Tom Lane wrote:
"Jim C. Nasby" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> writes:
The only case I can think of where autovac might not work as well as
smartvacuum would be if you had a lot of databases in the cluster, since
autovacuum will only vacuum one database at a time.

It's conceivable that it'd make sense to allow multiple autovac
processes running in parallel.  (The infrastructure part of this is easy
enough, the hard part is keeping them from all deciding to vacuum the
same table.)

One reason we have not done that already is the thought that multiple
vacuum processes would suck too much I/O to be reasonable.  Now you
could dial back their resource demands with the cost-delay settings,
but it's not clear that ten autovacs running at one-tenth speed are
better than one autovac using all the cycles you can spare.  Usually
I think it's best if a vacuum transaction finishes as fast as it can.

I think this is one of the reasons table specific delay settings were designed in from the beginning. I think the main use cases for multiple vacuums at once are: 1) Vacuum per table space assuming each table space is on a different drive with it's own I/O. 2) the frequently updated table that can't wait to be vacuumed while a large table is being vacuumed. In this case if you set a system default delay setting and set a more aggressive table specific delay setting for your hot spot tables then multiple vacuums become a clear win. This is an important case that I hope we handle soon. At this point it's one of the main failings of the current autovacuum system.

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