Is there anything published for Oracle 8.1.6 32bit on Solaris that would suggest any high water limits for simultaneous database connections and transaction per second speed ratings?
I've never seen any specific figures of the nature you are requesting. And there are reasons that these figures are not published. The answer, unfortunately, is "it all depends". Not very informative, I know. So let me explain a little more.
Is there a high water limit on the number of simultaneous database connections? Theoretically, no. An Oracle database can theoretically support as many simultaneous connections as your database server can support. Each connection requires a chunk of memory and CPU cycles to serve that connection. Once you exceed the capacity of your server, then you start to run into limitations on the number of servers you can "adequately" support. Now this is just the theory. Checking the Oracle documentation for Oracle on Sun SPARC Solaris, you will find that the number of processes specified in the INIT.ORA file (via the PROCESSES parameter) has a range of 6 - unlimited. The PROCESSES parameter is platform specific, so it's not unlikely that you will find a platform where the number of PROCESSES is not unlimited. But this does not appear to be the case with Solaris.
Is there a limit on the number of transactions per second? Again, theoretically there is no limit. It all depends on your hardware. It is obvious that increasing the number of CPUs and the speed of the CPUs (MHz) will increase the amount of work that the server can do. Moore's Law states that the processing speed of CPUs will double every 18 months. So as long as you can continue to upgrade your server hardware, then you'll be able to execute more transactions than ever before. This is just theory though. There is a law of diminishing returns at play too. I can squeeze out only so many transactions per second out of my hardware. Doubling my processors does not equate to twice as many transactions per second.
If you are really interested seeing how well the database vendors have achieved high rates of transactions per second, you might want to visit the Transaction Processing Performance Council's Web site and see who the "fastest" database on the market is. Currently, they list Microsoft's SQL Server as the top dog, but I just read yesterday that IBM's DB2 set a new top mark. It's not updated on the Web site yet. Oracle is on the list, but currently 8th (9th after DB2's new results are posted). But you have to take all of this with a grain of salt. These things go in cycles. Most likely, Oracle will return to the top of the list only to be replaced by SQL Server and/or DB2 or some other database vendor. And they run these tests on very expensive (read $millions$) machines dedicated to beating these records. These servers are never really deployed in the "real" world with the identical configuration.
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