Waits for ‘DFS lock handle’ can cause massive performance issues in a busy RAC cluster. In this blog entry, we will explore the DFS lock handle wait event, and understand how to troubleshoot the root cause of these waits. I am also going to use locks and resources interchangeably in this blog, but internally, they are two different types of structures.
A little background
DFS (stands for Distributed File System) is an ancient name, associated with cluster file system operations, in a Lock manager supplied by vendors in Oracle Parallel Server Environment (prior name for RAC). But, this wait event has morphed and is now associated with waits irrelevant to database files also. Hence, it is imperative to understand the underlying details to debug the ‘DFS lock handle’ waits.
How does it work?
I have no access to the code, so read this paragraph with caution, as I may have misunderstood my test results: A process trying to acquire a lock on a global GES resource sends a AST(Asynchronous Trap) or BAST (Blocking Asynchronous Trap) message to LCK process, constructing the message with (lock pointer, resource pointer, and resource name) information. If the resource is not available, then the LCK process sends a message to the lock holder for a lock downgrade.