I. Parameter Dependency
Many initialization parameters determine values of other parameters. For instance, setting OPTIMIZER_FEATURES_ENABLE to certain version will adjust many CBO parameters, changing NLS_LANGUAGE also changes NLS_SORT, and increasing PROCESSES also increases SESSIONS, which in turn increases TRANSACTIONS. It would be nice if Oracle could give us a view named V$PARAMETER_DEPENDENCY so we can have this output:
(Warning: hypothetical view!)
SQL> desc V$PARAMETER_DEPENDENCY Name Null? Type ---------------- ------- -------- NUM NUMBER NAME VARCHAR2(80) ... PNUM NUMBER SQL> select lpad(' ',2*(level-1)) || name name 2 from V$PARAMETER_DEPENDENCY 3 connect by prior num = pnum; NAME ------------------------ ... nls_language nls_sort ... processes sessions transactions ...
The pearl of this new view is not on the surface, but on its underlined X$ table, perhaps called X$KSPPDP (name modeled after X$KSPPI and related ones), where you'll find this:
(Warning: hypothetical fixed table!)
SQL> select lpad(' ',2*(level-1)) || ksppdpnm name 2 from X$KSPPDP 3 connect by prior indx = pindx; NAME --------------------------------- ... optimizer_features_enable _optim_peek_user_binds _optimizer_or_expansion _optimizer_undo_cost_change ... statistics_level _ash_enable _rowsource_execution_statistics _ultrafast_latch_statistics ...
Apart from meeting our curiosity, this information can help us in our work. For instance, the Reference manual page for OPTIMIZER_FEATURES_ENABLE is supplemented with individual control knobs a DBA or developer can experiment with in SQL tuning. But the actual parameter names for these controls are not documented. The query on the hypothetical X$ table would have been able to help us identify the parameter we need.
Knowledge of parameter dependency can be used in two ways. You either leave the parent parameter, STATISTICS_LEVEL for instance, at a higher level (TYPICAL), and disable certain parameters otherwise enabled, or set the parent to a lower level (BASIC), and enable a few child parameters. Needless to say, always consult with Oracle support before you set any underscore parameter.
The current version of Oracle does not have a parameter dependency view. But we can build this dependency list ourselves. More and more parameters are modified to be dynamically changeable without shutting down the instance. The dependency information for those parameters can be generated with code like the following (only code using undocumented tables and columns is shown):
--Prepare a parameter table to work with, based on X$KSPPI, table of --all init params, and X$KSPPSV, table of their system level values create table PARAM as select a.ksppinm, a.ksppity, b.ksppstvl from X$KSPPI a, X$KSPPSV b where a.indx=b.indx order by a.indx; --Prepare a tmp table to store result of each run create table TMP as select * from PARAM where 1=2; for x in (select * from PARAM) loop --Main logic declare cant_modify exception; pragma exception_init(cant_modify, -2095); begin for x in (select * from PARAM) loop if (x.ksppity = 1) then -- boolean begin if (x.ksppstvl = 'TRUE') then execute immediate 'alter system set "' || x.ksppinm || '" = false scope=memory'; insert into TMP select a.ksppinm, a.ksppity, b.ksppstvl from X$KSPPI a, X$KSPPSV b where a.indx=b.indx order by a.indx; execute immediate 'alter system set "' || x.ksppinm || '" = true scope=memory'; else execute immediate 'alter system set "' || x.ksppinm || '" = true scope=memory'; insert into TMP select a.ksppinm, a.ksppity, b.ksppstvl from X$KSPPI a, X$KSPPSV b where a.indx=b.indx order by a.indx; execute immediate 'alter system set "' || x.ksppinm || '" = false scope=memory'; end if; --compare PARAM with TMP and store the diff somewhere execute immediate 'truncate table TMP'; exception when cant_modify then -- "specified initialization parameter cannot be modified" --record the param in a table so we bounce DB later to change it dbms_output.put_line('ORA-02095'); when others then dbms_output.put_line('Other error'); end; elsif (x.ksppity = 2) then -- string --append a letter to the value, insert into TMP, remove the letter end if; ... end; /
Some parameters will need a database bounce. Discovery of their dependency is better done manually for each of those parameters, although a sophisticated shell script may be able to automate the process.
The undocumented view in 11g, v$sql_feature_hierarchy, partially serves the purpose of showing dependency for CBO-related parameters. This query
select lpad(' ',2*(level-1)) || a.sql_feature sql_feature, description from v$sql_feature_hierarchy a, v$sql_feature b where a.sql_feature = b.sql_feature connect by prior a.sql_feature = parent_id;
displays CBO features in hierarchical form. The relationship between these features and SQL hints is in v$sql_hint. Many SQL hints are easily translated or identical to CBO-related parameters.
Brandon Allen's research on effect of db_cache_size, db_block_size and sessions on db_file_multiblock_read_count:
There're a few parameters whose dependency is well-known. But the details of the one about database statistics, STATISTICS_LEVEL, are not found in literature. STATISTICS_LEVEL is a parameter that affects various types of statistics gathering and DBA advisories. Most shops rarely change its value from its default, TYPICAL value, to either BASIC or ALL. When they do, with alter system instead of alter session to set it to ALL, the intent is usually only temporary gathering more extensive statistics for a short period of time and then turn it back to TYPICAL. Some companies have extreme demand on the raw horsepower of the database engine and so set it to BASIC. Regardless which way you turn it to, it's helpful to understand its implications. Like OPTIMIZER_FEATURES_ENABLE, the Reference manual has the details of the changes this parameter brings to the database. In addition, Oracle provides a view listing the details. The output below is from Oracle 10.2.0.4 with STATISTICS_LEVEL set to TYPICAL, DB_CACHE_ADVICE set to OFF, with no changes made to any underscore parameter. You can see whether each performance feature (STATISTICS_NAME) is enabled, at what STATISTICS_LEVEL it will be enabled for you (ACTIVATION_LEVEL), what dynamic performance view is relevant, among other things.
(select STATISTICS_NAME, SYSTEM_STATUS, ACTIVATION_LEVEL, STATISTICS_VIEW_NAME, SESSION_SETTABLE, DESCRIPTION from V$STATISTICS_LEVEL order by 1) STATISTICS_NAME : Active Session History SYSTEM_STATUS : ENABLED ACTIVATION_LEVEL : TYPICAL STATISTICS_VIEW_NAME : V$ACTIVE_SESSION_HISTORY SESSION_SETTABLE : NO DESCRIPTION : Monitors active session activity using MMNL STATISTICS_NAME : Bind Data Capture SYSTEM_STATUS : ENABLED ACTIVATION_LEVEL : TYPICAL STATISTICS_VIEW_NAME : V$SQL_BIND_CAPTURE SESSION_SETTABLE : NO DESCRIPTION : Enables capture of bind values used by SQL statements STATISTICS_NAME : Buffer Cache Advice SYSTEM_STATUS : ENABLED ACTIVATION_LEVEL : TYPICAL STATISTICS_VIEW_NAME : V$DB_CACHE_ADVICE SESSION_SETTABLE : NO DESCRIPTION : Predicts the impact of different cache sizes on number of physical reads STATISTICS_NAME : Global Cache Statistics SYSTEM_STATUS : ENABLED ACTIVATION_LEVEL : TYPICAL STATISTICS_VIEW_NAME : null SESSION_SETTABLE : NO DESCRIPTION : RAC Buffer Cache statistics STATISTICS_NAME : Longops Statistics SYSTEM_STATUS : ENABLED ACTIVATION_LEVEL : TYPICAL STATISTICS_VIEW_NAME : V$SESSION_LONGOPS SESSION_SETTABLE : NO DESCRIPTION : Enables Longops Statistics STATISTICS_NAME : MTTR Advice SYSTEM_STATUS : ENABLED ACTIVATION_LEVEL : TYPICAL STATISTICS_VIEW_NAME : V$MTTR_TARGET_ADVICE SESSION_SETTABLE : NO DESCRIPTION : Predicts the impact of different MTTR settings on number of physical I/Os STATISTICS_NAME : Modification Monitoring SYSTEM_STATUS : ENABLED ACTIVATION_LEVEL : TYPICAL STATISTICS_VIEW_NAME : null SESSION_SETTABLE : NO DESCRIPTION : Enables modification monitoring STATISTICS_NAME : PGA Advice SYSTEM_STATUS : ENABLED ACTIVATION_LEVEL : TYPICAL STATISTICS_VIEW_NAME : V$PGA_TARGET_ADVICE SESSION_SETTABLE : NO DESCRIPTION : Predicts the impact of different values of pga_aggregate_target on the performance of memory intensive SQL operators STATISTICS_NAME : Plan Execution Statistics SYSTEM_STATUS : DISABLED ACTIVATION_LEVEL : ALL STATISTICS_VIEW_NAME : V$SQL_PLAN_STATISTICS SESSION_SETTABLE : YES DESCRIPTION : Enables collection of plan execution statistics STATISTICS_NAME : Segment Level Statistics SYSTEM_STATUS : ENABLED ACTIVATION_LEVEL : TYPICAL STATISTICS_VIEW_NAME : V$SEGSTAT SESSION_SETTABLE : NO DESCRIPTION : Enables gathering of segment access statistics STATISTICS_NAME : Shared Pool Advice SYSTEM_STATUS : ENABLED ACTIVATION_LEVEL : TYPICAL STATISTICS_VIEW_NAME : V$SHARED_POOL_ADVICE SESSION_SETTABLE : NO DESCRIPTION : Predicts the impact of different values of shared_pool_size on elapsed parse time saved STATISTICS_NAME : Streams Pool Advice SYSTEM_STATUS : ENABLED ACTIVATION_LEVEL : TYPICAL STATISTICS_VIEW_NAME : V$STREAMS_POOL_ADVICE SESSION_SETTABLE : NO DESCRIPTION : Predicts impact on Streams perfomance of different Streams pool sizes STATISTICS_NAME : Threshold-based Alerts SYSTEM_STATUS : ENABLED ACTIVATION_LEVEL : TYPICAL STATISTICS_VIEW_NAME : null SESSION_SETTABLE : NO DESCRIPTION : Controls if Threshold-based Alerts should be enabled STATISTICS_NAME : Timed OS Statistics SYSTEM_STATUS : DISABLED ACTIVATION_LEVEL : ALL STATISTICS_VIEW_NAME : null SESSION_SETTABLE : YES DESCRIPTION : Enables gathering of timed operating system statistics STATISTICS_NAME : Timed Statistics SYSTEM_STATUS : ENABLED ACTIVATION_LEVEL : TYPICAL STATISTICS_VIEW_NAME : null SESSION_SETTABLE : YES DESCRIPTION : Enables gathering of timed statistics STATISTICS_NAME : Ultrafast Latch Statistics SYSTEM_STATUS : ENABLED ACTIVATION_LEVEL : TYPICAL STATISTICS_VIEW_NAME : null SESSION_SETTABLE : NO DESCRIPTION : Maintains statistics for ultrafast latches in the fast path STATISTICS_NAME : Undo Advisor, Alerts and Fast Ramp up SYSTEM_STATUS : ENABLED ACTIVATION_LEVEL : TYPICAL STATISTICS_VIEW_NAME : V$UNDOSTAT SESSION_SETTABLE : NO DESCRIPTION : Transaction layer manageability features
The default value TYPICAL is perfect for most cases. But if you want a little more to be done, say timed OS statistics, and don't want to have the overhead by setting it to ALL, you must find exactly what parameter to set. In this case, it's easy, TIMED_OS_STATISTICS. Going the other way, say you want to turn off PGA Advice because you want the database to focus on its RDBMS duty and nobody in your group looks at V$PGA_TARGET_ADVICE, you can set an underscore parameter _SMM_ADVICE_ENABLED to FALSE. Since the TYPICAL setting means most statistics are enabled (see SYSTEM_STATUS column above), it's likely you'll individually turn some off more often than turn some on.
Back to the BASIC setting. Even though documentation sometimes gives advice like "To disable monitoring of a table, set the STATISTICS_LEVEL initialization parameter to BASIC", the BASIC setting should not be taken lightly! If most team members understand the implications quite well and you have a good support contract with Oracle, you can do so, but remember that several parameters are essential and should be enabled . For even basic performance tuning, TIMED_STATISTICS must be turned on (unless you run the buggy Oracle 8.1.5). Losing statistics on some critical latches can significantly limit your observation of the database health, so set _ULTRAFAST_LATCH_STATISTICS to TRUE. Do you use ASH (Active Session History), the wonderful performance monitoring facility? Unless you don't have the license or have one similarly built in-house, perhaps with direct SGA attach to minimize overhead, set _ASH_ENABLE to TRUE. V$SESSION_LONGOPS is probably essential, particularly in a data warehouse, so set _LONGOPS_ENABLED to TRUE. Do you take chances to check V$SQL_BIND_CAPTURE for captured bind variables, in case you're lucky? Give _CURSOR_BIND_CAPTURE_AREA_SIZE some value. If you use V$SEGSTAT regularly, _OBJECT_STATISTICS needs to be TRUE. Everything else may not be essential.
The following is a summary of the Oracle features or capabilities controlled by the STATISTICS_LEVEL parameter, followed by the precisely targeted child parameter. The parameters are listed in alphabetic order for easy reference. The findings are from research on Metalink, various sources on the Internet, and my own lab tests.
Active Session History: _ASH_ENABLE
ASH is great technology. See the Performance Tuning manual for details. Enable it unless you have a license issue or have your home-grown script.
Bind Data Capture: _CURSOR_BIND_CAPTURE_AREA_SIZE (set to a non-zero value)
V$SQL_BIND_CAPTURE only captures bind variable values during a hard parse, a soft parse that creates a new child cursor, or if the last capture was _CURSOR_BIND_CAPTURE_INTERVAL seconds or longer ago, column type is not LONG or LOB, and bind variables in the select list are ignored. If it's not the case no values are captured at all, it's also possible _CURSOR_BIND_CAPTURE_AREA_SIZE needs to be increased. These are the limitations I know about Oracle's automatic cursor bind value capture. If you decide to not use this feature, set this parameter to 0, and use 10046 trace only when you need it.
Buffer Cache Advice: DB_CACHE_SIZE
Oracle can predict how much buffer cache hit ratio will improve for a certain amount of increase in buffer cache size. But it comes with a price, not to mention the usefulness of this hit ratio. The feature uses CPU, and memory (100 bytes per buffer according to Note:148511.1). Generally, you give all remaining memory of the server to buffer cache after you consider other SGA components and predict how much total PGA could be. Isn't that what you're supposed to do regardless buffer cache advice?
Global Cache Statistics: _GC_STATISTICS
On RAC, you almost certainly need this, or the statistics in GV$G% views will be frozen.
Longops Statistics: _LONGOPS_ENABLED
For a data warehouse database, you probably definitely need to check V$SESSION_LONGOPS periodically. For OLTP, if you prefer, you can enable this parameter only for a while perhaps during data loading and disable it when done. But the inconvenience is probably not worth disabling it.
MTTR Advice: _DB_MTTR_ADVICE
Modification Monitoring: _DML_MONITORING_ENABLED
This 10g parameter allows you to do what you used to be able to do in 9i with alter table (no)monitoring, but not at table level anymore; it's system wide either all monitoring or all no monitoring, controlled by this setting. But disabling table monitoring may not gain you much performance; to find out, check buffer gets and executions of the recursive SQLs that update or insert into MON_MODS$ in V$SQLSTATS.
PGA Advice: _SMM_ADVICE_ENABLED
Plan Execution Statistics: _ROWSOURCE_EXECUTION_STATISTICS
In 9i, SQL trace won't give you buffer gets information for each step in the execution plan in the dump file or in V$SQL_PLAN_STATISTICS, unless you turn this option on (and hard parse the cursor). Most people use alter session to enable it during SQL tuning. There's little value in setting it permanently system-wide. If you want the effect on individual SQLs instead of the whole session you're in, use the gather_plan_statistics hint instead. In 10g, you can get these row level statistics by setting this parameter with alter session without enabling SQL trace, and SQL trace also implicitly enables row source execution statistics.
Segment Level Statistics: _OBJECT_STATISTICS
Object statistics are important to identify hot objects. But there's possible memory leak in querying V$SEGSTAT or V$SEGMENT_STATISTICS. See Bug 3519807 for versions in which the bug is fixed.
Shared Pool Advice: _LIBRARY_CACHE_ADVICE
If you check V$SHARED_POOL_ADVICE regularly, you may leave this on. Note that whatever %simulator% latch activity is mostly due to these nearly unused advisors. On top of that, Bug 6879763 affects versions 10.2.0.3 and 188.8.131.52. Consider setting it to FALSE if shared pool simulator latch is one of the top (say) 10 in latch gets. By the way, in spite of the name of the parameter, the view related to this parameter is not named V$LIBRARY_CACHE_ADVICE.
Streams Pool Advice: _DISABLE_STREAMS_POOL_AUTO_TUNING
Threshold-based Alerts: _THRESHOLD_ALERTS_ENABLE
If you don't use EM (Enterprise Manager) and don't check views like DBA_OUTSTANDING_ALERTS and DBA_THRESHOLDS, you must have your home-grown monitoring scripts. Then you can consider disabling this parameter by setting it to 0.
Timed OS Statistics: TIMED_OS_STATISTICS
Oracle clearly warns us about the overhead. In spite of the name, V$OSSTAT is not related to this parameter and will always have data. On Solaris pre-10, this parameter turns on microstate accounting.
Timed Statistics: TIMED_STATISTICS
Must be true. Too well-known to discuss further.
Ultrafast Latch Statistics: _ULTRAFAST_LATCH_STATISTICS
If this parameter is false, you lose latch statistics in V$LATCH% views for a few important latches, including cache buffers chains latches, most likely not what you want. By the way, based on the name, it seems some latches are called ultrafast latches, and most are therefore non-fast latches by following this logic.
Undo Advisor, Alerts and Fast Ramp up: _DISABLE_TXN_ALERT
Fast ramp-up is explained in Note:396863.1. But I can't find more information about this parameter. If you set STATISTICS_LEVEL to BASIC, _DISABLE_TXN_ALERT is 659. When TYPICAL, it's 0. Even when the value is 659, V$UNDOSTAT.TUNED_UNDORETENTION still has numbers. Dennis Yurichev has found the parameter is related to ktsmgd_ variable and sets certain bits that may affect Oracle's alert.log recording and possibly transaction-related functions (Ref: http://blogs.conus.info/node/3).
The above is a rundown of the child parameters affected by the parent, STATISTICS_LEVEL. Most of the observations can be checked by a simple lab test. For instance, to check the effect of _ULTRAFAST_LATCH_STATISTICS, save a snapshot of V$LATCH, alter system to set the parameter to false, run some SQLs or your user application, save another snapshot of V$LATCH and find the difference. You'll see the freezing of some latches' statistics that are supposed to constantly increment. Apart from self-explanatory ones, all parameters are explained beyond basics, but practical implications are not all found; for instance, although you can verify that _DISABLE_TXN_ALERT is ktsmgd_ in Oracle kernel by running oradebug dumpvar sga ktsmgd_ before and after you change the parameter, how the bitmap bits in this parameter affect our DBA work still needs more research.
Oracle initialization parameters can be organized in a hierarchy such that changing values of some parameters changes the values of others. Knowledge of the parameter dependency helps DBAs and performance tuning analysts better judge the impact as well as provides them with additional tools. The STATISTICS_LEVEL parameter has not been extensively studied, compared to some other parent parameters such as OPTIMIZER_FEATURES_ENABLE, and yet has a wide range of effect when its value is changed. The three values for STATISTICS_LEVEL are severely insufficient when you decide to enable or disable certain features in the database based on your business need. It's important to be familiar with the individual control parameters and use them wisely, with Oracle's approval.
I. SQL(s) to find the parameter difference for the three values of STATISTICS_LEVEL:
column parameter format a37 column "Instance Value" format a10 set trimspool on pagesize 10000 spool typical select a.ksppinm "Parameter", c.ksppstvl "Instance Value" from X$KSPPI a, X$KSPPSV c where a.indx = c.indx order by 1; spool off alter system set STATISTICS_LEVEL=basic; spool basic select a.ksppinm "Parameter", c.ksppstvl "Instance Value" from X$KSPPI a, X$KSPPSV c where a.indx = c.indx order by 1; spool off alter system set STATISTICS_LEVEL=all; spool all select a.ksppinm "Parameter", c.ksppstvl "Instance Value" from X$KSPPI a, X$KSPPSV c where a.indx = c.indx order by 1; spool off host diff typical.lst basic.lst | more host diff typical.lst all.lst | more
II. New in 11g
Oracle 184.108.40.206 has 24 rows in V$STATISTICS_LEVEL compared to 17 in 10.2.0.4. The additions are listed below, along with our best guess for their changed values when STATISTICS_LEVEL goes from BASIC to TYPICAL.
Adaptive Thresholds Enabled: _BSLN_ADAPTIVE_THRESHOLDS_ENABLED, FALSE → TRUE
Automated Maintenance Tasks: _ENABLE_AUTOMATIC_MAINTENANCE, 0 → 1
Plan Execution Sampling: _ROWSOURCE_PROFILING_STATISTICS, FALSE → TRUE
SQL Monitoring: _SQLMON_THRESHOLD, 0 → 5
Session Wait Stack: _DISABLE_WAIT_STACK, TRUE → FALSE
Time Model Events: _TIMEMODEL_COLLECTION, FALSE → TRUE
V$IOSTAT_* statistics: _IO_STATISTICS, FALSE → TRUE
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