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How Do I Manage Delete Vectors?

If you want to remove delete vectors manually or troubleshoot why they are not being removed automatically, follow this checklist.

Step Task Results
1 Check if you have too many delete vectors (more than 100) in a projection. =>SELECT node_name, schema_name, projection_name, COUNT(*) num_dv, SUM(deleted_row_count) del_cnt, SUM(used_bytes) ubytes, MIN(start_epoch) min_epoch, MAX(start_epoch) max_epoch FROM delete_vectors GROUP BY 1,2,3 ORDER BY 4 DESC; If there are too many delete vectors as shown by the num_dv (usually more than 100), go to Step 2.
2 Check if the AHM and LGE are advancing. =>SELECT current_epoch,ahm_epoch,last_good_epoch FROM system; If the AHM and LGE are advancing, go to Step 3.

If they are not advancing, review Epoch Management checklist.
3 Check if the epochs in the output of Step 1 are older than the AHM in the output of Step 2. If the result of the Step 1 query shows that the deleted rows have a newer epoch than the AHM, go to Step 4.
4 Advance the AHM with: =>SELECT make_ahm_now();
Do one of the following:
  • Wait for the mergeout to remove the delete vectors when the correct parameters are met.
  • Go to Step 5 to ensure they will be removed immediately.
  • If you’re waiting for the mergeout to remove the delete vectors as part of its standard process, the checklist is now complete.

    If you want to manually initiate a removal of the mergeout, go to Step 5.
    5 Check if the percentage of delete vectors marked meets the PurgeMergeoutPercent. This configuration parameter dictates when the vectors are automatically purged by the mergeout operation.

  • To check the PurgeMergeoutPercent: =>SELECT get_config_parameter('PurgeMergeoutPercent');
  • To check the percentage of delete vectors marked: =>SELECT schema_name, projection_name, ((deleted_row_count/total_row_count)*100)::int per_deleted, total_row_count, deleted_row_count FROM storage_containers WHERE deleted_row_count > 0 ORDER BY 3 DESC;
  • If the delete vector percentage is more than the PurgeMergeoutPercent and the ROS size is not too big, you have two options. Either:
  • Wait until the mergeout removes the delete vectors.
  • Force a purge by going to Step 5a.


  • If the delete vector percentage is not more than the PurgeMergeoutPercent but there are too many delete vectors, go to Step 5b.

    If the delete vector percentage is greater than 50% of the rows in the table, do one of the following:
  • Force a purge (Step 5a).
  • Create a new table with the data that is not deleted ( Step 5c).
  • a. Force a purge by doing one of the following:
  • To remove all delete rows with an epoch older than the AHM, use PURGE_TABLE or PURGE_PROJECTION.
  • If your table is partitioned and a major concentration of deleted rows are in one particular partition, use PURGE_PARTITION.
  • The checklist is complete!
    b. Merge the delete vectors to reduce the number of files on disk without rewriting the data. =>SELECT DO_TM_TASK('dvmergeout'); The checklist is complete!
    c. Create a new table with the data that is not deleted.

    To do this you must first create a new table (B) like the original table (A), including projections using the CREATE TABLE command. Then execute the following commands: =>INSERT into B SELECT * from A; DROP TABLE A; ALTER TABLE B RENAME to A;
    The checklist is complete!

    Learn More

    Learn more about Best Practices for Deleting Data and check out Deletes in Vertica: The FAQS in Vertica Knowledge Base.