On 2016-07-08 13:32:35 -0500, Kevin Grittner wrote:
> On Fri, Jul 8, 2016 at 12:53 PM, Andres Freund <and...@anarazel.de> wrote:
> > On 2016-07-08 11:00:50 -0500, Kevin Grittner wrote:
> >> On Wed, Jul 6, 2016 at 4:55 PM, Andres Freund <and...@anarazel.de> wrote:
> >>
> >> > So I don't think that approach still allows old snapshot related
> >> > cleanups for toast triggered vacuums?  Is that an acceptable
> >> > restriction?
> >>
> >> What I would rather see is that if the heap is vacuumed (whether or
> >> not by autovacuum) then the related TOAST table is also vacuumed
> >> (using the same horizon the heap used), but if the TOAST relation
> >> is chosen for vacuum by itself that it does not attempt to adjust
> >> the horizon based on old_snapshot_threshold.
> >
> > Uh, wouldn't that quote massively regress the autovacuum workload in
> > some cases? There's a reason they're considered separately after
> > all. And in many cases, even if there's lots of updates in the heap
> > table, the toast table doesn't get any updates. And the toast table is
> > often a lot larger than the data.
> Of course, the toast table has only one index, and it is narrow.

But that index and the table are often large...

> With the visibility map, it should visit only the needed pages in
> the toast's heap area, so any regression would be in the case that:
> (1)  old_snapshot_threshold >= 0
> (2)  the "normal" heap met the conditions for vacuum, but the heap
>      didn't
> (3)  when passing the toast heap based on visibility map, *some*
>      cleanup was done (otherwise the TID list would be empty, so no
>      index pass is needed)

Unfortunately btree performs an index scan, even if there's no tids to
clean up. See the unconditional calls to
lazy_cleanup_index()->amvacuumcleanup(). C.f.
         * If btbulkdelete was called, we need not do anything, just return the
         * stats from the latest btbulkdelete call.  If it wasn't called, we 
         * still do a pass over the index, to recycle any newly-recyclable pages
         * and to obtain index statistics.
         * Since we aren't going to actually delete any leaf items, there's no
         * need to go through all the vacuum-cycle-ID pushups.

> but I'm also sure that by containing toast size
> when it would otherwise grow for weeks or months, it could be a
> very large performance gain.

That's an argument for changing autovacuum heuristics, not for making
this change as a side-effect of a bugfix.

I'm a bit confused, why aren't we simply adding LSN interlock checks for
toast? Doesn't look that hard? Seems like a much more natural course of
fixing this issue?



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