Peoplesoft and 12c Adaptive Features

2016-11-29 EDIT: Oracle has announced that in 12.2 the features that drove this overuse of the result cache (dynamic stats triggered by SPDs) will default to off, and provided patches to apply to 12.1 as well.  More info here.

I had been collecting examples and mentally writing something about this but the king of Peoplesoft DBAs, David Kurtz, beat me to it.  So I’ll just link to his analysis: Peoplesoft on Oracle 12c.  Read on for some of my own experience tuning around the issues with 12c Adaptive Features.  Apologies that it isn’t complete or full of examples, I wanted to at least get something out here before more months pass me by.  I may improve it over time.  Also, the experiences that led to this post were on 12.1.0.2.0.  We have patched to 160119, the January bundle patch, but there hasn’t been enough time to assess if any of the fixes to SQL Plan Management and Adaptive features apply to this situation.

The short story is that Peoplesoft has a lot of trouble with the 12c adaptive features.  Peoplesoft still has a lot of queries that do not use binds.  Especially with Peoplesoft jobs that run thousands of these queries that are normally < 1 second, there can be relatively massive increases in runtime when you move to 12c.  If you look at trace files (10046 and 10053), you see that what is happening is that it is spending a ton of time in the parse phase, doing “test” queries.  This is of course poor application design, but it is a vendor app and it certainly isn’t the only one like it.

Unfortunately the issues with applications that are not perfectly designed for Oracle were not apparent until we spent some quality time with our Peoplesoft databases running on 12c in production.  So at this point it would take a pretty large performance testing effort to turn off adaptive features at the database level.  So far, I have been working with individual performance issues by:

  • Having the developers add session variable statements to turn off adaptive features at the beginning of the job;
  • If that’s not possible, or we only want to fix one query, having them add an OPT_PARAM(‘OPTIMIZER_ADAPTIVE_FEATURES’,’false’) hint;
  • If they can’t/won’t change the code (delivered code, for instance) then I create a one-hint SQL Profile with force matching on.

I’ve seen a number of similar-but-different issues with performance and 12c adaptive features, but one recurring pattern that is resolvable in the same way each time goes as follows.

  • Cursor pin s wait on x waits
  • Also library cache pin
  • Spending inordinate time in parse

In 11g, the “fix prod fast” solution for an execution plan gone rogue was to look at the history of various plans, find a good one, and create a SQL Plan Baseline (we’ll ignore differing plans for differing binds for now for the sake of brevity).  Then you can go back and take some time to look at stats.  One of the most annoying things about 12c Adaptive Features is that SQL Plan Directives cause the Optimizer to ignore your SQL Plan Baselines.  It thinks it knows better, or at least it wants to try and find out.  More aspects of this particular situation:

  • SQL Plan Baseline(s) are ignored/not used, even if Accepted, even if Fixed (maddening).  Either a baseline you create to try to fix the problem, or one that was already there – same result.  You can see them being considered and discarded in an Optimizer trace.  Even if the plan was used by the same query moments ago, the Optimizer says they fail to validate as workable plans.
  • There are tons of SQL Plan Baselines, sometimes 100+.
  • Often, at least one of the tables involved in the query has an inordinate number of SQL Plan Directives, even after running stats.

To fix this situation I have taken the following steps:

  • Created SQL Profile disabling 12c Adaptive Features (thanks to Kerry Osborne for his single-hint sql profile script) … see hint above.
  • Deleted all SQL Baselines.  Flush the individual statement from cache if necessary.
  • At this point, parse related waits dropped off.
  • The query was now using a new plan but it was not a great plan, so it was still somewhat slow (but not waiting on parse / pin S / library cache etc).
  • Ran stats on all tables involved, a new plan was derived by the Optimizer. (Note: stats were not stale and had also been run manually per-table beforehand to attempt a fix.)
  • Created new baseline with best plan.

From that point on, performance was excellent, parse time was minimal, and the plan was stable.

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