Oracle 8.0.5, aix 4.3.2 & VSS Raid Sub-System

Oracle 8.0.5, aix 4.3.2 & VSS Raid Sub-System

Post by John McQu » Fri, 08 Oct 1999 04:00:00

Hi all,

Can anyone out there offer advice on how to configure an IBM VSS disk
subsystem to give reasonable performance with an Oracle 8.0.5 DB.
Current throughput rates are around 9Mbs for read and only 1.5Mb for

The application is a DSS and is of the order of 150Gb.

The configuration is an IBM VSS with 8 drawers, each drawer has two RAID
5 arrays on the same SSA loop with each array being divided up into 2 x

I don't want any replies stating the obvious, that you shouldn't use
RAID 5 etc. for DSS systems, the point is we've been lumbered with one
and we have to get the best from it.

IBM recommend using 32K striping and using as many SCSI adapters as
possible. However there seems to be a real problem with parallel queries
generating what seems to, the subsystem & it's cache, random I/O when in
fact it's really sequential table scans and therefor fails to provoke
the read cache into performing read-ahead.

We've actually tried not striping the data and improved read-only
queries by trying to predict where the Oracle optimiser will start each
parallel query and laying out the raw LVs used by the tables to
coincide, but it's a lot of work.

Read/Write performance is especially low at perhaps 1/6th of the
read-only rate. This makes me think that the write cache is not being
invoked in "lazy" write mode or something similar although even then I'd
only have expected the rate to quarter. However, perhaps two-phase
commitment is accounting for the remainder.

So my questions are :-

What rate of throughput should I expect from my SCSI adapters when I'm
doing read-only & 50% read/write workloads.

What, if anything, can I do about the disk layout which will improve

What, if anything, can I suggest to our Oracle programmers to bend the
application to get more from the hardware we're stuck with ?

I'd also welcome views on, if I reverted to classical SSA disks, how
should I best configure them for Oracle Parallel Queries, JBOD, RAID,
should I stripe, if so at what level 4k, 8k, 32K or at the LVM partition

On a related matter, I personally think using LVM stripping isn't worth
the bother. I don't see the performance gain outweighing the loss of
mirroring type facilities for online backups, migration etc. and it
makes disk replacement a nightmare. Comments please.


John McQue

IMS Health


Oracle 8.0.5, aix 4.3.2 & VSS Raid Sub-System

Post by Anton Dischne » Fri, 08 Oct 1999 04:00:00

Hi John,

from the Oracle side try different SGA-sizes.
A smaller amount may perform better because file caching of AIX is better
than file caching of Oracle.

Change your shared_pool_size and db_block_buffer in your init<SID>.ora
and restart the database.

Good luck,



1. Looking for Raid Sub-System


I'm looking for a Raid sub-system to attach to my freebsd front end
server.  If I can find it, I am looking to buy a used Raid sub-system
system or components and put them together rather than buy a new one.

I am looking for Raid 5, in a 4u or less unit with at least 6 18 gig

If anyone knows where I can find this, please let me know.


My current server specs

4.2 freebsd
Dual pentium 1 ghz processors.
Two 512 meg ram sticks. Two slots open.
Adaptec 39160 dual channel 64 bit pci to scsi adapter.
Tyan LE Thunder S2510ng motherboard. I plan to hook it up to one
raid subsystem. With the possibility to hook up a secondary raid
susbsystem into the second channel.
Two IDE hard drives.
CD Rom
4U box

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