Oracle Performance Impact of High % User Rollbacks

Recently one of my customers asked to investigate a database performance problem on a system where for multiple reasons I wasn’t having direct access.

To troubleshoot the performance, I started asking few AWR reports; at the first glance I didn’t spot any bottleneck, but while re-reading the statistics I found a strange ration between number of Transactions and Rollbacks.


Extract of AWR Load Profile

 — Per Second Per Transaction
Rollbacks 476.8 0.9
Transactions 546.6


Because all others OS and database statistics were quite good, I decided to follow the trail of the high percentage of transactions rolled back.

Before any fast conclusion I checked the nature of the rollbacks:

  • transaction rollbacks: Oracle is automatically executing a rollback, this happens for example in case of constraint violation (i.e. Primary Key violation).
  • user rollbacks: number of times users manually issue the ROLLBACK statement or an error occurs during users’ transactions.


Extract of AWR Activity Stats

Total      per Second per Trans
user commits


69.90 0.13

user rollbacks

858,562 476.76


transaction rollbacks




rollback changes – undo records applied




data blocks consistent reads – undo records applied




transaction tables consistent reads – undo records applied




consistent changes





From the AWR analysis has emerged the following data:

  • 87% of the user’s transactions ended with a rollback.
  • While rolling back, Oracle applies 25.6 undo records/sec. which means that at least a certain percentage of user rollbacks generates “real work“.
  • Even more important in term of performance analysis
    • number of data block consistent reads 235.14 records/sec.
    • number of consistent changes 3109.48 times/sec.


Because the database load profile is 90% SELECT and 10% DML, and there are important values about data block consistent reads and consisten changes, we can assume that most of the activity is concentrated in a small number of user objects.


Next step: I have to gain access to the system and continue the investigation…



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