Skip to main content

Ingres resource limiting : Part 1(Ingres Query Execution Plan)

There were complaints about having long delays,putting strain on the hardware.(Ingres II 2.6, Unix HP-UX)
The problem is that as there are more than 100 users working on the system concurrently, they did not know which report was hogging the system down.Since there are over 10 fully blown application and each one possesses more than 200 (2300 in total) reports it would be really hard identifying the actual SQL queries and optimizing them.
As the applications in question range from warehouse monitoring to bookings, the meaning of the 'report' term has a mixed meaning.There are reports that are produced in a weekly,monthly or annual basis and there are frequent printouts during a user's daily work with all sorts of details.
An intermediate solution was to capture the QEP for each report as it is generated and check it against some predefined values that set the threshold of the system. If the value generated by the query itself is above the threshold then a warning message would prompt the user to continue with the report generation or not. That was the requirement set by the client, that is, to not abort the query automatically but inform the user and let him decide as to continue or not.
The issue is with letting the user decide.If not,then by just setting the directive 'set maxio' to the threshold value, the ingres resource limiter would preemptively refuse to run the query if the optimizer estimates that the threshold has been reached.But this is not the case so we have to work around it by parsing the QEP output.

An example of a QEP dump is

QUERY PLAN 5,1, no timeout, of main query

        FSM Join(col1)
        Pages 1 Tups 156
        D9 C40
/                     \
Proj-rest              Proj-rest
Sorted(eno)            Sorted(eno)
Pages 1 Tups 156  Pages 1 Tups 156
D8 C1                  D1 C1
/                            /
arel                     brel
Hashed(col1)             Isam(col1)
Pages 70 Tups 156        Pages 3 Tups 156

What we are looking for here is the string D9 C40 which tells that 9 disk IO resources are needed for the query to be executed.Let's say that the threshold value is 5,then 9>5 so the message is sent to the user's console.The good thing with the QEP is that the cost for each node is summed upped on the totals of the main node hence you look for parsing only the main node.

The directives 'set qep;set optimizeonly' allow for generating the query plan without continuing with executing the actual query.

The problem was that Ingres does not have a way of returning the values sought programatically so to be used by a function,as in this case,it just dumps the plan on screen.

So there had to be a C procedure be written which is called from inside the 4GL application.
The C procedure runs the 'report' command passing 'set qep;set optimizeonly' as parameters to the report so that the report's query is not executed. Instead the QEP is produced which the procedure scans for the IO value sought and subsequently passed to the 4GL application.
It also passes a few other values back such as a timestamp,possible error values etc which can be used for logging purposes.Plus it logs which report is running,since it is considered problematic,so that it can be analyzed and optimized.
For it to function realistically, correct statistics should have been obtained by running optimizedb, which should not be a problem as it is frequently run as a cron job.

The test was successful both on the test site and on the production side.
In certain occasions it produced results that indicate that if the report generation would go ahead it would put strain on the system and user's responded by canceling the report before it was actually generated.

An actual sample of the log table on site follows :

│timestamp    │result │custommessage
│   1213165816│   76  │Report not cancelled
│   1213168619│   76  │Report not cancelled
│   1213171751│   76  │Report not cancelled
│   1213256073│   3926│Report cancelled
│   1213257002│   64  │Report not cancelled
│   1213337320│   64  │Report not cancelled
│   1213682936│   72  │Report not cancelled
│   1213702385│   679 │Report cancelled
│   1213771574│   64  │Report cancelled
│   1213779268│   64  │Report not cancelled
│   1213780153│   68  │Report not cancelled
│   1213854779│   76  │Report cancelled
Clearly a report requiring 3926 or 679 disk I/O during day time should not be run!
Especially the first one which is an annual statistics reports, but fortunately the user did cancel it since he was given the option.


Popular posts from this blog

Book Review : How To Create Pragmatic, Lightweight Languages

At last, a guide that makes creating a language with its associated baggage of lexers, parsers and compilers, accessible to mere mortals, rather to a group of a few hardcore eclectics as it stood until now.

The first thing that catches the eye, is the subtitle:

The unix philosophy applied to language design, for GPLs and DSLs"
What is meant by "unix philosophy" ?. It's taking simple, high quality components and combining them together in smart ways to obtain a complex result; the exact approach the book adopts.
I'm getting ahead here, but a first sample of this philosophy becomes apparent at the beginnings of Chapter 5 where the Parser treats and calls the Lexer like  unix's pipes as in lexer|parser. Until the end of the book, this pipeline is going to become larger, like a chain, due to the amount of components that end up interacting together.

The book opens by putting things into perspective in Chapter 1: Motivation: why do you want to build lan…

Deep Angel-The AI of Future Media Manipulation

Undeniably, we live in the era of media manipulation. Such powerful and accessible tools exist today that nearly everyone can do it. Now add to this collection Deep Angel, an artificial intelligence that can erase objects from photographs and videos.

I was notified of Deep Angel around the time I was watching Kill Switch, a futuristic and dystopic movie about our Earth getting cloned in order to suck the resources of the cloned planet, something that would sustain our world's energy needs for at least another millennium. To cut a long story short... full article on

SAP's Creating Trustworthy and Ethical Artificial Intelligence

With the ink hardly dry on the pages of the EU Ethical AI Guidelines manifest, a free online course exploring the issues they raise is already in prospect on the openSAP platform. Run by members of the very same group, the European Union’s High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence, who wrote the guidelines and in cooperation with SAP's online education platform, a course with the titleCreating Trustworthy and Ethical Artificial Intelligence has been made accessible to anyone with an interest on AI or ML:
full article on