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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Running Oracle (Windows vs UNIX/Linux)

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For most of my IT career I've been using UNIX/Linux (let's call this ULix to save my fingers) to run Oracle.
Humans are creatures of habit (like cats http://www.simonscat.com/) and so why would I want to change this.
Running Oracle on ULix is a measured quantity.  It works, it's reliable, you can tune it and then you can really tune it.

Whilst browsing my book library I came across a book I've had for years:
"Configuring & Tuning Databases on the Solaris Platform" by Allan N. Packer
If you have ever wondered what the possibilities are in tuning an Oracle system on ULix, then read this book.  It might be old, but it's a good one, and it establishes all the basic principles of tuning.

Now if we were to consider running Oracle on Windows (http://www.dba-oracle.com/art_builder_linux_oracle.htm), then out-of-the-box (http://www.ukrapmusic.com/mixtapes/717-rootz-sparka-presents-out-of-the-box) it would work perfectly fine.

Microsoft have made vast improvements to the monitoring/tuning capabilities in newer Windows Server versions, but I don't think this can compare to the flexibility of monitoring/tuning in ULix.
I find it very difficult to profile a database on Windows.
Think about it, where can I see the individual shadow processes (http://cavyspirit.deviantart.com/art/Don-t-Mess-with-Shadow-Process-194711067) at the OS level?

On Tanel Poder's company's website, there's a great whitepaper "Understanding LGWR, Log File Sync Waits and Commit Performance".
In this whitepaper, Tanel mentions monitoring and tuning the Oracle log writer (LGWR) process to get better CPU time.  I thought to myself, how would someone do this on Windows?

I really don't think you can.
To summarise: I like Windows, it can run Oracle RDBMS perfectly fine, but it's not as flexible as running on ULix.

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