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Donald K. Burleson

Oracle Tips  

Oracle SGA Issues

In many cases, especially for development databases, this will be a rough SWAG (scientific wild-assed guess). For systems already designed with detailed data storage estimates, it may be better defined. A general rule of thumb for a pure Oracle system (no other applications) is 50 to 60 percent of available RAM for your SGA. Note that for small databases this may be overkill. In general, I have found that sizing the SGA data block buffers (the product of DB_BLOCK_SIZE and DB_BLOCK_BUFFERS) to 1/50 to 1/100 of the total physical size of the database is a good starting point. Under Oracle8i and Oracle, the new default sizes in the supplied sample initialization file are more realistic, but in general will still be too small for most production databases, so use them with caution.

Oracle provides tools to analyze buffer performance. Unfortunately, they can only be used once a system is operating and running under a normal load; so for our discussion of installation, they are useless.

If you have no idea whatsoever, make the buffer area at least 60 to 100 MB or so (you will usually outgrow the Oracle default rather quickly) for a database that is near 1 gigabyte in total physical size, and up to 400 MB for one that is around 20 gigabytes in size. For databases smaller than 1 gigabyte physical size, the Oracle defaults may be usable. Make the shared pool at least 50 to 100 MB.

We will discuss the actual parameters in the INIT.ORA file that control SGA size when we get to the section on tuning. What you need to know right now is that the default initialization file provided by Oracle has three default ranges: way-too-small, too-small, and small. Unless you are creating a database that will be less than 1 gigabyte in physical size, even the large parameters in the example initialization file are woefully inadequate.

This is an excerpt by Mike Ault’s book “Oracle Administration & Management”.  If you want more current Oracle tips by Mike Ault, check out his new book “Mike Ault’s Oracle Internals Monitoring & Tuning Scripts” or Ault’s Oracle Scripts Download.




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