ISSUE: Long Running Queries Blocking DDL Operations and Workload

SingleStore supports execution of online DDL statements, which means that you can perform read and write operations while the DDL command is being executed on a table. The execution of a DDL command does not begin until all the in-progress DML queries running on the table finish. As soon as the in-progress read and write operations complete and the DDL command begins executing, new reads and writes proceed as normal. This blocking period usually lasts on the order of milliseconds. If there are long running DML queries in your workload, it can extend the blocking period because the DDL must wait until those queries complete. The DDL waits and blocks until the default_distributed_ddl_timeout is reached (default value is 180000 milliseconds or 3 minutes), after which it throws a timeout error. If you frequently run DDL statements and have a lot of long-running queries, then it negatively impacts the workload since the DDL operation blocks other queries from starting while it waits for completion of long-running queries.

Increasing the timeout duration for a DDL operation is not a recommended option since it delays the start of the operation. While the DDL operation is delayed from starting, it will continue to block new queries from executing either. Therefore, raising the timeout can cause longer delays in regular queries in your workload.


  • Optimize your workload. If you have long running queries, then you can optimize your current workload by running frequent maintenance and backups, or by using a different workload. For example, run the analytical queries in your workload during the lowest traffic time. Additionally, you can use cluster replication to replicate the data to a secondary read-only cluster, and then run all long running or analytical queries on the secondary cluster. This drastically reduces the workload on the primary cluster and improves workload performance.

  • Use the TRUNCATE command instead of the DELETE command to remove rows from a table. TRUNCATE is the preferred method if you want to remove all rows of a large table since it instantly frees up the memory. On the contrary, DELETE does not instantly drop the rows being deleted from the memory; it marks the rows for deletion, while a background job runs the garbage collector periodically to clear out the deleted rows. Each marked row consumes memory, which may result in memory allocation issues for a large table.