internals

A New Learning, IMU & Private Redo Strand….

There are very few things that I know but there are tons of things which I don’t know. I came across one more such thing like this few days ago when this question (http://forums.oracle.com/forums/thread.jspa?messageID=2713561&#2713561 came over OTN. Interestingly, what the OP mentioned was indeed true and I was not having a clue what’s going on. Like most of the times, JL had an answer to the puzzle and he gave a lead. This blog post is not about any “new” invention that I have done. Its merely a collection of my understanding about a new mechanism in >10g SGAs. So with this note ,let’s get the party started.

Dirty Buffers & Redo Log Buffer

In Oracle buffer cache, buffers stay in multiple states. When a buffer is not changed and is just available for use, it’s a clean buffer. When the buffer encounters a change, the buffer status is marked as Dirty buffer. This status is used by Oracle to provide read-consistancy for the other users who would access the same buffer but when the transaction is alive. In simple terms, a dirty buffer is that one who got an image in it which is not the one when it was brought into the cache. Oracle maintains for this dirty buffer, CR(consistent read) buffers aka snapshot blocks which provide read conistancy for the others.

The change vectors for this buffer are also logged in the redo log buffer before they get applied to the actual buffers(write ahead logging) , using which Oracle maintains this assurance that no matter what, if we have the data in the log buffer, its safe. The data in the log buffer is written by LGWR to the redo log files. Once there, its permanently saved and hence protected against any crash.

In order to log changes in the log buffer, oracle typically follows this process

1)      A calculation is done that how much space would be needed in the log buffer.

2)      Server process acquires Redo Copy Latch. This is used for making the announcement that some redo will be copied into the log buffer.

3)       Acquires Redo Allocation Latch. This is the actual latch which will allocate the space in the log buffer.

4)       Redo Allocation Latch is released after the space is acquired in the log buffer.

5)      Redo copy latch is used to copy the redo change vectors in the log buffers.

6)      Redo copy latch is released.

After the copy is copy is complete and applying them over the buffers in the buffer cache, depending upon various conditions, LGWR may start writing the contents into the log files. How many latches we have got have at the moment for our database can be seen from V$latch_childeren. Here is an output from my 11gr1 machine.

 1  select latch#,child#,name from V$latch_children

  2* where name like ‘%redo%’ order by 1,2

SQL> /

 

 

    LATCH#     CHILD# NAME

———- ———- —————————————————————-

       169          1 redo copy

       169          2 redo copy

       169          3 redo copy

       169          4 redo copy

       170          1 redo allocation

       170          2 redo allocation

       170          3 redo allocation

       170          4 redo allocation

       170          5 redo allocation

       170          6 redo allocation

       170          7 redo allocation

       170          8 redo allocation

       170          9 redo allocation

       170         10 redo allocation

       170         11 redo allocation

       170         12 redo allocation

       170         13 redo allocation

       170         14 redo allocation

       170         15 redo allocation

       170         16 redo allocation

       170         17 redo allocation

       170         18 redo allocation

       170         19 redo allocation

       170         20 redo allocation

 

24 rows selected.

With heavy processing, lots of redo being generated, there may be a contention over the redo allocation latches. So for this purpose, there was a parameter Log_parallelism( http://download.oracle.com/docs/cd/B10501_01/server.920/a96536/ch1105.htm#REFRN10099) in 9i which could be used to make the redo generation go more faster.  This would separate the log buffer into further small buffers. This parameter is only till 9i and from 10.1 onwards its deprecated(http://download.oracle.com/docs/cd/B28359_01/server.111/b28300/changes.htm#UPGRD12575) as in 10g, the mechanism is changed ( and is the actual topic of this post) which handles the excessive redo workload.

So the moral of the story so far comes up is that when we change some thing in the buffer cache, the change is protected in the log buffer. To do this two latches are majorly used. The changes in the log buffer are protected in the physical log files by LGWR.

You must be thinking that that is this the replica of docs or what? Well certainly, it’s the basics and I thought before I forget all this, I must write it down and this talks about the terms which will be coming up a little later in the post. So chill J. Told you its not any new invention but collection ;-) .

What’s Wrong With All This

Well actually nothing much. This is some this which is happening since the inception of Oracle I believe. Some things came and go but in nutshell things remained the same. This allocation of latches and other stuff did prove to be fine but as they all good things come to an end, this also needed some modifications. As with the workloads being more heavy and with much bigger databases and higher transaction rates, it becomes too tough to manage the redo allocations using latches. Clearly for the reasons that are well documented in PT guide that with lots of redo, the latches required to copy the redo data in the log buffer come under contention and so does the LGWR process too. There is a workaround to invoke multiple slaves for LGWR for heavy systems but that too is not some thing which is not recommended as long as not fully benchmarked. Surely there are tons of guidelines that are there for users in order to make transactions small, have a good media where redo can stay and so on but they can be applied to a certain level. So there was a need for things to be modified from the grass root level and that’s what happened in 10g(10.1) onwards.

A Strange Output

With the Dirty Buffers discussion given above, you must be clear about the idea about them. So here is small table creation and modification and we would see some dirty buffers getting created,

SQL> select * from V$version;

 

BANNER

——————————————————————————–

Oracle Database 11g Enterprise Edition Release 11.1.0.6.0 – Production

PL/SQL Release 11.1.0.6.0 – Production

CORE    11.1.0.6.0      Production

TNS for 32-bit Windows: Version 11.1.0.6.0 – Production

NLSRTL Version 11.1.0.6.0 – Production

 

SQL> alter system flush buffer_cache;

 

System altered.

 

SQL> create table t(a number)

  2  /

 

Table created.

 

SQL> SELECT b.status, object_name, object_type, dirty “Dirty” FROM v$bh b, dba_objects o

  2  WHERE b.objd = o.data_object_id AND o.owner = ‘AMAN’ and object_name=’T’;

 

STATUS     OBJECT_NAME

———- ———————————————————————————–

———

OBJECT_TYPE         D

——————- –

xcur       T

TABLE               Y

 

xcur       T

TABLE               Y

 

xcur       T

TABLE               Y

 

 

SQL> insert into t values(1);

 

1 row created.

 

SQL> SELECT b.status, object_name, object_type, dirty “Dirty” FROM v$bh b, dba_objects o

  2  WHERE b.objd = o.data_object_id AND o.owner = ‘AMAN’ and object_name=’T’;

 

STATUS     OBJECT_NAME

———- ———————————————————————————–

———

OBJECT_TYPE         D

——————- –

xcur       T

TABLE               Y

 

xcur       T

TABLE               N

 

xcur       T

TABLE               N

 

xcur       T

TABLE               Y

 

xcur       T

TABLE               N

 

xcur       T

TABLE               Y

 

xcur       T

TABLE               N

 

xcur       T

TABLE               N

 

 

8 rows selected.

 

SQL>

SQL> commit;

 

Commit complete.

 

SQL> SELECT b.status, object_name, object_type, dirty “Dirty” FROM v$bh b, dba_objects o

  2  WHERE b.objd = o.data_object_id AND o.owner = ‘AMAN’ and object_name=’T’;

 

STATUS     OBJECT_NAME

———- —————————————————————————–

———

OBJECT_TYPE         D

——————- –

xcur       T

TABLE               Y

 

xcur       T

TABLE               Y

 

xcur       T

TABLE               Y

 

xcur       T

TABLE               Y

 

xcur       T

TABLE               Y

 

xcur       T

TABLE               Y

 

xcur       T

TABLE               Y

 

xcur       T

TABLE               Y

 

 

8 rows selected.

 

SQL>

Well if you have seen the output with a little care, you must have seen that even when we have given the dmp(insert in this case) there were no buffers which were marked dirty. Oracle did acquire some buffers to keep our changes but they were not marked dirty.  But when we issued commit, all the buffers were marked dirty. Why so?

The New SGA Of IMU/ Private Redo Strands

Due to the reasons mentioned above for the allocation and redo latch contentions, from 10.1 onwards, Oracle has introduced private redo allocation areas and In memory Undo.

IMU(In Memory Undo)

With the same reason that Oracle needs to protect redo, it also has to protect Undo to make sure that the block’s old contents are also saved. This would require an access to the blocks and than later on change the transaction table to make the changes logged. The transaction records can be seen from V$transaction. In order to access undo segment header blocks directly, we can also check X$KTUXE and for the base table of V$transaction, X$KTCXB can be used. From oracle 10g onwards, Oracle does use the Undo blocks but makes them available in private memory areas which are specifically created in the Shared Pool. Each pool is containing Undo data of a  transaction. Undo data is updated into the segment header but not into the undo blocks. For maintaining them, in the shared pool , memory areas are configured which are used to protect the undo that is coming up. These are controlled by two parameters _in_memory_undo and _imu_pools. Both can be seen from the base tables x$ksppi and x$ksppcv2

SQL> l

  1  select  KSPFTCTXDVL,kspftctxdf,ksppinm

  2  from x$ksppcv2 a,x$ksppi b

  3* where a.indx=b.indx and b.ksppinm like ‘%imu%’

SQL> column KSPFTCTXDVL format a10

SQL> /

 

KSPFTCTXDV KSPFTC KSPPINM

———- —— —————————————————

2          TRUE   _simulator_upper_bound_multiple

16         TRUE   _simulator_pin_inval_maxcnt

10240      TRUE   _simulator_lru_rebalance_thresh

5          TRUE   _simulator_lru_rebalance_sizthr

8192       TRUE   _simulator_bucket_mindelta

8          TRUE   _simulator_lru_scan_count

10         TRUE   _simulator_internal_bound

1024       TRUE   _simulator_reserved_obj_count

4096       TRUE   _simulator_reserved_heap_count

2          TRUE   _simulator_sampling_factor

0          TRUE   _simulate_mem_transfer

0          TRUE   _db_writer_flush_imu

0          TRUE   _minimum_giga_scn

1800       TRUE   _log_simultaneous_copies

d:\oracle\ FALSE  _allow_error_simulation

flash_reco

very_area

 

SLFLUSH    TRUE   _gc_policy_minimum

FALSE      TRUE   _gc_maximum_bids

TRUE       TRUE   _minimum_db_flashback_retention

600        TRUE   _recursive_imu_transactions

TRUE       TRUE   _smu_error_simulation_site

TRUE       TRUE   _smu_error_simulation_type

0          TRUE   _imu_pools

10         TRUE   _minimum_blocks_to_shrink

TRUE       TRUE   _minimum_extents_to_shrink

RUN_TIME   TRUE   _plsql_minimum_cache_hit_percent

 

25 rows selected.

And

SQL> l

  1  select  KSPFTCTXDVL,kspftctxdf,KSPFTCTXVL,KSPFTCTXIS,ksppinm

  2  from x$ksppcv2 a,x$ksppi b

  3* where a.indx=b.indx and b.ksppinm like ‘%undo%’

SQL> /

 

KSPFTCTXDV KSPFTC KSPFTCTXVL KSPFTC KSPPINM

———- —— ———- —— ——————–

FALSE      TRUE   FALSE      FALSE  _gc_undo_affinity

AUTO       TRUE   AUTO       FALSE  _gc_dissolve_undo_af

                                    finity

 

TRUE       TRUE   TRUE       FALSE  _gc_initiate_undo_af

                                    finity

 

0          TRUE   0          FALSE  _gc_undo_block_disk_

                                    reads

 

           TRUE              FALSE  _undo_block_compress

                                    ion

 

           TRUE              FALSE  undo_management

           TRUE              FALSE  undo_tablespace

100        TRUE   100        FALSE  _collect_undo_stats

0          TRUE   0          FALSE  _undo_debug_mode

0          TRUE   0          FALSE  _verify_undo_quota

           TRUE              FALSE  _in_memory_undo

FALSE      TRUE   FALSE      FALSE  _undo_autotune

FALSE      TRUE   FALSE      FALSE  undo_retention

0          TRUE   0          FALSE  _undo_debug_usage

0          TRUE   0          FALSE  _smon_undo_seg_resca

                                    n_limit

 

0          TRUE   0          FALSE  _optimizer_undo_cost

                                    _change

 

TRUE       TRUE   TRUE       FALSE  _optimizer_undo_chan

                                    ges

 

 

17 rows selected.

Each pool is maintained by a latch and that is called “in memory undo latch”. They can be seen from V$latch_children

SQL> select name from V$latch_children where name like ‘%undo%’;

 

NAME

—————————————————————-

undo global data

undo global data

undo global data

In memory undo latch

In memory undo latch

In memory undo latch

In memory undo latch

In memory undo latch

In memory undo latch

In memory undo latch

In memory undo latch

In memory undo latch

In memory undo latch

In memory undo latch

In memory undo latch

In memory undo latch

In memory undo latch

In memory undo latch

In memory undo latch

In memory undo latch

In memory undo latch

 

21 rows selected.

 

 

We can see that in the shared pool, regarding Undo,there are several structures available.

SQL> select pool,name from V$sgastat  where pool=’shared pool’ and lower(name) like ‘%undo%’;

POOL         NAME

———— ————————–

shared pool  UNDO INFO SEGMENTED ARRAY

             KCB undo bitvec

             Undo Meta Data

             Auto tune undo info

             UNDO INFO

             KTI-UNDO

             UNDO INFO HASH

             UNDO STAT INFO

The IMU pools are allocated in the shared pool. The data that we change gets copied to these pools from a  latch called In memory Undo latch. We can see it here from V$latch,

SQL> select name from V$latch where name like ‘%undo%’;

 

NAME

—————————————————————-

undo global data

corrupted undo seg lock

In memory undo latch

When we modify the data, oracle doesn’t apply the data to the data blocks immediately but It allocates the data in the IMU pools in the shared pool with the help of this IMU latch. This mechanism avoids the pinning of the Undo segment header block and also to the undo data blocks which are otherwise used immediately when the transaction starts. Now they are only used when the transaction commits. The data is in the pool and from there only it gets copied to the buffer cache. As each pool is assigned to one transaction and is maintained by an individual latch, the mechanism works well to reduce the contention. I am still not clear that with a very very heavy OLTP environment, what would happen? Are the pools increased at that time or not, or some thing else happens, I am not sure.

The IMU pools are also described in the X$ktifp. The size of the pools are 65kb and can be seen as follows,

SQL> select ktifpno,ktifppsi from x$ktifp;

 

   KTIFPNO   KTIFPPSI

———- ———-

         0      65535

         1      65535

         2      65535

         3      65535

         4      65535

         5      65535

         6      65535

         7      65535

         8      65535

         9      65535

        10      65535

 

   KTIFPNO   KTIFPPSI

———- ———-

        11      65535

        12      65535

        13      65535

        14      65535

        15      65535

        16      65535

        17      65535

 

18 rows selected.

So there are 18 pools allocated and are of 65kb each in size. This undo data is “flushed” to the undo segments when the pools are full. This write happens in the batch format. There are events when the data in the IMU pools gets flushed. These events are mentioned in the base table x$ktiff. We can see the reasons here,

SQL> l

  1  select  KTIFFCAT, KTIFFFLC

  2* from  x$ktiff

SQL> /

 

KTIFFCAT                                   KTIFFFLC

—————————————- ———-

Undo pool overflow flushes                        1

Stack cv flushes                                  9

Multi-block undo flushes                          0

Max. chgs flushes                                 2

NTP flushes                                       0

Contention flushes                                9

Redo pool overflow flushes                        0

Logfile space flushes                             0

Multiple persistent buffer flushes                0

Bind time flushes                                 0

Rollback flushes                                335

Commit flushes                                 1570

Recursive txn flushes                             2

Redo only CR flushes                              0

Ditributed txn flushes                            0

Set txn use rbs flushes                           0

Bitmap state change flushes                      21

Presumed commit violation                         0

Securefile direct-write lob update flush          0

es

 

 

19 rows selected.

We can see with simple DML that data is being changed and IMU is being flushed.

In session 1, I made a table,

C:\Documents and Settings\Aman>sqlplus / as sysdba

 

SQL*Plus: Release 11.1.0.6.0 – Production on Sat Aug 30 11:42:21 2008

 

Copyright (c) 1982, 2007, Oracle.  All rights reserved.

 

 

Connected to:

Oracle Database 11g Enterprise Edition Release 11.1.0.6.0 – Production

With the Partitioning, Oracle Label Security, OLAP, Data Mining,

Oracle Database Vault and Real Application Testing options

 

SQL> create table a as select * from dba_objects;

 

Table created.

 

SQL>

 

 

And in session 2(the same session from where we saw the events),

SQL> /

 

KTIFFCAT                                   KTIFFFLC

—————————————- ———-

Undo pool overflow flushes                        1

Stack cv flushes                                  9

Multi-block undo flushes                          0

Max. chgs flushes                                 2

NTP flushes                                       0

Contention flushes                                9

Redo pool overflow flushes                        0

Logfile space flushes                             0

Multiple persistent buffer flushes                0

Bind time flushes                                 0

Rollback flushes                                338

Commit flushes                                 1592

Recursive txn flushes                             2

Redo only CR flushes                              0

Ditributed txn flushes                            0

Set txn use rbs flushes                           0

Bitmap state change flushes                      21

Presumed commit violation                         0

Securefile direct-write lob update flush          0

es

 

 

19 rows selected.

And in session 1,

SQL> select n.name, s.value from v$statname n, v$sesstat s

  2  where n.statistic# = s.statistic#

  3  and s.sid = (select sid from v$mystat where rownum = 1)

  4  and n.name in (’IMU Flushes’,’IMU commits’);

 

NAME                                                                  VALUE

—————————————————————- ———-

IMU commits                                                               0

IMU Flushes                                                               0

 

SQL>

We do some change in the data in session 1,

SQL> insert into a select * from a;

 

68864 rows created.

 

SQL> select n.name, s.value from v$statname n, v$sesstat s

  2  where n.statistic# = s.statistic#

  3  and s.sid = (select sid from v$mystat where rownum = 1)

  4  and n.name in (’IMU Flushes’,’IMU commits’);

 

NAME                                                                  VALUE

—————————————————————- ———-

IMU commits                                                               0

IMU Flushes                                                               1

And we have got a flush happened as the data generated is too much big. Lets see in session 2,

SQL> /

 

KTIFFCAT                                   KTIFFFLC

—————————————- ———-

Undo pool overflow flushes                        1

Stack cv flushes                                  9

Multi-block undo flushes                          0

Max. chgs flushes                                 2

NTP flushes                                       0

Contention flushes                                9

Redo pool overflow flushes                        1

Logfile space flushes                             0

Multiple persistent buffer flushes                0

Bind time flushes                                 0

Rollback flushes                                353

Commit flushes                                 1654

Recursive txn flushes                             2

Redo only CR flushes                              0

Ditributed txn flushes                            0

Set txn use rbs flushes                           0

Bitmap state change flushes                      21

Presumed commit violation                         0

Securefile direct-write lob update flush          0

es

 

 

19 rows selected.

After some more changes in session 1,

SQL> insert into a select * from a;

 

137728 rows created.

 

SQL> where n.statistic# = s.statistic#

SP2-0734: unknown command beginning “where n.st…” – rest of line ignored.

SQL> select n.name, s.value from v$statname n, v$sesstat s

  2  where n.statistic# = s.statistic#

  3  and s.sid = (select sid from v$mystat where rownum = 1)

  4  and n.name in (’IMU Flushes’,’IMU commits’);

 

NAME                                                                  VALUE

—————————————————————- ———-

IMU commits                                                               0

IMU Flushes                                                               1

 

SQL> commit;

 

Commit complete.

 

SQL> select n.name, s.value from v$statname n, v$sesstat s

  2  where n.statistic# = s.statistic#

  3  and s.sid = (select sid from v$mystat where rownum = 1)

  4  and n.name in (’IMU Flushes’,’IMU commits’);

 

NAME                                                                  VALUE

—————————————————————- ———-

IMU commits                                                               0

IMU Flushes                                                               1

 

SQL>

We see again session 1,

SQL>  /

 

KTIFFCAT                                   KTIFFFLC

—————————————- ———-

Undo pool overflow flushes                        1

Stack cv flushes                                  9

Multi-block undo flushes                          0

Max. chgs flushes                                 2

NTP flushes                                       0

Contention flushes                               10

Redo pool overflow flushes                        1

Logfile space flushes                             0

Multiple persistent buffer flushes                0

Bind time flushes                                 0

Rollback flushes                                359

Commit flushes                                 1688

Recursive txn flushes                             2

Redo only CR flushes                              0

Ditributed txn flushes                            0

Set txn use rbs flushes                           0

Bitmap state change flushes                      21

Presumed commit violation                         0

Securefile direct-write lob update flush          0

es

 

 

19 rows selected.

 

SQL>

This is worth to mention that the same kind of mechanism was introduced by Oracle earlier with the help of Discrete Transaction Management,http://download.oracle.com/docs/cd/B10501_01/server.920/a96524/c17trans.htm#421

But this didn’t work out too well as the DTM used to pin the data blocks during the transaction. When the transaction used to get committed than the data was written to the redo logs.  In private redo, no pinning of the data blocks is done. Hence they are much better than DTM.  DTM is obsolete now.

 

Private Redo Strands( Private Redo )

Earlier there was a single redo allocation latch available for the entire log buffer. This was a major contention point as till the time one won’t be able to pin the latch, he wont be able to write his changed redo vectors in the log buffer. From 10.1 onwards, the log buffer is broken in to smaller sub-buffers called Private Redo Strands(shown in the x$kcrfstrand). These are also allocated in the shared pool. These all are written by redo allocation latches. There are allocation latches now for each private strand. The data when changed now, doesn’t contend to go into the log buffer as like before but goes into the private redo strands and from there, it goes into the log buffer when the buffer pools become full or when the transaction is committed.  We can see the private strands shown in the shared pool from the V$sgastat

 

SQL> select name,pool from V$sgastat

  2  where name like ‘%private%’;

 

NAME                       POOL

————————– ————

private strands            shared pool

KCB private handles        shared pool

At log file switch , when the data is still is in the Private redo strands, lgwr may wait to get the flush done by DBWR. Hence the event, log file switch (private strand flush incomplete) may occur. See the doc note for it,

http://download.oracle.com/docs/cd/B19306_01/server.102/b14237/waitevents003.htm#sthref3117

This is controlled by the parameter _log_parallelism which is a dynamic and hidden parameter in 10g. The value depends on the cpu_count parameter. Oracle starts with 2 strands.

The benefit of private redo strand is also for the same reason that this would make the LGWR less busy and also the contention over the redo allocation latches will decrease.

Reference:

www.tanelpoder.com/files/Oracle_Performance_Scalability_10g_11g.pdf

Metalink note 372557.1

http://www.fortunecity.com/skyscraper/oracle/699/orahtml/hayden/discrete.html