Amit Kapila <> wrote:

> I have improved the patch  by making following changes:
> a. Improved the bgwriter logic to log for xl_running_xacts info and
>    removed the hibernate logic as bgwriter will now work only when
>    there is scarcity of buffer's in free list. Basic idea is when the
>    number of buffers on freelist drops below the low threshold, the
>    allocating backend sets the latch and bgwriter wakesup and begin
>    adding buffer's to freelist until it reaches high threshold and then
>    again goes back to sleep.

The numbers from your benchmarks are very exciting, but the above
concerns me.  My tuning of the bgwriter in production has generally
*not* been aimed at keeping pages on the freelist, but toward
preventing shared_buffers from accumulating a lot of dirty pages,
which were leading to cascades of writes between caches and thus to
write stalls.  By pushing dirty pages into the (*much* larger) OS
cache, and letting write combining happen there, where the OS could
pace based on the total number of dirty pages instead of having
some hidden and appearing rather suddenly, latency spikes were
avoided while not causing any noticeable increase in the number of
OS writes to the RAID controller's cache.

Essentially I was able to tune the bgwriter so that a dirty page
was always push out to the OS cache within three seconds, which led
to a healthy balance of writes between the checkpoint process and
the bgwriter. Backend processes related to user connections still
performed about 30% of the writes, and this work shows promise
toward bringing that down, which would be great; but please don't
eliminate the ability to prevent write stalls in the process.

Kevin Grittner
The Enterprise PostgreSQL Company

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