On 19.08.2011 23:02, Robert Haas wrote:
On Fri, Aug 19, 2011 at 2:51 PM, Gokulakannan Somasundaram
<gokul...@gmail.com>  wrote:
won't it make the 99
sessions wait for that visibility map while holding the exclusive lock on
the 99 heap pages?

Hmm, you have a point.  If 100 backends simultaneously write to 100
different pages, and all of those pages are all-visible, then it's
possible that they could end up fighting over the buffer content lock
on the visibility map page.  But why would you expect that to matter?
In a heavily updated table, the proportion of visibility map bits that
are set figures to be quite low, since they're only set during VACUUM.
  To have 100 backends simultaneously pick different pages to write
each of which is all-visible seems really unlucky.   Even if it does
happen from time to time, I suspect the effects would be largely
masked by WALInsertLock contention.  The visibility map content lock
is only taken very briefly, whereas the operations protected by
WALInsertLock are much more complex.

The above could already happen in 8.4, where the visibility map was introduced. The contention on the VM buffer would be just as bad whether you hold the heap page lock at the same time or not. I have not heard any complaints of contention on VM buffers.

--
  Heikki Linnakangas
  EnterpriseDB   http://www.enterprisedb.com

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