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Re: Inlining comparators as a performance optimisation

From: Robert Haas <robertmhaas(at)gmail(dot)com>
To: Greg Stark <stark(at)mit(dot)edu>
Cc: Bruce Momjian <bruce(at)momjian(dot)us>, Peter Geoghegan <peter(at)2ndquadrant(dot)com>, Tom Lane <tgl(at)sss(dot)pgh(dot)pa(dot)us>, Andrew Dunstan <andrew(at)dunslane(dot)net>, Heikki Linnakangas <heikki(dot)linnakangas(at)enterprisedb(dot)com>, PG Hackers <pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: Re: Inlining comparators as a performance optimisation
Date: 2011-10-05 13:55:04
Message-ID: (view raw, whole thread or download thread mbox)
Lists: pgsql-hackers
On Tue, Oct 4, 2011 at 10:55 PM, Greg Stark <stark(at)mit(dot)edu> wrote:
> I agree that if we wanted to farm out entire plan nodes we would
> probably end up generating new partial plans which would be handed to
> other backend processes. That's not unlike what Oracle did with
> Parallel Query. But i'm a bit skeptical that we'll get much of that
> done in 2-3 years. The main use case for Parallel Query in Oracle is
> for partitioned tables -- and we haven't really polished that after
> how many years?

Partitioning hasn't been completely neglected; 9.1 adds support for
something called Merge Append.  You may have heard of (or, err,
authored) that particular bit of functionality.  :-)

Of course, it would be nice to have a better syntax, but I don't think
the lack of it should discourage us from working on parallel query,
which is a muti-part problem.  You need to:

- have planner support to decide when to parallelize
- have a mechanism for firing up worker processes and synchronizing
the relevant bits of state between the master and the workers
- have an IPC mechanism for streaming data between the master process
and the workers
- figure out how to structure the executor so that the workers neither
stall nor run too far ahead of the master (which might have LIMIT 10
or something)

Markus Wanner took a crack at generalizing the autovacuum machinery
that we have now into something that could be used to fire up
general-purpose worker processes, but it fell down mostly because I
(and, I think, others) weren't convinced that imessages were something
we wanted to suck into core, and Markus reasonably enough wasn't
interested in rewriting it to do something that wouldn't really help
his work with Postgres-R.  I'm not sure where Bruce is getting his
timeline from, but I think the limiting factor is not so much that we
don't have people who can write the code as that those people are
busy, and this is a big project.  But you can bet that if it gets to
the top of Tom's priority list (just for example) we'll see some

Robert Haas
The Enterprise PostgreSQL Company

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