March 8


The Teradata Fastload

By Roland Wenzlofsky

March 8, 2014


In my career as Teradata professional, I have seen a lot of performance problems caused by the inappropriate use of fastloads. As we all know, each Teradata System has some limit on the number of parallel fastloads allowed. We should better be careful in choosing how we get data into the Teradata Database.

I would never recommend using the Teradata fastload utility for loads of less than 100.000 rows. 100.000 rows are just a rule of thumb, but a good starting point for loading on Teradata.

There are several options of how to get data into a Teradata database, each of them with its advantages and disadvantages. Usually, I use BTEQ loads if I load less than 100.000 rows, TPUMP to load up to 500.000 rows and probably I will use fastloads for more than 500.000 rows. Always pay attention to very wide rows as this could be a reason to use fast loading even if the number of rows points to a TPUMP or BTEQ load.

I remember one client who was loading almost every single table with fast loads, even the empty ones. As a result, nightly batch loads very heavily delayed as load jobs had to wait for free fast load slots and got queued. After a redesign, changing all small tables being loaded (with an arbitrarily chosen limit of 100.000 rows) to TPUMP, load times decreased by about 50%!

My experience is that the easiest way is to use DBC.DBQLOGTBL to determine the load type. Query the rows with where column StatementType equals “Fastload.” The column “UtilityRowCount” is the number of rows which has been loaded. All loads with a UtilityRowCount lass than 100.000 rows should be candidates for being changed to BTEQ or TPUMP.

Roland Wenzlofsky

Roland Wenzlofsky is a graduated computer scientist and Data Warehouse professional working with the Teradata database system for more than 20 years. He is experienced in the fields of banking and telecommunication with a strong focus on performance optimization.

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