There is considerable overlap between information available in Oracle Database and information available though operating system utilities (such as
vmstat on UNIX-based systems). Operating systems provide performance statistics on I/O, communication, CPU, memory and paging, scheduling, and synchronization primitives. The
V$SESSTAT view provides the major categories of operating system statistics as well.
Typically, operating system information about I/O devices and semaphore operations is harder to map back to database objects and operations than is Oracle Database information. However, some operating systems have good visualization tools and efficient means of collecting the data.
Operating system information about CPU and memory usage is very important for assessing performance. Probably the most important statistic is CPU usage. The goal of low-level performance tuning is to become CPU bound on all CPUs. After this is achieved, you can work at the SQL level to find an alternate plan that might be more I/O intensive but use less CPU.
Operating system memory and paging information is valuable for fine tuning the many system parameters that control how memory is divided among memory-intensive data warehouse subsystems like parallel communication, sort, and hash join.