I have stumbled on an issue in SQL Azure where the
Sort-operator is spilling over into TempDB due to poor row estimates.
- We are querying a master table that is joined with a number of detail tables
- The table uses a
TenantId-column to partition the table per tenant
- Some tenants have 10,000s of rows, some only 100s.
- There is a row-level security policy in place that adds a
FILTER PREDICATEto all queries on the aforementioned
- Queries are generated by Entity-Framework in a .NET application
- All index statistics are up-to-date
- All detail tables rows are retrieved via
The Cardinality Estimator is yielding very low estimates due to the large variance of rowcounts between tenants. This combined with two inner joins reducing the estimates even further, makes it so that a query that actually yields 3600 rows, was only expected to yield 3. That's 3 orders of magnitude off.
What have I tried?
Filtered Statisticsfor those key values that yield a high number of rows, as an extra hint to the CE.
- Ran into limitations in dealing with parameterized queries. The
OPTION ( RECOMPILE )works for some predicates, but not for the
TenantIdwhich is injected via the aforementioned security policy.
- Inlined the filter predicate so we are effectively filtering on the same column twice works, but seems ... redundant to say the least
- Changing the
INNER JOINs to
LEFT OUTER JOINs improves the bad join estimates but since we use Entity-Framework I would prefer a solution which does not require changing the query. Note: obviously if the only way is to rewrite the query, then that is the route we will go.
- I have toyed with the idea to just add a dummy tenant with 100k records to offset the estimations so that row estimates are at least large enough for the largest real tenant, but this would make us over estimate for the small ones.
What am I looking for?
- Am I doing something wrong - did I paint myself into a corner?
- Are there alternatives I could consider?
I welcome any ideas you might have, Thanks!
The sort operator is there for paging. I don't actually want to retrieve all the rows. So in short, the sort needs to happen in the db (not in the app).
Also, to be clear, the issue here is not the EF generated query. It is a simple query with a number of
LEFT OUTER joins and a few filter predicates. It is not the typical 5000-line SQL statement that is legible to no one.
It seems the details lookups are done via
hash match which loses the index's sort ordering. Also the column that is ordered on is user defined, and changes depending on the use-case, so to avoid the sort I would need an index per column they could possibly sort on.
The Row-level security policy
CREATE FUNCTION Security.myAccessPredicate(@TenantId nvarchar(128)) RETURNS TABLE WITH SCHEMABINDING AS RETURN SELECT 1 AS accessResult WHERE @TenantId = CAST(SESSION_CONTEXT(N'TenantId') AS nvarchar(128)) OR CAST(SESSION_CONTEXT(N'TenantId') AS nvarchar(128)) LIKE 'ReservedTenantIdForCrossTenantOperations'"); CREATE SECURITY POLICY Security.mySecurityPolicy ADD FILTER PREDICATE Security.myAccessPredicate(TenantId) ON Schema1.Object10, ADD BLOCK PREDICATE Security.myAccessPredicate(TenantId) ON Schema1.Object10, ... And all the other tables
The Master table index DDL
CREATE NONCLUSTERED INDEX [IX_Object10] ON Schema1.Object10 ( [TenantId] ASC, [Discriminator] ASC, [IsDeleted] ASC, [CreatedAt] ASC ) INCLUDE ( [Id], [Column3], ... [Column37]) WITH ( PAD_INDEX = OFF , STATISTICS_NORECOMPUTE = OFF , SORT_IN_TEMPDB = OFF , DROP_EXISTING = OFF , ONLINE = OFF , ALLOW_ROW_LOCKS = ON , ALLOW_PAGE_LOCKS = ON )
The query (anonymized)
EXEC sp_set_session_context @key=N'TenantId', @value=N'TenantId123' SELECT * FROM ( SELECT Object2.Column2 AS Column2, Object2.Column3 AS CreatedAt, -- Removed some extra columns from Object2 Object3.Column4 AS Column3, Object4.Column4 AS Column5, Object5.Column4 AS Column6, Object6.Column7 AS Column7, Object7.Column10 AS Column10, Object8.Column10 AS Column11, Object9.Column4 AS Column20, CASE WHEN (Variable1 = ?) THEN Object2.Column26 ELSE cast(? as decimal(18)) END AS Column21, CASE WHEN (Variable2 = ?) THEN Object2.Column27 ELSE ? END AS Column22, CASE WHEN (Variable3 = ?) THEN Object2.Column28 ELSE ? END AS Column23, CASE WHEN (Variable4 = ?) THEN Object2.Column29 END AS Column24 FROM Schema1.Object10 AS Object2 INNER JOIN Schema1.Object11 AS Object3 ON Object2.Column30 = Object3.Column2 INNER JOIN Schema1.Object12 AS Object4 ON Object2.Column31 = Object4.Column2 LEFT OUTER JOIN Schema1.Object10 AS Object5 ON (Object2.Column32 = Object5.Column2) AND (Object5.Column33 = ?) LEFT OUTER JOIN Schema1.Object10 AS Object6 ON (Object2.Column34 = Object6.Column2) AND (Object6.Column33 = ?) LEFT OUTER JOIN Schema1.Object13 AS Object7 ON Object2.Column35 = Object7.Column2 LEFT OUTER JOIN Schema1.Object13 AS Object8 ON Object2.Column36 = Object8.Column2 LEFT OUTER JOIN Schema1.Object14 AS Object9 ON Object2.Column37 = Object9.Column2 WHERE (Object2.Discriminator = N'SomeCategory') AND (0 = Object2.IsDeleted) ) AS Object1 ORDER BY Object1.CreatedAt DESC OFFSET ? ROWS FETCH NEXT ? ROWS ONLY
The query plan (anonymized) : https://pastebin.com/msjPQ6Vs
The master table (Schema1.Object10 AS Object2) returns 3600+ actual rows from the index seek, but CE estimates 381 rows. Then the two inner joins to Schema1.Object11 and Schema1.Object12 further reduce the estimate to 2.9 estimated number of rows. This makes no sense to me. The inner joins happen on non-null id columns with foreign key constraints, so it should be impossible to not find a match.
The sort operator tooltip:
Actual Timings, whereas the cumulative time before the sort operator was 16ms