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Re: We probably need autovacuum_max_wraparound_workers

From: Robert Haas <robertmhaas(at)gmail(dot)com>
To: Tom Lane <tgl(at)sss(dot)pgh(dot)pa(dot)us>
Cc: Stephen Frost <sfrost(at)snowman(dot)net>, Josh Berkus <josh(at)agliodbs(dot)com>, PgHacker <pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: Re: We probably need autovacuum_max_wraparound_workers
Date: 2012-06-28 12:22:12
Message-ID: (view raw, whole thread or download thread mbox)
Lists: pgsql-hackers
On Thu, Jun 28, 2012 at 2:02 AM, Tom Lane <tgl(at)sss(dot)pgh(dot)pa(dot)us> wrote:
> Robert Haas <robertmhaas(at)gmail(dot)com> writes:
>> It's just ridiculous to assert that it doesn't matter if all the
>> anti-wraparound vacuums start simultaneously.  It does matter.  For
>> one thing, once every single autovacuum worker is pinned down doing an
>> anti-wraparound vacuum of some table, then a table that needs an
>> ordinary vacuum may have to wait quite some time before a worker is
>> available.
> Well, that's a fair point, but I don't think it has anything to do with
> Josh's complaint --- which AFAICT is about imposed load, not about
> failure to vacuum things that need vacuumed.  Any scheme you care to
> design will sometimes be running max_workers workers at once, and if
> that's too much load there will be trouble.  I grant that there can be
> value in a more complex strategy for when to schedule vacuuming
> activities, but I don't think that it has a lot to do with solving the
> present complaint.

I think it's got everything to do with it.  Josh could fix his problem
by increasing the cost limit and/or reducing the cost delay, but if he
did that then his database would get bloated...

>> Parallelism is not free, ever, and particularly not here, where it has
>> the potential to yank the disk head around between five different
>> files, seeking like crazy, instead of a nice sequential I/O pattern on
>> each file in turn.
> Interesting point.  Maybe what's going on here is that
> autovac_balance_cost() is wrong to suppose that N workers can each have
> 1/N of the I/O bandwidth that we'd consider okay for a single worker to
> eat.  Maybe extra seek costs mean we have to derate that curve by some
> large factor.  1/(N^2), perhaps?  I bet the nature of the disk subsystem
> affects this a lot, though.

...and this would have the same effect.  Let's not assume that the
problem is that Josh doesn't know how to make autovacuum less
aggressive, because I'm pretty sure that ain't the issue.

Robert Haas
The Enterprise PostgreSQL Company

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