Incidentally, we tried triggering NTA (L2 cache bypass) unconditionally and in 
various patterns and did not see the substantial gain as with reducing the 
working set size.

My conclusion: Fixing the OS is not sufficient to alleviate the issue.  We see 
a 2x penalty (1700MB/s versus 3500MB/s) at the higher data rates due to this 

- Luke

Msg is shrt cuz m on ma treo

 -----Original Message-----
From:   Sherry Moore [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]
Sent:   Tuesday, March 06, 2007 10:05 PM Eastern Standard Time
To:     Simon Riggs
Cc:     Sherry Moore; Tom Lane; Luke Lonergan; Mark Kirkwood; Pavan Deolasee; 
Gavin Sherry; PGSQL Hackers; Doug Rady
Subject:        Re: [HACKERS] Bug: Buffer cache is not scan resistant

Hi Simon,

> and what you haven't said
> - all of this is orthogonal to the issue of buffer cache spoiling in
> PostgreSQL itself. That issue does still exist as a non-OS issue, but
> we've been discussing in detail the specific case of L2 cache effects
> with specific kernel calls. All of the test results have been
> stand-alone, so we've not done any measurements in that area. I say this
> because you make the point that reducing the working set size of write
> workloads has no effect on the L2 cache issue, but ISTM its still
> potentially a cache spoiling issue.

What I wanted to point out was that (reiterating to avoid requoting),

    - My test was simply to demonstrate that the observed performance
      difference with VACUUM was caused by whether the size of the
      user buffer caused L2 thrashing.

    - In general, application should reduce the size of the working set
      to reduce the penalty of TLB misses and cache misses.

    - If the application access pattern meets the NTA trigger condition,
      the benefit of reducing the working set size will be much smaller.

Whatever I said is probably orthogonal to the buffer cache issue you
guys have been discussing, but I haven't read all the email exchange
on the subject.

Sherry Moore, Solaris Kernel Development

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