginally effective performance noodling that is commonplace with traditional methods of Oracle performance tuning. This crucial book clearly and concisely explains how to use Oracle's response time statistics to diagnose and repair performance problems, and shows how "queuing theory" can be applied to response time statistics to predict the impact of upgrades and other system changes. Most of the features described within the book are virtually independent of operating system, and most work equally well in Oracle releases from 7.0.12 through 9.2.0.

"Optimizing Oracle Performance" is not a book of tips and tricks. It is a book dedicated to removing performance pain quickly and completely, by changing the mindset about performance and focusing on diagnosis. Its goal is not to make any one system faster, but to make you faster and more efficient at optimizing any system. Millsap and Holt break down the steps to reach this goal into three parts, plus an Appendixes section:

  • Part I, "Method," is about targeting. Written in an easy-to-digest style, it educates anyone who is responsible for system performance optimization, from database and system administrators to information systems department leadership

  • Part II, "Reference," is for the serious technician who will go hands-on with Oracle, providing complete details on how to implement the advice presented in Part I

  • Part III, "Deployment," is for both technicians and project sponsors, covering the issues of how to complete the job for maximal positive impact. It includes a case studies section

Continues Millsap, "It's hard to believe how many long-time performance mysteries can be diagnosed in just a few minutes. The really fun cases occur when you can quickly show a CIO why the investments he's made into consulting and hardware upgrades didn't make progress against the problem."

Using "Optimizing Oracle Performance," you'll find that becoming an Oracle hero doesn't require you to be in two places at once. This detailed, field-tested practitioners' guide shows you how to slash the time, frustration, and expense associated with unraveling the true root cause of any type of performance problem, and how to reliably predict future performance. You'll get such enchanted--er, enchanting--results with "Optimizing Oracle Performance" that your boss might think you have more than a mere book up your sleeve.

Advance Praise for "Optimizing Oracle Performance":

"This book is fantastic. Those who read it will be kings for the next few years."
--Mogens Norgaard, Miracle A/S

Additional Resources:

Optimizing Oracle Performance
Cary Millsap with Jeff Holt
ISBN 0-596-00527-X, 388 pages, $34.95 US, $54.95 CA, 24.95 UK
order@oreilly.com
1-800-998-9938; 1-707-827-7000

About O'Reilly

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