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DLT maintainace clusters

Faisal
Contributor

How does maintenance clusters do the cleanup using optimize, zorder and vacuum. I read that it is handled automatically but how does maintenance cluster know which column to optimize, where do we need to specify that info ?

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions

Hi @Faisal , To use Z-Order clustering in Delta Lake, you can create a Delta table and specify the Z-Order column(s) using the USING DELTA syntax and the ZORDER BY clause.

Here's an example syntax:

%sql
-- Create a Delta table
CREATE TABLE my_table (
  column1 INT,
  column2 STRING,
  column3 FLOAT
)
USING DELTA
LOCATION '/mnt/my-table/'

-- Z-Order the table by "column1"
ALTER TABLE my_table
  ZORDER BY column1

In the example above, a Delta table named my_table is created with three columns. The table is created using the USING DELTA syntax and the LOCATION clause specifies where the table's data will be stored. The ZORDER BY clause is then used to Z-Order the table by the column1 column.

You can also use multiple columns in the ZORDER BY clause to further optimize the table layout and query performance.

Regarding the maintenance cluster, it is not required to create a separate maintenance cluster to leverage Databricks Delta's Z-Order clustering feature. Z-order clustering is a storage optimization technique and can be used with any supported cluster size.

However, Databricks recommends that you create dedicated clusters for different workloads, such as ETL and analytics, to optimize query performance and resource utilization. You can also use autoscaling and instance pools to automatically manage and optimize your clusters in response to changing workloads and resource demands.

View solution in original post

3 REPLIES 3

Kaniz_Fatma
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi @Faisal , 

The maintenance cluster in Delta Live Tables (DLT) is responsible for automatically running operations like OPTIMIZE, ZORDER, and VACUUM on your Delta tables to maintain optimal performance and manage storage costs.

When you specify a maintenance cluster for a pipeline, DLT automatically identifies the tables that need to be optimized, z-ordered or vacuumed by tracking the table usage across all the pipelines consuming them. These operations are then performed by the maintenance cluster during pre-configured maintenance windows.

For optimization and Z-ordering, DLT uses data statistics to identify the columns that would benefit most from these operations. It calculates statistics on the data columns based on the usage information of the tables andWhen you set up a maintenance cluster for Delta Lake automatic optimization, the cluster will perform three maintenance tasks: vacuum, optimize, and z-order.

  1. VACUUM: The maintenance cluster will automatically start VACUUM on your Delta tables every 7 days. VACUUM reclaims the unused storage space occupied by stale data files generated when performing UPDATE and DELETE operations in Delta tables.

  2. OPTIMIZE: After running VACUUM, the maintenance cluster will also execute OPTIMIZE to merge smaller files into larger files, which reduces the overall number of files in the Delta table, minimizes overhead, and improves table read performance.

  3. Z-ORDER: The maintenance cluster can also leverage Z-Ordering to efficiently query large Delta tables. Z-Ordering reorders the data based on the specified columns, which can speed up queries that filter on those columns.

To instruct the maintenance cluster about the columns to Z-Order, you can use Databricks Delta's USE ZORDER statement, and run it on your Delta table. Z-ordering columns should be those that you commonly use in common queries, joins for instance.

Maintenance cluster configuration for DLT is quite simple and can be done from the web UI of Databricks. You just need to create a cluster for maintenance purposes, and then configure your Delta Live Tables pipeline to use that cluster specifically.

You can also configure settings such as the frequency of the VACUUM operation and how much data is retained before being vacuumed by using the Delta auto-optimize settings.

So when you create a maintenance cluster, you can specify the frequency and settings for automatic OPTIMIZE and VACUUM operations. However, specifying the Z-Order columns is something that must be done manually using the "USE ZORDER" statement as mentioned above.

Faisal
Contributor

Thanks @Kaniz_Fatma for the response,can you please give me complete syntax of "use zorder". Also do I need to create maintenance cluster or is it automatically done when specifying dlt policy?

Hi @Faisal , To use Z-Order clustering in Delta Lake, you can create a Delta table and specify the Z-Order column(s) using the USING DELTA syntax and the ZORDER BY clause.

Here's an example syntax:

%sql
-- Create a Delta table
CREATE TABLE my_table (
  column1 INT,
  column2 STRING,
  column3 FLOAT
)
USING DELTA
LOCATION '/mnt/my-table/'

-- Z-Order the table by "column1"
ALTER TABLE my_table
  ZORDER BY column1

In the example above, a Delta table named my_table is created with three columns. The table is created using the USING DELTA syntax and the LOCATION clause specifies where the table's data will be stored. The ZORDER BY clause is then used to Z-Order the table by the column1 column.

You can also use multiple columns in the ZORDER BY clause to further optimize the table layout and query performance.

Regarding the maintenance cluster, it is not required to create a separate maintenance cluster to leverage Databricks Delta's Z-Order clustering feature. Z-order clustering is a storage optimization technique and can be used with any supported cluster size.

However, Databricks recommends that you create dedicated clusters for different workloads, such as ETL and analytics, to optimize query performance and resource utilization. You can also use autoscaling and instance pools to automatically manage and optimize your clusters in response to changing workloads and resource demands.

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