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Re: [HACKERS] Sync vs. fsync during checkpoint

From: Jan Wieck <JanWieck(at)Yahoo(dot)com>
To: Bruce Momjian <pgman(at)candle(dot)pha(dot)pa(dot)us>
Cc: Tom Lane <tgl(at)sss(dot)pgh(dot)pa(dot)us>,Zeugswetter Andreas SB SD <ZeugswetterA(at)spardat(dot)at>,PostgreSQL-development <pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org>,PostgreSQL Win32 port list <pgsql-hackers-win32(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: Re: [HACKERS] Sync vs. fsync during checkpoint
Date: 2004-02-09 14:33:09
Message-ID: (view raw, whole thread or download thread mbox)
Lists: pgsql-hackerspgsql-hackers-win32
Bruce Momjian wrote:

> Jan Wieck wrote:
>> Tom Lane wrote:
>> > "Zeugswetter Andreas SB SD" <ZeugswetterA(at)spardat(dot)at> writes:
>> >> So Imho the target should be to have not much IO open for the checkpoint, 
>> >> so the fsync is fast enough, even if serial.
>> > 
>> > The best we can do is push out dirty pages with write() via the bgwriter
>> > and hope that the kernel will see fit to write them before checkpoint
>> > time arrives.  I am not sure if that hope has basis in fact or if it's
>> > just wishful thinking.  Most likely, if it does have basis in fact it's
>> > because there is a standard syncer daemon forcing a sync() every thirty
>> > seconds.
>> Looking at the response time charts I did for showing how vacuum delay 
>> is doing, it seems at least on Linux there is hope that that is the 
>> case. Those charts have just a regular 5 minute checkpoint with enough 
>> checkpoint segments for that, and no other sync effort done at all.
>> The system has a hard time to handle a larger scaled test DB, so it is 
>> definitely well saturated with IO. The charts are here:
>> > 
>> > That means that instead of an I/O storm every checkpoint interval,
>> > we get a smaller I/O storm every 30 seconds.  Not sure this is a big
>> > improvement.  Jan already found out that issuing very frequent sync()s
>> > isn't a win.
>> In none of those charts I can see any checkpoint caused IO storm any 
>> more. Charts I'm currently doing for 7.4.1 show extremely clear spikes 
>> at checkpoints. If someone is interested in those as well I will put 
>> them up.
> So, Jan, are you basically saying that the background writer has solved
> the checkpoint I/O flood problem, and we just need to deal with changing
> sync to multiple fsync's at checkpoint?

ISTM that the background writer at least has the ability to lower the 
impact of a checkpoint significantly enough that one might not care 
about it any more. "Has the ability" means, it needs to be adjusted to 
the actual DB usage. The charts I produced where not done with the 
default settings, but rather after making the bgwriter a bit more 
agressive against dirty pages.

The whole sync() vs. fsync() discussion is in my opinion nonsense at 
this point. Without the ability to limit the amount of files to a 
reasonable number, by employing tablespaces in the form of larger 
container files, the risk of forcing excessive head movement is simply 
too high.


# It's easier to get forgiveness for being wrong than for being right. #
# Let's break this rule - forgive me.                                  #
#================================================== JanWieck(at)Yahoo(dot)com #

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