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Oracle DBA: Oracle 10g & Itanium

Intel Itanium2 and Oracle Grid make a powerful combination.  This blend of technologies provides affordable power for the largest of database systems.  The processor power of the, Itanium2, supporting up to 8TB of memory, allows DBA’s to load partial or complete databases into RAM.

In this article, I discuss the benefits of running Oracle on the Intel platform compared with the RISC processor architecture.  I also discuss performance considerations, based on some sample test results, to help you understand how much benefit you should expect to receive when using the Itanium2 processor.  These tests will quantify the type of performance gains you may look forward to by moving from 32-bit to 64-bit Itanium.  Additionally, I will show a comparison of Oracle running on Windows 2003 Server vs. Oracle running on Red Hat Linux Advanced Server.  We will also look at several other ways Intel and Oracle have teamed together to accelerate your database performance. 

 To achieve such outstanding performance an Intel engineering team worked on site at Oracle to optimize Oracle for the Itanium.  The Itanium features EPIC (Explicitly Parallel Instruction Computing), allowing the processor to execute many instruction sets in parallel.  Up to six instructions may be executed simultaneously.  As you can imagine, this is a great feature for database administrators trying to provide improved response times as their databases continue to grow in size and usage.  In addition, Itanium2 provides speculation so that essential data can be pre-loaded into the processor. 

 A common misconception with the Itanium is some people believe the Itanium is a proprietary architecture.  However, it is based on open standards, thus giving you flexibility and value that is not possible to achieve with other restrictive proprietary processors.  Deploying your database on 64-bit does not require any changes to 32-bit client applications.

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