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Donald K. Burleson

Oracle Tips


Investigating Oracle Session Memory Usage

It is not uncommon for one or two users to cause runtime problems that plague an entire database.  The problem could be a runaway process, an un tuned batch procedure, or other user-initiated operation.  Oftentimes, user connection memory consumption can get out of hand, and extreme cases can cause headaches at both the database and operating system level (ORA-4030 errors).

Please remember that the session memory issue only applies when you are not using the Oracle multi-threaded server (MTS). If you implement the MTS, Oracle will allocate all SGA sort areas to the large pool, and your sessions will not have external PGA memory regions.

If your database server does not have an overabundance of memory, then periodically you should check to see who the heavy memory users are, along with the total percentage of memory each user consumes. 

If you see one or two users who have more than 15-50% of the total memory usage, then you should investigate the sessions further to see the kind of activities they are performing.

The above is an excerpt from Oracle Performance Troubleshooting by Robin Schumacher.

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