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Re: PostgreSQL performance issues

From: Rusty Conover <rconover(at)infogears(dot)com>
To: Willo van der Merwe <willo(at)studentvillage(dot)co(dot)za>
Cc: pgsql-performance(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: PostgreSQL performance issues
Date: 2006-08-29 21:47:17
Message-ID: (view raw, whole thread or download thread mbox)
Lists: pgsql-performance
On Aug 29, 2006, at 7:52 AM, Willo van der Merwe wrote:

> Hi,
> We're running PostgreSQL 8.1.4 on CentOS 4 (Linux version  
> 2.6.9-34.0.1.ELsmp). Hardware specs:
>  2x AMD Dual-Core Opteron 270 Italy 1Ghz HT 2 x 1MB L2 Cache Socket  
> 940
> 4 GB Registered ECC PC3200 DDR RAM
> SuperMicro Server-Class 1U AS1020S series system
> Dual-channel Ultra320 SCSI controller
> 1 x 73 GB 10,000rpm Ultra320 SCSI drive with 8MB cache
> I use it to drive a web application. Everything was working fine  
> when all of a sudden today, things went belly up. Load on the  
> server started increasing and query speeds decreased rapidly. After  
> dropping all the clients I did some quick tests and found the  
> following:
> I have a log table looking like this:
>                            Table "public.log"
>  Column  |            Type             |            Modifiers
> ---------+----------------------------- 
> +---------------------------------
>  site    | bigint                      | not null
>  stamp   | timestamp without time zone | default now()
>  type    | character(8)                | not null default  
> 'log'::bpchar
>  user    | text                        | not null default  
> 'public'::text
>  message | text                        |
> Indexes:
>     "fki_log_sites" btree (site)
>     "ix_log_stamp" btree (stamp)
>     "ix_log_type" btree ("type")
>     "ix_log_user" btree ("user")
> Foreign-key constraints:
>     "log_sites" FOREIGN KEY (site) REFERENCES sites(id) ON UPDATE  
> and it has 743321 rows and a explain analyze select count(*) from  
> property_values;
>                                                             QUERY PLAN
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
> ------------------------------------------------------------
>  Aggregate  (cost=55121.95..55121.96 rows=1 width=0) (actual  
> time=4557.797..4557.798 rows=1 loops=1)
>    ->  Seq Scan on property_values  (cost=0.00..51848.56  
> rows=1309356 width=0) (actual time=0.026..2581.418 rows=1309498  
> loops=1)
>  Total runtime: 4557.978 ms
> (3 rows)
> 4 1/2 seconds for a count(*) ? This seems a bit rough - is there  
> anything else I can try to optimize my Database? You can imagine  
> that slightly more complex queries goes out the roof.
> Any help appreciated
> Regards
> Willo van der Merwe


What about doing a little bit of normalization?

With 700k rows you could probably gain some improvements by:

* normalizing the type and user columns to integer keys (dropping the  
8 byte overhead for storing the field lengths)
* maybe change the type column so that its a smallint if there is  
just a small range of possible values (emulating a enum type in other  
databases) rather the joining to another table.
* maybe move message (if the majority of the rows are big and not  
null but not big enough to be TOASTed, ergo causing only a small  
number of rows to fit onto a 8k page) out of this table into a  
separate table that is joined only when you need the column's content.

Doing these things would fit more rows onto each page, making the  
scan less intensive by not causing the drive to seek as much.  Of  
course all of these suggestions depend on your workload.


Rusty Conover
InfoGears Inc.

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