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Parallel Processing Large Bulk Inserts (~18M records)

When performing a bulk update using the parallel option (e.g. Exec SF_Bulkops 'Update:bulkapi,parallel,'Salesforce','User_Upd'), is there a way to control the degree of parallelism?

In addition, is there a speed advantage to packaging the updates using smaller sized but more batches vs. fewer batches that are larger in size per batch?

If performing a parallel job, should I add an a sort column to the upsert table?

Lastly, if I am only doing inserts, does an insert command provide a performance advantage over an upsert command?
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