Oracle Real Application Testing: What Every DBA Needs to Know




For Database Administrators (DBAs) making changes to production systems
can be an unsettling proposition. As many know, making even the smallest
change could potentially introduce instability and performance degradation. 
But it doesn't have too.


href="http://www.oracle.com/us/products/database/options/real-application-testing/index.html"> style='color:red'>Oracle Real Application Testing style='color:red'>, an Oracle Database 11g option, can make your life easier
when it comes to database changes.  If you have ever been involved with
any aspects of database change management or testing, you know that changes
to production environments need to be thoroughly tested and tracked. Sometimes
the changes made to production need to be propagated to other systems
like reporting, testing and training.  For application DBAs, that manage
the lifecycle of promoting changes across development to test to production,
Oracle Real Application Testing adds support for testing these changes
using real workloads. So any potential bottlenecks or issues are identified
up front, and can be remediated before safely deploying the changes into
production.


Oracle Real Application Testing consists of two solutions. The first
solution is href="http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/database/features/manageability/sqlpa-094776.html"> style='color:red'>SQL Performance Analyzer (SPA) which enables users
to assess unit SQL response time for a set of SQL that relates to their
system changes.  Any SQL regressions that SPA identifies can be remediated
fairly quickly through the tool’s intuitive dashboard.  The second
one is a load testing solution called href="http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/articles/sql/11g-replay-099279.html"> style='color:red'>Database Replay which allows you to actually capture
real production workloads and replay them in your test environment while
maintaining all the necessary workload characteristics such as: timing,
concurrency and transaction dependencies. 


I recently sat down with GP Gongloor, Product Management Director for
Oracle Enterprise Manager 11g, and asked him what every DBA needs to
know
about Oracle Real Application Testing.


Scott: GP, in a nutshell, what’s the first thing people
should know about Oracle Real Application Testing?


GP: the first thing I would tell people about Oracle Real Application
Testing is that it’s a very useful and powerful tool for testing
your database infrastructure changes. The most important thing you want
to be sure of is that you don’t make your performance worse after
you deploy the change to production. This tool gives you assurances  that
once you perform all the necessary testing and quality control steps,
you can safely roll out the system change into production and have a certain
level of confidence that your changes will perform the way you expect
them too.


The next thing I would tell DBAs, is that with the latest release
we have enhanced SPA so you can generate your analysis reports as an
href="http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/database/features/manageability/sqlpa-094776.html">Active
Report
.  Just like before, you can run your SQL performance
trials in SPA and then compare the performance at the workload and per-SQL
level.  Now you can share your findings with other team members using
Active Reports.  Those team members don’t necessarily need access
to Oracle Enterprise Manager Grid Control’s console to view the
reports. Using SQL Performance Analyzer Active Reports you can drill into
a particular database change and see the impact it will have on SQL performance.
You can also compare before and after results to see if performance improves
and by how much.  If the change has a negative effect, SPA will recommend
actions you can take in order to improve your SQL execution plans. Additionally,
Oracle Enterprise Manager 11g’s interface supports Optimizer Statistics
Validation workflow that allows DBAs to use SPA to validate the statistics
gathered by the Optimizer and see if they are in fact devoid of negative
effects on SQL performance—all of this can be done within a few
mouse clicks!


So whether you are applying a database patch, changing a configuration
parameter, migrating to a new O/S, or an even moving from a single instance
to Oracle RAC—Oracle Real Application Testing allows you to adopt
new technology dramatically faster and at a lower cost and risk.  For
more information, be sure to check out these useful resources:


More Information


href="http://www.oracle.com/enterprisemanager11g/index.html">Oracle Enterprise
Manager 11g Resource Center

Whitepaper: href="http://www.oracle.com/us/products/enterprise-manager/db-manageability-and-rat-gc11g-wp-067896.pdf">Oracle
Database 11g Release 2: Real Application Testing Overview

Case Study: href="http://www.oracle.com/customers/snapshots/mol-hungarian-oil-and-gas-company-real-application-testing-snapshot.pdf">MOL
Hungarian Oil and Gas Company Reduces IT Testing Team Requirements by
50%

Customer Video: href="http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid62612523001?bctid=75762265001">Bank
of America Cuts Testing Efforts

Demo: href="http://www.oracle.com/pls/ebn/swf_viewer.load?p_shows_id=5539145&p_width=800&p_height=600">Oracle
Real Application Testing

Technical Information: href="http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/database/features/manageability/index.html">
Oracle Real Application Testing

Technical Information: href="http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/database/features/manageability/sqlpa-094776.html">SQL
Performance Analyzer Active Reports


 


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