Oracle Real Application Testing
Oracle Real Application Testing allows customers to capture real workloads on a production system at a low overhead and then replay those workloads on a test system over and over again, so they can fine tune the changes before putting them into production. Oracle Real Application Testing supports older versions of Oracle Database, so customers running Oracle Database 9i and Oracle Database 10g can use it to accelerate their database upgrades.
Diagnostics and Tuning Packs
The diagnostics and tuning packs for Oracle Database track performance data in real-time and capture it historically inside the database and then provide automatic diagnostic and tuning solutions on top of that data to help DBAs identify and solve performance problems in a timely fashion. New in Oracle Database 11g are two key features, Automatic SQL Tuning and ADDM for RAC, which automatically implement SQL tuning recommendations and provide holistic tuning advice for Oracle RAC environments.
Q: Why is Oracle Real Application Testing innovative?
A: Testing is an interesting problem. We've been educating our customers for years about how important it is to test database changes before making them in production. But testing has always been really challenging for them to do. With Real Application Testing, we have greatly simplified things by automating the end-to-end testing processes. Oracle Real Application Testing includes two features—SQL Performance Analyzer (SPA) and Database Replay—that capture real database workloads and replay them on a test system. SPA does this on a SQL by SQL basis, while Database Replay runs the whole workload at its original concurrency. Both measure database performance and connect to the solutions in the diagnostics and tuning packs to help customers further tune their systems. Customers can easily see any issues that are going to come up and fix them before implementing the change in production.
Q: What's the most innovative project you've worked on, and why?
A: For the Oracle Database 10g release, the database server manageability group had the task of rethinking the way people measure and evaluate database performance. It was a complex topic and everybody was doing it differently. At that time, to understand the performance of your database you had to look at hundreds of different metrics. Our group simplified things by organizing everything around time and creating a concept to wrap it all up: DB Time. We could tell DBAs that now their task in performance tuning could be stated very simply and clearly: find where the DB time is, and shrink it. Taking such a complex concept and redefining it in simple terms was really innovative.
Q: How do you define innovation?
A: For me, it's thinking about a problem as if you were starting from scratch, and not carrying all the baggage of everything that's been done before. It's really tempting to say that we always want to be consistent with what we've done in the past. But we just won't solve new problems unless we can be innovative, unless we can think about these problems differently.
Q: What is the enemy of innovation?
A: It's telling ourselves that we can never change, that we have to be consistent with the past. Whenever we become too rigid, it becomes much harder to improve things.
Q: How do you think Oracle's innovative culture benefits our customers?
A: Our customers always want to do new and different things with our software, things they never could have anticipated. We would never be able to meet these needs if we weren't flexible thinkers. Only if we are always willing to do things differently do we have a chance to meet their needs.
Q: What innovative technology are you excited about right now?
A: A really exciting area for the future of Oracle is thinking about all the ways that we can leverage all the different products that we are building and how we can tie them all together. That's really exciting and challenging.