Flash Magic

Flash GordonWho knew that Flash would turn out to be so powerful ... and so enduring? Flash memory in its various forms is probably the electronic component that is most impacting the performance and utility of our devices, from our portable audio players, to our tablets, and all the way to our our Oracle Exadata Database Machines.

Combining flash memory with more traditional disk has already been shown to be a great way to improve both performance and availability in a variety of scenarios. Don't have flash memory in your computer? Check out the Sun Flash Accelerator F20 PCIe Card, a low-profile PCIe card that supports onboard solid-state based storage. 

Roger Bitar has written an article that takes a look at how coupling this card with Oracle Database 11g Release 2 can improve performance: Oracle Database Performance Results with Smart Flash Cache on Sun SPARC Enterprise Midrange Server. Roger used the GEN-OLTP 1.6 benchmark, an internally developed transaction processing database workload, to do some before-and-after comparisons. This workload simulates a lightweight Global Order System, and it was developed from a variety of customer workloads. It has a high degree of concurrency and stresses database commit operations. Testing was done with a variety of parameters, but as an example, using Database Smart Flash Cache with 2.5 times the original SGA buffer cache size (20 GB) yielded the following improvement over the original run without flash:

  • 25% increase in number of users
  • 17.2% more TPM

Take a look. Perhaps you can conquer your IT Ming the Merciless with a little Flash.

- Kemer

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Contributors:
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Kemer Thomson
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