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Configuring Linux to Use Hugepages for Oracle

<- Scripts

Overview

Hugepages should be set\updated for any Linux system where your combined SGAs are larger than 8gb. This procedure and script can be used to update the corresponding values. Enabling Hugepages increases performance and reduces memory swapping. For more detail see: Why You Need HugePages.

Before running script make sure all Oracle components on the system are running. Examples: database instances, ASM instance, GI etc.
This content is derived from Oracle's Doc IDs 361468.1 & 401749.1.

Display Current HugePages

grep HugePages /proc/meminfo

AnonHugePages:         0 kB
HugePages_Total:       0
HugePages_Free:        0
HugePages_Rsvd:        0
HugePages_Surp:        0

Values shown before HugePages enabled.

AnonHugePages:    235520 kB
HugePages_Total:    5814
HugePages_Free:     4595
HugePages_Rsvd:        0
HugePages_Surp:        0

Example values shown after HugePages enabled.

File to Edit

 vi /etc/sysctl.conf

Parameter

 vm.nr_hugepages = <hugepages_settings.sh Value>

Script

This script will show you what value to use for hugepages.

#!/bin/bash
#
# hugepages_settings.sh
#
# Linux bash script to compute values for the
# recommended HugePages/HugeTLB configuration
# on Oracle Linux
#
# Note: This script does calculation for all shared memory
# segments available when the script is run, no matter it
# is an Oracle RDBMS shared memory segment or not.
#
# This script is provided by Doc ID 401749.1 from My Oracle Support 
# http://support.oracle.com

# Welcome text
echo "
This script is provided by Doc ID 401749.1 from My Oracle Support 
(http://support.oracle.com) where it is intended to compute values for 
the recommended HugePages/HugeTLB configuration for the current shared 
memory segments on Oracle Linux. Before proceeding with the execution please note following:
 * For ASM instance, it needs to configure ASMM instead of AMM.
 * The 'pga_aggregate_target' is outside the SGA and 
   you should accommodate this while calculating SGA size.
 * In case you changes the DB SGA size, 
   as the new SGA will not fit in the previous HugePages configuration, 
   it had better disable the whole HugePages, 
   start the DB with new SGA size and run the script again.
And make sure that:
 * Oracle Database instance(s) are up and running
 * Oracle Database 11g Automatic Memory Management (AMM) is not setup 
   (See Doc ID 749851.1)
 * The shared memory segments can be listed by command:
     # ipcs -m


Press Enter to proceed..."

read

# Check for the kernel version
KERN=`uname -r | awk -F. '{ printf("%d.%d\n",$1,$2); }'`

# Find out the HugePage size
HPG_SZ=`grep Hugepagesize /proc/meminfo | awk '{print $2}'`
if [ -z "$HPG_SZ" ];then
    echo "The hugepages may not be supported in the system where the script is being executed."
    exit 1
fi

# Initialize the counter
NUM_PG=0

# Cumulative number of pages required to handle the running shared memory segments
for SEG_BYTES in `ipcs -m | cut -c44-300 | awk '{print $1}' | grep "[0-9][0-9]*"`
do
    MIN_PG=`echo "$SEG_BYTES/($HPG_SZ*1024)" | bc -q`
    if [ $MIN_PG -gt 0 ]; then
        NUM_PG=`echo "$NUM_PG+$MIN_PG+1" | bc -q`
    fi
done

RES_BYTES=`echo "$NUM_PG * $HPG_SZ * 1024" | bc -q`

# An SGA less than 100MB does not make sense
# Bail out if that is the case
if [ $RES_BYTES -lt 100000000 ]; then
    echo "***********"
    echo "** ERROR **"
    echo "***********"
    echo "Sorry! There are not enough total of shared memory segments allocated for 
HugePages configuration. HugePages can only be used for shared memory segments 
that you can list by command:

    # ipcs -m

of a size that can match an Oracle Database SGA. Please make sure that:
 * Oracle Database instance is up and running 
 * Oracle Database 11g Automatic Memory Management (AMM) is not configured"
    exit 1
fi

# Finish with results
case $KERN in
    '2.2') echo "Kernel version $KERN is not supported. Exiting." ;;
    '2.4') HUGETLB_POOL=`echo "$NUM_PG*$HPG_SZ/1024" | bc -q`;
           echo "Recommended setting: vm.hugetlb_pool = $HUGETLB_POOL" ;;
    '2.6') echo "Recommended setting: vm.nr_hugepages = $NUM_PG" ;;
    '3.8') echo "Recommended setting: vm.nr_hugepages = $NUM_PG" ;;
    '3.10') echo "Recommended setting: vm.nr_hugepages = $NUM_PG" ;;
    '4.1') echo "Recommended setting: vm.nr_hugepages = $NUM_PG" ;;
esac

# End

Why You Need HugePages

HugePages is crucial for faster Oracle database performance on Linux if you have large RAM and SGA. If your combined database SGAs are large (more than 8GB, can even be important for smaller), you will need HugePages configured. Note that the size of the SGA matters.

The advantages of HugePages are:

  • Larger Page Size and Less # of Pages: Default page size is 4K whereas the HugeTLB size is 2048K. That means the system would need to handle 512 times less pages.
  • Reduced Page Table Walking: Since a HugePage covers greater contiguous virtual address range than a regular sized page, a probability of getting a TLB hit per TLB entry with HugePages are higher than with regular pages. This reduces the number of times page tables are walked to obtain physical address from a virtual address.
  • Less Overhead for Memory Operations: On virtual memory systems (any modern OS) each memory operation is actually two abstract memory operations. With * HugePages, since there are less number of pages to work on, the possible bottleneck on page table access is clearly avoided.
  • Less Memory Usage: From the Oracle Database perspective, with HugePages, the Linux kernel will use less memory to create pagetables to maintain virtual to physical mappings for SGA address range, in comparison to regular size pages. This makes more memory to be available for process-private computations or PGA usage.
  • No Swapping: We must avoid swapping to happen on Linux OS at all Document 1295478.1. HugePages are not swappable (whereas regular pages are). Therefore there is no page replacement mechanism overhead. HugePages are universally regarded as pinned.
  • No 'kswapd' Operations: kswapd will get very busy if there is a very large area to be paged (i.e. 13 million page table entries for 50GB memory) and will use an incredible amount of CPU resource. When HugePages are used, kswapd is not involved in managing them.

This content is derived from Oracle's Doc IDs 361468.1 & 401749.1.