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Exadata Introduction to Zone Maps Part II (Changes)

In Part I, I discussed how Zone Maps are new index like structures, similar to Exadata Storage Indexes, that enables the “pruning” of disk blocks during accesses of the table by storing the min and max values of selected columns for each “zone” of a table. A Zone being a range of contiguous (8M) blocks. I […]

Oaktable World 2014 Jonathan Lewis: Breaking Exadata

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Exadata and Virtual Private Database: will it offload my query?

During one of the classes I taught about Exadata optimisations I had an interesting question:

If I am using VPD, will Exadata still offload the query?

Background is that we discussed function offloading, and the meta-view v$sqlfn_metadata. It turned out that SYS_CONTEXT() is not offloadable in

About index range scans, disk re-reads and how your new car can go 600 miles per hour!

Despite the title, this is actually a technical post about Oracle, disk I/O and Exadata & Oracle In-Memory Database Option performance. Read on :)

If a car dealer tells you that this fancy new car on display goes 10 times (or 100 or 1000) faster than any of your previous ones, then either the salesman is lying or this new car is doing something radically different from all the old ones. You don’t just get orders of magnitude performance improvements by making small changes.

Perhaps the car bends space around it instead of moving – or perhaps it has a jet engine built on it (like the one below :-) :

Intra-Database IORM in action

I have been teaching the Enkitec Exadata Administration Class this week and made an interesting observation I thought was worth sharing with regards to IO Resource Management on Exadata.

I have created a Database Resource Manager (DBRM) Plan that specifically puts a resource consumer group to a disadvantage. Actually, quite severely so but the following shouldn’t be a realistic example in the first place: I wanted to prove a point. Hang-on I hear you say: you created a DBRM plan-the post has IORM in the subject though: what gives? Please allow me to explain.

Exadata offers 3 different ways to implement IORM to the keen engineer:

Oracle IO wait events: db file sequential read

(the details are investigated and specific to Oracle’s database implementation on Linux x86_64)

Exadata IO: This event is not used with Exadata storage, ‘cell single block physical read’ is used instead.
p1: file#
p2: block#
p3: blocks

Despite p3 listing the number of blocks, I haven’t seen a db file sequential read event that read more than one block ever. Of course this could change in a newer release.

Exadata Zone Maps

Just a quick post on a new Exadata feature called Zone Maps. They’re similar to storage indexes on Exadata, but with more control (you can define the columns and how the data is refreshed for example). People have complained for years that storage indexes provided no control mechanisms, but now we have a way to exert our God given rights as DBA’s to control yet another aspect of the database. Here’s a link to the documentation which resides in the Data Warehousing Guide: Zone Map Documentation

Zone Maps are restricted to Exadata storage by the way (well probably they work on ZFS and Pillar too). Have a look at the Oracle error messages file:

Why Write-Through is still the default Flash Cache Mode on #Exadata X-4

The Flash Cache Mode still defaults to Write-Through on Exadata X-4 because most customers are better suited that way – not because Write-Back is buggy or unreliable. Chances are that Write-Back is not required, so we just save Flash capacity that way. So when you see this

Exadata storage indexes and DML

Last week I’ve gotten a question on how storage indexes (SI) behave when the table for which the SI is holding data is changed. Based on logical reasoning, it can be two things: the SI is invalidated because the data it’s holding is changed, or the SI is updated to reflect the change. Think about this for yourself, and pick a choice. I would love to hear if you did choose the correct one.

First let’s do a step back and lay some groundwork first. The tests done in this blogpost are done on an actual Exadata (V2 hardware), with Oracle version (meaning bundle patch 6). The Exadata “cellos” (Cell O/S) version is on both the compute nodes and the storage nodes.