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  Oracle Tips by Burleson

Oracle Data Buffer Monitoring

Determining the optimal size for the data buffers is a critical task for large databases. It is economically prohibitive to cache an entire database in RAM as databases grow ever larger, perhaps reaching sizes in the hundreds of billions of bytes. The difficulty Oracle professionals face is finding the point of diminishing marginal returns as they allocate additional RAM resources to the database. Successfully determining that point and effectively optimizing RAM can save a company hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars in RAM expenses.

Among the new features that Oracle provides to aid the administrator in this task is the v$db_cache_advice view. This view can help predict the benefit of adding buffers to the data buffer cache. It estimates the miss rate for twenty potential buffer cache sizes, throughout a range of 10 percent of the current size to 200 percent of the current size. This tool allows the Oracle DBA to accurately predict the optimal size for each RAM data buffer. A few examples will help illustrate the process.

In order to use the new view, RAM memory must be pre-allocated to the data buffers, just as it was in the Oracle7 x$kcbcbh utility. Setting the init.ora parameter db_cache_advice to the value of “on” or “ready” enables the cache advice feature. The DBA can set these values while the database is running with the alter system command, taking advantage of the predictive feature dynamically.

However, since the additional RAM buffers must be pre-allocated before the db_cache_size can use v$db_cache_advice, the DBA may wish to use the utility only once to determine the optimal size.


The above text is an excerpt from "Creating a Self Tuning Oracle Database", by Rampant TechPress.  It is only $9.95 and all scripts in this tips can be immediately downloaded.

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