Carlos Sierra's Tools and Tips

Tools and Tips for Oracle Performance and SQL Tuning

Archive for the ‘Tools’ Category

Smart Scans efficiency chart for Oracle Engineered Systems

with one comment

If you manage an Oracle Engineered System you may wonder how well your Smart Scans are performing. Are you taking full advantage of Exadata Optimizations? If so, how do you measure them?

Uwe Hesse explains well some important statistics on Exadata. For some time now, eDB360 includes a report on Smart Scan efficiency, which is nothing but a Google Chart on top of relevant statistics.

Sample chart below is from a data warehouse DW application. It shows in blue that bytes eligible for offloading are around 95%, which denote a large amount of desired full scans. We see in red that between 80 and 95% of the expected I/O did not hit the network, i.e. it was saved (incorrectly referred as IO Saved since what is saved is the network traffic). And in yellow we see between 30 and 45% of the IO was entirely avoided due to Storage Indexes. So, with 80-95% of the expected data not going through the network and 30-45% of IO entirely eliminated, I could conclude that Exadata Optimizations are well applied on this DW.

screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-7-06-14-am

If you have SQL*Plus access to an Engineered System, and want to produce a chart like this, simply download and execute free tool eDB360. This tool installs nothing on your database!

Written by Carlos Sierra

November 8, 2016 at 10:26 am

Posted in edb360, Exadata, Tools

How to configure eDB360?

leave a comment »

eDB360 has two execution parameters. The first one specifies if the database is licensed to use the Tuning or Diagnostics packs (or none). The second parameter is optional, and if entered it specifies the name of a custom configuration file that allows to change the behavior of eDB360. With this optional configuration file you can make changes such as: reduce the scope of the output to maybe a single column, a section, or even a range of sections. You can also change the time window from the default (last 31 days) to a larger window (if your AWR retention period allows) or smaller window. You can also specify a particular range of dates, or include additional report formats such as text, csv or xml.

If you are an experienced user of eDB360, you may want then to familiarize yourself with the configuration file sql/edb360_00_config.sql (listed below) and the sample custom configuration file provided (sql/custom_config_01.sql). Then you may want to assembly your own configuration file as a subset of the DEF values from sql/edb360_00_config.sql, and provide the name of your custom configuration script as the second execution parameter for eDB360. Your configuration file should reside under edb360-master/sql and the filename is case sensitive.

-- edb360 configuration file. for those cases where you must change edb360 functionality

/*************************** ok to modify (if really needed) ****************************/

-- section to report. null means all (default)
-- report column, or section, or range of columns or range of sections i.e. 3, 3-4, 3a, 3a-4c, 3-4c, 3c-4
DEF edb360_sections = '';

-- edb360 trace
DEF sql_trace_level = '1';

-- history days (default 31)
DEF edb360_conf_days = '31';

-- range of dates below superceed history days when values are other than YYYY-MM-DD
DEF edb360_conf_date_from = 'YYYY-MM-DD';
DEF edb360_conf_date_to = 'YYYY-MM-DD';

-- working hours are defined between these two HH24MM values (i.e. 7:30AM and 7:30PM)
DEF edb360_conf_work_time_from = '0730';
DEF edb360_conf_work_time_to = '1930';

-- working days are defined between 1 (Sunday) and 7 (Saturday) (default Mon-Fri)
DEF edb360_conf_work_day_from = '2';
DEF edb360_conf_work_day_to = '6';

-- maximum time in hours to allow edb360 to execute (default 24 hrs)
DEF edb360_conf_max_hours = '24';

-- include GV$ACTIVE_SESSION_HISTORY (default N)
DEF edb360_conf_incl_ash_mem = 'N';

-- include GV$SQL_MONITOR (default N)
DEF edb360_conf_incl_sql_mon = 'N';

-- include GV$SYSSTAT (default Y)
DEF edb360_conf_incl_stat_mem = 'Y';

-- include GV$PX and GV$PQ (default Y)
DEF edb360_conf_incl_px_mem = 'Y';

-- include DBA_SEGMENTS on queries with no filter on segment_name (default Y)
-- note: some releases of Oracle produce suboptimal plans when no segment_name is passed
DEF edb360_conf_incl_segments = 'Y';

-- include DBMS_METADATA calls (default Y)
-- note: some releases of Oracle take very long to generate metadata
DEF edb360_conf_incl_metadata = 'Y';

/**************************** not recommended to modify *********************************/

-- excluding report types reduce usability while providing marginal performance gain
DEF edb360_conf_incl_html = 'Y';
DEF edb360_conf_incl_xml  = 'N';
DEF edb360_conf_incl_text = 'N';
DEF edb360_conf_incl_csv  = 'N';
DEF edb360_conf_incl_line = 'Y';
DEF edb360_conf_incl_pie  = 'Y';

-- excluding awr reports substantially reduces usability with minimal performance gain
DEF edb360_conf_incl_awr_rpt = 'Y';
DEF edb360_conf_incl_addm_rpt = 'Y';
DEF edb360_conf_incl_ash_rpt = 'Y';
DEF edb360_conf_incl_tkprof = 'Y';

-- top sql to execute further diagnostics (range 0-128)
DEF edb360_conf_top_sql = '48';
DEF edb360_conf_top_cur = '4';
DEF edb360_conf_top_sig = '4';
DEF edb360_conf_planx_top = '48';
DEF edb360_conf_sqlmon_top = '0';
DEF edb360_conf_sqlash_top = '0';
DEF edb360_conf_sqlhc_top = '0';
DEF edb360_conf_sqld360_top = '16';
DEF edb360_conf_sqld360_top_tc = '0';

/************************************ modifications *************************************/

-- If you need to modify any parameter create a new custom configuration file with a
-- subset of the DEF above, and place on same edb360-master/sql directory; then when
-- you execute edb360.sql, pass on second parameter the name of your configuration file

Written by Carlos Sierra

April 24, 2016 at 8:30 pm

Posted in edb360, Scripts, Tools

Getting DDL metadata for an application schema(s)

with one comment

Every so often I need to gain an understanding of an application represented by one or several schemas. In such cases I look at the data model if one exists, else I browse the schema objects including tables, views, pl/sql libraries and extending into synonyms, triggers, sequences, indexes, materialized views and types.

I created a free small tool that installs nothing on the database and it generates a zip file with the most common DDL metadata related to one or multiple application schemas. This free new tool is meta360 and can be found on the right margin of my blog. To use it you just need to download and unzip it into your server, then navigate to main meta360-master directory and connecting as a user with access to DBMS_METADATA for the schema(s) you want to extract, execute one of these four scripts below. All parameters are case sensitive. A tool configuration file and a readme.txt are included.

  1. SQL> @sql/get_top_N_schemas.sql
  2. SQL> @sql/get_schema.sql <SCHEMA>
  3. SQL> @sql/get_table.sql <SCHEMA> <TABLE_NAME>
  4. SQL> @sql/get_object.sql <SCHEMA> <OBJECT_NAME> <OBJECT_TYPE>

Written by Carlos Sierra

March 20, 2016 at 7:31 pm

Posted in Scripts, Tools

SQL Monitoring without MONITOR Hint

leave a comment »

I recently got this question:

<<<Is there a way that I can generate SQL MONITORING report for a particular SQL_ID ( This SQL is generated from application code so I can’t add “MONITOR”  hint) from command prompt ? If yes can you please help me through this ?>>>

Since this question is of general interest, I’d rather respond here:

As you know, SQL Monitoring starts automatically on a SQL that executes a PX plan, or when its Serial execution has consumed over 5 seconds on CPU or I/O.

If you want to force SQL Monitoring on a SQL statement, without modifying the SQL text itself, I suggest you create a SQL Patch for it. But before you do, please be aware that SQL Monitoring requires the Oracle Tuning Pack.

How to turn on SQL Monitoring for a SQL that executes Serial, takes less than 5 seconds, and without modifying the application that issues such SQL

Use SQL Patch with the MONITOR Hint. An easy way to do that is by using the free sqlpch.sql script provided as part of the cscripts (see right-hand side of this blog under Downloads).

To use sqlpch.sql script, pass as parameter #1 your SQL_ID and for parameter #2 pass “GATHER_PLAN_STATISTICS MONITOR” (without the double quotes).

This sqlpch.sql script will create a SQL Patch for your SQL, which will produce SQL Monitoring (and the collection of A-Rows) for every execution of your SQL.

Be aware there is some overhead involved, so after you are done with your analysis drop the SQL Patch.

Script sqlpch.sql shows the name of the SQL Patch it creates (look at its spool file), and it gives you the command to drop such SQL Patch.

For the actual analysis and diagnostics of your SQL (after you have executed it with SQL Patch in place) use free tool SQLd360.

And for more details about sqlpch.sql and other uses of this script please refer to this entry on my blog.

Written by Carlos Sierra

February 29, 2016 at 10:16 am

Forcing a “Nested Loop only” Execution Plan

with 5 comments

Sometimes you do what you have to do. So here I confess doing something I usually avoid: forcing an Execution Plan (which is not the same as using a more conventional method for Plan stability).

This is a case on 11.2.0.3.0 base release where the application vendor sets the optimizer to 9i, and tweaks other CBO parameters in questionable ways, then some queries produce suboptimal plans (as expected); and you are called to help without changing the obvious.

There is a family of queries from an ad-hoc query generator that permits users to issue queries without a set of selective predicates. These queries join several large tables and their performance is poor (as expected as well!). On top of the previous, all these queries include the /*+ FIRST_ROWS */ CBO Hint and the questionable DISTINCT keyword. Note: it is quite common for developers to throw a DISTINCT keyword “to avoid duplicates” where the mere existence of duplicates would be an indication of an application bug; so “why fix it if I can hide it, right?”.

There is one caveat although: these queries include a generic predicate “rownum <= :b1”, and value passed defaults to 5000, so users rationale is “if I only want the first X rows my query should return fast”. This highlights still another questionable practice since it is hard to imagine a user scrolling 5000 rows and making any sense of such large set, especially when the full “filtered” set would be several million rows long. So the original problem is questionable in several ways. Nevertheless, sometimes we are called to help besides providing advice. And no, we are not allowed to slap hands 😉

The good news is that we can use this extra predicate on rownum and make these queries to return the first X rows really fast; and I mean less than 5 seconds instead of over one hour or more! And if users want not 5000 but 500 or even 50 rows, then we can be in the sub-second range!

You may be thinking FIRST_ROWS optimization, and that was my first try. Unfortunately, on 11.2.0.3.0, even reversing all the suboptimal CBO parameters at the session level, I would consistently get an Execution Plan with a few Hash Joins and a large Cost; and if I were to force a Nested Loop Plan, the cost would be several orders of magnitude larger so the CBO would not pick it! Nevertheless, such a “Nest Loop only” Execution Plan would fulfill the user’s expectations, regardless the validity of the initial request. And yes, CBO statistics are OK, not perfect but simply OK. One more piece of info: this is not Exadata! (if it were Exadata most probably these same Execution Plans with full table scans and Hash Joins would simply fly!).

So, my issue became: How do I force an Execution Plan that only contains Nested Loops? If I could do that, then the COUNT STOP operation could help me to halt my SQL execution once I fetched the first X rows (Hash Join does not allow me do that). Remember: these tables have literally millions of rows. I could pepper these queries with a ton of CBO Hints and I would get my desired “Nested Loop only” Execution Plan… But that would be a lot of work and tricky at best.

SQL Patch to the rescue

I could had used a SQL Profile, but I think this dirty trick of suppressing Hash Joins and Sort Merge Joins, would be better served with a SQL Patch. I also thought Siebel: They do tweak CBO parameters as well, and they suppress Hash Joins, but they change System and Session level parameters… Since I wanted my change to be very localized, SQL Patch could provide me just what I needed.

Under the Downloads section on the margin of this page, there is a “cscripts” link that includes the sqlpch.sql script. I used this script and passed as the second parameter the following string (1st parameter is SQL_ID). With a SQL Patch generated this way, I could systematically produce a “Nested-Loops only” Execution Plan for these few queries. I did not have to change the original SQL, nor change the CBO environment at the System or Session level, neither restrict the query generator, and I did not had to “educate” the users to avoid such unbounded queries.

OPT_PARAM("_optimizer_sortmerge_join_enabled" "FALSE") OPT_PARAM("_hash_join_enabled" "FALSE")

Conclusion

I have to concede doing something questionable, in this case using a SQL Patch to force a desired Execution Plan instead of fixing the obvious, simply because that was the shortest path to alleviate the user’s pain.

I consider this technique above a temporary work-around and not a solution to the actual issue. In this case the right way to handle this issue would be:

  1. Have the application vendor certify their application to the latest release of the database and reset all CBO related parameters, plus
  2. Have the application vendor remove CBO Hints and DISTINCT keyword from queries, plus
  3. Configure the ad-hoc query generator to restrict users from executing queries without selective predicates, then
  4. Tune those outlier queries that may still need some work to perform as per business requirements, and possibly
  5. Educate the users to provide as many selective predicates as possible

Anyways, the potential of using a SQL Patch to tweak an Execution Plan in mysterious ways is quite powerful, and something we may want to keep in the back of our minds for a rainy day…

Written by Carlos Sierra

August 8, 2015 at 8:30 am

edb360 taking a long time

with 2 comments

In most cases edb360 takes less than 1hr to execute. But I often hear of cases where it takes a lot longer than that. In a corner case it was taking several days and it had to be killed.

So the question is WHY edb360 takes that long?

Well, edb360 executes thousands of SQL statements sequentially (intentionally). Many of these queries read data from AWR and in particular from ASH. So, lets say your ASH historical table has 2B rows, and on top of that you have not gathered statistics on AWR tables in years, thus CBO under-estimates cardinality and tends to use index access and nested loops. In such extreme cases you may end up with suboptimal execution plans that expect to return a few rows, but actually read a couple of billion rows using index access operations and nested loops. A query like this may take hours to complete!

As of version v1515, edb360 has a shortcut algorithm that ends an execution after 8 hours. So you may get an incomplete output, but it ends normally and the partial output can actually be used. This is not a solution but a workaround for those long executions.

How to troubleshoot edb360 taking long?

Steps:

1. Review files 00002_edb360_dbname_log.txt, 00003_edb360_dbname_log2.txt, 00004_edb360_dbname_log3.txt and 00005_edb360_dbname_tkprof_sort.txt. First log shows the state of the statistics for AWR Tables. If stats are old then gather them fresh with script edb360/sql/gather_stats_wr_sys.sql

2. If number of rows on WRH$_ACTIVE_SESSION_HISTORY as per 00002_edb360_dbname_log.txt is several millions, then you may not be purging data periodically. There are some known bugs and some blog posts on this regard. Review MOS 387914.1 and proceed accordingly. Execute query below to validate ASH age:

SELECT TRUNC(sample_time, 'MM'), COUNT(*)
  FROM dba_hist_active_sess_history
 GROUP BY TRUNC(sample_time, 'MM')
 ORDER BY TRUNC(sample_time, 'MM')
 /

3. If edb360 version (first line on its readme) is older than 1 month, download and use latest version: https://github.com/carlos-sierra/edb360/archive/master.zip (link is also provided on the right-hand side of this blog under downloads).

4. Consider suppressing text and or csv reports. Each for an estimated gain of about 20%. Keep in mind that when suppressing reports, you start loosing some functionality. To suppress lets say text and csv reports, place the following two commands at the end of script edb360/sql/edb360_00_config.sql

DEF edb360_conf_incl_text = ‘N’;
DEF edb360_conf_incl_csv = ‘N’;

5. If after going through steps 1-4 above, edb360 still takes longer than a few hours, feel free to email author carlos.sierra.usa@gmail.com and provide 4 files from step 1.

Written by Carlos Sierra

May 6, 2015 at 8:19 pm

SQLTXPLAIN under new administration

with 3 comments

During my 17 years at Oracle, I developed several tools and scripts. The largest and more widely used is SQLTXPLAIN. It is available through My Oracle Support (MOS) under document_id 215187.1.

SQLTXPLAIN, also know as SQLT, is a tool for SQL diagnostics, including Performance and Wrong Results. I am the original developer and author, but since very early stages of its development, this tool encapsulates the expertise of many bright engineers, DBAs, developers and others, who constantly helped to improve this tool on every new release by providing valuable feedback. SQLT is then nothing but the collection of many good ideas from many people. I was just the lucky guy that decided to build something useful for the Oracle SQL tuning community.

When I decided to join Enkitec back on 2013, I asked Mauro Pagano to look after my baby (I mean SQLT), and sure enough he did an excellent job. Mauro fixed most of my bugs, as he jokes about, and also incorporated some of his own :-). Mauro kept SQLT in good shape and he was able to continue improving it on every new release. Now Mauro also works for Enkitec, so SQLT has a new owner and custodian at Oracle.

Abel Macias is the new owner of SQLT, and as such he gets busy maintaining and enhancing this tool among other duties at Oracle. So, if you have enhancement requests, or positive feedback, please reach out to Abel at his Oracle account: abel.macias@oracle.com. If you come across some of my other tools and scripts, and they show my former Oracle account (carlos.sierra@oracle.com), please reach out to Abel and he might be able to route your concern or question.

Since one of my hobbies is to build free software that I also consume, my current efforts are on eDB360, eAdam and eSP. The most popular and openly available is eDB360, which basically gives your a 360-degree view of a database without installing anything. Then, Mauro is also building something cool on his own free time. Mauro is building the new SQLd360 tool, which is already available on the web (search for SQLd360). This SQLd360 tool, similar to eDB360, provides a 360-degree view, but instead of a database its focus is one SQL. And similarly than eDB360 it installs nothing on the database. Both are available as “free software” for anyone to download and use. That is the nice part: everyone likes free! (specially if any good).

What is the difference between SQLd360 and SQLT?

Both are exceptional tools. And both can be used for SQL Tuning and for SQL diagnostics. The main differences in my opinion are these:

  1. SQLT has it all. It is huge and it covers pretty much all corners. So, for SQL Tuning this SQLTXPLAIN is “THE” tool.
  2. SQLd360 in the other hand is smaller, newer and faster to execute. It gives me what is more important and most commonly used.
  3. SQLT requires to install a couple of schemas and hundreds of objects. SQLd360 installs nothing!
  4. To download SQLT you need to login into MOS. In contrast, SQLd360 is wide open (free software license), and no login is needed.
  5. Oracle Support requires SQLT, and Oracle Engineers are not exposed yet to SQLd360.
  6. SQLd360 uses Google charts (as well as eDB360 does) which enhance readability of large data sets, like time series for example. Thus SQLd360 output is quite readable.
  7. eDB360 calls SQLd360 on SQL of interest (large database consumers), so in that sense SQLd360 enhances eDB360. But SQLd360 can also be used stand-alone.

If you ask me which one would I recommend, I would answer: both!. If you can use both, then that is better than using just one. Each of these two tools (SQLT and SQLd360) has pros and cons compared to the other. But at the end both are great tools. And thanks to Abel Macias, SQLT continues its lifecycle with frequent enhancements. And thanks to Mauro, we have now a new kid on the block! I would say we have a win-win for our large Oracle community!

Written by Carlos Sierra

March 18, 2015 at 12:37 pm