Parallel query processing in SQL Server

Posted: June 24, 2012 in MSSQL
Tags:

Task: to give a basic look at the subsystem for parallel query processing in SQL Server



/* Testing laptop: ProBook 6540b, Intel Core i5 */

USE [AdventureWorks2012]
GO

SELECT [cpu_count]                     AS 'Logical CPU Count',
       [hyperthread_ratio]             AS 'Hyperthread Ratio',
       [cpu_count]/[hyperthread_ratio] AS 'Physical CPU Count'
FROM   [sys].[dm_os_sys_info]
GO
/* Result:
   Logical CPU Count | Hyperthread Ratio | Physical CPU Count
   4                   4	           1
*/

Source code 1: System configuration



SELECT [name], [value]
FROM   [sys].[configurations]
WHERE  [name] = 'cost threshold for parallelism'
       OR
       [name] = 'max degree of parallelism'
GO
/* Result:
   name                           | value
   cost threshold for parallelism   5 => default value, i.e. 5 seconds
   max degree of parallelism        0 => default value, i.e. parallelism
                                         with an automatic count of
                                         processors
*/


SELECT   *
FROM     [Sales].[SalesOrderDetail]        AS [sod]
         INNER JOIN [Production].[Product] AS [p]
         ON [sod].[ProductID] = [p].[ProductID]
ORDER BY [Style]
GO

Source code 2: Parallel query processing providing that the cost threshold parameter equals to 5


Execution plan for parallel query processing regarding the cost threshold parameter

Figure 1: Execution plan for parallel query processing regarding the cost threshold parameter



EXEC sp_configure 'show advanced option', '1'
RECONFIGURE WITH OVERRIDE
GO
EXEC sp_configure "max degree of parallelism", 0
RECONFIGURE WITH OVERRIDE
GO
EXEC sp_configure "cost threshold for parallelism", 10
RECONFIGURE WITH OVERRIDE
GO
EXEC sp_configure 'show advanced option', '0'
RECONFIGURE WITH OVERRIDE
GO

SELECT [name], [value]
FROM   [sys].[configurations]
WHERE  [name] = 'cost threshold for parallelism'
       OR
       [name] = 'max degree of parallelism'
GO
/* Result:
   name                           | value
   cost threshold for parallelism   10 => custom value i.e., 10 seconds
   max degree of parallelism        0  => default value i.e., parallelism
                                          with an automatic count of
                                          processors
*/


SELECT   *
FROM     [Sales].[SalesOrderDetail]        AS [sod]
         INNER JOIN [Production].[Product] AS [p]
         ON [sod].[ProductID] = [p].[ProductID]
ORDER BY [Style]
GO


EXEC sp_configure 'show advanced option', '1'
RECONFIGURE WITH OVERRIDE
GO
EXEC sp_configure "max degree of parallelism", 0
RECONFIGURE WITH OVERRIDE
GO
EXEC sp_configure "cost threshold for parallelism", 5
RECONFIGURE WITH OVERRIDE
GO

SELECT [name], [value]
FROM   [sys].[configurations]
WHERE  [name] = 'cost threshold for parallelism'
       OR
       [name] = 'max degree of parallelism'
GO
/* Result:
   name                           | value
   cost threshold for parallelism   5 => default value i.e., 5 seconds
   max degree of parallelism        0 => default value i.e., parallelism
                                         with an automatic count of
                                         processors
*/

Source code 3: Serial query processing providing that the cost threshold parameter equals to 10


Execution plan for serial query processing regarding the cost threshold parameter

Figure 2: Execution plan for serial query processing regarding the cost threshold parameter



SELECT   *
FROM     [Sales].[SalesOrderDetail]
ORDER BY [ProductID]

SELECT   *
FROM     [Sales].[SalesOrderDetail]
ORDER BY [ProductID]
OPTION   (MAXDOP 1) -- Note: query hint for one processor
GO

Source code 4: Execution plan – costs comparison for parallel and serial with OPTION (MAXDOP 1) query processing


Execution plan - cost 40% for parallel vs. 60% for serial with OPTION (MAXDOP 1) query processing

Figure 3: Execution plan - cost 40% for parallel vs. 60% for serial with OPTION (MAXDOP 1) query processing


Setting of physical and logical CPU count simulation

Figure 4: Setting of physical and logical CPU count simulation



SELECT [cpu_count]                     AS 'Logical CPU Count',
       [hyperthread_ratio]             AS 'Hyperthread Ratio',
       [cpu_count]/[hyperthread_ratio] AS 'Physical CPU Count'
FROM   [sys].[dm_os_sys_info]
GO
/* Result:
   Logical CPU Count | Hyperthread Ratio | Physical CPU Count
   16                  4	           4
*/

Source code 5: Simulating 4 physical and 16 logical CPU count

Note: Express Edition of SQL Server does not support simulating physical CPU count

General recommendations:
  • OLTP: on Pure OLTP system, where the transactions are smaller and queries are not long but very quick usually, set the “Maximum Degree of Parallelism” to 1 (one).
  • Data-warehousing / Reporting server: as queries will be running for long time, it is advised to set the “Maximum Degree of Parallelism” to 0 (zero).
  • Mixed System (OLTP & OLAP): the right balance has to be found. To set the “Maximum Degree of Parallelism” to 2, which means the query still uses parallelism but only on 2 CPUs. However, to keep the “Cost Threshold for Parallelism” very high.

Additional references:
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