On 12/28/16 10:26 PM, Robert Haas wrote:
On Wed, Dec 28, 2016 at 1:06 PM, Tom Lane <t...@sss.pgh.pa.us> wrote:
Jim Nasby <jim.na...@bluetreble.com> writes:
On 12/28/16 11:25 AM, Tom Lane wrote:
The idea of just capturing the wait start for heavyweight locks, and
not other lock types, still seems superior to any of the alternatives
that have been suggested ...

Is some kind of alarm a viable option for the others? If setting the
alarm is cheap,

Setting an alarm is certain to require a gettimeofday and/or a kernel
call.  It is far from cheap.

If one were OK with a really-really-rough value for when the wait
started, you could have a slot for a timestamp in PGPROC that is
cleared by pgstat_report_wait_end() but not set by
pgstat_report_wait_start().  Then you could have a background process
that goes through and sets it for all processes advertising a wait
event every second, or every 10 seconds, or every half second, or
whatever you want.  Of course this doesn't eliminate the overhead but
it pushes it into the background which, if there are idle CPUs, is
almost as good.

I previously proposed something similar to this as a way of profiling
waits and I believe you weren't very supportive of it, but I still
think these kinds of ideas have some legs.  We can neither take the
approach that timestamp overhead is irrelevant nor the position that
timestamps are expensive so let's not have any.  Some third way has to
be found.

I like that idea as a compromise. I've spent a lot of time looking at systems with no process > 90% CPU and IO < 90% yet individual backends being slow and wished I had some idea of what the backend was doing that wasn't being accounted for.

BTW, instead of a flag I'd consider using a counter. That would allow the background process to notice if backends were going into waits that ultimately got resolved in between scans of PGPROC. That's obviously not useful for pg_stat_activity, but it would be meaningful for anything that was trying to accumulate wait time stats.
Jim Nasby, Data Architect, Blue Treble Consulting, Austin TX
Experts in Analytics, Data Architecture and PostgreSQL
Data in Trouble? Get it in Treble! http://BlueTreble.com
855-TREBLE2 (855-873-2532)

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