On 2013-04-13 10:58:53 -0400, Tom Lane wrote:
> Andres Freund <and...@2ndquadrant.com> writes:
> > On 2013-04-13 09:14:26 -0400, Bruce Momjian wrote:
> >> As I understand it, SIMD is just a CPU-optimized method for producing a
> >> CRC checksum.  Is that right?  Does it produce the same result as a
> >> non-CPU-optimized CRC calculation?
> > No we are talking about a different algorithm that results in different
> > results, thats why its important to choose now since we can't change it
> > later without breaking pg_upgrade in further releases.
> > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SIMD_%28hash_function%29
> [ squint... ]  We're talking about a *cryptographic* hash function?
> Why in the world was this considered a good idea for page checksums?

In Ants' implementation its heck of a lot of faster than any CRC
implementation we have seen so far on relatively large blocks (like pages).

pgbench results:

byte/cycle comparison:

> In the first place, it's probably not very fast compared to some
> alternatives, and in the second place, the criteria by which people
> would consider it a good crypto hash function have approximately nothing
> to do with what we need for a checksum function.  What we want for a
> checksum function is high probability of detection of common hardware
> failure modes, such as burst errors and all-zeroes.  This is
> particularly critical when we're going with only a 16-bit checksum ---
> the probabilities need to be skewed in the right direction, or it's not
> going to be all that terribly useful.
> CRCs are known to be good for that sort of thing; it's what they were
> designed for.  I'd like to see some evidence that any substitute
> algorithm has similar properties.  Without that, I'm going to vote
> against this idea.

Ants has dome some analysis on this, like
CA+CSw_tMoA85e=1vs4omjzjg2mr_hulikovpd80dp5rurds...@mail.gmail.com .
That doesn't look bad to me and unless I am missing something its better
than our CRC with 16bit.

So while I would say its not 100% researched there has been a rather
detailed investigation by Ants - I am rather impressed.

My biggest doubt so far is the reliance on inline assembly for the top
performance on x86-64 and a generic implementation otherwise that only
is really fast with appropriate compiler flags..


Andres Freund

 Andres Freund                     http://www.2ndQuadrant.com/
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