Thursday, December 20, 2012

Oracle GoldenGate Sequence Replication

When using Oracle GoldenGate sequence replication there is a number of issues you need to be aware of especially if you replicate quite a lot of busy sequences.

The first issue is that GoldenGate sequence replication does not use bind variables. Let's execute the following statements on the source system:
SQL> create sequence rep1.s1 nocache;
 
Sequence created
 
SQL> select rep1.s1.nextval from dual;
 
   NEXTVAL
----------
         1
 
SQL> select rep1.s1.nextval from dual;
 
   NEXTVAL
----------
         2
GoldenGate uses PL/SQL procedure called replicateSequence each time it needs to sync sequence values. The following calls will be made on the destination system as a result of the above statements:
BEGIN ggext .replicateSequence (TO_NUMBER(2), TO_NUMBER(20), TO_NUMBER(1), 'REP1', TO_NUMBER(0), 'S1', UPPER('ggrep'), TO_NUMBER(1), TO_NUMBER (0), ''); END;
BEGIN ggext .replicateSequence (TO_NUMBER(3), TO_NUMBER(20), TO_NUMBER(1), 'REP1', TO_NUMBER(0), 'S1', UPPER('ggrep'), TO_NUMBER(1), TO_NUMBER (0), ''); END;
The first parameter is a target sequence value (seq$.highwater) and it's the one which is causing most of the issues, especially if the sequence has been declared with relatively low cache value (or nocache at all, as in my example). Every time a new sequence last value gets written into the source system data dictionary we get a hard parse on the destination!

When using higher cache values the problem of hard parses gets somewhat mitigated but there is another issue. When replicating such a sequence GoldenGate follows these steps:
  1. Sets sequence to nocache
  2. Executes sequence.nextval until it reaches the target value
  3. Restores altered sequence properties
So if you have, say, a sequence with cache 1000 then each time a new value gets written into seq$.highwater on the source, GoldenGate is going to execute sequence.nextval one thousand times on the destination! As you can imagine this aren't performing particularly fast as getting every next value will result in Oracle updating actual row in the data dictionary. All of the above means that replicating sequences can sometimes put quite a bit of strain on the system. A much faster (and simpler) approach would be to use step to reach target sequence value instead of fetching it on-by-one in nocache mode. Last but not least, you can end up with nocache sequence if procedure crashes in the middle.

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