Oracle DB and Flexcube Application Hardware Requirements


I am new to Oracle and we are Scheduled to Implement Oracle as a backend database replacing SQL Server.

What are the Recommended hardware requirements for running oracle 11g DB and Flexcube in a Oracle virtualized environment.

We have up to 125 named uses with expected concurrent connections to reach up to 40.

The HW is HP DL 380 G7 Servers with 2 * 2.5Ghz Quad Processors and 192GB of RAM.

Please guide me as to how i would slice my HW so that users do not have any performance hit.

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Mark GeerlingsDatabase AdministratorCommented:
"how i would slice my HW so that users do not have any performance hit."

That looks like an impossible task, but it is possible to configure your hardware so your users get the best possible performance that your hardware, O/S, database and application can deliver.  Be aware that one of the advantages of Oracle is that it is very tunable for different: server hardware, storage system characteristics, database size, number of user connections, type of application, etc.  One of the disadvantages of Oracle is that you have to spend some time (and/or money, and/or trial and error) to get Oracle configured optimally for the combination of: server and storage hardware; database size; number of users, type of applciation, etc. that you have.

As you set up an Oracle-based system initially, the first decision you need to make is which default database block size you will choose.  Oracle supports: 2K, 4K, 8K, 16K or 32K block sizes.  Usually, the smaller block sizes are better for transaction-processing systems and the larger block sizes are better for DataWarehouses.  This is one of the few Oracle values that you cannot change after your database is created.  Oracle's default block size is 8k, but that isn't necessarily your best option.

Most of the  configuring that you do in Oracle involves setting or changing values that are stored in your spfile.  You don't edit this file directly (although you can read all of it except the first and last lines with a text editor).  You use OEM (Oracle Enterprise Manager) or "alter system..." commands to set or change these values.  Many of them take effect immediately.  Some of them though will require a database shutdown and restart to take effect.  Usually, you will want you Oracle SGA to be somewhere between 50-75% of the RAM in your server, and you want the single biggest component of the SGA to be for BLOCK_BUFFERS (to cache active parts of your database in RAM).

I have no experience with FlexCube, so I can't help you with that.

If you have experience managing SQL Server, you may find the Oracle tools to be not as user-friendly.  Remember, Microsoft is first of all an O/S and software tools company, and they also sell a database (which runs on only one O/S).  Oracle is first of all a database company (whose database runs on all of the major O/Ses of the world) and they also sell some software tools for managing and working with their database product.

If you have some specific Oracle-related questions, post them here and we can likely help you with them.

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GulfITAuthor Commented:
Thanks for you detailed explanation.

See i have a vender requesting for the below in terms of specifications for a test environment for the Oracle Database server.

P.Cores 8

Now for the above configuration we will be running 6 oracle Schema's which includes Development and Staging.
Now there will be a maximum of 6-8 users connected at a time to all the Schema's.

Do we need that many resources of 8 Processor cores for this test environment?

Please help.
Mark GeerlingsDatabase AdministratorCommented:
"Do we need that many resources of 8 Processor cores for this test environment?"  Most likely not.  For Oracle test environments, I usually try to find the smallest server available (that is, the one with the smallest number of CPU cores).  But, Oracle likes RAM, so usually the more RAM the better, in terms of Oracle performance.  Remember that Oracle usually needs some manual tuning effort (tweaking the values in the spfile via OEM or "alter system ..." commands) to help Oracle use the available hardware resources as efficiently as possible.

Can an Oracle database run on a server with 32Gb of RAM?  Yes.  Will it run well?  Maybe.

The other big question for Oracle servers these days is: do you need a dedicated, physical server for Oracle?  In most cases, no.  We have most our non-prod Oracle systems running in virtual machines under VMware.  For production, where performacne is critical, we use physical servers yet for the database (but not for the application servers).  We have all of our application servers virtualized.

The number of different schemas in your system doesn't help much in terms of system sizing.  The bigger questions are: how large are those schemas (numbers of records, or numbers of bytes used on disk in the database).  With only 6-8 concurrent users expected, a small to modest sized test server should be adequate.  This assumes that the application is well-designed, and that the Oracle tables are indexed optimally for the way the application uses the tables.  If those assumptions are not true, you can spend a lot of money hardware and still be disappointed at the performance.
GulfITAuthor Commented:
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