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Oracle Essentials, 3rd Edition by Jonathan Stern, Robert Stackowiak, Rick Greenwald

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Chapter 11. Oracle and Hardware Architecture

In Chapter 2 we discussed the architecture of the Oracle database, and in Chapter 6 we described how Oracle uses hardware resources. Although Oracle operates in the same way on many hardware platforms, different hardware architectures can ultimately determine the specific scalability, performance tuning, management, and reliability options available to you. Over the years, Oracle has developed new features to address specific platforms and, with Oracle Database 10g, continues this process with a commitment to grid computing. This chapter discusses the various hardware architectures to provide a basis for understanding how Oracle leverages each of these platforms.

This chapter explains the following hardware systems and how Oracle takes advantage of the features inherent in each of the platforms:

  • Uniprocessors

  • Symmetric Multiprocessing (SMP) systems

  • Clusters

  • Massively Parallel Processing (MPP) systems

  • Non-Uniform Memory Access (NUMA) systems

  • Grid computing

We’ll also discuss the use of different disk technologies and how to choose the hardware system that’s most appropriate for your purposes.

System Basics

Any discussion of hardware systems begins with a review of the components that make up a hardware platform and the impact these components have on the overall system. You’ll find the same essential components under the covers of any computer system:

  • One or more CPUs, which execute the basic instructions that make up computer programs

  • Memory, ...

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