BACKGROUND: SEMATECH, Inc. is a consortium of semiconductor manufacturers working with industry, government and academia in vital technical research in the manufacturing of semiconductors. To this end, SEMATECH develops advanced semiconductor manufacturing processes, materials and equipment. SEMATECH is a non-profit company relying on member companies for support and offering products to the member companies.
PLATFORMS: We run IBM AIX on our RS/6000 UNIX system and use Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 Server for our NT database servers running on Compaq Proliant 6500 Servers. On the AIX server we use Oracle7.3.4, and on the Windows/NT Servers we use Oracle 8.0.5.
PROBLEM SOLVED: We were using Oracle Import to move data from system to system and restore specific tables from export dump files when required. We were looking for a faster way to accomplish these tasks. Files created by Oracle Export utility are input to PATROL DB-Import from BMC Software. We did not change any of our existing import scripts, but simply replaced the Oracle Import utility with PATROL DB-Import and obtained substantial performance improvement. How much time was saved? When the entire export file was imported, the savings were 100 percent (one hour versus two hours with Oracle Import for a two gigabyte export file). For specific table imports, e.g., where five tables of 100 were imported, the performance improvement was about five times faster than the Oracle Import utility.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: PATROL DB- Import is a fully compatible replacement for Oracle Import's utility. The parameters for PATROL DB-Import utility and the Oracle Import utility are identical, so our scripts that invoke Import run without change. With PATROL DB-Import, we saw a dramatic increase in speed. PATROL DB-Import first builds an index to all the tables contained in the export file and adds this index, or table of contents, to the end of the export file (beyond where Oracle looks). PATROL DB-Import then uses this index to locate the specific tables you want to import. Since Oracle's Import must read the entire export file, PATROL DB-Import's benefit in loading data into Oracle systems is even greater for larger export files. We found the greatest performance improvement and benefit when we ran PATROL DB- Import right after the system export to build the index. We had to restore a 105KB user- corrupted table from a 5GB export file. The total PATROL DB- Import time was two minutes compared to Oracle Import's time of 65 minutes. At 32 times faster than Oracle Import, this was the most improved test case we found for PATROL DB-Import.
STRENGTHS: PATROL DB-Import is fully compatible with Oracle Import. Even after the PATROL DB-Import index has been built at the end of the export file, the export file is still usable by Oracle Import. We've experienced faster import performance with no changes to current scripts. When export files are indexed by the PATROL DB-Import utility before the files are needed, additional time is saved during restore actions.
WEAKNESSES: To avoid replacing Oracle's import binary, we installed PATROL DB-Import in the recommended BMC directory. To execute BMC code without changing scripts, you need to modify the path for both Windows NT and UNIX environments.
SELECTION CRITERIA: PATROL DB-Import is the first software product to improve the speed of importing data in Oracle. While Oracle Import is quite functional, it lacks performance, especially when importing from a large export file. Further performance benefits are seen if only a few tables must be imported from a large export file since the Oracle Import utility reads the entire export file even if all the objects in the tables list are exhausted.
DELIVERABLES: With PATROL-DB Import we're more responsive to our users' needs. When restoring user data, it's much faster from problem identification to problem resolution.
VENDOR SUPPORT: BMC Software provides excellent support for its products, and my direct experience with the import utility was superb.
DOCUMENTATION: PATROL DB-Import's documentation is complete; but since it is fully compatible with Oracle Import, we only used the Oracle documentation and everything worked as expected.
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