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64-bit Oracle on 64-bit Win2003 vs. 32-bit Oracle on 32-bit Win2k

From: Paul Sherman <>
Date: Wed, 21 Sep 2005 10:55:42 -0400
Message-ID: <>

Hello all,  


I've been tasked to come up with the appropriate hardware/software solution for my company, an MMOLG (Massively Multiple On-Line Gaming) enterprise as it gets ramped up for two huge game releases. We use My SQL (4.x) for managing the Web Front-end, MS SQL 2000 Servers to manage the games, and Oracle to manage the billing application on the back-end. The billing application is also used for authentication (registration of new subscribers, credit card validations) and authorization (what games each subscriber can play, is their account up to date, etc.). We currently support our billing application using 32-bit Oracle ( on 32-bit, clustered Win2k, using Failsafe (3.3.2) on MSCS (1.0). We have the first new game-to-be-released in Beta, and, to date, I have a similar setup except that the Oracle is, Failsafe is 3.3.3, and MSCS is 1.1. Originally, I was given to understand that each of the two new games were to be on separate Oracle instances, but now my management wants both games to be run from the same instance. Our Marketing team spit out the anticipated subscriber/subscription #'s recently, and the size of the #'s has given me pause - I question whether or not our current system will be able to handle the # of logins (for authorization and authentication) during the so-called "land-rush" (the game's 1st week/month of release) and that period of time immediately following an upgrade to the game (where huge #'s of gamers rush to get back to playing). I also need to consider the peak # of logins during the heaviest play period times. The minimum # of gamer logins/hour I need to account for is 5-7k/hour, and the high end could be upwards of 30-45k/hour (for both games, post-upgrade case). To me, that number of logins/hour is asking a lot Windows 32-bit, perhaps the impossible.  

What I've done to date:  

First I made sure that I understood what I can do with Windows, and then implemented a base test on the Beta environment by setting up Windows for VLM management. I have both the /PAE and /3GB switches enabled (I have 8GB of RAM, so the /3GB switch gets me the extra 1GB memory for shared_pool w/o being the hindrance it would be if I was using 16GB+), and I have the AWE 'tailored' to 768MB (the minimum that, via trial and error, that I could bring Oracle up under). This has allowed me to have a shared_pool of 320MB, a java_pool and large_pool of 152MB (more on the large_pool later). To date, I've sized the buffer_cache at 5000MB (just to prove that I could do it, and see the results). So SGA is 5362MB. I've set the Aggregate PGA Target to 256MB.  

I've looked at 64-bit Oracle on 64-bit Win2003. 64-bit Oracle is certified on Win2003 (Itanium only, no certification yet for the really spiffy EM64T chip set). If dedicated will not cut it for the max login load, I could consider Shared mode, knowing that I get some performance hit. Going to 64-bit There's some test data out there (Larry Pedigo, of Performance Tuning Corp. had a nice white paper), but I've found little else. This seems, at first blush, the best choice for a Windows 'shop', but who knows? I've come across one 'gotcha' to date, the Failsafe Manager is only 32-bit (while Failsafe is 64-bit, why Oracle did that, I do not know), so has to be installed on a separate home, on a separate 32-bit Windows machine. I've gotten it from Oracle Support that 32-bit Oracle Client will connect w/o issue to the 64-bit Oracle server, so having the various 32-bit applications used (on separate 32-bit Win2k machines) connect to the database is not a problem.  

I've looked at putting 32-bit Oracle on a 64-bit Win2003, so if the initial load/stress tests fails (at 5-7k logins/hour) I could easily migrate Oracle to the 64-bit. From what I've read, I would expect the 32-bit Oracle to be way too slow.  

I've looked at going to RAC as it would buy me twice the memory for the 'pools'.  

I'm just starting to look at moving to Oracle on UNIX. I have yet to estimate the total cost for doing so (early guess-timate is $750k), and I'd have to bring a Unix Sys Admin on-board. Up to now, Turbine has been 90% Windows, 10% Linux.  

Questions for the group:  

Has anyone out there had this problem to tackle?  

Am I correct in thinking that Windows 32-bit would be swamped by the anticipated load?  

Is anyone running 64-bit Oracle on 64-bit Win2003? If so, did you get what you expected with respect to performance? Any obstacles that you had to overcome?  

Has anyone suggestions as to configuration/environment that would help me?  

Any responses would be a God-send to this poor, beleaguered DBA. Thanks very much (in advance).    



Paul R. Sherman
Database Administrator
Turbine Inc.
60 Glacier Drive, Suite 4000
Westwood, Ma. 02090
Phone (781) 407-4139
Fax (781) 329-5463
Received on Wed Sep 21 2005 - 09:59:03 CDT

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