BUG #14044: Queries immediately conflict with recovery when recovery_min_apply_delay is used

From: josnyder(at)yelp(dot)com
To: pgsql-bugs(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: BUG #14044: Queries immediately conflict with recovery when recovery_min_apply_delay is used
Date: 2016-03-24 20:45:50
Message-ID: 20160324204550.2920.87946@wrigleys.postgresql.org
Views: Raw Message | Whole Thread | Download mbox | Resend email
Lists: pgsql-bugs

The following bug has been logged on the website:

Bug reference: 14044
Logged by: Josh Snyder
Email address: josnyder(at)yelp(dot)com
PostgreSQL version: 9.5.1
Operating system: Ubuntu 14.04 (Trusty)

I encountered an issue using a hot standby together with
recovery_min_apply_delay. For context, we would like to use a small
recovery_min_apply_delay (on the order of seconds) to make bugs in our
application's handling readily apparent. We are trying to avoid situations
where a feature works by coincidence only because replication delay is low.

In this case, recovery_min_apply_delay was 5 seconds.
max_standby_streaming_delay and max_standby_archive_delay are both 180
minutes. Approximately 180 minutes after recovery_min_apply_delay was set
(and Postgres restarted), our application began to experience errors of the

ERROR: canceling statement due to conflict with recovery
DETAIL: User query might have needed to see row versions that must be

The queries in question were SELECTs that typically returned in less than a
millisecond, and were executed outside of a transaction. Under these
circumstances, I expected the replica to allow these queries to run for up
to 180 minutes before cancelling them due to recovery conflict.

A comment in xlog.c appears to explain this behavior:

* We only advance XLogReceiptTime when we obtain fresh
* WAL from walreceiver and observe that we had already
* processed everything before the most recent "chunk"
* that it flushed to disk. In steady state where we are
* keeping up with the incoming data, XLogReceiptTime will
* be updated on each cycle. When we are behind,
* XLogReceiptTime will not advance, so the grace time
* allotted to conflicting queries will decrease.

Based on this comment, it appears that using recovery_min_apply_delay on a
hot standby is inadvisable. As far as I can tell, this incompatibility is
not documented anywhere. Calling out the incompatibility in documentation
would help.

But it is also unclear to the novice reader (such as myself) why we elect
not to update XLogReceiptTime if there is outstanding WAL data to process.
Or, semi-equivalently, why should "grace time allotted to conflicting
queries" ever fall below max_standby_streaming_delay - <current delay>?

Browse pgsql-bugs by date

  From Date Subject
Next Message Christian Ullrich 2016-03-24 20:58:08 Re: Re: [HACKERS] BUG #13854: SSPI authentication failure: wrong realm name used
Previous Message Peter Geoghegan 2016-03-24 20:28:08 Re: Re: Missing rows with index scan when collation is not "C" (PostgreSQL 9.5)