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Re: "iowait" bug?

From: Greg Smith <gsmith(at)gregsmith(dot)com>
To: "M(dot) Edward (Ed) Borasky" <zznmeb(at)gmail(dot)com>
Cc: pgsql-performance(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: "iowait" bug?
Date: 2009-03-22 20:17:40
Message-ID: alpine.GSO.2.01.0903221507500.8979@westnet.com (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgsql-performance
On Fri, 20 Mar 2009, M. Edward (Ed) Borasky wrote:

> I just discovered this on a LinkedIn user group:
> http://bugzilla.kernel.org/show_bug.cgi?id=12309

I would bet there's at least 3 different bugs in that one.  That bug 
report got a lot of press via Slashdot a few months ago, and it's picked 
all sort of people who all have I/O wait issues, but they don't all have 
the same cause.  The 3ware-specific problem Laurent mentioned is an 
example.  That's not the same thing most of the people there are running 
into, the typical reporter there has disks attached directly to their 
motherboard.  The irony here is that #12309 was a fork of #7372 to start 
over with a clean discussion slat because the same thing happened to that 
earlier one.

The original problem reported there showed up in 2.6.20, so I've been able 
to avoid this whole thing by sticking to the stock RHEL5 kernel (2.6.18) 
on most of the production systems I deal with.  (Except for my system with 
an Areca card--that one needs 2.6.22 or later to be stable, and seems to 
have no unexpected I/O wait issues.  I think this is because it's taking 
over the lowest level I/O scheduling from Linux, when it pushes from the 
card's cache onto the disks).

Some of the people there reported significant improvement by tuning the 
pdflush tunables; now that I've had to do a few times on systems to get 
rid of unexpected write lulls.  I wrote up a walkthrough on one of them at 
http://notemagnet.blogspot.com/2008/08/linux-write-cache-mystery.html that 
goes over how to tell if you're running into that problem, and what to do 
about it; something else I wrote on that already made it into the bug 
report in comment #150.

--
* Greg Smith gsmith(at)gregsmith(dot)com http://www.gregsmith.com Baltimore, MD

In response to

  • "iowait" bug? at 2009-03-21 04:17:05 from M. Edward (Ed) Borasky

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