Partition Wise Joins II

One of the things that I did not talk about in the initial partition wise join post was the effect it has on resource allocation on the database server.

When Oracle applies a different join method - e.g. not PWJ - what you will see in SQL Monitor (in Enterprise Manager) or in an Explain Plan is a set of producers and a set of consumers. The producers scan the tables in the the join. If there are two tables the producers first scan one table, then the other. The producers thus provide data to the consumers, and when the consumers have the data from both scans they do the join and give the data to the query coordinator.

Now that behavior means that if you choose a degree of parallelism of 4 to run such query with, Oracle will allocate 8 parallel processes. Of these 8 processes 4 are producers and 4 are consumers. The consumers only actually do work once the producers are fully done with scanning both sides of the join.

exec_plan_regular_join

In the plan above you can see that the producers access table SALES [line 11] and then do a PX SEND [line 9]. That is the producer set of processes working. The consumers receive that data [line 8] and twiddle their thumbs while the producers go on and scan CUSTOMERS. The producers send that data to the consumer indicated by PX SEND [line 5]. After receiving that data [line 4] the consumers do the actual join [line 3] and give the data to the QC [line 2].

BTW, the myth that you see twice the number of processes due to the setting PARALLEL_THREADS_PER_CPU=2 is obviously not true. The above is why you will see 2 times the processes of the DOP.

In a PWJ plan the consumers are not present. Instead of producing rows and giving those to different processes, a PWJ only uses a single set of processes. Each process reads its piece of the join across the two tables and performs the join.

exec_plan_PW_join

The plan here is notably different from the initial plan. First of all the hash join is done right on top of both table scans [line 8]. This query is a little more complex than the previous so there is a bit of noise above that bit of info, but for this post, lets ignore that (sort stuff).

The important piece here is that the PWJ plan typically will be faster and from a PX process number / resources typically cheaper. You may want to look out for those plans and try to get those to appear a lot...

CREDITS: credits for the plans and some of the info on the plans go to Maria, as she actually produced these plans and is the expert on plans in general... You can see her talk about explaining the explain plan and other optimizer stuff over here:

Happy joining and hope to see you all at ODTUG and OOW...

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