Oracle Optimal Flexible Architecture

Originally written in 1990, the Optimal Flexible Architecture (OFA) whitepaper still stands as the best-practices for oracle databases. In my time as an Oracle database administrator I have often seen DBAs using these standards, having learned them from senior DBAs, who did not realize the OFA standard exists.

Cary V. Millsap of Oracle Corp. offers this description in this distribution of the whitepaper:

The OFA Standard is a set of configuration guidelines that will give you faster, more reliable Oracle databases that require less work to maintain. The OFA Standard is written by the founder of the Oracle team responsible for installing, tuning, and upgrading several hundreds of sites worldwide since 1990—this paper is based on the best practices of those hundreds of sites. Today the “Optimal Flexible Architecture’’ described in the OFA Standard is built into the Oracle configuration tools and documentation on all open systems ports.

The benifits of the OFA standard go beyond performance and stability. When I started at Plymouth State University 18 months ago I quickly recognized the signs of an OFA environment (mostly partitions named /u01 and /u02.) Having identified that, I immediately knew where to find nearly all data and configuration files.

The guidelines that OFA provides can be easily adapted to other modern multi-user applications including web servers, application servers and other breeds of database. I offer the OFA whitepaper here as I have found it increasingly difficult to find on the web.

The OFA Standard-Oracle for Open Systems

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Oracle Web Resources

Below are some of my favorite Oracle related web resources. Most have information on databases and Oracle Application Server. There are, of course, countless sites out there on the topic. These are just a few of the ones I prefer.

tahiti.oracle.com – This quick URL gives you direct access to the current Oracle documentation (with a free OTN account.) It’s a good quick back-door way into the oracle docs.

asktom.oracle.com – I don’t know the whole story on this guy, but he seems to work for (or closely with) Oracle answering user submitted questions. There are thousands of questions and answers on all things Oracle.

otn.oracle.com – Oracle’s Technology Network is the official source for tech news from Oracle. It is to the techies what www.oracle.com is to the business folks.

orafaq.com – More Oracle question and answer listings. Also a very useful and comprehensive glossary.

rittman.net – Mark Rittman’s Oracle Weblog is a fantastic resource with a focus on data warehousing and business intelligence. One of the best sites by an individual.

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