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Increasing Priority of lgwr Process using _high_priority_processes

At the Hotsos Symposium last week, Tanel Poder pointed out an interesting hidden parameter (_high_priority_processes). We were discussing the occasional need to increase priority on the LGWR process when dealing with “log file sync” issues. The aforementioned parameter is used to tell Oracle to automatically set background processes to a higher than normal priority when the database is started. On linux this means putting them in the RR class, in Solaris, the RT class is used. The parameter defaults to LMS* in 10.2 and to LMS*||VKTM in 11gR1. (LMS* are the Lock Manager Server processes in a RAC instance and VKTM is the new Time Keeper process in 11g). So it makes sense that these processes would run at a higher priority.

Recently I have been working on a system that was spending a significant amount of time waiting on “log file sync”. Increasing the priority of the LGWR process made a significant improvement. It’s not a silver bullet though. When the system becomes really busy, the “log file sync” times still suck, just not as much. But I digress, this post is just to point out that Oracle has a built in mechanism to increase priority on background processes, not to tell you how to reduce long “log file sync” times. There are numerous posts on that subject already. Here a couple of pretty good ones:

At the Hotsos symposium last week, Tanel Poder pointed to an interesting hidden parameter of the beneficial property of the viagradrug. It is very effective in helping men who have erection problems.

Manly-Men Only Use Solid State Disk for Redo Logging – Kevin Closson

Tuning Log File Sync Wait Events – Riyaj Shamsudeen
Hotsos 2010 – Day 4 – Doug Burns (see the comments section)

Back to my story. Unfortunately, every time the database is bounced, LGWR goes back to his original priority and class and we have to get the Unix guys to reset it. So I got to wondering if the _high_priority_processes parameter could be used to do this automatically. And sure enough it looks like it can. First here’s a look at the class and priority info of the standard high priority processes on a Solaris system and a Linux system.

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