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ARC Memory Usage analysis

From: Simon Riggs <simon(at)2ndquadrant(dot)com>
To: pgsql-patches(at)postgresql(dot)org, pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org
Cc: josh(at)agliodbs(dot)com
Subject: ARC Memory Usage analysis
Date: 2004-10-22 18:50:59
Message-ID: 1098471059.20926.49.camel@localhost.localdomain (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgsql-hackerspgsql-patchespgsql-performance
I've been using the ARC debug options to analyse memory usage on the
PostgreSQL 8.0 server. This is a precursor to more complex performance
analysis work on the OSDL test suite.

I've simplified some of the ARC reporting into a single log line, which
is enclosed here as a patch on freelist.c. This includes reporting of:
- the total memory in use, which wasn't previously reported
- the cache hit ratio, which was slightly incorrectly calculated
- a useful-ish value for looking at the "B" lists in ARC
(This is a patch against cvstip, but I'm not sure whether this has
potential for inclusion in 8.0...)

The total memory in use is useful because it allows you to tell whether
shared_buffers is set too high. If it is set too high, then memory usage
will continue to grow slowly up to the max, without any corresponding
increase in cache hit ratio. If shared_buffers is too small, then memory
usage will climb quickly and linearly to its maximum.

The last one I've called "turbulence" in an attempt to ascribe some
useful meaning to B1/B2 hits - I've tried a few other measures though
without much success. Turbulence is the hit ratio of B1+B2 lists added
together. By observation, this is zero when ARC gives smooth operation,
and goes above zero otherwise. Typically, turbulence occurs when
shared_buffers is too small for the working set of the database/workload
combination and ARC repeatedly re-balances the lengths of T1/T2 as a
result of "near-misses" on the B1/B2 lists. Turbulence doesn't usually
cut in until the cache is fully utilized, so there is usually some delay
after startup.

We also recently discussed that I would add some further memory analysis
features for 8.1, so I've been trying to figure out how.

The idea that B1, B2 represent something really useful doesn't seem to
have been borne out - though I'm open to persuasion there.

I originally envisaged a "shadow list" operating in extension of the
main ARC list. This will require some re-coding, since the variables and
macros are all hard-coded to a single set of lists. No complaints, just
it will take a little longer than we all thought (for me, that is...)

My proposal is to alter the code to allow an array of memory linked
lists. The actual list would be [0] - other additional lists would be 
created dynamically as required i.e. not using IFDEFs, since I want this
to be controlled by a SIGHUP GUC to allow on-site tuning, not just lab
work. This will then allow reporting against the additional lists, so
that cache hit ratios can be seen with various other "prototype"
shared_buffer settings.

Any thoughts?

-- 
Best Regards, Simon Riggs

Attachment: freelist.patch
Description: text/x-patch (2.5 KB)

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