Monday May 18, 2015

Star Schema Performance Challenge - Part 1

Over the last 20 years or so I’ve had the opportunity to help build a variety business intelligence solutions for large organizations. It will be no surprise that one of the core requirements is fast query response times. This requirement for fast response times seems pretty obvious – faster response timeslead to greater end user satisfaction. The performance of a database can also determine what types of applications are practical. Breakthroughs in performance often lead to innovating new applications that can change how people work. A more efficient application is usually less expense to operate since it might not require as large of a server.

Oracle Database In-Memory and the availability of more powerful servers with many cores and plenty of memory really is a game changer, when it comes to improving query response times. With Database In-Memory far fewer CPU cycles are used to scan, filter, join and aggregate data. With modern servers, there are plenty of CPU cycles available for processing and  DRAM is relatively inexpensive. So, Database In-Memory can do more with less and, since Database In-Memory is a feature of the Oracle Database that works with all of the others performance enhancing features of the Oracle Database, it has become yet another tool in my big tool box of performance improving techniques.

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Friday May 08, 2015

Getting started with Oracle Database In-Memory Part V - Controlling Access

I’m finally going to make good on a promise I made way back in part 3 of our getting started with In-Memory series, to explain how you could control which queries use the In-Memory column store (IM column store) and which don't.

As with all new query performances enhancing features in the Oracle Database, a number of initialization parameters and hints have been introduce that enable you to control when and how the IM column store will be used. This post provides information on the initialization parameter, while the details on the Optimizer hint that control the use of the IM column store can be found on the Optimizer blog.

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Thursday Apr 30, 2015

When to use Oracle Database In-Memory?

At this stage you've probably heard a lot about how Oracle Database In-Memory is an unprecedented breakthrough in Oracle database performance, offering incredible performance gains for a wide range of workloads. What you might not know is when and where it would be best to take advantage of this exciting new technology.

So, we've put together a new whitepaper to share some of the high-level use cases, and explain the scenarios under which Database In-Memory provides a performance benefit. The purpose of this paper is to give you some general guidelines so that you can determine whether your use case is a good match.

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Tuesday Apr 28, 2015

Discussing In-Memory Databases at The HIVE event in Palo Alto on May 6, 2015

If you happen to be in the San Francisco Bay Area on May 6th, you might be interested in checking out a panel discussion on In-Memory Databases brought to you by The HIVE. The discussion is intended to explore use cases for In-Memory Database technologies and the impact of technologies and trends such as flash memory and cloud computing.

The panel will be made up of industry experts from all of the leading In-Memory Database providers including Oracle, IBM, Aerospike, MemSQL and Pivotal. The session will be moderated by Nik Rouda and my boss, Tim Shetler will be representing Oracle. Noticeably absent are SAP (The SAP Sapphire conference is taking place) and Microsoft. Dozens of other smaller vendors no doubt would like to take part, if you buy into their definition of "In-Memory Database". 

So what does it take to qualify as an "In-Memory database"?

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Friday Apr 24, 2015

In-Memory Priority

I'd like to thank everyone who attended our two Hands On Lab sessions at Collaborate last week. We had a great time presenting them and we received some really good feedback. One of the questions that came up, and gets asked periodically, is how does In-Memory priority really work?

Many times people have the misconception that the In-Memory priority attribute affects more than just the order of population but that’s not the case. The only thing the priority affects is the order of population at database startup. We discussed population briefly some time ago, but I think it's worth a quick review.

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Monday Apr 20, 2015

Oracle Database In-Memory Bundle Patch 7 Released

In one of my very first blog posts on Oracle Database In-Memory, I made reference to the fact that we would be releasing regular bundle patches for Oracle Database In-Memory. These bundle patches are available periodically through My Oracle Support.

The latest bundle patch to be released was bundle patch 7 or 12.1.0.2.7 (DATABASE PATCH FOR ENGINEERED SYSTEMS AND DB IN-MEMORY 12.1.0.2.7. More information on the latest bundle patch can be found in the MOS note, Doc ID 20698050.8.

The bundle patches are cumulative, which means bundle patch 7 includes all fixes from bundle patch 1 to 6 in addition to new content. Don't let the name of the bundle patch fool you. You can apply this bundle patch on non-engineered systems running Oracle Database In-Memory.

Going forward, we will keep you posted when a new bundle patch is released, so you will always know what is the latest bundle patch. We recommend that you always run with the latest bundle patch.

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Friday Apr 17, 2015

CPU Efficient Query Processing with Database In-Memory

In my last post I talked about In-Memory Aggregation and mentioned that the vector transformation plan is more CPU efficient than alternative plans. In this post I’ll provide a few examples to illustrate just how effective a vector transformation plan can be.

Let’s consider a star schema, with one fact table and 9 dimension tables (time, customer, product, channel and demographic attributes such as age and income).

9 Dimensional Star

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Thursday Apr 09, 2015

Push-Down: Part 2

In our previous post we introduced the concept of push down. The ability to push predicates, aggregations and group-bys down into the scan of a column or columns, allowing Oracle to take full advantage of all the scan performance features of the In-Memory column store. We also illustrated how you could monitor the benefits of push down via session level statistics (v$mystat). What you might not have realized is that we can also see what where clause predicates get push via the execution plan.

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Oracle Database In-Memory Team Heads To Vegas For Collaborate 15

The Oracle Database In-Memory team will be presenting a number of sessions and hands-on-labs at this year's IOUG Collaborate 15 conference, in Las Vegas April 12 - 16. Below are details on the sessions we'll be presenting. I hope you have an opportunity to check out some of these sessions if you plan to attend the event!

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Tuesday Mar 31, 2015

Push-Down: Making Queries Fast!

In our previous posts we discussed the basic architecture of the In-Memory column store (IM column store) and now we want to drill down into some of the unique performance enhancing features. Push-down is one of the optimizations that makes scanning columns in the IM column store very efficient. Oracle Database In-Memory has the ability to push predicates, aggregations and group-bys down into the scan of a column or columns.  This ability to push-down allows us to take advantage of other performance enhancing features of Database In-Memory like SIMD vector processing and storage indexes.

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Friday Mar 27, 2015

Oracle Open World 2015 Call For Papers!

Believe it or not, it's time once again to start thinking about Oracle OpenWorld!

The Oracle OpenWorld 2015 call for papers is now opens! Oracle customers and partners are encouraged to submit proposals to present at this year's Oracle OpenWorld conference, which will be held October 25 - 29, 2015 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Details and submission guidelines are available on the Oracle OpenWorld Call for Papers web site. The deadline for submissions is Wednesday, April 29, 11:59 p.m. PDT.

We look forward to checking out your sessions on Oracle Database In-Memory and how it has changed the way you do business!

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Monday Mar 16, 2015

Do I still need Exadata now I have Oracle Database In-Memory?

Over the last few weeks I’ve been meeting with Oracle customers all across Europe to discuss Oracle Database In-Memory. During these discussions there was a common concern raised by nearly everyone I spoke to, “Do I still need Exadata now that I have Oracle Database In-Memory?”. So I thought it would be a good idea to address this question once and for all here on the blog.

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Tuesday Feb 24, 2015

Upcoming Events

I'm lucky enough to be involved in a number of conferences and In-Memory workshops in March. Below are details on the sessions I will be presenting. I hope you have an opportunity to check out some of these sessions if you plan to attend these events!

  • March 13th - Oracle Database In-Memory Workshop - Ordina headquarters in Nieuwegein
    This workshop explains in detail how Oracle Database In-Memory works and will demonstrate just how much performance improvements you can expect. We will also discuss how it integrates with Oracle’s existing performance features, including the Optimizer, indexes, materialized views, and the Exadata platform.
  • March 18th - Database Innovation Online Forum
    The Database Innovation Online Forum is the perfect opportunity to attend a number of excellent database presentations without having to leave your office. I'll be presenting Oracle Database In-Memory: Top Five Things You Need to know.
  • March 19th - OUG Ireland 2015 - Croke Park, Dublin
    The OUG Ireland is a one day conference packed with interesting sessions delivered by a variety of speakers, including end users, suppliers and Oracle. I will be presenting Oracle Database In-Memory: The Next Big Thing at 4:50pm.
  • March 20th - Oracle Database In-Memory Workshop - Jury's Inn Custom House
    The OUG Ireland Oracle Database In-Memory Workshop  will cover how Oracle Database In-Memory works and will demonstrate just how much performance improvements you can expect.
I hope to see you at one of these events!

Monday Feb 23, 2015

Release of Oracle Database In-Memory Advisor

Today Oracle released the new Oracle Database In-Memory Advisor (In-Memory Advisor). The goal of this advisor is to identify analytic workloads that will benefit from Oracle Database In-Memory.

The In-Memory Advisor identifies analytic workloads by analyzing Active Session History (ASH) and AWR data. It differentiates analytic processing from other database activity, based upon SQL plan cardinality, use of parallel query, and other statistics.

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Monday Feb 16, 2015

Getting started with Oracle Database In-Memory Part V - Aggregation

When most people think about Oracle Database In-Memory (Database In-Memory), the first thing that comes to mind is super fast scanning and filtering operations. But what you may not know is Database In-Memory also includes many SQL optimizations designed to accelerate star and snowflake type queries. We refer to this collection of SQL optimizations as In-Memory Aggregation (IMA). IMA is typically 3-10x faster than ‘conventional’ plans, and that’s in addition to the improvements provided by scanning and filtering the data via the In-Memory column store (IM column store).

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The Oracle Database In-Memory blog is written by the Oracle product management team and sheds light on all things In-Memory.

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