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  • Writer's picturekyle Hailey

Oracle CPU time

There are 3 kinds of CPU in the Oracle stats.

  1. Oracle CPU used

  2. System CPU used

  3. Oracle demand for CPU

Starting in 10g Oracle records both the CPU used by the instance as well as the load on the system in v$sysmetric. This is awesome as we can see how busy the system is and how much of the CPU Oracle is responsible for:

col metric_name for a25
col metric_unit for a25
select metric_name, value, metric_unit from v$sysmetric where metric_name like'%CPU%' where group_id=2;
METRIC_NAME                         VALUE METRIC_UNIT
------------------------------ ---------- ------------------------------
CPU Usage Per Sec              251.067016 CentiSeconds Per Second
CPU Usage Per Txn              5025.52477 CentiSeconds Per Txn
Host CPU Utilization (%)       11.6985845 % Busy/(Idle+Busy)
Database CPU Time Ratio        76.3291033 % Cpu/DB_Time

Now the question is how do we convert these to something useful? For me I put it into the equivalent of AAS and compare it to the core count:

   select 'CPU_ORA_CONSUMED'                                     CLASS,
                    round(value/100,3)                             AAS
             from v$sysmetric
             where metric_name='CPU Usage Per Sec'
               and group_id=2
          union
            select 'CPU_OS'                                        CLASS ,
                    round((prcnt.busy*parameter.cpu_count)/100,3)    sAAS
            from
              ( select value busy from v$sysmetric
                where metric_name='Host CPU Utilization (%)'
                 and group_id=2 ) prcnt,
             ( select value cpu_count
                 from v$parameter
                where name='cpu_count' )  parameter;

CLASS                  AAS
---------------- ----------
CPU_ORA_CONSUMED       .002
CPU_OS                 .022

An AAS of 1 is equivalent to 100% of a core, so, OS CPU is about 2% of a core and of that Oracle used 0.2% of a core. Not a very active system, and we can look at an active system later, but what I wanted to point out is that this query is missing an important statistic: the demand for CPU by Oracle. We can only add that, AFAIK, by joing in ASH:

   select 'CPU_ORA_CONSUMED'                                     CLASS,
                    round(value/100,3)                             AAS
             from v$sysmetric
             where metric_name='CPU Usage Per Sec'
               and group_id=2
          union
            select 'CPU_OS'                                         CLASS ,
                    round((prcnt.busy*parameter.cpu_count)/100,3)     AAS
            from
              ( select value busy from v$sysmetric
                 where metric_name='Host CPU Utilization (%)'
                   and group_id=2 ) prcnt,
              ( select value cpu_count from v$parameter
                 where name='cpu_count' )  parameter
          union
             select
               'CPU_ORA_DEMAND'                                            CLASS,
               nvl(round( sum(decode(session_state,'ON CPU',1,0))/60,2),0) AAS
             from v$active_session_history ash
             where SAMPLE_TIME > sysdate - (60/(24*60*60));

CLASS                   AAS
---------------- ----------
CPU_ORA_CONSUMED       .001
CPU_ORA_DEMAND          .02
CPU_OS                 .019

So the demand for CPU was higher than the amount consumed. Now the demand for CPU is coming from ASH which is sampled so the accuracy is weak, but in larger sample sets or busier systems it’s pretty darn good. The demand alert us to CPU starvation on a busy  system.

I like to wrap all this up into a query with all the wait classes to see the overall load on Oracle including CPU consumed by Oracle, CPU demanded by Oracle and CPU used at the OS level:

select
                 decode(n.wait_class,'User I/O','User I/O',
                                     'Commit','Commit',
                                     'Wait')                               CLASS,
                 sum(round(m.time_waited/m.INTSIZE_CSEC,3))                AAS
           from  v$waitclassmetric  m,
                 v$system_wait_class n
           where m.wait_class_id=n.wait_class_id
             and n.wait_class != 'Idle'
           group by  decode(n.wait_class,'User I/O','User I/O', 'Commit','Commit', 'Wait')
          union
             select 'CPU_ORA_CONSUMED'                                     CLASS,
                    round(value/100,3)                                     AAS
             from v$sysmetric
             where metric_name='CPU Usage Per Sec'
               and group_id=2
          union
            select 'CPU_OS'                                                CLASS ,
                    round((prcnt.busy*parameter.cpu_count)/100,3)          AAS
            from
              ( select value busy from v$sysmetric where metric_name='Host CPU Utilization (%)' and group_id=2 ) prcnt,
              ( select value cpu_count from v$parameter where name='cpu_count' )  parameter
          union
             select
               'CPU_ORA_DEMAND'                                            CLASS,
               nvl(round( sum(decode(session_state,'ON CPU',1,0))/60,2),0) AAS
             from v$active_session_history ash
             where SAMPLE_TIME > sysdate - (60/(24*60*60));

CLASS                   AAS
---------------- ----------
CPU_ORA_CONSUMED       .002
CPU_ORA_DEMAND          .03
CPU_OS                 .023
Commit                    0
User I/O                  0
Wait                      0

Ideally I’d want the CPU stats to be subsets of each other so that I could have a graphically stack-able set of statistics

now rolling it all together
with AASSTAT as (
           select
                 decode(n.wait_class,'User I/O','User I/O',
                                     'Commit','Commit',
                                     'Wait')                               CLASS,
                 sum(round(m.time_waited/m.INTSIZE_CSEC,3))                AAS
           from  v$waitclassmetric  m,
                 v$system_wait_class n
           where m.wait_class_id=n.wait_class_id
             and n.wait_class != 'Idle'
           group by  decode(n.wait_class,'User I/O','User I/O', 'Commit','Commit', 'Wait')
          union
             select 'CPU_ORA_CONSUMED'                                     CLASS,
                    round(value/100,3)                                     AAS
             from v$sysmetric
             where metric_name='CPU Usage Per Sec'
               and group_id=2
          union
            select 'CPU_OS'                                                CLASS ,
                    round((prcnt.busy*parameter.cpu_count)/100,3)          AAS
            from
              ( select value busy from v$sysmetric where metric_name='Host CPU Utilization (%)' and group_id=2 ) prcnt,
              ( select value cpu_count from v$parameter where name='cpu_count' )  parameter
          union
             select
               'CPU_ORA_DEMAND'                                            CLASS,
               nvl(round( sum(decode(session_state,'ON CPU',1,0))/60,2),0) AAS
             from v$active_session_history ash
             where SAMPLE_TIME > sysdate - (60/(24*60*60))
)
select
       ( decode(sign(CPU_OS-CPU_ORA_CONSUMED), -1, 0, (CPU_OS - CPU_ORA_CONSUMED )) +
       CPU_ORA_CONSUMED +
        decode(sign(CPU_ORA_DEMAND-CPU_ORA_CONSUMED), -1, 0, (CPU_ORA_DEMAND - CPU_ORA_CONSUMED ))) CPU_TOTAL,
       decode(sign(CPU_OS-CPU_ORA_CONSUMED), -1, 0, (CPU_OS - CPU_ORA_CONSUMED )) CPU_OS,
       CPU_ORA_CONSUMED CPU_ORA,
       decode(sign(CPU_ORA_DEMAND-CPU_ORA_CONSUMED), -1, 0, (CPU_ORA_DEMAND - CPU_ORA_CONSUMED )) CPU_ORA_WAIT,
       COMMIT,
       READIO,
       WAIT
from (
select
       sum(decode(CLASS,'CPU_ORA_CONSUMED',AAS,0)) CPU_ORA_CONSUMED,
       sum(decode(CLASS,'CPU_ORA_DEMAND'  ,AAS,0)) CPU_ORA_DEMAND,
       sum(decode(CLASS,'CPU_OS'          ,AAS,0)) CPU_OS,
       sum(decode(CLASS,'Commit'          ,AAS,0)) COMMIT,
       sum(decode(CLASS,'User I/O'        ,AAS,0)) READIO,
       sum(decode(CLASS,'Wait'            ,AAS,0)) WAIT
from AASSTAT)
/

    CPU_OS    CPU_ORA CPU_ORA_WAIT     COMMIT     READIO       WAIT
---------- ---------- ------------ ---------- ---------- ----------
       .02       .002            0          0          0          0

Now let’s run up some load on a machine and database. Take two databases, run up the CPU demand on both and add some wait contention. The machine has 24 cores so there is a definitely a problem when the CPU_TOTAL goes over 24. I’m running 14 sessions each trying to burn a core on two different databases. The first few lines the test is ramping up

SQL> /

 CPU_TOTAL     CPU_OS    CPU_ORA CPU_ORA_WAIT     COMMIT     READIO       WAIT
---------- ---------- ---------- ------------ ---------- ---------- ----------
    14.887       .387     13.753         .747          0          0       .023

SQL> /

 CPU_TOTAL     CPU_OS    CPU_ORA CPU_ORA_WAIT     COMMIT     READIO       WAIT
---------- ---------- ---------- ------------ ---------- ---------- ----------
    21.989      7.469     12.909        1.611          0          0       .044

SQL> /

 CPU_TOTAL     CPU_OS    CPU_ORA CPU_ORA_WAIT     COMMIT     READIO       WAIT
---------- ---------- ---------- ------------ ---------- ---------- ----------
    26.595     12.125     11.841        2.629          0          0       .025

SQL> /

 CPU_TOTAL     CPU_OS    CPU_ORA CPU_ORA_WAIT     COMMIT     READIO       WAIT
---------- ---------- ---------- ------------ ---------- ---------- ----------
    27.045     12.125     11.841        3.079          0          0       .025
 

Historically CPU used by Oracle was derived from

v$sysstat.name=’CPU used by this session’

but this statistic had problems as the value was only updated every time a call ended. A call could be a 1 hour PL/SQL procedure which would thus report zero cpu usage in the stats until it finished and the CPU would spike off the scale.

ASH had always been the most stable way to gather CPU demand, though Oracle has made improvements in gathering CPU statistics. I believe that the time model gathers CPU every 5 seconds in 10g, and in 11g it’s possible that CPU stats are gathered every second

Here is a visual example of a machine that has server memory contention, massive amounts of paging. There is OS CPU being used, but hardly any CPU being used by Oracle which makes sense as it’s an idle database, but what is revealing is the massive amount of CPU wait by Oracle. Oracle only has a little bit of work to do to take care of an idle database but we can see that most of Oracle’s CPU time is wait for CPU time as when it wants to work, pages have to be read back in,


I have my doubts as to the clarity of the layout of the above graph. A possibly clearly graph would be simpling adding a line representing available CPU and take out the OSCPU bars. In the above graph I’ve charted OSCPU usage as AAS, ie average active sessions, mixing AAS of the database with AAS at the OS level. I think a  possible clear representation would be to show the Core count line, and draw the OSCPU usage shown upside down from the # of core lines, thus the space from the bottom axis to where the OSCPU reaches down would be available CPU.

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