Contention-Related Wait Events

The main wait events for contention-related waits are:

  • gc current block busy

  • gc cr block busy

  • gc buffer busy acquire/release

The contention-related wait event statistics indicate that a block was received which was pinned by a session on another node, was deferred because a change had not yet been flushed to disk or because of high concurrency, and therefore could not be shipped immediately. A buffer may also be busy locally when a session has already initiated a cache fusion operation and is waiting for its completion when another session on the same node is trying to read or modify the same data. High service times for blocks exchanged in the global cache may exacerbate the contention, which can be caused by frequent concurrent read and write accesses to the same data.

The gc current block busy and gc cr block busy wait events indicate that the local instance that is making the request did not immediately receive a current or consistent read block. The term busy in these events' names indicates that the sending of the block was delayed on a remote instance. For example, a block cannot be shipped immediately if Oracle Database has not yet written the redo for the block's changes to a log file.

In comparison to block busy wait events, a gc buffer busy event indicates that Oracle Database cannot immediately grant access to data that is stored in the local buffer cache. This is because a global operation on the buffer is pending and the operation has not yet completed. In other words, the buffer is busy and all other processes that are attempting to access the local buffer must wait to complete.

The existence of gc buffer busy events also means that there is block contention that is resulting in multiple requests for access to the local block. Oracle Database must queue these requests. The length of time that Oracle Database needs to process the queue depends on the remaining service time for the block. The service time is affected by the processing time that any network latency adds, the processing time on the remote and local instances, and the length of the wait queue.

The average wait time and the total wait time should be considered when being alerted to performance issues where these particular waits have a high impact. Usually, either interconnect or load issues or SQL execution against a large shared working set can be found to be the root cause.