Hi Simon -

Thanks for the note. I think it's fair to say that I didn't provide enough
context, so let me try and elaborate on my question.

I agree, MVCC is a benefit. The research angle here is about enabling MVCC
with hardware offload. Since I didn't explicitly mention it, the offload I
refer to will respect all consistency guarantees also.

It is the case that for the database to implement MVCC it must provide
consistent read to multiple different versions of data, i.e. depending on
the version used at transaction start. I'm not an expert on postgresql
internals, but this must have some cost. I think the cost related to MVCC
guarantees can roughly be categorized as: creating new versions (linking
them in), version checking on read, garbage collecting old versions, and
then there is an additional cost that I am interested in (again not
claiming it is unnecessary in any sense) but there is a cost to generating
the log.

Thanks, by the way, for the warning about lab vs. reality. That's why I'm
asking this question here. I want to keep the hypothetical tagged as such,
but find defensible and realistic metrics where those exist, i.e. in this
instance, we do have a database that can use MVCC. It should be possible to
figure out how much work goes into maintaining that property.

Thank you,

On Thu, Jul 7, 2016 at 11:10 AM, Simon Riggs <si...@2ndquadrant.com> wrote:

> On 7 July 2016 at 17:45, Pete Stevenson <etep.nosnev...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> Hi postgresql hackers -
>> I would like to find some analysis (published work, blog posts) on the
>> overheads affiliated with the guarantees provided by MVCC isolation. More
>> specifically, assuming the current workload is CPU bound (as opposed to IO)
>> what is the CPU overhead of generating the WAL, the overhead of version
>> checking and version creation, and of garbage collecting old and
>> unnecessary versions? For what it’s worth, I am working on a research
>> project where it is envisioned that some of this work can be offloaded.
> MVCC is a benefit, not an overhead. To understand that you should compare
> MVCC with a system that performs S2PL.
> If you're thinking that somehow consistency isn't important, I'd hope that
> you also consider some way to evaluate the costs associated with
> inconsistent and incorrect results in applications, or other architectural
> restrictions imposed to make that possible. It's easy to make assumptions
> in the lab that don't work in the real world.
> --
> Simon Riggs                http://www.2ndQuadrant.com/
> <http://www.2ndquadrant.com/>
> PostgreSQL Development, 24x7 Support, Remote DBA, Training & Services

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