Oracle 12c Performance Tuning — Top Tips for Database Admins

By Staff Contributor on June 7, 2021

You rely on your SQL Server for many important business operations, but its tasks are prone to latency, failure, and other detrimental performance issues. Even ultra-powerful databases like Oracle 12c can encounter complications that, whether big or small, can be challenging to fully uncover and recover from. Tuning Oracle 12c is critical to making sure your data is organized for safekeeping, CPU and disk space is well-balanced between devices, and SQL queries are written correctly to support proper function. Although this isn’t the latest version of Oracle, you may still need to know these tuning tips and reference them for tuning SQL servers.

While you can carry out Oracle 12c performance tuning manually, this practice isn’t reliable or sustainable. I recommend investing in an Oracle 12c performance tuning tool, which will perform necessary Oracle 12c tuning tasks on its own. This way, you can focus on what’s important while feeling confident in Oracle 12c’s operations. My top choice for an Oracle 12c tuning tool is SolarWinds® Database Performance Analyzer (DPA), which can enable you to discover, analyze, and monitor essential metrics for performance tuning Oracle.

While working on this article, I had the opportunity to get acquainted in a practical way with the possibilities offered by this tool. Dedicated for Oracle databases, this software allowed me to significantly speed up the database. Additionally, administrators and developers working in oracle database environment will be impressed with DPA features such as:

  • Analyzing what’s being blocked AND what’s doing the blocking in Oracle DB
  • Identify your best index, query, and table tuning opportunities
  • Real-time and historic metrics monitoring

More information about the full version of the program and its price can be found at the end of the article, but if you’d like to download the trial version, please fill out the survey on the official SolarWinds website (a 14-day free trial of DPA is available for download).

SolarWinds® Database Performance Analyzer (DPA)
© 2021 SolarWinds Worldwide, LLC. All rights reserved.

Understanding Oracle 12c Performance Tuning

Oracle 12c performance tuning is the process of streamlining SQL statement execution operations to optimize your database performance. Tuning Oracle will simplify the process of retrieving and modifying data stored in Oracle 12c, increasing the speed at which data is transferred. By implementing the Oracle 12c tuning tips I’ll share in this article, you should be able to speed up SQL response time and improve overall Oracle functionality.

As soon as Oracle 12c is implemented, initialized, and put into use, background operations begin to run. These tasks are essential for system functionality, performance maintenance, and facilitating recovery procedures. It’s absolutely crucial to monitor all these simultaneous background tasks alongside the regular operations you perform using Oracle 12c.

It can be difficult for database administrators to determine root sources of performance issues, and there can be many potential causes of these issues—including (but not limited to) query statement coding, the computer or the optimizer, or a combination of multiple root sources. In order to successfully troubleshoot a performance issue, you must consider every component of your Oracle 12c and its objects, servers, and instances. This can be labor-intensive, complicated, and stressful.

Incorrectly gathering or analyzing this data, and even not performing assessments consistently enough, could inadvertently reverse Oracle 12c performance tuning practices already put in place. That’s why I recommend investing in an Oracle 12c performance tuning tool, which will help you effectively improve service, reduce costs, and eliminate bottlenecks and other latency complications present in Oracle.

How to Begin Tuning Oracle

The simplest and most efficient means of tuning Oracle 12c is to use a monitoring tool, which will help enact proper performance tuning tactics. Accurately collecting the right information will allow you to maintain, manage, and deeply understand your database.

The first step in downloading an Oracle tuning tool is making sure it’s compatible with your existing IT environment. If your data architecture can’t handle the data present in your Oracle 12c alone, then you should strongly consider a separate software for performance tuning Oracle 12c. Tuning SQL server properly will help prepare Oracle for almost anything.

Here are some common Oracle 12c performance tuning metrics:

Real-time measurements

Use an Oracle 12c tuning tool to gather metrics on connected users, corrupted blocks, and invalid objects at the time of computation.

Wait times

Oracle 12c performance tuning can enable you to collect metrics on queue wait times, tablespace remaining time, and time taken to connect to a server. You can also get metrics on latch contention, which is the percent of latch get requests in waiting.


You can also collect Oracle 12c performance tuning metrics on general activity in your Oracle database, such as I/O operations per second of a data file. You can collect metrics on flash recovery area (FRA) such as used space and available space, and also determine the availability and remaining time of your tablespaces.

List all

This is an extremely helpful metric to use when tuning Oracle 12c. List all is a convenience function that will list all background events occurring at the time of measurement. You can list all queues, events datafiles, latches, and tablespaces.

Through proper use of an Oracle 12c performance tuning tool, you can accurately and easily gather these vital metrics to best determine how to optimize Oracle 12c, discover best practices already in place, and prepare for any future challenges.

Tips for Oracle 12c Tuning

There are five key guidelines you should consider when you’re performance tuning Oracle:

1.   Implement Baselines

Baselines are created by gathering lots of data and averaging out the results. You can compare current Oracle performance metrics to past metrics using baselines, helping you ensure everything is functioning normally. Generating baselines also makes it easier to spot anomalies and identify peak usage periods and bottlenecks, enabling you to identify and tune performance issues sufficiently. Baselines can also be used to set performance targets, thresholds, and get a sense of Oracle’s capabilities.

2.   Monitor With Automatic Workload Repository (AWR)

By monitoring AWR, a built-in Oracle tool, you can collect and process vital performance metrics and maintain them for safekeeping. View visualizations and reports of these statistics and measure real-time metrics against transactions, database calls, and more. This gives you a glimpse into Oracle health and the performance of SQL Servers.

AWR can generate alerts via the server, which can then be placed onto metrics when they exceed or fail to meet thresholds. AWR then responds by modifying service level requirements, implementing recovery scenarios, and stopping overload processes in their tracks. Using AWR and maintaining its performance will help you understand and organize your important Oracle tuning data.

3.   Consistently Check Statistics

Ensure you always have a complete collection of statistics from performance tuning Oracle. The more information you have, the better you can comprehend how your Oracle 12c is performing day to day. Gathering the maximum amount of data will also enable you to pinpoint problems faster and improve reaction time to critical issues.

You should continuously check on these statistics, ensuring their accuracy and relevance. Feel free to refine the process of how these metrics are gathered and presented, offering you customization and optimization opportunities. Oracle tuning isn’t just about addressing problems as they arise, but also making sureyour Oracle 12c performance tuning practices are the best they can be.

4.   Optimize Device Utilization

Another important Oracle performance tuning tip is to monitor the usage of your other devices so they can run as efficiently as possible. For instance, ensure your centralized processing unit (CPU) is well-regulated and that disk memory space is being used fairly between devices. Check CPU in the user space to verify if non-database tasks are consuming too much CPU on the system, which would limit the number of shared resources.

Once you’ve determined who’s using the most and least CPU and disk space, especially if you discover any especially large storage hoggers, it’ll be easier to find and address Oracle 12c performance issues. This knowledge could also help you come to informed decisions about application modification.

5.   Perform SQL Tuning and Oracle Tuning

Along with tuning Oracle and tuning SQL Servers, you should tune individual SQL queries. SQL is a messaging language, and poorly written or generated SQL statements can slow down database performance and cause a slew of other problems.

You may know parsing as one way to perform SQL tuning. Parsing is the process of analyzing SQL statements to establish proper execution practices and eats up at your time and resources—truthfully, you should avoid parsing whenever possible. But if you absolutely must parse, try to do it only one time.

Parsing and other labor-intensive processes can be avoided if you perform regular tuning of your SQL Server. Consider investing in a specialized SQL monitoring software or performing actions to preemptively monitor your SQL performance to ensure workable SQL queries.

Follow these Oracle 12c performance tuning tips to reduce latency, pinpoint critical issues, and compare past and present metrics to prepare for the future. By properly tuning Oracle, and individual queries on SQL servers, you should succeed in improving standards all around and optimize your Oracle 12c’s performance. And again, enlisting the help of an expert performance tuning tool will simplify this process, improve accuracy, and aid in consistent Oracle 12c tuning.

Recommended Tools for Oracle 12c Performance Tuning

My top recommendation for performance tuning Oracle 12c, as well as tuning SQL Servers and databases of all kinds, is SolarWinds Database Performance Analyzer (DPA). DPA is designed to gather information necessary to identify root causes of Oracle 12c performance issues. You can then share this information alongside other vital statistics to promote the understanding of valuable Oracle 12c performance tuning metrics across the board. I highly recommend you download a 14-day free trial of DPA today, and get started on tuning your SQL Server for optimal performance. DPA cost starts at $1,111.

SolarWinds Database Performance Analyzer (DPA)
© 2021 SolarWinds Worldwide, LLC. All rights reserved.

You can enable Oracle to collect custom metrics to meet your specific needs, such as real-time and historical data, database response time, and resource pressure plus allocation. Intuitive dashboard features are designed to visually display vital details of your Oracle 12c performance. DBA dashboards can also enable customization opportunities based on which Oracle 12c performance tuning metrics you deem most important.

DPA can also enable built-in machine learning tools, which can detect anomalies using baselines automatically generated through data collection over time. DPA could also generate customized alerts and alarms that allow you to immediately address critical Oracle 12c performance issues. You can also utilize DBA to spot workload trends, change tracking patterns, and gain access to other valuable Oracle 12c performance tuning metrics that can contribute to proactive troubleshooting.

DPA is designed to monitor Oracle 12c consistently throughout the day and night, all while using less than 1 percent server load. DPA can also support simple report sharing and data transmission between team members, also utilizing less than 1 percent server load. All of these incredible features are offered on DPA’s web interface, which is designed to perfectly suit multiple users while ensuring information present on Oracle 12c is kept safe and secure.

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