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Tuning

SQL Gone Bad – But Plan Not Changed? – Part 2

In Part 1 of this series I talked about the basic problem, which is that plan_hash_values are not based on the whole plan. One of the main missing components is the predicates associated with a plan, but there are other missing parts as was pointed out in Part 1 of Randolf Geist’s post on the topic. At any rate, predicates seem to be the most critical of the missing parts.

The purpose of this second post on the topic is to talk about diagnosis. Basically how do you identify when some other part of a plan has changed that doesn’t affect the plan_hash_value, specifically a predicate.

Same Plan

An interesting little problem appeared on the Oracle-L mailing list earlier on this week – a query ran fairly quickly when statistics hadn’t been collected on the tables, but then ran rather slowly after stats collection even though the plan hadn’t changed, and the tkprof results were there to prove the point. Here are the two outputs (edited slightly for width – the original showed three sets of row stats, the 1st, avg and max, but since the query had only been run once the three columns showed the same results in each case):

Tuning paramon.sql

I know no one really likes the term “tuning” these days, but it’s a short catchy word that gets the idea across. So I’ll just stick with it for the title of this post.

Note that this is one of those posts that’s not really supposed to be about how to solve a particular problem. It’s really just a story about a distraction that I ran into and I how I thought about getting around the issue and then ultimately resolving the root cause. Maybe you will find it instructive to see the process.

Subpartition stats

You might have expected the following query ought to run reasonably efficiently, after all it seems to be targeted very accurately at precisely the few rows of information I’m interested in:

select
	column_name,
	avg_col_len
from
	dba_subpart_col_statistics
where
	owner             = 'TEST_USER'
and 	table_name        = 'TEST_COMP'
and	subpartition_name = 'P_MAX_D'

I’m after some subpartition column stats (so that I can work out whether a subpartition of a local index on a composite partition is roughly the right size) and I’m querying the view by the only columns that seem to be there to allow me to access the data efficiently. Unfortunately the execution plan isn’t doing what I need it to do. The following plan is coming from a small 11.2.0.3 database with up to date statistics:

Subquery Factoring

I have a small collection of postings where I’ve described anomalies or limitations in subquery factoring (the “with subquery”, or Common Table Expression (CTE) to give it the official ANSI name). Here’s another example of Oracle’s code not behaving consistently. You may recognise the basic query from yesterday’s example of logical tuning – so I won’t reprint the code to generate the data sets. This examples in this note were created on 11.2.0.2 – we start with a simple query and its execution plan:

Logical tuning

Here’s a model of a problem I solved quite recently at a client site. The client’s query was much more complex and the volume of data much larger, but this tiny, two table, example is sufficient to demonstrate the key principle. (Originally I thought I’d have to use three tables to model the problem, which is why you may find my choice of table names a little odd). I ran this example on 11.2.0.2 – which was the client version:

Not In – 2

My note on “NOT IN” subqueries is one of the most popular on my blog, staying in the top 5 hits for the last five years – but it’s getting a bit old, so it’s about time I said something new about “NOT IN” – especially since the Null Aware Anti Join has been around such a long time. The example I want to talk about is, as so often, something that came up as a problem on a customer site. Here’s a bit of SQL to model the situation, which is currently running under Oracle 11.1.0.7:

Subquery Factoring

When I wrote a note last week about the fixes to the subquery factoring optimizer code in 11.2.0.3, I finished with a comment about having more to say on the test case if I materialized the subquery. Today’s the day to talk about it. As a reminder, here’s the query, but with the /*+ materialize */ hint in place:

with subq as (
	select
	/*+ materialize */
		outer.*
	from
		emp outer
	where
		sal > 1000000
	and	outer.sal > (
			select
				avg(inner.sal)
 			from	emp inner
			where	inner.dept_no = outer.dept_no
		)
	)
select	*
from	subq
;

Here are the three plans – from 10.2.0.5, 11.1.0.7, and 11.2.0.3 respectively:

Subquery Factoring

Here’s an interesting little conundrum about subquery factoring that hasn’t changed in the recent (11.2.0.3) patch for subquery factoring. It came to me from Jared Still (a fellow member of Oak Table Network) shortly after I’d made some comments about the patch. It’s an example based on the scott/tiger schema – which I’ve extracted from the script $ORACLE_HOME/rdbms/admin/utlsampl.sql (though the relevant scripts may be demobld.sql or scott.sql, depending on version).

As usual I’ve used an 8KB block size, LMT with uniform 1MB extents, and no ASSM to hold the data. I won’t reproduce the code to generate the schema, just the versions of the query with, then without, subquery factoring:

Tuning is in the eye of the beholder… Memory is memory right?

It is human nature to draw from experiences to make sense of our surroundings.  This holds true in life and performance tuning.   A veteran systems administrator will typically tune a system different from an Oracle DBA.  This is fine, but often what is obvious to one, is not to the other.  It is sometimes necessary to take a step back to tune from another perspective.

I recently have ran across a few cases where a customer was tuning “Sorts” in the database by adding memory. Regardless of your prospective, every one knows memory is faster than disk; and the goal of any good tuner is to use as much in memory as possible.   So, when it was noticed by the systems administrator that the “TEMP” disks for Oracle were doing a tremendous amount of IO,  the answer was obvious right?