DB2 on SPARC T3 Tuning Tips

With the new self tuning feature in DB2 V9.x, a lot of database parameters are set to automatic in DB2 v9.7 by default so that DB2 can adjust the values as needed. Most should work fine without manual tweaks. But for transaction workload on SPARC T3 systems, two parameters need to be adjust manually to achieve optimal performance.


  1. DATABASE_MEMORY: When this parameter is set to AUTOMATIC and SELF_TUNING_MEM is set to ON, DB2 will allocate small page size (64KB) for all memory allocation, and expands and shrinks the memory as needed. In order to take advantage of the large page size (up to 256MB) supported by the SPARC T3, we need to manually set the size of the DATABASE_MEMORY so that DB2 can use 256MB page size for its buffer pools which are implemented as ISM segments. I know this sounds strange as it seems that you turn a switch and it ends up controlling another function. pmap(1M) output can verify the page sizes used by DB2 db2sysc process.

  2. NUM_IOCLEANERS: This parameter defines the number of page cleaners. The default value of this parameter is AUTOMATIC, which is calculated based on the number of available CPUs and the number of logical partitions. On a SPARC T3 system where there are over a hundred of virtual CPUs and single DB2 partition, DB2 would set it to #CPUs - 1. This would lead to too many page cleaners to compete flushing to disks and cause aio mutex lock contentions. So we need to decrease the value for it. The good practice is to set the value to the number of physical devices that are used by the database
    table space containers.

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This is a blog to talk about technical information regarding running IBM DB2 database on Solaris.

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