Book Review of Guy Harrison’s Oracle Performance Survival Guide

Jan 10, 2010 / By Robert Hamel

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This is the first time I have read one of Guy’s books and I was very impressed at the breadth of topics that are addressed and especially the approach that is followed starting from the application design rather than trying to find the elusive fast=true setting that resolves every problem.

We have all looked like heroes at one time or another by tweaking a parameter that was not set adequately or adding a missing PK to a table and made an expensive full scan go away but what happens when there is not obvious outlier. If you have no plan of attack, you might get lucky or waste lots of time trying to fix a symptom and not the real issue well this is where Guy’s approach takes the guess work out of the process. You might not always be able to change a 3rd parties ERP design, although we have all seen some bad ones, but you will be embarking on your quest equipped with a logical methodology that will most likely be successful.

As you go through each chapter, you start with the optimization goal of this layer along with the concepts and tools to get the job done then you peal off that layer and move to the next one until you get the the physical hardware. Obviously each section is not as detailed as other books related to database performance as each chapter could be a book on its own.

I find it a great reference for database professionals that are not as experienced with performance tuning and those of us who have been doing it for a while as I picked up a few items that I already added to my arsenal.

The technical content in this book can be found elsewhere but the strength is that you have it all summarized in one place in the order in which they should be addressed.

It’s a good plan of attack to follow when it’s time to execute a thorough performance review.

Great job, Guy!

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