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Re: buffer assertion tripping under repeat pgbench load

From: Greg Smith <greg(at)2ndQuadrant(dot)com>
To: Greg Stark <stark(at)mit(dot)edu>
Cc: Tom Lane <tgl(at)sss(dot)pgh(dot)pa(dot)us>, Simon Riggs <simon(at)2ndquadrant(dot)com>, Andres Freund <andres(at)2ndquadrant(dot)com>, PostgreSQL-development <pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: Re: buffer assertion tripping under repeat pgbench load
Date: 2013-01-13 05:34:07
Message-ID: (view raw, whole thread or download thread mbox)
Lists: pgsql-hackers
On 12/26/12 7:23 PM, Greg Stark wrote:
> It's also possible it's a bad cpu, not bad memory. If it affects
> decrement or increment in particular it's possible that the pattern of
> usage on LocalRefCount is particularly prone to triggering it.

This looks to be the winning answer.  It turns out that under extended 
multi-hour loads at high concurrency, something related to CPU 
overheating was occasionally flipping a bit.  One round of compressed 
air for all the fans/vents, a little tweaking of the fan controls, and 
now the system goes >24 hours with no problems.

Sorry about all the noise over this.  I do think the improved warning 
messages that came out of the diagnosis ideas are useful.  The reworked 
code must slows down the checking a few cycles, but if you care about 
performance these assertions are tacked onto the biggest pig around.

I added the patch to the January CF as "Improve buffer refcount leak 
warning messages".  The sample I showed with the patch submission was a 
simulated one.  Here's the output from the last crash before resolving 
the issue, where the assertion really triggered:

WARNING:  buffer refcount leak: [170583] (rel=base/16384/16578, 
blockNum=302295, flags=0x106, refcount=0 1073741824)
WARNING:  buffers with non-zero refcount is 1
TRAP: FailedAssertion("!(RefCountErrors == 0)", File: "bufmgr.c", Line: 

Greg Smith   2ndQuadrant US    greg(at)2ndQuadrant(dot)com   Baltimore, MD
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