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12c – New SQL_ID Calculation

Updated 7/7/13: Well I’m a doofus! This is not a generic problem. It is a bug but only happens when using a specific new feature I was playing with on my 12.1 database (SQL Translation Framework). No need to worry about this unless using that feature. (thanks to Stefen for pointing this out) So you probably don’t need to read this at all. The comments might be worth looking at though. :)


Shoot! SQL_ID calculation is different between 11.2 and 12.1. This is a bummer because we’ve gotten used to being able to go back and forth between versions to verify plans after upgrading to 11g for example. It was also convenient to be able to track changes in performance statistics before and after an upgrade. Fortunately there is a work around. The old_hash_value column has been carried through to 12c. See here:

VirtualBox 4.2.16 Released…

Oracle VirtualBox 4.2.16 has been released. The downloads and changelog are in the usual places.

Happy upgrading!



VirtualBox 4.2.16 Released… was first posted on July 5, 2013 at 11:26 pm.
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Extra huge database IOs

It’s been a while since I presented the first incarnation of my ‘about multiblock reads’ presentation. When I did this at the UKOUG TEBS conference in Birmingham in 2011, Christian Antognini chaired my presentation. After my presentation Christian showed me it’s possible to set the parameter ‘db_file_multiblock_read_count’ higher than 1MB/db_block_size (which is 128 if your blocksize is 8kB), and you could benefit from it if your hardware is sufficient. In fact, Christian showed me AWR reports (could also be statspack reports, not sure) which showed the benefit.

My understanding of the parameter db_file_multiblock_read_count at the time was:

The maximum value is the operating system’s maximum I/O size expressed as Oracle blocks ((max I/O size)/DB_BLOCK_SIZE). If you set this parameter to a value greater than the maximum, Oracle uses the maximum.

Wrong Index

One of the sad things about trying to keep on top of Oracle is that there are so many little things that could go wrong and take a long time to identify. In part this is why I try to accumulate test cases for all the oddities and anomalies I come across as I travel around the world – if I’ve spent the time recreating a problem I’ll probably remember it the next time I see the symptoms.

Here’s a little threat that comes into play when a couple of events occur simultaneously, in this case: automatically selected indexes being rebuilt combined with an unfortunate choice of index definitions. Here’s a demonstration (running, 1MB uniform extents, 8KB block size, freelist management – first the symptoms, script, followed by results:

Top-N Queries and the Multithreaded Model in Oracle 12c…

A couple of new 12c articles have rolled off the press. Both of them small, but interesting to me.

These resulted in amendments to a couple of old articles.

12c Statspack Hack

Starting from a comment on an old statspack/AWR page, with a near-simultaneous thread appearing on OTN, (do read both) here’s a quick summary of getting statspack onto 12c with containers. (For non-container databases it’s a standard install).

Option 1 – completely valid

At present, you have to install the perfstat account on a pluggable database if you want to do it legally. On the plus side this means you could install it once then clone, unplug, and re-plug it elsewhere – though you might have to play around each time enabling a new statspack job.

12c trivia

Weighing in at a massive 54 characters – the longest parameter name in 12c is:

  • _adaptive_scalable_log_writer_disable_worker_threshold

Followed very closely by (you guessed it)

  •  _adaptive_scalable_log_writer_enable_worker_threshold


maxthr – 3

In part 1 of this mini-series we looked at the effects of costing a tablescan serially and then parallel when the maxthr and slavethr statistics had not been set.

In part 2 we looked at the effect of setting just the maxthr - and this can happen if you don’t happen to do any parallel execution while the stats collection is going on.

In part 3 we’re going to look at the two variations the optimizer displays when both statistics have been set. So here are the starting system stats:

OOW13 and OTW13

Abstract selection for Oracle Open World 2013 (OOW13) completed recently, and two of the eleven abstracts that I had submitted has been accepted, entitled “Scaling To Infinity: Making Star Transformations Sing” on Monday 23-Sep at 1:45pm and “RDBMS Forensics:  Troubleshooting using ASH” on Sunday 22-Sep at 10:30am.

12c I/O debug

By my count there are 109 new v$ and gv$ dynamic performance views in 12c (so far) – and Glen Fawcett has posted a short note on a group that may be of particular benefit to anyone who finds they really have to delve into esoteric I/O problems from time to time. For the less exotic, there’s v$io_outliers and v$lgwrio_outliers which give details about any very slow I/Os – for the more exotic there’s v$kernel_io_outliers – which is the really fascinating one.

Here’s a short session capture focused on v$io_outliers: