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Oracle database wait event ‘db file async I/O submit’ timing bug

This blogpost is a look into a bug in the wait interface that has been reported by me to Oracle a few times. I verified all versions from Oracle 11.2 version up to 18.2.0.0.180417 on Linux x86_64, in all these versions this bug is present. The bug is that the wait event ‘db file async I/O submit’ does not time anything when using ASM, only when using a filesystem, where this wait event essentially times the time the system call io_submit takes. All tests are done on Linux x86_64, Oracle Linux 7.4 with database and grid version 18.2.0.0.180417

So what?
You might have not seen this wait event before; that’s perfectly possible, because this wait event is unique to the database writer. So does this wait event matter?

Index Bouncy Scan 3

This is a follow-up to a problem I had with yesterday’s example of using recursive CTEs to “bounce” along a multi-column index to pick out the unique set of combinations of the first two columns. Part of the resulting query used a pair of aggregate scalar subqueries in a select list – and Andrew Sayer improved on my query by introducing a “cross apply” (which I simply hadn’t thought of) which the optimizer transformed into a lateral view (which I had thought of, but couldn’t get to work).

Upgrades

One of my maxims for Oracle performance is: “Don’t try to be too clever”. Apart from the obvious reason that no-one else may be able to understand how to modify your code if the requirements change at a future date, there’s always the possibility that an Oracle upgrade will mean some clever trick you implemented will simply stop working.

While searching for information about a possible Oracle bug recently I noticed the following fix control (v$system_fix_control) in 12.2.0.1:

Index Bouncy Scan 2

I wrote a note some time last year about taking advantage of the “index range scan (min/max)” operation in a PL/SQL loop to find the small number distinct values in a large single column index efficiently (for example an index that was not very efficient but existed to avoid the “foreign key locking” problem. The resulting comments included pointers to other articles that showed pure SQL solutions to the same problem using recursive CTEs (“with” subqueries) from Markus Winand and Sayan Malakshinov: both writers also show examples of extending the technique to cover more cases than the simple list of distinct values.

Filtering LOBs

A two-part question about the FILTER operation appeared on the Oracle-L list server a couple of days ago. The first part was a fairly common question – one that’s often prompted by the way the optimizer used to behave in older versions of Oracle. Paraphrased, it was: “Why is the total cost of the query so high compared to the sum of its parts?”

Here’s the query, and the execution plan.

Which Bitnami service to choose in the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure?

In the Oracle Cloud PaaS you have a marketplace where you can choose your service. Some are packaged from Bitnami and available on multiple OS. My first idea is that in PaaS you do not care about the OS. But Oracle Cloud has this very nice feature where you still have full access to the OS, as root, even in PaaS. Then, you choose the Linux distribution of your preference. Except if performance is different. They run on different Linux kernels. Is Oracle Linux Unbreakable Kernel more efficient?

We need to compare with relevant and reliable measures. And for that I’ve created a Postgres service and used Kevin Closson SLOB method, as I’m a lucky beta tester for pgio. I’ll post later about the creation of the Postgres service in the Oracle Cloud.

A re-introduction to the vagrant-builder suite for database installation

In a blogpost introducing the vagrant builder suite I explained what the suite could do, and the principal use, to automate the installation of the Oracle database software and the creation of a database on a virtual machine using vagrant together with ansible and virtual box.

This blogpost shows how to use that suite for automating the installation of the Oracle database software and the creation of a database on a linux server directly, with only the use of ansible without vagrant and virtualbox.

Show parameter

Just a quick little tip for Friday afternoon.

If you use the “show parameter” or “show spparameter” commands from SQL*Plus you’ve probably noticed that the parameter value may be too long for the defined output column, and even the parameter name may occasionally be too long. For example (from 12.2.0.1):

ADWC – System and session settings (DWCS lockdown profile)

The Autonomous Data Warehouse Cloud service is a PaaS managed service where we have a PDB and an ADMIN user which has most of the system privileges. For example, we have the privilege to change initialization parameters:
SQL> select * from dba_sys_privs where grantee=user and privilege like 'ALTER S%';
 
GRANTEE PRIVILEGE ADMIN_OPTION COMMON INHERITED
------- --------- ------------ ------ ---------
ADMIN ALTER SESSION YES NO NO
ADMIN ALTER SYSTEM YES NO NO

Still, not everything is allowed for several reasons: ensure that we cannot break the Oracle managed CDB and force us to use only the features allowed in the ‘autonomous’ service. This is limited with a lockdown profile:
SQL> show parameter pdb_lockdown
 
NAME TYPE VALUE
------------ ------ -----
pdb_lockdown string DWCS

Missing Audit

Here’s a detail I discovered a long time ago – and rediscovered very recently: it’s possible to delete data from a table which is subject to audit without the delete being audited. I think the circumstances where it would matter are a little peculiar, and I’ve rarely seen systems that use the basic Oracle audit feature anyway, but this may solve a puzzle for someone, somewhere, someday.

The anomaly appears if you create a referential integrity constraint as “on delete cascade”. A delete from the parent table will automatically (pre-)delete matching rows from the child table but the delete on the child table will not be audited. Here’s a demonstration script – note that you will need to have set the parameter audit_trail to ‘DB’ to prove the point.