Oracle8i Internal Services for Waits, Latches, Locks, and Memory by Steve Adams

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Product Description

Based on Oracle8i, release 8.1, this concise book contains detailed, hard-to-find information about Oracle internals (data structures, algorithms, hidden parameters, and undocumented system statistics). Main topics include waits, latches, locks (including instance locks used in parallel server environments) and memory use and management.
Publisher Description

This concise book contains detailed information about Oracle internals — information that's not readily available to Oracle customers. It lays a foundation for advanced performance tuning of the Oracle database. Based on Oracle8i release 8.1, the book describes many of the secrets of Oracle's internal services: data structures, algorithms, and undocumented Oracle system statistics. Main topics include: Waits – how Oracle processes communicate via semaphores, and how to use the Oracle wait statistics to identify the source of performance problems. Latches – how they keep multiple processes from inspecting protected data structures at the same time, and how to examine and control latch behavior and statistics. Locks – how they work with latches to protect data structures (locks allow multiple sessions to share resources in some cases), and how locks affect performance. There is also a detailed discussion of instance locks, which are used in parallel server environments. Memory – how Oracle uses memory (e.g., the various elements of the System Global Area), and how Oracle dynamically allocates and manages memory.

"Oracle8i Internal Services" is aimed especially at administrators and developers who need detailed internal information to do advanced performance tuning. The book will expand your repertoire of tuning solutions and troubleshooting techniques by explaining how you can use Oracle's hidden parameters and undocumented system statistics to best advantage.

NOTE: The author has collected the scripts he has developed for tuning and analysis into a toolkit (known as APT, for Advanced Performance Tuning). These scripts access the Oracle X$ tables directly and provide information not otherwise available. The scripts are available to readers for free from the O'Reilly web site.

Author Biography

Steve Adams runs a small consulting company, Ixora, that specializes in advanced Unix and Oracle performance tuning. He is based in Sydney, Australia, but also works remotely for clients in America and Europe. Steve is a regular contributor to various Oracle discussion forums on the Internet, where he is widely regarded as the leading performance expert. His experience with Oracle dates back to version 3 (1984). However, most of his work has been in Unix performance tuning. His interest in Oracle–and Oracle internals in particular–was rekindled when working as the Unix performance expert on a benchmark of an Oracle-based application in 1995. He found the challenge of understanding Oracle performance to be extremely demanding, and yet irresistible. Steve doesn’t yet claim to have mastered the topic of Oracle performance, but he does have plenty of insight to share. He can be contacted directly at or via his company’s web site at /.

  • ISBN 156592598X
  • ISBN-13 9781565925984
  • Title Oracle8i Internal Services for Waits, Latches, Locks, and Memory
  • Author Steve Adams
  • Format Paperback
  • Year 1999
  • Pages 120
  • Publisher O’Reilly Media
  • Dimensions6.1 in. x 0.4 in. x 9 in.


Additional Information


Steve Adams





Publication Year


Educational Level

Scholarly & Professional