How to fix queries on DBA_FREE_SPACE that are slow

I found myself in a situation where OpsView, a monitoring tool, was having difficulty monitoring the tablespaces for a particular pluggable database.

Upon investigation it was found the queries against the dictionary tableย DBA_FREE_SPACE were taking a very long time:

SQL> set timing on
SQL> select nvl(sum(dfs.bytes)/1024/1024,0) from dba_free_space dfs where dfs.tablespace_name = 'USERS';

NVL(SUM(DFS.BYTES)/1024/1024,0)
-------------------------------
 70.75

Elapsed: 00:00:10.98

There are 60 tablespaces in this pluggable database, which the time varied querying each tablespace, but was by far where most the time was spent.

I wrote a PL/SQL block to mimic Opsview as I didn’t want to create an object (procedure) in this customer’s database:

SET SERVEROUTPUT ON
SET TIMING ON
DECLARE
 cursor ts_names is select tablespace_name from dba_tablespaces where contents != 'TEMPORARY';
 sql_used VARCHAR(200) := 'select nvl(sum(dfs.bytes)/1024/1024,0) from dba_free_space dfs where dfs.tablespace_name = ''text_string''';
 sql_free VARCHAR(200) := 'select nvl(sum(dfs.bytes)/1024/1024,0) from dba_free_space dfs where dfs.tablespace_name = ''text_string''';
 sql_max VARCHAR(200) := 'select sum(maxbytes-bytes)/1024/1024 from dba_data_files where AUTOEXTENSIBLE = ''YES'' and maxbytes>bytes and tablespace_name = ''text_string''';
 num_out NUMBER;
BEGIN
 FOR ts_name in ts_names
 LOOP
 --sql for used space
 EXECUTE IMMEDIATE replace(sql_used, 'text_string', ts_name.tablespace_name) into num_out;
 dbms_output.put_line(replace(sql_used, 'text_string', ts_name.tablespace_name));
 dbms_output.put_line(num_out);
 --sql for free space
 EXECUTE IMMEDIATE replace(sql_free, 'text_string', ts_name.tablespace_name) into num_out;
 dbms_output.put_line(replace(sql_free, 'text_string', ts_name.tablespace_name));
 dbms_output.put_line(num_out);
 --sql for max
 EXECUTE IMMEDIATE replace(sql_max, 'text_string', ts_name.tablespace_name) into num_out;
 dbms_output.put_line(replace(sql_max, 'text_string', ts_name.tablespace_name));
 dbms_output.put_line(num_out);
 END LOOP;
END;
/

I ran this and the total time was shocking ๐Ÿ˜ :

SQL> --SET SERVEROUTPUT ON
SQL> SET TIMING ON
SQL> DECLARE
 2 cursor ts_names is select tablespace_name from dba_tablespaces where contents != 'TEMPORARY';
 3 sql_used VARCHAR(200) := 'select nvl(sum(dfs.bytes)/1024/1024,0) from dba_free_space dfs where dfs.tablespace_name = ''text_string''';
 4 sql_free VARCHAR(200) := 'select nvl(sum(dfs.bytes)/1024/1024,0) from dba_free_space dfs where dfs.tablespace_name = ''text_string''';
 5 sql_max VARCHAR(200) := 'select sum(maxbytes-bytes)/1024/1024 from dba_data_files where AUTOEXTENSIBLE = ''YES'' and maxbytes>bytes and tablespace_name = ''text_string''';
 6 num_out NUMBER;
 7 BEGIN
 8 FOR ts_name in ts_names
 9 LOOP
 10 --sql for used space
 11 EXECUTE IMMEDIATE replace(sql_used, 'text_string', ts_name.tablespace_name) into num_out;
 12 dbms_output.put_line(replace(sql_used, 'text_string', ts_name.tablespace_name));
 13 dbms_output.put_line(num_out);
 14 --sql for free space
 15 EXECUTE IMMEDIATE replace(sql_free, 'text_string', ts_name.tablespace_name) into num_out;
 16 dbms_output.put_line(replace(sql_free, 'text_string', ts_name.tablespace_name));
 17 dbms_output.put_line(num_out);
 --sql for max
 18 19 EXECUTE IMMEDIATE replace(sql_max, 'text_string', ts_name.tablespace_name) into num_out;
 20 dbms_output.put_line(replace(sql_max, 'text_string', ts_name.tablespace_name));
 21 dbms_output.put_line(num_out);
 22 END LOOP;
END;
 23 24 /

PL/SQL procedure successfully completed.

Elapsed: 00:21:30.94
SQL>

So I searched My Oracle Support (MOS) and found the following MOS note:
Queries on DBA_FREE_SPACE are Slow (Doc ID 271169.1)

Which states:
“1) In release 10g, the view dba_free_space was modified to also include objects in the recycle bin.

2) Large number of objects in the recyclebin can slow down queries onย  dba_free_space.

3) This is a normal behaviour.

4) For release 11g, the view dba_free_space doesn’t contain a hint which in case when there is only few objects in recyclebin, you may want to gather underlying stats of tables/dictionary to get better performance.”

The database indeed did have a lot of objects in the recycle bin (in the pluggable database):

SQL> SELECT count(*) from dba_recyclebin;

 COUNT(*)
----------
 27615

SQL>

With most of them drop recently:

SQL> select trunc(to_date(DROPTIME,'YYYY-MM-DD:HH24:MI:SS')), count(*) from dba_recyclebin group by trunc(to_date(DROPTIME,'YYYY-MM-DD:HH24:MI:SS'))
  2  order by 1
  3 /

TRUNC(TO_ COUNT(*)
--------- ----------
24-SEP-16 2
...
19-JAN-18 2506
20-JAN-18 4322
21-JAN-18 4321
22-JAN-18 4320
23-JAN-18 4321
24-JAN-18 4321
25-JAN-18 2446

421 rows selected.

SQL>

So I purged the recycle bin (with customers permission)ย  and re-ran the check:

SQL> purge dba_recyclebin;

DBA Recyclebin purged.

Elapsed: 00:06:30.39
SQL> --SET SERVEROUTPUT ON
SET TIMING ON
SQL> SQL> DECLARE
 2 cursor ts_names is select tablespace_name from dba_tablespaces where contents != 'TEMPORARY';
 3 sql_used VARCHAR(200) := 'select nvl(sum(dfs.bytes)/1024/1024,0) from dba_free_space dfs where dfs.tablespace_name = ''text_string''';
 4 sql_free VARCHAR(200) := 'select nvl(sum(dfs.bytes)/1024/1024,0) from dba_free_space dfs where dfs.tablespace_name = ''text_string''';
 5 sql_max VARCHAR(200) := 'select sum(maxbytes-bytes)/1024/1024 from dba_data_files where AUTOEXTENSIBLE = ''YES'' and maxbytes>bytes and tablespace_name = ''text_string''';
 6 num_out NUMBER;
 7 BEGIN
 8 FOR ts_name in ts_names
 9 LOOP
 10 --sql for used space
 11 EXECUTE IMMEDIATE replace(sql_used, 'text_string', ts_name.tablespace_name) into num_out;
 12 dbms_output.put_line(replace(sql_used, 'text_string', ts_name.tablespace_name));
 13 dbms_output.put_line(num_out);
 14 --sql for free space
 15 EXECUTE IMMEDIATE replace(sql_free, 'text_string', ts_name.tablespace_name) into num_out;
 16 dbms_output.put_line(replace(sql_free, 'text_string', ts_name.tablespace_name));
 17 dbms_output.put_line(num_out);
 18 --sql for max
 19 EXECUTE IMMEDIATE replace(sql_max, 'text_string', ts_name.tablespace_name) into num_out;
 20 dbms_output.put_line(replace(sql_max, 'text_string', ts_name.tablespace_name));
 21 dbms_output.put_line(num_out);
 22 END LOOP;
 23 END;
 24 /

PL/SQL procedure successfully completed.

Elapsed: 00:02:46.25
SQL>

Result, the duration of the PL/SQL block went from 21 minutes to just under 3 minutes.ย  However I need it to go under 2 minutes as this was the timeout for OpsView.

So I proceed with the next recommendation in the MOS note of gather dictionary and fixed table stats (with customers permission) using MOS note:
How to Gather Statistics on Objects Owned by the ‘SYS’ User and ‘Fixed’ Objects (Doc ID 457926.1)

SQL> EXEC DBMS_STATS.GATHER_DICTIONARY_STATS;

PL/SQL procedure successfully completed.

Elapsed: 00:00:20.49

SQL> EXEC DBMS_STATS.GATHER_FIXED_OBJECTS_STATS;

PL/SQL procedure successfully completed.

Elapsed: 00:04:28.07

SQL> --SET SERVEROUTPUT ON
SET TIMING ON
SQL> SQL> DECLARE
 2 cursor ts_names is select tablespace_name from dba_tablespaces where contents != 'TEMPORARY';
 3 sql_used VARCHAR(200) := 'select nvl(sum(dfs.bytes)/1024/1024,0) from dba_free_space dfs where dfs.tablespace_name = ''text_string''';
 4 sql_free VARCHAR(200) := 'select nvl(sum(dfs.bytes)/1024/1024,0) from dba_free_space dfs where dfs.tablespace_name = ''text_string''';
 5 sql_max VARCHAR(200) := 'select sum(maxbytes-bytes)/1024/1024 from dba_data_files where AUTOEXTENSIBLE = ''YES'' and maxbytes>bytes and tablespace_name = ''text_string''';
 6 num_out NUMBER;
 7 BEGIN
 8 FOR ts_name in ts_names
 9 LOOP
 10 --sql for used space
 11 EXECUTE IMMEDIATE replace(sql_used, 'text_string', ts_name.tablespace_name) into num_out;
 12 dbms_output.put_line(replace(sql_used, 'text_string', ts_name.tablespace_name));
 13 dbms_output.put_line(num_out);
 14 --sql for free space
 15 EXECUTE IMMEDIATE replace(sql_free, 'text_string', ts_name.tablespace_name) into num_out;
 16 dbms_output.put_line(replace(sql_free, 'text_string', ts_name.tablespace_name));
 17 dbms_output.put_line(num_out);
 18 --sql for max
 19 EXECUTE IMMEDIATE replace(sql_max, 'text_string', ts_name.tablespace_name) into num_out;
 20 dbms_output.put_line(replace(sql_max, 'text_string', ts_name.tablespace_name));
 21 dbms_output.put_line(num_out);
 22 END LOOP;
 23 END;
 24 /

PL/SQL procedure successfully completed.

Elapsed: 00:00:04.53
SQL>

Bingo! the duration of the PL/SQL block went down to 4 seconds ๐Ÿ™‚

PLEASE NOTE: This still effects non-pluggable databases, however in pluggable databases, you need to purge the recycle bin for where the dropped objects are, the container database and the pluggable databases require independent purge.

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Thanks

Zed DBA (Zahid Anwar)

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