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Re: cheaper snapshots

From: Hannu Krosing <hannu(at)2ndQuadrant(dot)com>
To: Tom Lane <tgl(at)sss(dot)pgh(dot)pa(dot)us>, pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: cheaper snapshots
Date: 2011-07-28 10:50:49
Message-ID: 1311850249.3117.1147.camel@hvost (view raw, whole thread or download thread mbox)
Lists: pgsql-hackers
On Wed, Oct 20, 2010 at 10:07 PM, Tom Lane <tgl(at)sss(dot)pgh(dot)pa(dot)us> wrote:
> > I wonder whether we could do something involving WAL properties --- the
> > current tuple visibility logic was designed before WAL existed, so it's
> > not exploiting that resource at all.  I'm imagining that the kernel of a
> > snapshot is just a WAL position, ie the end of WAL as of the time you
> > take the snapshot (easy to get in O(1) time).  Visibility tests then
> > reduce to "did this transaction commit with a WAL record located before
> > the specified position?".  

Why not just cache a "reference snapshots" near WAL writer and maybe
also save it at some interval in WAL in case you ever need to restore an
old snapshot at some val position for things like time travel.

It may be cheaper lock-wise not to update ref. snapshot at each commit,
but to keep latest saved snapshot and a chain of transactions
committed / aborted since. This means that when reading the snapshot you
read the current "saved snapshot" and then apply the list of commits.

when moving to a new saved snapshot you really generate a new one and
keep the old snapshot + commit chain around for a little while for those
who may be still processing it. Seems like this is something that can be
done with no locking,

> You'd need some index datastructure that made
> > it reasonably cheap to find out the commit locations of recently
> > committed transactions, where "recent" means "back to recentGlobalXmin".
> > That seems possibly do-able, though I don't have a concrete design in
> > mind.

snapshot + chain of commits is likely as cheap as it gets, unless you
additionally cache the commits in a tighter data structure. this is
because you will need them all anyway to compute difference from ref

Hannu Krosing
PostgreSQL Infinite Scalability and Performance Consultant
PG Admin Book:

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