my name is Robert Mach and I am happy to by working on GSoC project for
Postgresql. The name of the project is Integrity check algorithm for
data files in Postgresql.
So far, I have put together a list of possible checks for data failure
and I would like to hear as much opinions on this list or even better
some recommendation on what should be added to this list or removed.
Before presenting possible errors, I divided them into physical and
logical errors. Physical errors will refer to errors in the structure of
pages and tuples, whereas logical errors will depict errors that cause
incorrect performance of postgresql, but are correct according the
structure of data files.
In order to find PHYSICAL errors:
- check whether the total size of all TOAST table chunks is the same as
the size mentioned in the TOASTed table
- in case of variable length representation of data (attlen = -1)
compare the real size of stored data with the size of data mentioned
within the varlena lenth word
- count the number of rows in a table and compare it with the
pg_class.reltuples of corresponding record in pg_class.
-check the format of data according to the flags (that determine the
representation) belonging to them. e.g.: in case of TOASTed values, is
the size of pointer datum really 20B?, etc.
-check the fields firmly defined by the structure for occurrence of odd data
In order to find LOGICAL errors:
-check the validity of all items in index (e.g. concurrent update and
index scan with constrain could cause inconsistent snapshot of database
used for creating the index)/
-After creating of index or running the index scan, check whether all
tuples that should be indexed are really indexed (e.g. )
-check the validity and effectiveness of free space map (whether it is
not considering valid data as free, whether the size is fitting the
needs of database, etc.)
-check whether all user-defined functions in the database are
visible/usable for the users (maybe also verify privileges..)
-check whether the constrains applied on items are fulfilled:
- the uniqueness
- range of values
- correctness of foreign key values
-in case of very large databases, check whether the wrap around of
transactions IDs occurred. (Transaction ID = 2 to the power of 32)
-check the integrity of catalogs
I see different ways of delivering this functionality to Postgresql. The
best of course would be to become part of Postgresql release either as a
PostgreSQL command (like UPDATE) or as an postgresql server application
Other possibility is to create a freestanding program that would be
called with location of datafiles as arguments.
Last possibility is to create an administrative console access (single
user mode) to the database in which this integrity check could be fired.
I hope to get lots of thoughts on this proposal as well as lots on
other ideas on what should be checked in odrer to verify the integrity
of data in Postgres.
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