The Answer to Free Memory, Swap, Oracle and Everything

Oct 4, 2006 / By Christo Kutrovsky

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Update 2007.12.19: This presentation is now available online here, including a comprehensive whitepaper.

I have submitted an abstract for my new presentation about linux/unix memory and Oracle to the Rocky Mountain Oracle Users Group for the Training Days in Denver on February 14-15, 2007. I pilot tested it at the Ottawa Oracle User Group in June. The feedback was good and since then I have kept developing the presentation. Soon to be submitted for HotSos 2007.

It reads:

  • Do I have enough memory?
  • Why is my free memory so low?
  • Am I swapping to disk?
  • Can I increase my SGA (db cache) size?
  • Can I add another instance to this server?
  • Are my system resources used optimally?

These are all questions that often haunt DBAs. This presentation is The Answer. It covers in detail the different types of memory, how to monitor memory and how to optimally use it with Oracle in mind. It explains how to effectively use tools such as “top”, “vmstat” and “/proc/meminfo”.

Multiple examples throughout the presentation demonstrate how certain actions on the database side cause different memory areas to be allocated and used on the OS side. The attendees will leave with good understanding of how memory is used on a Linux OS and should be able to apply this knowledge to optimally configure their servers.

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