Today, while tuning a fairly complex query experiencing wrong cardinality estimates, I noticed something I was not aware of. Hence, I thought to write this short post to illustrate how to reproduce the problem I experienced…
A new version of the XPLAN_ASH tool (detailed analysis of a single SQL statement execution) is available for download. The previous post includes links to video tutorials explaining what the tool is about.
The new version comes with numerous improvements and new features. The most important ones are:
When the optimizer has to estimate the data volume (the BYTES column in the plan output), it usually bases this information on the column statistics, if applicable and available (think of complex expressions).However, whenever there is a VIEW operator in an execution plan, that represents an unmerged view, the optimizer obviously "loses" this information and starts applying defaults that are based on the column definition.Depending on the actual content of the columns this can lead to dramatic differences in data volume estimates.Both, under- and overestimates are possible, because for character based columns these defaults seem to be based on an assumed 50% fill grade, so a VARCHAR2(100 BYTE) column counts as 50 bytes data volume.For multi-byte character sets the same rule applies based on the maximum width of a column using the "char" semantics, so a VARCHAR2(1000 CHAR) column counts as 2000 byte
The aim of this post isn’t to explain what the “exadata mode” is. Hence, if you don’t know what it is, before continuing reading have a look to this post published on Kerry Osborne’s blog. The only thing I would like to add is that the “exadata mode” is available as of 126.96.36.199 or when a patch implementing the enhancement associated to bug 10248538 is installed.
The key information I would like to share with you is that, in some situations, gathering system statistics in “exadata mode” is pointless. Let me explain why… But, before doing so, it’s important to review how the query optimizer computes the cost of full scans.
The key formula used by the query optimizer to compute the I/O cost of a full scan is the following:
io_cost = ceil ( blocks / mbrc * mreadtim / sreadtim ) + 1
The values provided by the “parse count (total)” and “session cursor cache hits” statistics are subject to several bugs. And, what’s worse, for years Oracle didn’t care to fix it. This is my impression, at least.
Then, when few weeks ago I read in the Oracle Support note 13837105.8 (Bug 13837105 – statistics “parse count (total)” and “session cursor cache hits” miscounted) that the bug introduced in 188.8.131.52 was fixed, I hoped that others bugs in this area were fixed as well.
Unfortunately, it’s not the case. What a disappointment!
The TIMESTAMP WITH TIME ZONE data type that got introduced a long time ago is known for some oddities, for example Tony Hasler has a nice summary of some of them here.Here is another oddity that shows up when trying to aggregate on such a data type. Have a look at the following simple example:
create table t
rownum as id
, date '2000-01-01' + rownum - 1 as some_date
, cast(date '2000-01-01' + rownum - 1 as timestamp) as some_timestamp
, cast(date '2000-01-01' + rownum - 1 as timestamp with local time zone) as some_timestamp_with_local_tz
, cast(date '2000-01-01' + rownum - 1 as timestamp with time zone) as some_timestamp_with_timezone
This is a short post about a strange behavior I discovered today…
The fact is that it is not really possible to use the named notation with the SEM_MATCH table function. In fact, even though the parameter’s names can be specified, the order of the parameters overrides the specification done with the named notation!?!
Here is an example:
A new major release (version 3.0) of my XPLAN_ASH tool is available for download.
In addition to many changes to the way the information is presented and many other smaller changes to functionality there is one major new feature: XPLAN_ASH now also supports S-ASH, the free ASH implementation.
If you run XPLAN_ASH in a S-ASH repository owner schema, it will automatically detect that and adjust accordingly.
XPLAN_ASH was tested against the latest stable version of S-ASH (2.3). There are some minor changes required to that S-ASH release in order to function properly with XPLAN_ASH. Most of them will be included in the next S-ASH release as they really are only minor and don't influence the general S-ASH functionality at all.
When using Locally Managed Tablespaces (LMT) with variable, system managed extent sizes (AUTOALLOCATE) and data files residing in ASM the Allocation Unit (AU) size can make a significant difference to the algorithm that searches for free extents.The corresponding free extent search algorithm when searching for free extents >= the AU size seems to only search for free extents on AU boundaries in order to avoid I/O splitting.Furthermore the algorithm seems to use two extent sizes when searching for free extents: A "desired" (for example 8MB) and a "minimum acceptable" (for example 1MB) extent size - however when performing the search the "desired" size seems to be relevant when limiting the search to free extents on AU boundaries.This can lead to some surprising side effects, in particular when using 4MB AUs.It effectively means that although you might have plenty o