Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Table Fragmentation

Table Fragmentation

Found this good note on net:-
When rows are not stored contiguously, or if rows are split onto more than one block, performance decreases because these rows require additional block accesses.

Note that table fragmentation is different from file fragmentation. When a lot of DML operations are applied on a table, the table will become fragmented because DML does not release free space from the table below the HWM.

HWM is an indicator of USED BLOCKS in the database. Blocks below the high water mark (used blocks) have at least once contained data. This data might have been deleted. Since Oracle knows that blocks beyond the high water mark don't have data, it only reads blocks up to the high water mark when doing a full table scan.

DDL statement always resets the HWM.

Table size (with fragmentation)

SQL> select table_name,round((blocks*8),2)||'kb' "size"
2 from user_tables
3 where table_name = 'BIG1';

TABLE_NAME size
------------------------------ ------------------------------------------
BIG1 72952kb

Actual data in table:

SQL> select table_name,round((num_rows*avg_row_len/1024),2)||'kb' "size"
2 from user_tables
3 where table_name = 'BIG1';

TABLE_NAME size
------------------------------ ------------------------------------------
BIG1 30604.2kb

Note = 72952 - 30604 = 42348 Kb is wasted space in table

The difference between two values is 60% and Pctfree 10% (default) - so, the table has 50% extra space which is wasted because there is no data.

How to reset HWM / remove fragemenation?

For that we need to reorganize the fragmented table.

We have four options to reorganize fragmented tables:

1. alter table ... move + rebuild indexes
2. export / truncate / import
3. create table as select ( CTAS)
4. dbms_redefinition

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