Making CXPACKET The Bad Guy

Pedro Lopes goes into detail regarding the new CXCONSUMER wait stat:

It’s important to mention a couple notes before getting into details:

  1. Parallelism use is intrinsically a benefit for costly queries, bound by the Cost Threshold for Parallelism and Max Degree of Parallelismserver configurations among other considerations. See the Query Processing Guide for more in-depth information on how SQL Server implements parallelism. Also refer to Craig Freedman’s blog series on the topic.
  2. Waits are a normal part of the waits and queues model, allowing SQL Server to concurrently execute many more requests than there are schedulers available. See more about waits and queues here,

It’s also important to understand that parallelism is implemented as if it were two operators. There’s the producers that push data to consumers, and the consumers that may have to wait for data from producers.

And so it becomes easier to understand how producer waits are the ones that may require attention, while consumer waits are inevitable as a passive consequence of longer running producers.

I actually would have preferred the rename go the other way and create a CXPRODUCER which is bad, rather than a CXCONSUMER which is benign.  The problem is that if you’re running in a heterogeneous environment, you have to remember that CXPACKET on Server A might indicate a problem, whereas it’s much fuzzier on Server B because you haven’t upgraded Server B to the latest CU yet.  Regardless, I’m happy that we’re going to be able to have a better idea when parallelism is actually a problem.

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