Differences in features provided by both Oracle and MS SQL determine the tasks that a DBA needs to carry out while managing and maintaining the concerned databases. In my opinion, an SQL server can be placed between MS Access and Oracle as far as its functionality, performance, and scalability are concerned. It is a simple and good work-group solution, simple to use and administer.
Whereas Oracle on the other hand is much more advanced and has more to offer.
Here is the comparison of Oracle and SQL Server feature which draw us to a conclusion about how the Oracle DBA job is tough as compared to MS SQL DBA job:
Platform dependency – it’s necessary for Oracle DBA to have knowledge of multiple platforms from Windows to all flavours of Unix from vendors such as IBM, Sun, HP, Digital, etc. whereas MS SQL is only operable on Windows platform, a life of MS SQL DBA is quite simple as compared to that of an oracle DBA when it comes to administering databases on various platforms.
Performance and Tuning – MS SQL is far behind when it comes to tuning the databases. Let’s have a glance at features that are uncommon to Oracle and MS SQL Server.
- In MS SQL, memory allocation is decided globally in the server properties memory folders, and that applies for all memory and not caching, Therefore MS SQL DBA has no control over sorting and caching memory allocation. Whereas Oracle architecture has its own large manageable instance. Hence, Oracle DBA has much real control over memory and has much more responsibility in tuning memory for better performance.
- In MS SQL, all pages are 8K and all extents are always 8 pages. This means that MS SQL dba has no choice but to specify a larger extent to ensure contiguous space for large objects. On the other hand oracle has concepts of extents, hence it tasks of Oracle DBA to ensure the contiguous space for a larger object by properly allocating extents as and when
- Following are some more features that MS SQL lacks and those determine the tasks of concern DBA:
Partitioning. Bitmap Indexes.
Star query Optimization.
Reverse Key Indexes.
Real Application Cluster
The reason behind not having this feature may be making MS SQL Server self-tunable and less prone to human errors, where the goal of the oracle would be to have total control over memory and utilize it as per requirements. Therefore, we can surely say that to optimize the performance of the database oracle DBA has to work to have much more in-depth knowledge of memory structure, indexing, and various optimization levels such as operating systems, Networks, etc.
As said earlier, Oracle has much more to offer. One such thing is cluster technology, where Oracle is much ahead of MS SQL. Oracle DBAs have continuously kept themselves updated with new technologies and even with each new release of database versions.
Technologies like Automated Storage Management, and Oracle Real Applications Clusters(RAC) in Oracle require Oracle DBA to have knowledge about storage mechanisms and networks. In this case MS SQL DBA need not worry about such things as MS SQL doesn’t have such things.
There are many such scenarios such as upgrading the database to a newer release, migrating the database between various database servers with different operating systems, patching databases, etc., where Oracle DBA has to pay more attention when compared to MS SQL dba.
Here is a simple comparison between the features of Oracle and MS SQL which concludes that the Oracle DBA job is tougher than that of MS SQL DBA. Right from having knowledge of the operating system, network, and storage to the domain knowledge, that is the database itself, an Oracle DBA has many roles to play under one name and performs many tasks. Hence, we can say that Oracle outsmarts MS SQL, in the same way Oracle DBA outsmarts MS SQL DBA.
When you want to make a strong Oracle DBA career then you should be aware of database services and other database technology. Without having knowledge of Oracle internals, Oracle performance tuning, and skill of Oracle database troubleshooting you can’t be an Oracle DBA expert.
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