Managing Snowflake cost can be tricky. Most queries will become slower as the data grows. However they should not get worse by a large magnitude. Queries that are becoming slower at a rapid pace by a large magnitude are usually the problematic ones. These queries should be identified and optimized. To identify the problematic queries we can use query_parameterized_hash and a match_recognize query in Snowflake.

query_hash and query_parameterized_hash in Snowflake query_history

Snowflake produces a unique hash for each query. The query_hash column contains a hash value that is computed, based on the canonicalized text of the SQL statement. Repeated queries that have exactly the same query text have the same query_hash values. Whereas, query_parameterized_hash contains a hash value that is computed based on the parameterized query, which means the version of the query after literals are parameterized. For e.g., the following two queries will produce the same query_parameterized_hash

select * from customers where full_name = 'Saqib';
select * from customers where full_name = 'Ali';


Armed with query_parameterized_hash we will write a match_recognize query to identify queries that are getting worse progressively. Snowflake’s MATCH_RECOGNIZE clause can perform Pattern Matching over a set of rows. MATCH_RECOGNIZE does this by assigning labels to events, finding the events within an ordered partition, and pulling out any sequences that match the given pattern. In our case, we need a identify a sequence of execution of the same query where the execution time is increasing each time the query is executed.

match_recognize SQL query

The following match_recognize can be used to identify queries that are progessively getting worse rapidly.

with query_history as (
  , execution_time/60000 as execution_time_in_mins
  , first_value(query_text)
    over (partition by query_parameterized_hash order by start_time asc) as query_text
  , start_time
from snowflake.account_usage.query_history
where and execution_time_in_mins  > 1
  and start_time >=   DATEADD(day ,-10, sysdate())
  and not query_text ilike any ('commit %', 'show terse %', 'begin %', 'use %', 'create %')

select *
from query_history
partition by query_parameterized_hash order by start_time asc
all rows per match
pattern (UPTREND{3,}$)
  UPTREND AS execution_time_in_mins  > lag(execution_time_in_mins) * 1.05
order by query_parameterized_hash, start_time asc;

The MATCH_RECOGNIZE clause has several different parts. The DEFINE part contains the variable definition, which can later be used in the other parts. We defined the following variables:

  1. UPTREND – We defined as the execution_time_in_mins greater than the previous execution of the same query. We are also ignoring small increases of 5% or less in execution times by multiplying by 1.05.

The pattern we used is the following: UPTREND{3,}$

It means that we are looking for queries that whose execution time increased in progression 3 or more times, and the $ indicates that latest execution time is also slower that the previous one

The above match_recognize query will produce the following output:

query_parameterized_hash query_text execution_time_in_mins start_time
56e30c043… select …… 2.2
56e30c043… select …… 2.4
56e30c043… select …… 2.7
56e30c043… select …… 3.0
3b54fe894… select …… 1.2
3b54fe894… select …… 2.2
3b54fe894… select …… 4.0