Call (800) 766-1884 for Oracle support & training
Free Oracle Tips

Oracle Consulting Support
Oracle Upgrades
Use New Oracle Features
Oracle Replication Support
Oracle Training
Remote Oracle DBA
System Documentation
Oracle Tips
Oracle Performance

Free Oracle Tips



BC Oracle tuning

Oracle training

Oracle support

Remote Oracle



  Oracle Tips by Burleson

The Balancing Act

In order to determine the best utilization of SSD resources, the DBA must completely understand the various latencies in their system. RAC related latencies fall under two broad categories:

  • Interconnect latencies

  • Disk I/O related latencies

Interconnect latenciesare calculated based on the Oracle internal views.  Contention in blocks can be measured using the block transfer time. To determine block transfer time, the statistics gc cr block receive timeand gc cr blocks received should be examined. The time is determined by calculating the ratio of gc cr block receive time to gc cr blocks received. The following script shows this calculation.

column "AVG RECEIVE TIME (ms)" format 9999999.9
col inst_id for 9999
select b1.inst_id, b2.value "RECEIVED",
b1.value "RECEIVE TIME",
((b1.value / b2.value) * 10) "AVG RECEIVE TIME (ms)"
from gv$sysstat b1, gv$sysstat b2
where = 'gc cr block receive time' and = 'gc cr blocks received' and b1.inst_id = b2.inst_id

An example from the actual system on which the TPC-C tests were performed is shown below.                                                

------- ---------- ------------ --------------------- 
      2      86867        16663                   1.9 
      1      85555        17148                   2.0 

In this example, it is taking nearly two milliseconds to transfer blocks from one RAC node to another. The average read time for a block from SSD by Oracle10g was between 0.091 and .000 milliseconds:

Date: 07/29/05                                                    Page:   1
Time: 06:51 AM           IO Timing Analysis                            TPCC
                           ssd database                                    

          File                                          PHY   PHY  PHY  PHY
Inst File Name                                          RDS  WRTS RDTM WRTM
---- ---- ------------------------------------------ ------ ----- ---- ----
   2    1 UNDOTBS1 /oracle2/oradata/ssd/temp01.dbf       11     0 .091 .000
   1    4 USERS /oracle2/oradata/ssd/ssd_data01.dbf  189357 84285 .032 .014
   2    1 UNDOTBS1 /oracle2/oradata/ssd/system01.dbf   2835    82 .031 .000
   2    4 USERS /oracle2/oradata/ssd/ssd_data01.dbf  162718 66945 .029 .014
   2    3 TEMP /oracle2/oradata/ssd/sysaux01.dbf        681   306 .025 .016
   1    2 SYSAUX /oracle2/oradata/ssd/undotbs01.dbf     609  4972 .021 .021
   1    1 UNDOTBS1 /oracle2/oradata/ssd/system01.dbf   3434   190 .018 .005
   1    3 TEMP /oracle2/oradata/ssd/sysaux01.dbf        490   169 .016 .006
   2    2 SYSAUX /oracle2/oradata/ssd/undotbs01.dbf     148     8 .014 .125
   2    5 UNDOTBS2 /oracle2/oradata/ssd/undotbs02.dbf   524  4147 .013 .020
   1    1 UNDOTBS1 /oracle2/oradata/ssd/temp01.dbf        9     0 .000 .000
   1    5 UNDOTBS2 /oracle2/oradata/ssd/undotbs02.dbf     6     4 .000 .000

From these results, it is clear that one will get a factor of 100-200 increase in speed by reading the blocks from SSD rather than across this particular interconnect. Of course, many interconnects can beat this type of transfer speed, so results may vary. The results shown above are from the actual SSD testing and reflect up to a 600 user load on the system. The typical latencies for various interconnect technologies are shown in Table 3.1.







Latency (uS)



7 to 9



CPU Overhead












Bandwidth MB/s






The statistics in Table 3.1 can be misleading. The latency must be measured inside the Oracle system not just at the network. Oracle internal messaging, latching, and locking all add to the Oracle latency as reported in previous results. The reported latency over the gigabyte Ethernet is 100 uS, yet ten times that, 1.9 to 2.0 milliseconds, is seen as the block transfer latency.

Obviously, in the above system, moving the reading of blocks to SSD makes sense. In most systems, the same I/O timings for a RAID disk array will range from one to two milliseconds to over 20 depending on how full the disk is and how many users need access to the same disks at the same time. The output below shows a typical response profile for a RAID based fibre channel array.

Date: 08/12/05                                                        Page:   1
Time: 10:40 AM                    IO Timing Analysis                   PERFSTAT

                                   atltest database


                                               Phys.  Phys. Avg.Read Avg.Write
File# Name                                     Reads  Wrts      Time      Time
----- --------------------------------------- ------  ----- -------- ---------
   29 /u03/oradata/atltest/eebase_dm.dbf       3945    2824 1.318377 149.03718
    1 /u02/oradata/atltest/temp.dbf           38590   25594 1.301528  86.38509
    1 /u01/oradata/atltest/system01.dbf        6234    5122  .827879 137.78680
   30 /u03/oradata/atltest/eebase_dl.dbf      14513    1955  .716461  59.00716
   31 /u03/oradata/atltest/eebase_is.dbf        176    4365  .636363 434.92348
    5 /u01/oradata/atltest/BFAPP_STATIC_D.dbf   927     283  .633225   4.59717
   19 /u01/oradata/atltest/BFLOB_D.dbf         4874    5690  .615510   3.00615
    7 /u01/oradata/atltest/BFAUD_OBJECTS_D.dbf  599     238  .525876   2.75210
    3 /u01/oradata/atltest/BFAPP_D.dbf         9582     688  .494051  10.68313
   35 /u03/oradata/atltest/eeaudit_im.dbf      4852   29644  .481038 132.40284
    9 /u01/oradata/atltest/BFAUD_STATIC_D.dbf   682     232  .439882   2.53879
    4 /u02/oradata/atltest/BFAPP_I.dbf         1077     648  .436397   5.00925
   13 /u01/oradata/atltest/BFEDI_D.dbf         7630     174  .432110   9.10344
   28 /u03/oradata/atltest/3x_is.dbf            186   13953  .419354 271.65455
   22 /u02/oradata/atltest/indx01.dbf           382    2230  .403141  49.80896

   11 /u02/oradata/atltest/BFAUDIT_D.dbf      49326    1743  .393017 130.45438

17 /u01/oradata/atltest/BFERROR_D.dbf      11401    1577  .392684 145.88839

   24 /u01/oradata/atltest/tools01.dbf          358     302  .388268  27.23841
   14 /u02/oradata/atltest/BFEDI_I.dbf          299     247  .344481   4.83400
    6 /u02/oradata/atltest/BFAPP_STATIC_I.dbf   431     312  .338747   5.54807

For a RAID type array, the interconnect performs faster, so best performance comes from fully caching the database.

One additional issue with disks versus SSD technology deals with how the amount of data stored on a disk affects performance. As the amount of data on a single disk increases, the performance of that disk will decrease. This is due to the increased positioning and rotational latencies required as the storage of information moves away from the outer and middle cylinders towards the inner cylinders on the drive. Back in the old days, system administrators spent hours repositioning files into the sweet spots of disk performance and away from the dead zone. Now with automated load balancing and RAID, system administrators have little real control over file placement. Experts agree that for optimal performance, no disk should be filled to more than 60% of its total capacity, which is rather like buying a six passenger car and being told that it only four people should be transported in it.

Also, no matter how fast the disk spins, it can still only service a single read per operation.  Now, modern disk controllers may optimize these single reads into a series of reads, but the heads can only be in one position at a time. This requires consideration of the I/O per second needed for the disk array with this sometimes overshadowing disk size as the predominant consideration in buying an array. For example, a 100 gigabyte database will entirely fit on a single 148 GB disk drive; however, at least 500-1000 I/O’s per second will be required to satisfy user demands depending on transactions per minute and transaction size. To satisfy 500-1000 I/O’s per second, five to ten disk drives would be required. 

On SSD technology, the complete capacity is usable since there is no positional or rotational latency, and the number of simultaneous reads/writes is only dependent on bandwidth since there is no head that needs to be repositioned after each read or write operation. For the 100 GB database in the above example, 100 GBs of SSD storage would likely be purchased.

Disk latencies are often quoted at around four to seven milliseconds on most modern hardware. With arrays with large caches, the read times can be reduced to near SSD values.  Of course, this approach of placing large caches in front of the disk array is essentially using solid-state technology with the disks as a backing store, so better performance would be an expectation. The main problem with most disk arrays with large caches is that the caches are usually limited to about 32 GBs, and again, for the cost includes a memory cache as well as expensive disks.

The above book excerpt is from:

Oracle RAC & Tuning with Solid State Disk

Expert Secrets for High Performance Clustered Grid Computing

ISBN 0-9761573-5-7

Donald K. Burleson & Mike Ault


Oracle performance tuning software 

Oracle performance tuning book


Oracle performance Tuning 10g reference poster
Oracle training in Linux commands
Oracle training Excel
Oracle training & performance tuning books



Copyright © 1996 -  2014 by Burleson. All rights reserved.

Oracle® is the registered trademark of Oracle Corporation. 

Hit Counter