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Determine optimal fdatasync/fsync, O_SYNC/O_DSYNC options

From: mudfoot(at)rawbw(dot)com
To: pgsql-performance(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Determine optimal fdatasync/fsync, O_SYNC/O_DSYNC options
Date: 2004-09-13 06:11:06
Message-ID: (view raw, whole thread or download thread mbox)
Lists: pgsql-performance
Hi, I'd like to help with the topic in the Subject: line.  It seems to be a    
TODO item.  I've reviewed some threads discussing the matter, so I hope I've    
acquired enough history concerning it.  I've taken an initial swipe at    
figuring out how to optimize sync'ing methods.  It's based largely on   
recommendations I've read on previous threads about fsync/O_SYNC and so on.    
After reviewing, if anybody has recommendations on how to proceed then I'd   
love to hear them.  
Attached is a little program that basically does a bunch of sequential writes   
to a file.  All of the sync'ing methods supported by PostgreSQL WAL can be   
used.  Results are printed in microseconds.  Size and quanity of writes are   
configurable.  The documentation is in the code (how to configure, build, run,   
etc.).  I realize that this program doesn't reflect all of the possible   
activities of a production database system, but I hope it's a step in the   
right direction for this task.  I've used it to see differences in behavior   
between the various sync'ing methods on various platforms.   
Here's what I've found running the benchmark on some systems to which  
I have access.  The differences in behavior between platforms is quite vast.   
Summary first...   
PostgreSQL should be run on an old Apple MacIntosh attached to   
its own Hitachi disk array with 2GB cache or so.  Use any sync method   
except for fsync().   
Anyway, there is *a lot* of variance in file synching behavior across   
different hardware and O/S platforms.  It's probably not safe   
to conclude much.  That said, here are some findings so far based on   
tests I've run:  
1.  under no circumstances do fsync() or fdatasync() seem to perform   
better than opening files with O_SYNC or O_DSYNC   
2.  where there are differences, opening files with O_SYNC or O_DSYNC   
tends to be quite faster.  
3.  fsync() seems to be the slowest where there are differences.  And   
O_DSYNC seems to be the fastest where results differ.   
4.  the safest thing to assert at this point is that   
Solaris systems ought to use the O_DSYNC method for WAL.   
Test system(s)   
Athlon Linux:   
AMD Athlon XP2000, 512MB RAM, single (54 or 7200?) RPM 20GB IDE disk,   
reiserfs filesystem (3 something I think)   
SuSE Linux kernel 2.4.21-99   
Mac Linux:   
I don't know the specific model.  400MHz G3, 512MB, single IDE disk,   
ext2 filesystem   
Debian GNU/Linux 2.4.16-powerpc   
HP Intel Linux:   
Prolient HPDL380G3, 2 x 3GHz Xeon, 2GB RAM, SmartArray 5i 64MB cache,   
2 x 15,000RPM 36GB U320 SCSI drives mirrored.  I'm not sure if   
writes are cached or not.  There's no battery backup.   
ext3 filesystem.   
Redhat Enterprise Linux 3.0 kernel based on 2.4.21   
Dell Intel OpenBSD:   
Poweredge ?, single 1GHz PIII, 128MB RAM, single 7200RPM 80GB IDE disk,   
ffs filesystem   
OpenBSD 3.2 GENERIC kernel   
SUN Ultra2:   
Ultra2, 2 x 296MHz UltraSPARC II, 2GB RAM, 2 x 10,000RPM 18GB U160   
SCSI drives mirrored with Solstice DiskSuite.  UFS filesystem.   
Solaris 8.   
SUN E4500 + HDS Thunder 9570v   
E4500, 8 x 400MHz UltraSPARC II, 3GB RAM,   
HDS Thunder 9570v, 2GB mirrored battery-backed cache, RAID5 with a   
bunch of 146GB 10,000RPM FC drives.  LUN is on single 2GB FC fabric   
Veritas filesystem (VxFS)   
Solaris 8.   
Test methodology:   
All test runs were done with CHUNKSIZE 8 * 1024, CHUNKS 2 * 1024,   
FILESIZE_MULTIPLIER 2, and SLEEP 5.  So a total of 16MB was sequentially  
written for each benchmark.  
Results are in microseconds.   
PLATFORM:       Athlon Linux   
buffered:       48220   
fsync:          74854397   
fdatasync:      75061357   
open_sync:      73869239   
open_datasync:  74748145   
Notes:  System mostly idle.  Even during tests, top showed about 95%   
idle.  Something's not right on this box.  All sync methods similarly   
horrible on this system.   
PLATFORM:       Mac Linux   
buffered:       58912   
fsync:          1539079   
fdatasync:      769058   
open_sync:      767094   
open_datasync:  763074   
Notes: system mostly idle.  fsync seems worst.  Otherwise, they seem   
pretty equivalent.  This is the fastest system tested.  
PLATFORM:       HP Intel Linux   
buffered:       33026   
fsync:          29330067   
fdatasync:      28673880   
open_sync:      8783417   
open_datasync:  8747971   
Notes: system idle.  O_SYNC and O_DSYNC methods seem to be a lot   
better on this platform than fsync & fdatasync.  
PLATFORM:       Dell Intel OpenBSD  
buffered:       511890  
fsync:          1769190  
fdatasync:      --------  
open_sync:      1748764  
open_datasync:  1747433  
Notes: system idle.  I couldn't locate fdatasync() on this box, so I  
couldn't test it.  All sync methods seem equivalent and are very fast --  
though still trail the old Mac.  
PLATFORM:       SUN Ultra2  
buffered:       1814824  
fsync:          73954800  
fdatasync:      52594532  
open_sync:      34405585  
open_datasync:  13883758  
Notes:  system mostly idle, with occasional spikes from 1-10% utilization.  
It looks like substantial difference between each sync method, with  
O_DSYNC the best and fsync() the worst.  There is substantial  
difference between the open* and f* methods. 
PLATFORM:       SUN E4500 + HDS Thunder 9570v  
buffered:       233947  
fsync:          57802065  
fdatasync:      56631013  
open_sync:      2362207  
open_datasync:  1976057  
Notes:  host about 30% idle, but the array tested on was completely idle.  
Something looks seriously not right about fsync and fdatasync -- write  
cache seems to have no effect on them.  As for write cache, that  
probably explains the 2 seconds or so for the open_sync and  
open_datasync methods.  
Thanks for reading...I look forward to feedback, and hope to be helpful in  
this effort! 

Attachment: syncbench.c
Description: text/x-csrc (8.7 KB)


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