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More shared buffers causes lower performances

From: "Guillaume Smet" <guillaume(dot)smet(at)gmail(dot)com>
To: pgsql-performance <pgsql-performance(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Cc: "Stefan Kaltenbrunner" <stefan(at)kaltenbrunner(dot)cc>
Subject: More shared buffers causes lower performances
Date: 2007-12-26 00:06:45
Message-ID: 1d4e0c10712251606q6f9503deye3da4b68c51bf5e@mail.gmail.com (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgsql-performance
Hi all,

I'm currently benchmarking the new PostgreSQL server of one of our
customers with PostgreSQL 8.3 beta4. I have more or less the same
configuration Stefan tested in his blog [1]:
- Dell 2900 with two brand new X5365 processors (quad core 3.0 GHz),
16 GB of memory
- a RAID1 array for pg_xlog and a 6 disks RAID10 array for data (I
moved pg_xlog to the RAID10 array for a few runs - same behaviour) -
all 73 GB 15k drives
- CentOS 5.1 - 64 bits

I started working on pgbench tests. I made a "not so stupid"
configuration to begin with and I was quite disappointed by my results
compared to Stefan's. I decided to test with a more default
shared_buffers configuration to be able to compare my results with
Stefan's graph [2]. And the fact is that with a very low
shared_buffers configuration, my results are quite similar to Stefan's
results but, as soon as I put higher values of shared_buffers,
performances begins degrading [3].

I performed my tests with: pgbench -i -s 100 -U postgres bench and
pgbench -s 100 -c 100 -t 30000 -U postgres bench. Of course, I
initialize the database before each run. I made my tests in one
direction then in the other with similar results so it's not a
degradation due to consecutive runs.

I lowered the number of concurrent clients to 50 because 100 is quite
high and I obtain the same sort of results:
shared_buffers=32MB: 1869 tps
shared_buffers=64MB: 1844 tps
shared_buffers=512MB: 1676 tps
shared_buffers=1024MB: 1559 tps

Non default parameters are:
max_connections = 200
work_mem = 32MB
wal_buffers = 1024kB
checkpoint_segments = 192
effective_cache_size = 5GB
(I use more or less the configuration used by Stefan - I had the same
behaviour with default wal_buffers and checkpoint_segments)

While monitoring the server with vmstat, I can't see any real reason
why it's slower. When shared_buffers has a higher value, I/O are
lower, context switches too and finally performances. The CPU usage is
quite similar (~50-60%). I/O doesn't limit the performances AFAICS.

I must admit I'm a bit puzzled. Does anyone have any pointer which
could explain this behaviour or any way to track the issue? I'll be
glad to perform any test needed to understand the problem.

Thanks.

[1] http://www.kaltenbrunner.cc/blog/index.php?/archives/21-8.3-vs.-8.2-a-simple-benchmark.html
[2] http://www.kaltenbrunner.cc/blog/uploads/83b4shm.gif
[3] http://people.openwide.fr/~gsmet/postgresql/tps_shared_buffers.png
(X=shared_buffers in MB/Y=results with pgbench)

--
Guillaume

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