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Patent Issued for Apparatus and Method for Analyzing Query Optimizer Performance

September 11, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Computer Weekly News -- From Alexandria, Virginia, VerticalNews journalists report that a patent by the inventors Hagenbuch, Brian (Annapolis, MD); Narayanan, Sivaramakrishnan (Foster City, CA); Whipkey, Chad William (Foster City, CA); Waas, Florian (San Mateo, CA), filed on December 23, 2009, was published online on August 26, 2014.

The patent's assignee for patent number 8818991 is Pivotal Software, Inc. (Palo Alto, CA).

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Query optimization involves the translation of a database query into an efficient program or query plan to be executed on data stored in a database. The database query is typically stated in a query language, such as Structured Query Language (SQL), Common Query Language (CQL), or Multidimensional Expressions (MDX), among others, which is converted into one or more possible query plans. A query plan specifies a set of steps that are used to access or modify the data associated with the query. Details, such as how to access a given data relation, in which order to join data relations, sort orders, and so on, may form part of a query plan.

"For a given query, a large number of query plans may be generated by varying different constituents of the query plan, such as access paths, join methods, join predicates, and sort orders. A typical data warehouse query may produce several hundreds of millions of possible execution plans. The cost of a query plan can be modeled in terms of various parameters, including, for example, the number of disk accesses and the response time required to fetch data. A query optimizer may evaluate the costs of all possible query plans for a given query and determine the optimal, i.e., most efficient plan for executing the query.

"Generally, a query optimizer cannot be accessed directly by a user. Thus, a user has little visibility into the optimization process. Nevertheless, a user can identify sub-optimal performance in any number of forms, including an optimizer process crash, an optimizer producing a query plan that produces erroneous results, an inefficient query plan, or a sub-par plan compared to system operation before a system modification. A lack of access to a query optimizer limits the ability of a user to perform what-if analyses where plans are generated under varying circumstances.

"Assessing the performance of a query optimizer involves an understanding of multiple parameters. Typically, a query optimizer user is not willing to provide a query optimizer vendor visibility into the user's system, particularly the user's data. Even if access to data is possible, capturing the right data is difficult. In addition, a user is typically not willing to allow any type of evaluation that interferes with ongoing business processes. Thus, while there is a need to understand query optimizer performance in a deployed system, there are limited opportunities to do so. Accordingly, it would be desirable to provide techniques to assess the performance of a deployed query optimizer."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "A method of analyzing the performance of a query optimizer includes identifying an event trigger. A reproduction object characterizing operational parameters of the customer computer at the time of the event trigger is populated. The reproduction object is transported from the customer computer to a test computer. The reproduction object is analyzed at the test computer to characterize the performance of a query optimizer.

"A customer computer has a memory connected to a processor. The memory stores a collection module including instructions to cause the processor to identify an event trigger, populate a reproduction object characterizing operational parameters of the customer computer at the time of the event trigger, and transport the reproduction object from the customer computer to a test computer.

"A test computer has a memory connected to a processor. The memory stores an analysis module including instructions to cause the processor to analyze a reproduction object characterizing operational parameters of a customer computer at the time of an event trigger to characterize the performance of a query optimizer of the customer computer."

For additional information on this patent, see: Hagenbuch, Brian; Narayanan, Sivaramakrishnan; Whipkey, Chad William; Waas, Florian. Apparatus and Method for Analyzing Query Optimizer Performance. U.S. Patent Number 8818991, filed December 23, 2009, and published online on August 26, 2014. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=8818991.PN.&OS=PN/8818991RS=PN/8818991

Keywords for this news article include: Pivotal Software, Pivotal Software Inc., Software.

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Source: Computer Weekly News


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