Compulsive Tuning Disorder…

I can’t remember where I first heard the phrase “Compulsive Tuning Disorder”, but it was mentioned again at ORCAN recently. I guess my approach to the database is almost the opposite of that. Maybe “Compulsive Non-Tuning Disorder”.

When you’re reading the blog posts on the internet you could be forgiven for thinking that every Oracle database is a massive, high performance, 24X7, mission critical system. We all tend to write about interesting systems and issues, but these don’t necessarily reflect the reality of most DBAs day to day jobs.

I would hazzard a guess that most installations out there would run just fine with default settings and very little intervention.

Why do I mention this? I get lots of questions from people who are running very ordinary systems but are expending massive amounts of energy on pointless tuning because they read the latest article by person X, Y and Z.

Am I saying you don’t need to know about more detailed stuff? Of course not. The more you know, the easier it is to deal with a real performance problem when it occurs. The trick to being a good DBA is knowing how to focus your effort. Don’t obsess about minute details on humdrum systems. Your time would probably be better spent teaching the developers how to write better SQL and PL/SQL. That would probably have a more profound impact on database performance than the constant pointless tweaking.

Enough of my random ramblings for today… 🙂