For a future multimaster replication system, I will need a couple of
features in the PostgreSQL server itself. I will submit separate
proposals per feature so that discussions can be kept focused on one
feature per thread.
For conflict resolution purposes in an asynchronous multimaster system,
the "last update" definition often comes into play. For this to work,
the system must provide a monotonically increasing timestamp taken at
the commit of a transaction. During replication, the replication process
must be able to provide the remote nodes timestamp so that the
replicated data will be "as of the time it was written on the remote
node", and not the current local time of the replica, which is by
definition of "asynchronous" later.
To provide this data, I would like to add another "log" directory,
pg_tslog. The files in this directory will be similar to the clog, but
contain arrays of timestamptz values. On commit, the current system time
will be taken. As long as this time is lower or equal to the last taken
time in this PostgreSQL instance, the value will be increased by one
microsecond. The resulting time will be added to the commit WAL record
and written into the pg_tslog file.
If a per database configurable tslog_priority is given, the timestamp
will be truncated to milliseconds and the increment logic is done on
milliseconds. The priority is added to the timestamp. This guarantees
that no two timestamps for commits will ever be exactly identical, even
across different servers.
The COMMIT syntax will get extended to
COMMIT [TRANSACTION] [WITH TIMESTAMP <timestamptz>];
The extension is limited to superusers and will override the normally
generated commit timestamp. This will be used to give the replicating
transaction on the replica the exact same timestamp it got on the
originating master node.
The pg_tslog segments will be purged like the clog segments, after all
transactions belonging to them have been stamped frozen. A frozen xid by
definition has a timestamp of epoch. To ensure a system using this
timestamp feature has enough time to perform its work, a new GUC
variable defining an interval will prevent vacuum from freezing xid's
that are younger than that.
A function get_commit_timestamp(xid) returning timpstamptz will return
the commit time of a transaction as recorded by this feature.
Comments, changes, additions?
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