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Database performance is ultimately constrained by the need to read and write data from persistent storage – indeed this is the primary purpose of the database. For almost the entire history of modern relational database systems (RDBMS), this persistent storage has been provided by magnetic spinning disks. The relative performance of magnetic disk has been so poor when compared to the rest of the hardware stack that supports the RDBMS, thatdatabase performance tuning has focused primarily on minimising this disk IO.Only now, with the advent of practical solid state disk (SSD) technology, are we experiencing an increase in IO performance to match the improvements we have come to take for granted in CPU and memory access speeds. The arrival of SSD promises to revolutionize database performance management.Although replacing all magnetic disk with SSD is an unattractively expensive option for many Oracle databases, almost all Oracle databases can benefit dramatically from the judicious use of solid state disk. However, it’s not always obvious how best to leverage limited quantities of SSD in order to get the best performance return from your investment. In this paper,we’ll review the performance characteristics, economics, and architecture of solid state disk with the aim of formulating best practices recommendations for solid state disk deployment in Oracle database systems.
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