Teradata Tuning with Query Rewriting
In this article, I will show you an SQL tuning I did in one of my recent projects. It demonstrates impressively how query rewriting can be used to meet the dramatic reduction in resource usage.
The following SQL statement was identified as being problematic because it had a very longexecution times:
,CASE WHEN t02.PK IS NULL THEN ‘NEW’ ELSE ‘CHANGED’ END AS Type_Indicator
t01.PK = t02.PK AND
AND PK2.TheDate <> DATE’9999-12-31′
PK1.TheDate = DATE’9999-12-31′
GROUP BY 1,2,3…,59,60;
This is the related table DDL:
CREATE TABLE TheTable
PK INTEGER NOT NULL,
TheDate DATE FORMAT ‘YYYY-MM-DD’,
) PRIMARY INDEX(PK);
First of all, let me give you some details about the query above: We are selecting from a table containing one record per object and efficient date (columns “PK” and “TheDate”). The table has about 150 million rows and a huge number of columns.
The idea behind the query is to select all current rows of each object (which can be identified by the largest date ‘9999-12-31’) and show if there exists at least one historical row (with an older effective date). We use the column “Type_Indicator” to differentiate between objects with history and such objects without history (“OLD” or “NEW”)
If you briefly analyze the SQL statement, you will see that it correctly delivers the above-described result.
But I already mentioned: The query is performing bad, having run times of up to 2 hours.
Let’s dissect the query and find out its weak points:
As we are doing a self-join, we get back each current row several times (namely, each time it matches with a historical row).
If we want to select only one current row, a GROUP BY statement is needed.
Although the join can be done AMP-local (as the join column matches the Primary Index), we have a costly redistribution step for the GROUP BY statement. Furthermore, the spool has to be sorted by all 60 columns to be able to do the grouping.
Obviously, costs are increasing rapidly with the number of table rows and columns being grouped.
Now that we know the query’s weak points let’s analyze how we could improve it.
Actually, in the original query, we are joining all historical rows against the current row only to detect if there exists at least one historical row. We can do this in a better way:
, CASE WHEN t02.PK IS NULL THEN ‘NEW’ ELSE ‘CHANGED’ END AS Type_Indicator
SELECT DISTINCT PK
WHERE TheDate <> DATE’9999-12-31′
t01.PK = t02.PK AND
PK1.TheDate = DATE’9999-12-31′;
In above query, I was moving the compare logic into a subquery, which is aggregating only the primary key column. Everything else stays the same.
There is one significant advantage the new query has:
Although it still involves an aggregation step (DISTINCT) and the same AMP-local join step, the aggregation is done AMP-local (no redistribution is needed). Our old query required a costly redistribution step.
Furthermore, only one column has to be sorted. In our old query, the AMPs had to sort by 60 columns, which is much more expensive.
Performance tuning should always be accomplished by some measures, to prove the success. Here they are:
Disk IOs old: 1,878,357
Disk IOs new: 163,532
We were able to cut disk IOs by almost 91%!
Similarly, the situation is for the required spool space:
Spool Space old: approx. 16.3 GB
Spool Space new: approx. 3.3 GB
We reduced spool usage by approx. 80%!
I hope that our tuning example showed impressively how slight changes in a query often could have an enormous impact on resource usage.