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Exadata

Oracle 12 and latches

Oracle DBAs who are so old that they remember the days before Oracle 11.2 probably remember the tuning efforts for latches. I can still recall the latch number for cache buffers chains from the top of my head: number 98. In the older days this was another number, 157.

But it seems latches have become less of a problem in the modern days of Oracle 11.2 and higher. Still, when I generate heavy concurrency I can see some latch waits. (I am talking about you and SLOB mister Closson).

I decided to look into latches on Oracle 12.1.0.2 instance on Oracle Linux 7. This might also be a good time to go through how you think they work for yourself, it might be different than you think or have been taught.

How long does a logical IO take?

This is a question that I played with for a long time. There have been statements on logical IO performance (“Logical IO is x times faster than Physical IO”), but nobody could answer the question what the actual logical IO time is. Of course you can see part of it in the system and session statistics (v$sysstat/v$sesstat), statistic name “session logical reads”. However, if you divide the number of logical reads by the total time a query took, the logical IO time is too high, because then it assumed all the time the query took was spend on doing logical IO, which obviously is not the case, because there is time spend on parsing, maybe physical IO, etc. Also, when doing that, you calculate an average. Averages are known to hide actual behaviour.

JSON support in Exadata 12.1.2.1.0 and later

Some time ago Oracle announced that RDBMS 12.1.0.2 has built-in support for JSON processing. A little later it was also mentioned that you have support for JSON in the Exadata storage servers for offloading. This is probably a lot more exciting to users of JSON than it is to me as I’m not a developer. However, whenever an announcement such as the one I’m referring to is made I would like to see for myself how much of it is implemented in software. Like I said, I’m not a developer so apologies for a silly example: what I’m showing you here can probably done differently and is not the best use of an Exadata. But all I really wanted to test is if JSON support actually exists. I am using cellsrv 12.1.2.1.0 and RDBMS 12.1.0.2.2 for this test.

JSON

Investigating the full table direct path / buffered decision.

A lot of blogposts and other internet publications have been written on the full segment scan behaviour of a serial process starting from Oracle version 11gR2. This behaviour is the Oracle engine making a decision between scanning the blocks of a segment into the Oracle buffercache or scanning these blocks into the process’ private process global area (PGA). This decision is even more important on the Exadata platform, because the Oracle engine must have made the decision to read the blocks into the process’ PGA in order to be able to do a smartscan. This means that if you are on Oracle 11gR2 already, and thinking about using the Exadata platform, the wait event ‘direct path read’ gives you an indication on how much potentially could be offloaded on Exadata, if you keep all the settings the same.

IO Resource Manager for Pluggable Databases in Exadata

Another interesting topic that goes over and above the CDB Resource Manager Plans I described earlier this week is the implementation of IORM Plans for Pluggable Databases. Pluggable Databases are an interesting object for studies, and I like to research things. When 12c came out there was no support for offloading initially, it is required that you are on cell software 12.1.x.x.x for full 12c support on Exadata. One aspect I was particularly interested in were PDBs and IORM. Limiting CPU on a PDB basis is already a cool thing, but in a hugely consolidated environment it does make sense to limit I/O based on a consumer group. Another one of the perks of working on Exadata :)

Testing 12c CDB Resource Plans and a little bit about OEM Express

Inspired by Sue Lee’s presentation at Enkitec’s E4 conference I decided to re-run my test suite to work out how you can use Database and I/O Resource Manager in Oracle 12.1.0.2.2 to help consolidating databases in the new Multi-Tenant architecture. I should point out briefly that the use of Multi-Tenant as demonstrated in this article requires you to have a license. Tuning tools shown will also require you to be appropriately licensed…

Setup

Smart Scan enhancements in Oracle Exadata 12c-inline LOBs

As part of the 12c release of the database and cellos Oracle introduced the ability to perform Smart Scans on inline LOBs. The enhancement is certainly for Secure Files only. And as always, if you would like to read up about Secure Files you can head over to Tim Hall’s website for the details.

To demonstrate the new behaviour I have used an 11.2.0.3 BP 22 database on Exadata 11.2.3.3.1 and 12.1.0.2.2 database on Exadata 12.1.2.1.0. The test case evolves around the following table:

CREATE TABLE loboffload (
 id number primary key,
 comments clob)
enable row movement 
tablespace users
lob (comments) store as securefile (
 enable storage in row
);

This is the short version, Oracle fills in the blanks and converts the table DDL to

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

Little things worth knowing: exp/imp vs expdp and impdp for HCC in Exadata

Do you know the difference between exp/imp and expdp/impdp when it comes to importing HCC compressed data in Exadata?

If not, then follow me through two examples. This is on 11.2.0.3/11.2.3.3.1 but applies to all database releases you can have on Exadata. The task at hand is to export a table (which happens to be non-partitioned and HCC compressed for query high) and import it into a different user’s schema. This is quite a common approach when migrating data from a non-Exadata system into an Exadata system. You could for example pre-create the DDL for the tables and implement HCC before even importing a single row. When importing the data, the partitions’ HCC attributes will be honoured and data will be inserted compressed. Or won’t it?

The table

Oracle Exadata Performance: Latest Improvements and Less Known Features

Here are the slides of a presentation I did at the IOUG Virtual Exadata conference in February. I’m explaining the basics of some new Oracle 12c things related to Exadata, plus current latest cellsrv improvements like Columnar Flash Cache and IO skipping for Min/Max retrieval using Storage Indexes:

Note that Christian Antognini and Roger MacNicol have written separate articles about some new features: