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How to choose a Sun server for an Oracle database on Solaris

Find out how to choose a Sun server for an Oracle database on Solaris, including how to decide between a single-thread or multi-thread processor, in this tip.

We need to choose between two new Sun servers for our Oracle database operating on a 64-bit Solaris platform.

Server A has 16 4GHz single-thread processors, while Server B has 16 2GHZ multi-threaded (8 threads/CPU) processors, so we need to choose between fast, single-threaded processors versus slower, multi-threaded processors. Both servers will have 32 GB of memory.

This server will support a data warehouse used for scientific research, with about 12 users that issue ad-hoc queries via SQLPlus about 95% of the time, each ad-hoc SQL query typically retrieves 10,000+ rows at a time, and DML on user (researcher) tables occurs daily, with 10,000+ inserts, updates, or deletes each time. Because this database supports research efforts, almost no applications exist with optimized SQL queries and researchers are free to issue as many ad-hoc queries as they want and modify their own schema tables as often as needed. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

It seems that the big difference is in the processors. The load will be the same no matter which server is chosen. Most databases are I/O driven, not Central Processing Unit (CPU) driven, so for most systems, you can concentrate on the I/O side of things and go for the cheaper CPUs. But you need to verify that you are not CPU-bound. If you have an existing system, it would be a good idea to analyze the system's performance to see how much CPU is actually being used. If you are CPU-bound, then go for the faster processors. If not, then you can use the slower processors.

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