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milliseconds for the operating system to read eight blocks from data file 42, starting at block 18042. We can alsosee summary information of how much time each Oracle process has spent waiting on each type of wait event forthe duration of the process, and we can also direct an Oracle process to write detailed wait event data to a trace file.
Why Wait Event Information is Useful
Using the wait event interface, you can get insights into where time is being spent. If a report takes four hours tocomplete, for example, the wait event interface will tell you how much of that four hours was spent waiting for diskreads caused by full table scans, disk reads caused by index lookups, latch contention, and so on.The wait event interface gives you much more information to work with than cache hit ratios do. The wait eventinterface gives both breadth and depth in the information it provides you. You get data that can touch upon so manydifferent areas of your database such as disk I/O, latches, parallel processing, network traffic, checkpoints, and row-level locking. At the same time, you get incredible detail such as the file number and block number of a block beingread from disk, or the name of a latch being waited on along with the number of retries.The wait event interface will not always give you all of the information you need in order to diagnose and solve aproblem, but it will certainly point you in the right direction. You might think the buffer cache is too small because thecache hit ratio is only 70%, but in fact, the application's slow response time could be caused by latch contention inthe shared pool, a bottleneck in the log writer, or any of a number of other things.
Common Wait Event Names and What They Mean
Although there are many different types of wait events, the majority of them come up very infrequently or tend not tobe significant. In practice, only a few dozen wait events tend to be of interest to most DBAs. The rest are ratherobscure, or pertain to Oracle features not in use, or occur so infrequently that you don't need to worry about them.You'll see different wait events surfacing in different environments based on which Oracle features have beenimplemented. For example, the PX wait events won't appear if you aren't using parallel query, and the virtual circuitstatus wait event won't appear if you are not using the multi-threaded server.Here are some of the most common wait events, and what they mean: