Latch, mutex and beyond

December 16, 2010

Hotsos Symposium 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — andreynikolaev @ 9:33 pm

I will be speaking at Hotsos Symposium 2011 which will be held on March 6 — 10, 2011 in Dallas.

Of course, I will speak about “Contemporary Latch Internals“. I would like to post my abstract here:

“Latches in Oracle Database were radically changed during the last 10 years to achieve higher levels of concurrency and performance. Using oradebug and DTrace, this presentation explores how the latch works. Contemporary latch does not use exponential backoff, most of them spin 10 times more then expected, and they may wait for an infinite time in a queue.

This presentation will show how Oracle instruments the latch operations, discuss parameters and statistics related to latch performance diagnostics, and fine grain tuning. It will also explore the long-standing question: when and how to tune the “_spin_count” and “_latch_classes“. DTrace provides additional capabilities to measure effectiveness and statistical properties of latch in production.”

Some parts of this abstract were appeared in my blog and discussed in seminars. There will be many new topics!
The Hotsos Symposium is the unique conference dedicated to Oracle performance. Hopefully to see you there!

Hidden latch wait revolution that we missed

Filed under: History,Latch,shared latch — andreynikolaev @ 8:25 pm

The way an Oracle process waits for a latch. This seems trivial. Oracle 11.2 documentation explicitly states about “latch free” wait event:
… The wait time increases exponentially and does not include spinning on the latch (active waiting). The maximum wait time also depends on the number of latches that the process is holding. There is an incremental wait of up to 2 seconds…

In this post, I would like to show that this exponential backoff was obsoleted in Oracle 9.2. Since that time, all the Oracle versions use completely new latch wait posting mechanism and FIFO queuing for all, except one latch.
Oracle no longer uses “repeatedly spin and sleep” approach. The process spins and waits only once. The pseudo code for contemporary latch acquisition should looks like:

  Immediate latch get 
    Spin latch get 
       Add the process to the queue of latch waiters
          Sleep until posted


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