Please see comment at the bottom of this post.

On 08/07/16 10:48, Pete Stevenson wrote:
Good info, thanks for the note. Agreed that it is difficult to pull things apart to isolate these features for offload — so actually running experiments with offload is not possible, as you point out (and for other reasons).

Maybe I could figure out the lines of code that add versions into a table and then those that collect old versions (they do get collected, right?). Anyway, thought being I could profile while running TPC-C or similar. I was hoping that someone might be able to jump on this with a response that they already did something similar. I know that Stonebraker has done some analysis along these lines, but I’m looking for an independent result that confirms (or not) his work.

Thank you,
Pete Stevenson

On Jul 7, 2016, at 3:43 PM, Simon Riggs < <>> wrote:

On 7 July 2016 at 20:50, Pete Stevenson < <>> wrote:

    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.

PostgreSQL uses a no overwrite storage mechanism, so any additional row versions are maintained in the same table alongside other rows. The MVCC actions are mostly mixed in with other aspects of the storage, so not isolated much for offload.

Oracle has a different mechanism that does isolate changed row versions into a separate data structure, so would be much more amenable to offload than PostgreSQL, in its current form.

Maybe look at SLRUs (clog etc) as a place to offload something?

Simon Riggs <>
PostgreSQL Development, 24x7 Support, Remote DBA, Training & Services

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