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How you should or shouldn’t design, program for, a performing database environment

My good friend Toon Koppelaars created a cool and very interesting, learning video about how…

Anniversary OICA

Happy anniversary to me!

On this day 10 years ago I published the first article in my blog. It was about the parameter optimizer_index_cost_adj (hence OICA), a parameter that has been a  source of many performance problems and baffled DBAs over the years and, if you read my first blog posting and follow the links, a parameter that should almost certainly be left untouched.

Oracle Database Cloud (DBaaS) Performance Consistency - Part 6

#333333; font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif;">In the next parts of this series I'll have a look at the results of similar performance consistency tests performed on a comparable Amazon RDS Oracle cloud database instance.

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Transactions and SCNs

It’s general knowledge that the Oracle database is ACID compliant, and that SCNs or ‘system change numbers’ are at the heart of this mechanism. This blogpost dives into the details of how the Oracle engine uses these numbers.

Oracle database version
Operating system version: OL 7.2, kernel: 4.1.12-61.1.14.el7uek.x86_64 (UEK4)

Redo generation
Whenever DML is executed, redo is generated in the form of ‘change vectors’. These change vectors are copied into the redo buffer as part of the transaction, during the transaction. The function that performs this action is called ‘kcrfw_copy_cv()’. This can be derived by watching the foreground process perform memory copy into the memory area of the redo buffer.

In order to do this, you first need to find the memory area of the redo buffer. This can be done by executing ‘oradebug setmypid’ and ‘oradebug ipc’ as sysdba, and examine the resulting trace file:

Oracle Database Cloud (DBaaS) Performance Consistency - Part 5

This is the fifth part of this installment, and before coming to comparisons to other cloud providers, in this part I show the results of the read-only test that I've already described in part three of this series, but repeated at a later point in time. The test setup was identical and can be checked in the mentioned previous part.

The reason for running the test again was the fact that I was informed during the first test run that the zone that my Oracle Cloud domain was assigned to was temporarily overloaded, which I also noticed since I wasn't able to create new services for some time.

Hence I decided to repeat the tests after it was confirmed that the issue got resolved.

OTN Appreciation Day – Instrument Your Damned Code. Please!

Today is OTN Appreciation Day.

This day is the idea of Tim Hall, Mr OracleBase, and you can See his post here. The idea is that as a sign of appreciation to OTN we do a technical (or not so technical) post on a feature of Oracle we like. I’m going to visit an area I have mentioned before…


OTN Appreciation Day: Breaking Barriers…In Memory

The stuff I liked most in the database releases of the last years is the…

My session workload

My old website ( will be disappearing in a couple of weeks – but there are a couple of timeless articles on it that are worth saving and although the popularity of this one has probably been surpassed by Tanel Poder’s Snapper script, or other offerings by Tom Kyte or Adrian Billington, it’s still one of those useful little things to have around – it’s a package to takes a snapshot of your session stats.

The package depends on a view created in the SYS schema, and the package itself has to be installed in the SYS schema – which is why other strategies for collecting the information have become more popular; but if you want to have it handy, here are the two scripts:

Kill CPU

My old website ( will be disappearing in a couple of weeks – but there are a couple of timeless articles on it that are worth saving and a method for soaking up all the CPU on your system with a simple SQL statement against a small data set is, surely, one of them. Here, then is a little script that I wrote (or, at least, formalised) 15 years ago to stress out a CPU:

Oracle Database Cloud (DBaaS) Performance Consistency - Part 4

This is the fourth part of this installment, comparing the performance consistency of the DBaaS cloud offering with a dedicated physical host. This time the previous read-only test was modified to be a 100% update read-write test. So every row read was updated in the following way:

    for rec in (
          select /*+