When to Use Hash Partitioning

There are times when it is not obvious in which partition data should reside, although the partitioning key can be identified. Rather than group similar data, there are times when it is desirable to distribute data such that it does not correspond to a business or a logical view of the data, as it does in range partitioning. With hash partitioning, a row is placed into a partition based on the result of passing the partitioning key into a hashing algorithm.

Using this approach, data is randomly distributed across the partitions rather than grouped. This is a good approach for some data, but may not be an effective way to manage historical data. However, hash partitions share some performance characteristics with range partitions. For example, partition pruning is limited to equality predicates. You can also use partition-wise joins, parallel index access, and parallel DML. See "Partition-Wise Joins" for more information.

As a general rule, use hash partitioning for the following purposes:

  • To enable partial or full parallel partition-wise joins with likely equisized partitions.

  • To distribute data evenly among the nodes of an MPP platform that uses Oracle Real Application Clusters. Consequently, you can minimize interconnect traffic when processing internode parallel statements.

  • To use partition pruning and partition-wise joins according to a partitioning key that is mostly constrained by a distinct value or value list.

  • To randomly distribute data to avoid I/O bottlenecks if you do not use a storage management technique that stripes and mirrors across all available devices.

    For more information, refer to Storage Management for VLDBs.


With hash partitioning, only equality or IN-list predicates are supported for partition pruning.

For optimal data distribution, the following requirements should be satisfied:

  • Choose a column or combination of columns that is unique or almost unique.

  • Create multiple partitions and subpartitions for each partition that is a power of two. For example, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, and so on.

Example 3-6 creates four hash partitions for the table sales_hash using the column s_productid as the partitioning key. Parallel joins with the products table can take advantage of partial or full partition-wise joins. Queries accessing sales figures for only a single product or a list of products benefit from partition pruning.

If you do not explicitly specify partition names, but instead you specify the number of hash partitions, then Oracle automatically generates internal names for the partitions. Also, you can use the STORE IN clause to assign hash partitions to tablespaces in a round-robin manner. For more examples, refer to Partition Administration.

See Also:

Oracle Database SQL Language Reference for partitioning syntax

Example 3-6 Creating a table with hash partitioning

CREATE TABLE sales_hash
  (s_productid  NUMBER,
   s_saledate   DATE,
   s_custid     NUMBER,
   s_totalprice NUMBER)
PARTITION BY HASH(s_productid)