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Oracle® Fusion Middleware Performance and Tuning Guide
11g Release 1 (11.1.1.7.0)

Part Number E10108-13
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3 Performance Planning

This chapter discusses performance and tuning concepts for Oracle Fusion Middleware. This chapter contains the following sections:

3.1 About Oracle Fusion Middleware Performance Planning

To maximize Oracle Fusion Middleware performance, you must monitor, analyze, and tune all the components that are used by your applications. This guide describes the tools that you can use to monitor performance and the techniques for optimizing the performance of Oracle Fusion Middleware components.

Performance tuning usually involves a series of trade-offs. After you have determined what is causing the bottlenecks, you may have to modify performance in some other areas to achieve the expected results. However, if you have a clearly defined plan for achieving your performance objectives, the decision on what to trade for higher performance is easier because you have identified the most important areas.

3.2 Performance Planning Methodology

The Fusion Middleware components are built for performance and scalability. To maximize the performance capabilities of your applications, you must build performance and scalability into your design. The performance plan should address the current performance requirements, the existing issues (such as bottlenecks or insufficient hardware resources) and any anticipated variances in load, users or processes. The performance plan should also address how the components scale during peak usage without impacting performance.

The following sections of this chapter discuss the steps you should take to help create a plan to tune your application environment and optimize performance:

3.2.1 Define Your Performance Objectives

Before you can begin performance tuning your applications, you must first identify the performance objectives you hope to achieve. To determine your performance objectives, you must understand the applications deployed and the environmental constraints placed on the system.

To understand what your performance objectives are, you must complete the following steps:

Performance objectives are limited by constraints, such as:

  • The configuration of hardware and software such as CPU type, disk size, disk speed, and sufficient memory.

    There is no single formula for determining your hardware requirements. The process of determining what type of hardware and software configuration is required to meet application needs adequately is called capacity planning.

    Capacity planning requires assessment of your system performance goals and an understanding of your application. Capacity planning for server hardware should focus on maximum performance requirements. For more information on capacity planning, see Chapter 29, "Capacity Planning".

  • The configuration of high availability architecture to address peak usage and response times. For more information on implementing high availability features in Oracle Fusion Middleware applications, see Chapter 30, "Using Clusters and High Availability Features".

  • The ability to interoperate between domains, use legacy systems, support legacy data.

  • Development, implementation, and maintenance costs.

Understanding these constraints - and their impacts - ensure that you set realistic performance objectives for your application environment, such as response times, throughput, and load on specific hardware.

3.2.1.1 Define Operational Requirements

Before you begin to deploy and tune your application on Oracle Fusion Middleware, it is important to clearly define the operational environment. The operational environment is determined by high-level constraints and requirements such as:

  • Application Architecture

  • Security Requirements

  • Hardware Resources

3.2.1.2 Identify Performance Goals

Whether you are designing a new system or maintaining an existing system, you should set specific performance goals so that you know how and what to optimize. To determine your performance objectives, you must understand the application deployed and the environmental constraints placed on the system.

Gather information about the levels of activity that components of the application are expected to meet, such as:

  • Anticipated number of users

  • Number and size of requests

  • Amount of data and its consistency

  • Target CPU utilization

3.2.1.3 Understand User Expectations

Application developers, database administrators, and system administrators must be careful to set appropriate performance expectations for users. When the system carries out a particularly complicated operation, response time may be slower than when it is performing a simple operation. Users should be made aware of which operations might take longer.

For example, you might want to ensure that 90% of the users experience response times no greater than 5 seconds and the maximum response time for all users is 20 seconds. Usually, it's not that simple. Your application may include a variety of operations with differing characteristics and acceptable response times. You need to set measurable goals for each of these.

You also need to determine how variances in the load can affect the response time. For example, users might access the system heavily between 9:00am and 10:00am and then again between 1:00pm and 2:00pm, as illustrated by the graph in Figure 3-1. If your peak load occurs on a regular basis, for example, daily or weekly, the conventional wisdom is to configure and tune systems to meet your peak load requirements. The lucky users who access the application in off-time can experience better response times than your peak-time users. If your peak load is infrequent, you may be willing to tolerate higher response times at peak loads for the cost savings of smaller hardware configurations.

Figure 3-1 Adjusting Capacity and Functional Demand

Description of Figure 3-1 follows
Description of "Figure 3-1 Adjusting Capacity and Functional Demand"

3.2.1.4 Conduct Performance Evaluations

With clearly defined performance goals and performance expectations, you can readily determine when performance tuning has been successful. Success depends on the functional objectives you have established with the user community, your ability to measure whether the criteria are being met, and your ability to take corrective action to overcome any exceptions.

Ongoing performance monitoring enables you to maintain a well-tuned system. Keeping a history of the application's performance over time enables you to make useful comparisons. With data about actual resource consumption for a range of loads, you can conduct objective scalability studies and from these predict the resource requirements for anticipated load volumes. For more information on evaluating performance, see Chapter 4, "Monitoring Oracle Fusion Middleware".

3.2.2 Design Applications for Performance and Scalability

The key to good performance is good design. The design phase of the application development cycle should be an on-going process. Cycling through the planning, monitoring and tuning phases of the application development cycle is critical to achieving optimal performance across Fusion Middleware deployments. Using an iterative design methodology enables you to accommodate changes in your work loads without impacting your performance objectives.

See the following Oracle Fusion Middleware developer's documentation for more information on recommended design techniques:

3.2.3 Monitor and Measure Your Performance Metrics

Oracle Fusion Middleware provides a variety of technologies and tools that can be used to monitor Server and Application performance. Monitoring enables you to evaluate Server activity, watch trends, diagnose system bottlenecks, debug applications with performance problems and gather data that can assist you in tuning the system. For more information, see Chapter 4, "Monitoring Oracle Fusion Middleware.".

Performance tuning is specific to the applications and resources that you have deployed on your system. Some common tuning areas are included in Chapter 2, "Top Performance Areas."