in Oracle

Parallel Execution — 1 The PARALLEL Hint and AutoDoP

The behaviour of the PARALLEL Hint has changed subtly but significantly in 11.2. From the documentation :
Beginning with Oracle Database 11g Release 2 (11.2.0.1), the

PARALLEL

and

NO_PARALLEL

hints are statement-level hints and supersede the earlier object-level hints ………. If you omit

<span>integer</span>

, then the database computes the degree of parallelism.

Further down, the documentation states :
This hint overrides the value of the

PARALLEL_DEGREE_POLICY

initialization parameter.
and

PARALLEL

: The statement always is run parallel, and the database computes the degree of parallelism, which can be 2 or greater.

It is important to note that the Statement Level PARALLEL Hint *overrides* the PARALLEL_DEGREE_POLICY.
So, even if PARALLEL_DEGREE_POLICY is set to MANUAL, implying that automatic degree of parallelism is disabled, the PARALLEL Hint, itself, allows Oracle to auto-compute a DoP.

What further complicates understanding of the behaviour is a reading of Oracle Support Note 1269321.1 that implies that if I/O calibration statistics are missing, Oracle does not use the automatic degree of parallelism feature.
So, one would assume that if I/O Calibration is not done, with the “automatic degree of parallelism” feature not being used, the PARALLEL Hint would not compute any Auto DoP !

Let’s run a simple test case :

HEMANT>select * from v$version;

BANNER
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Oracle Database 11g Enterprise Edition Release 11.2.0.2.0 - Production
PL/SQL Release 11.2.0.2.0 - Production
CORE 11.2.0.2.0 Production
TNS for Linux: Version 11.2.0.2.0 - Production
NLSRTL Version 11.2.0.2.0 - Production

HEMANT>
HEMANT>show parameter parallel;

NAME TYPE VALUE
------------------------------------ ----------- ------------------------------
fast_start_parallel_rollback string LOW
parallel_adaptive_multi_user boolean FALSE
parallel_automatic_tuning boolean FALSE
parallel_degree_limit string CPU
parallel_degree_policy string MANUAL
parallel_execution_message_size integer 16384
parallel_force_local boolean FALSE
parallel_instance_group string
parallel_io_cap_enabled boolean FALSE
parallel_max_servers integer 40
parallel_min_percent integer 0
parallel_min_servers integer 0
parallel_min_time_threshold string AUTO
parallel_server boolean FALSE
parallel_server_instances integer 1
parallel_servers_target integer 16
parallel_threads_per_cpu integer 2
recovery_parallelism integer 0
HEMANT>
HEMANT>select degree from user_tables where table_name = 'LARGE_TABLE';

DEGREE
----------------------------------------
4

HEMANT>select /*+ PARALLEL */ count(*) from LARGE_TABLE;

COUNT(*)
----------
4802944

HEMANT>select * from table(dbms_xplan.display_cursor);

PLAN_TABLE_OUTPUT
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SQL_ID 47m7qyrj6uzqn, child number 0
-------------------------------------
select /*+ PARALLEL */ count(*) from LARGE_TABLE

Plan hash value: 2085386270

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
| Id | Operation | Name | Rows | Cost (%CPU)| Time | TQ |IN-OUT| PQ Distrib |
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
| 0 | SELECT STATEMENT | | | 10488 (100)| | | | |
| 1 | SORT AGGREGATE | | 1 | | | | | |
| 2 | PX COORDINATOR | | | | | | | |
| 3 | PX SEND QC (RANDOM) | :TQ10000 | 1 | | | Q1,00 | P->S | QC (RAND) |
| 4 | SORT AGGREGATE | | 1 | | | Q1,00 | PCWP | |
| 5 | PX BLOCK ITERATOR | | 4802K| 10488 (1)| 00:02:06 | Q1,00 | PCWC | |
|* 6 | TABLE ACCESS FULL| LARGE_TABLE | 4802K| 10488 (1)| 00:02:06 | Q1,00 | PCWP | |
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Predicate Information (identified by operation id):
---------------------------------------------------

6 - access(:Z>=:Z AND :Z<=:Z)

Note
-----
- automatic DOP: skipped because of IO calibrate statistics are missing


27 rows selected.

HEMANT>select px_servers_executions from v$sqlstats where sql_id='47m7qyrj6uzqn';

PX_SERVERS_EXECUTIONS
---------------------
2

HEMANT>
HEMANT>select * from dba_rsrc_io_calibrate;

no rows selected

HEMANT>

Apparently, I/O Calibration statistics are not present (“are missing”). And yet, Oracle chose to use 2 PX Servers (not 4, not 1) for the query. Isn’t this confusing ? Is AutoDoP used or is it not used ?

Let’s make a change somewhere (else ?)

HEMANT>show parameter cpu_count

NAME TYPE VALUE
------------------------------------ ----------- ------------------------------
cpu_count integer 1

HEMANT>

Let’s try on a server with more CPUs. I reconfigure the same VM to run with 4 “CPUs” (cores) and restart the VM and database instance.

[oracle@localhost ~]$ sqlplus '/ as sysdba'

SQL*Plus: Release 11.2.0.2.0 Production on Thu Feb 26 23:18:47 2015

Copyright (c) 1982, 2010, Oracle. All rights reserved.


Connected to:
Oracle Database 11g Enterprise Edition Release 11.2.0.2.0 - Production
With the Partitioning, OLAP, Data Mining and Real Application Testing options

SYS>show parameter cpu

NAME TYPE VALUE
------------------------------------ ----------- ------------------------------
cpu_count integer 4
parallel_threads_per_cpu integer 2
resource_manager_cpu_allocation integer 4
SYS>show parameter parallel

NAME TYPE VALUE
------------------------------------ ----------- ------------------------------
fast_start_parallel_rollback string LOW
parallel_adaptive_multi_user boolean FALSE
parallel_automatic_tuning boolean FALSE
parallel_degree_limit string CPU
parallel_degree_policy string MANUAL
parallel_execution_message_size integer 16384
parallel_force_local boolean FALSE
parallel_instance_group string
parallel_io_cap_enabled boolean FALSE
parallel_max_servers integer 135
parallel_min_percent integer 0
parallel_min_servers integer 0
parallel_min_time_threshold string AUTO
parallel_server boolean FALSE
parallel_server_instances integer 1
parallel_servers_target integer 64
parallel_threads_per_cpu integer 2
recovery_parallelism integer 0
SYS>

We can now see that CPU_COUNT, PARALLEL_MAX_SERVERS and PARALLEL_SERVERS_TARGET have all gone up.

SYS>connect hemant/hemant
Connected.
HEMANT>set serveroutput off
HEMANT>select degree from user_tables where table_name = 'LARGE_TABLE';

DEGREE
----------------------------------------
4

HEMANT>select /*+ PARALLEL */ count(*) from LARGE_TABLE;

COUNT(*)
----------
4802944

HEMANT>select * from table(dbms_xplan.display_cursor);

PLAN_TABLE_OUTPUT
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SQL_ID 47m7qyrj6uzqn, child number 0
-------------------------------------
select /*+ PARALLEL */ count(*) from LARGE_TABLE

Plan hash value: 2085386270

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
| Id | Operation | Name | Rows | Cost (%CPU)| Time | TQ |IN-OUT| PQ Distrib |
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
| 0 | SELECT STATEMENT | | | 2622 (100)| | | | |
| 1 | SORT AGGREGATE | | 1 | | | | | |
| 2 | PX COORDINATOR | | | | | | | |
| 3 | PX SEND QC (RANDOM) | :TQ10000 | 1 | | | Q1,00 | P->S | QC (RAND) |
| 4 | SORT AGGREGATE | | 1 | | | Q1,00 | PCWP | |
| 5 | PX BLOCK ITERATOR | | 4802K| 2622 (1)| 00:00:32 | Q1,00 | PCWC | |
|* 6 | TABLE ACCESS FULL| LARGE_TABLE | 4802K| 2622 (1)| 00:00:32 | Q1,00 | PCWP | |
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Predicate Information (identified by operation id):
---------------------------------------------------

6 - access(:Z>=:Z AND :Z<=:Z)

Note
-----
- automatic DOP: skipped because of IO calibrate statistics are missing


27 rows selected.

HEMANT>
HEMANT>select px_servers_executions from v$sqlstats where sql_id='47m7qyrj6uzqn';

PX_SERVERS_EXECUTIONS
---------------------
8

HEMANT>

Aaha ! The same SQL statement, the same SQL_ID, the same Execution Plan (Plan Hash Value) and Oracle chose to use 8 (not 1, not 4, not 2) PX servers for the query !

So, there IS some way that AutoDoP is being used even when I/O calibration statistics are missing. Is this AutoDoP simply a function CPU_COUNT x PARALLEL_THREADS_PER_CPU ?

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