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May 2015

Additional information on Oracle 12c big table caching

Teaching is on the things I like doing, and currently I am investigating the Oracle 12c features around caching data in the various memory areas. Since the In-Memory (cost) option has been discussed by other far more knowledgeable people I would like to share some findings about the big table caching here.

Some Background

In Oracle 12c you have two additional options to cache information: full database caching and big table caching. The first is great if you have a massively big machine with lots and lots of DRAM plus a clever OS that can deal with the inevitable ccNUMA setup you will have to tackle. And maybe don’t want to pay for the In-Memory option. This post is not about full database caching, but rather about the other possibility to cache blocks.

Troubleshooting Target Status Availability Issues

If you’ve been using EM12c (or any of its precursors for that matter), you’d know that it can sometimes be problematic to troubleshoot an availability issue for targets.  You can see they might be up (hopefully!), down, pending, unreachable or showing a metric collection error, but understanding what’s causing that particular status (and indeed why it can sometimes be wrong) can be difficult at times.

Parallel Query

According to the Oracle Database VLDB and Partitioning Guide (10g version and 11g version):

A SELECT statement can be executed in parallel only if the following conditions are satisfied:


Here’s a question to which I don’t know the answer, and for which I don’t think anyone is likely to need the answer; but it might be an entertaining little puzzle for thr curious.

Assume you’re doing a full tablescan against a simple heap table of no more than 255 columns (and not using RAC, Exadata, In-memory, etc. etc. etc.), and the query is something like:

select  {columns 200 to 250}
from    t1
where   column_255 = {constant}

To test the predicate Oracle has to count its way along each row column by column to find column 255. Will it:

Exadata Fast Data File Creation

This post is the result of some testing I performed on Exadata data file creation. You may know that Exadata offloading incorporates SQL optimisations as well as some infrastructure work. For quite some time Exadata allowed the DBA to create data files a lot quicker than on traditional systems. This has been documented before, for example by @mpnsh here

Parallel Execution

This is another little reference list I should have created some time ago. It covers a series of posts on interpreting parallel execution plans and understanding where the work happens.