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Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC) is a fantastic achievement in the annals of relational database technology. But like any complex new technology, the adoption curve and skill set level have lagged slightly behind.
This had led to an interesting phenomenon that we refer to as "RAC in the Box Syndrome." Often people initially perform a proof-of-concept project with RAC and expect the cluster to perform "out of the box" as promised. Even though they have little experience optimizing RAC databases and focus so much on Oracle, they fail to optimize all subsystems in the "big picture." Disappointed with the initial test, many people prematurely abandon RAC and fall back to using symmetric multi-processing (SMP) boxes—the evil they already know and are comfortable using.
This paper presents a unique and simple approach to tuning RAC databases without being an expert: simply start at the top and ask a lot of seemingly simple questions.
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