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Are sparse files supported by Db2

During a Restore of sparse files - where a large file is allocated, but is not fully created physically (preparation and population of many of the underlying blocks is deferred until they are needed)

  • Avatar32.5fb70cce7410889e661286fd7f1897de Guest
  • Oct 6 2020
  • Future consideration
Who would benefit from this IDEA? All customers
How should it work?

Sparse files can increase the performance

Idea Priority Medium
Client Name unilever
  • Attach files
  • Avatar40.8f183f721a2c86cd98fddbbe6dc46ec9
    Guest commented
    22 Oct 08:38am

    As db2 creates and manages datafiles, containters, tablespace as sparse files. So when we initiate db2 backup command(db2 backup db <DBNAME> online) db2backup preserves the sparseness (holes) of datafiles in backup sets. And when we do db2 restore it aggressively preserves sparseness.

    So it means if underlying file system doesn't have sparse feature, then during db2restore operation -> holes in sparse files will get converted into zeros and restore operation will take more time as compared to restoring on filesystem with sparse feature where holes are restored as holes.

    Sparse feature was introduced in NFSv4.2. However AIX neither supports NFSv4.1 or NFSv4.2

    Sparse is file system property/feature

    A sparse file is a file with empty space, or gaps, left open for future addition of data. If the empty spaces are filled with the ASCII null character and the spaces are large enough, the file will be sparse, and disk blocks will not be allocated to it. Empty space is called holes in sparse file. The information about holes is stored in metadata, if file managed by db then database manages the metadata of sparse file.

    It does not fill the empty space with zero byte blocks, When a process reads the file, those zero byte blocks get generated dynamically as opposed to being stored on physical storage. it does not store the zeros on disk, instead it holds enough data describing the zeros that will be generated

  • Avatar40.8f183f721a2c86cd98fddbbe6dc46ec9
    Guest commented
    21 Oct 02:19pm

    Do IBM db2 on AIX or LUW creates datafiles, containers as sparse files if underlying filesystem has sparse feature enabled.


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