Posted by Kamran Agayev A. on 1st December 2009
– Every Oracle Database must have a method of maintaining information that is used to roll back, or undo, changes to the database. Such information consists of records of the actions of transactions, primarily before they are committed. These records are collectively referred to as undo
– Undo records are used to L:
- Rollback transactions when a ROLLBACK statement is issued
- Recover the databsae
- Provide read consistency
When a ROLLBACK statement is issued, undo records are used to undo changes that were made to the database by the uncommitted transaction. During database recovery, undo records are used to undo any uncommitted changes applied from the redo log to the datafiles. Undo records provide read consistency by maintaining the before image of the data for users who are accessing the data at the same time that another user is changing it.
– In automatic undo management mode, you create an undo tablespace, and the server automatically manages undo segments and space among the various active sessions
– When the instance starts, the database automatically selects the first available undo tablespace. If no undo tablespace is available, then the instance starts without an undo tablespace and stores undo records in the SYSTEM tablespace.
– After a transaction is committed, undo data is no longer needed for rollback or transaction recovery purposes. However, for consistent read purposes, long-running queries may require this old undo information for producing older images of data blocks. Furthermore, the success of several Oracle Flashback features can also depend upon the availability of older undo information. For these reasons, it is desirable to retain the old undo information for as long as possible.
– When automatic undo management is enabled, there is always a current undo retention period, which is the minimum amount of time that Oracle Dataabase attempts to retain old undo information before overwriting it. Old (commiteed) undo information that is older than the current undo retention period is said to be expired. Old undo information with an age that is less than the current undo retention period is said to be unexpired.
– Oracle database automatically tunes the undo retention period based on undo tablespace size and system activity. You can specify a minimum undo retention period (in seconds) by setting the UNDO_RETENTION parameter. The database makes its best effort to honor the specified minimum undo retention period, provided that the undo tablespace has space available for new transactions. When available space for new transactions becomes short, the databsae begins to overwrite expired undo. If the undo tbalespace has no space for new transactions after all expired undo is overwritten, the databsae may begin overwriting unexpired undo information. If any of this overwritten undo information is required for consistent read in a current long-running query, the query could fail with the snapshot too old error message.
– To guarantee the success of long-running queries or Oracle Flashback operations, you can enable retention guarantee. If retention guarantee is enabled, the specified minimum undo retention is guaranteed, the database never overwrites unexpired undo data even if it means that transactions fail due to lack of space in the undo tablespace. If retention guarantee is not enabled, the database can overwrite unexpired undo when space is low, thus lowering the undo retention for the system. This option is disabled by default.
– You enable retention guarantee by specifying the RETENTIN GUARANTEE clause for the undo tablespace when you create it with either the CREATE DATABASE or CREATE UNDO TABLESPACE statement.