Re: Autovacuum on partitioned table (autoanalyze)

From: Alvaro Herrera <alvherre(at)alvh(dot)no-ip(dot)org>
To: Andres Freund <andres(at)anarazel(dot)de>
Cc: Kyotaro HORIGUCHI <horiguchi(dot)kyotaro(at)lab(dot)ntt(dot)co(dot)jp>, yuzuko <yuzukohosoya(at)gmail(dot)com>, Tomas Vondra <tomas(dot)vondra(at)enterprisedb(dot)com>, David Steele <david(at)pgmasters(dot)net>, Kyotaro Horiguchi <horikyota(dot)ntt(at)gmail(dot)com>, Justin Pryzby <pryzby(at)telsasoft(dot)com>, Daniel Gustafsson <daniel(at)yesql(dot)se>, Amit Langote <amitlangote09(at)gmail(dot)com>, Masahiko Sawada <masahiko(dot)sawada(at)2ndquadrant(dot)com>, Laurenz Albe <laurenz(dot)albe(at)cybertec(dot)at>, PostgreSQL Hackers <pgsql-hackers(at)lists(dot)postgresql(dot)org>, Greg Stark <stark(at)mit(dot)edu>
Subject: Re: Autovacuum on partitioned table (autoanalyze)
Date: 2021-08-10 00:10:29
Message-ID: 202108100010.vo4pr5ltu4qo@alvherre.pgsql
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On 2021-Jul-22, Andres Freund wrote:

> 1) Somehow it seems like a violation to do stuff like
> get_partition_ancestors() in pgstat.c. It's nothing I can't live with, but
> it feels a bit off. Would likely not be too hard to address, e.g. by just
> putting some of pgstat_report_anl_ancestors in partition.c instead.

I understand the complain about this being a modularity violation -- the
point being that pgstat.c has no business accessing system catalogs at all.
Before this function, all pgstat_report_* functions were just assembling
a message from counters accumulated somewhere and sending the bytes to
the collector, and this new function is a deviation from that.

It seems that we could improve this by having a function (maybe in
partition.c as you propose), something like

static void
report_partition_ancestors(Oid relid)
ancestors = get_partition_ancestors( ... );
array = palloc(sizeof(Oid) * list_length(ancestors));
foreach(lc, ancestors)
array[i++] = lfirst_oid(lc);
pgstat_report_partition_ancestors(oid, array);

and then pgstat.c works with the given array without having to consult
system catalogs.

> 2) Why does it make sense that autovacuum sends a stats message for every
> partition in the system that had any [changes] since the last autovacuum
> cycle? On a database with a good number of objects / a short naptime we'll
> often end up sending messages for the same set of tables from separate
> workers, because they don't yet see the concurrent
> tabentry->changes_since_analyze_reported.

The traffic could be large, yeah, and I agree it seems undesirable. If
collector kept a record of the list of ancestors of each table, then we
wouldn't need to do this (we would have to know if collector knows a
particular partition or not, though ... I have no ideas on that.)

> 3) What is the goal of the autovac_refresh_stats() after the loop doing
> pgstat_report_anl_ancestors()? I think it'll be common that the stats
> collector hasn't even processed the incoming messages by that point, not to
> speak of actually having written out a new stats file. If it took less than
> 10ms (PGSTAT_RETRY_DELAY) to get to autovac_refresh_stats(),
> backend_read_statsfile() will not wait for a new stats file to be written
> out, and we'll just re-read the state we previously did.
> It's pretty expensive to re-read the stats file in some workloads, so I'm a
> bit concerned that we end up significantly increasing the amount of stats
> updates/reads, without actually gaining anything reliable?

This is done once per autovacuum run and the point is precisely to let
the next block absorb the updates that were sent. In manual ANALYZE we
do it to inform future autovacuum runs.

Note that the PGSTAT_RETRY_DELAY limit is used by the autovac launcher
only, and this code is running in the worker; we do flush out the old
data. Yes, it's expensive, but we're not doing it once per table, just
once per worker run.

> 4) In the shared mem stats patch I went to a fair bit of trouble to try to get
> rid of pgstat_vacuum_stat() (which scales extremely poorly to larger
> systems). For that to work pending stats can only be "staged" while holding
> a lock on a relation that prevents the relation from being concurrently
> dropped (pending stats increment a refcount for the shared stats object,
> which ensures that we don't loose track of the fact that a stats object has
> been dropped, even when stats only get submitted later).
> I'm not yet clear on how to make this work for
> pgstat_report_anl_ancestors() - but I probably can find a way. But it does
> feel a bit off to issue stats stuff for tables we're not sure still exist.

I assume you refer to locking the *partition*, right? You're not
talking about locking the ancestor mentioned in the message. I don't
know how does the shmem-collector work, but it shouldn't be a problem
that an ancestor goes away (ALTER TABLE parent DETACH; DROP TABLE
parent); as long as you've kept a lock on the partition, it should be
fine. Or am I misinterpreting what you mean?

> I'll go and read through the thread, but my first thought is that having a
> hashtable in do_autovacuum() that contains stats for partitioned tables would
> be a good bit more efficient than the current approach? We already have a
> hashtable for each toast table, compared to that having a hashtable for each
> partitioned table doesn't seem like it'd be a problem?

> With a small bit of extra work that could even avoid the need for the
> additional pass through pg_class. Do the partitioned table data-gathering as
> part of the "collect main tables to vacuum" pass, and then do one of

I'll have to re-read the thread to remember why did I make it a separate
pass. I think I did it that way because otherwise there was a
requirement on the pg_class scan order. (Some earlier version of the
patch did not have a separate pass and there was some problem or other.
Maybe you're right that a hash table is sufficient.)

Álvaro Herrera 39°49'30"S 73°17'W —
"We're here to devour each other alive" (Hobbes)

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