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Don Burleson Blog 







Fix frequent log switches

Oracle Database Tips by Donald BurlesonJanuary 1, 2015 - Updated February 27, 1026

Question:  I have a batch job that runs nightly, and it suddenly starting taking 10x time to execute.  Log file switch (checkpoint incomplete)?.   I also see frequent log switches.  Here is the output of a "ls -al", showing frequent log switches:

As you see, as of 5:00 PM the log were switching every 10 minutes.  At 20:16 there is a pause in the redo logs, followed by a blast of archived redo logs at large sizes.  How do I correct the "log file switch checkpoint incomplete error?

Answer:  During your batch updates you should see high process activity from DBWR, LGWR and ARCH background processes (using the "ps -ef " command.).  You can also repeat the "ls -alt|hread" commands in the redo log directory and watch ARCH write the redo log files.

In general, you should size your online redo logs such that they switch no more frequently than 4 times per hour at peak DML levels (the busiest update times). 

Also see these notes on tuning_online_redo_logs for RAC.

In sum, the solution is to try these fixes (in order):

  •  Increase the size of the online redo logs.  In this example, a redo log switch every 10 minutes should be doubled, and change the redo log file size from 1 gigabytes to two gigabytes.  His should reduce the work on the checkpoint process.

  •  Increase the number of redo log groups.  More redo log groups can improve concurrent throughput. 

  • Change the updates to run in NOLOGGING.  This will not work immediately, but it will prevent future problems. Beware of the danger of improper usage of the nologging option.

In some cases, this may also help improve the performance of databases with too frequent redo log activity:

  • Add additional log writer processes (LGWR).
  • Ensure that the archived redo log filesystem resides on a separate physical disk spindle.
  • Put the archived redo log filesystem on super-fast solid-state disks.
  • If you also see high buffer busy waits, consider increasing the number of freelists for the target tables and indexes.  You can also use bitmap freelists (segment space management auto).
  • For inserts, consider using the APPEND hint.
  • See the notes for insert tuning.


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