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Parallel Execution

New Version Of XPLAN_ASH Utility

A new version 4.23 of the XPLAN_ASH utility is available for download.

As usual the latest version can be downloaded here.

This version comes only with minor changes, see the change log below.

Here are the notes from the change log:

- Finally corrected the very old and wrong description of "wait times" in the script comments, where it was talking about "in-flight" wait events but that is not correct. ASH performs a "fix-up" of the last 255 samples or so and updates them with the time waited, so these wait events are not "in-flight"

- Removed some of the clean up code added in 4.22 to the beginning of the script, because it doesn't really help much but spooled script output always contained these error messages about non-existent column definitions being cleared

Uniquely parallel

Here’s a surprising (to me) execution plan from 12.1.0.2 – parallel execution to find one row in a table using a unique scan of a unique index – produced by running the following script (data creation SQL to follow):

dbms_xplan

My favourite format options for dbms_xplan.display_cursor().

This is another of those posts where I tell you about something that I’ve frequently mentioned but never documented explicitly as a good (or, at least, convenient) idea. It also another example of how easy it is to tell half the story most of the time when someone asks a “simple” question.

Big Nodes, Concurrent Parallel Execution And High System/Kernel Time

The following is probably only relevant for customers that run Oracle on big servers with lots of cores in single instance mode (this specific problem here doesn't reproduce in a RAC environment, see below for an explanation why), like one of my clients that makes use of the Exadata Xn-8 servers, for example a X4-8 with 120 cores / 240 CPUs per node (but also reproduced on older and smaller boxes with 64 cores / 128 CPUs per node).

Parallel DML

A recent posting on OTN presented a performance anomaly when comparing a parallel “insert /*+ append */” with a parallel “create table as select”.  The CTAS statement took about 4 minutes, the insert about 45 minutes. Since the process of getting the data into the data blocks would be the same in both cases something was clearly not working properly. Following Occam’s razor, the first check had to be the execution plans – when two statements that “ought” to do the same amount of work take very different times it’s probably something to do with the execution plans – so here are the two statements with their plans:

First the insert, which took 45 minutes:

12c Parallel Execution New Features: Parallel FILTER Subquery Evaluation - Part 3: The Optimizer And Distribution Methods

As mentioned in the first and second part of this instalment the different available distribution methods of the new parallel FILTER are selected automatically by the optimizer - in this last post of this series I want to focus on that optimizer behaviour.It looks like there are two new optimizer related parameters that control the behaviour of the new feature: "_px_filter_parallelized" is the overall switch to enable/disable the new parallel filter capability - and defaults to "true" in 12c, and "_px_filter_skew_handling" influences how the optimizer determines the distribution methods - the parameter naming suggests that it somehow has to do with some kind of "skew" - note that the internal parameter that handles the new

New Version Of XPLAN_ASH Utility

A new version 4.22 of the XPLAN_ASH utility is available for download.

As usual the latest version can be downloaded here.

This version primarily addresses an issue with 12c - if the HIST mode got used to pull ASH information from AWR in 12c it turned out that Oracle forgot to add the new "DELTA_READ_MEM_BYTES" columns to DBA_HIST_ACTIVE_SESS_HISTORY - although it got officially added to V$ACTIVE_SESSION_HISTORY in 12c. So now I had to implement several additional if/then/else constructs to the script to handle this inconsistency. It's the first time that the HIST view doesn't seem to reflect all columns from the V$ view - very likely an oversight rather than by design I assume.

Parallel Plans

This article was prompted by a pair of articles by Yasin Baskan of Oracle Corporation: PX Server Sets etc. and Multiple Parallelizers, plus a little extra prompting from a mistake that I made when reading the second of those two articles. The fact that I made a mistake is significant because, without it, I wouldn’t have created a model to check Yasin’s description of the parallel activity.

I want to examine the following query to find out the order of activity:

12c Parallel Execution New Features: Parallel FILTER Subquery Evaluation - Part 2: Distribution Methods

Picking up from the first part of this instalment I'll focus in this post on the available distribution methods for the new parallel FILTER subquery feature.In this post I won't go into the details how the optimizer selects the distribution method automatically - this will be covered in the last part.Here I merely describe the different available methods and how to control them using the new PQ_FILTER hint, which is also mentioned in the official documentation, although I find a bit hard to follow the description there.There are four different options available to the PQ_FILTER hint, and only two of them actually describe a distribution method.

Parallel Projection

A recent case at a client reminded me of something that isn't really new but not so well known - Oracle by default performs evaluation at the latest possible point in the execution plan.So if you happen to have expressions in the projection of a simple SQL statement that runs parallel it might be counter-intuitive that by default Oracle won't evaluate the projection in the Parallel Slaves but in the Query Coordinator - even if it was technically possible - because the latest possible point is the SELECT operation with the ID = 0 of the plan, which is always performed by the Query Coordinator.Of course, if you make use of expressions that can't be evaluated in parallel or aren't implemented for parallel evaluation, then there is no other choice than doing this in the Query Coordinator.The specific case in question was a generic expo