> > 110% of a 1.1 million row table is updated, though, that vaccuum will
> > take an hour or more.
> True, but I think it would be one hour once, rather than 30 minutes 4
> times.

Well, generally it would be about 6-8 times at 2-4 minutes each.

> This is one of the things I had hoped to add to pg_autovacuum, but never
> got to.  In addition to just the information from the stats collector on
> inserts updates and deletes, pg_autovacuum should also look at the FSM,
> and make decisions based on it.  Anyone looking for a project?

Hmmm ... I think that's the wrong approach.  Once your database is populated, 
it's very easy to determine how to set the FSM for a given pg_avd level.   If 
you're vacuuming after 20% updates, for example, just set fsm_pages to 20% of 
the total database pages plus growth & safety margins.

I'd be really reluctant to base pv-avd frequency on the fsm settings instead.  
What if the user loads 8GB of data but leaves fsm_pages at the default of 
10,000?  You can't do much with that; you'd have to vacuum if even 1% of the 
data changed.

The other problem is that calculating data pages from a count of 
updates+deletes would require pg_avd to keep more statistics and do more math 
for every table.  Do we want to do this?

> But I can't imagine that 2% makes any difference on a large table.  In
> fact I would think that 10-15% would hardly be noticable, beyond that
> I'm not sure.

I've seen performance lag at 10% of records, especially in tables where both 
update and select activity focus on one subset of the table (calendar tables, 
for example).

> Valid points, and again I think this points to the fact that
> pg_autovacuum needs to be more configurable.  Being able to set
> different thresholds for different tables will help considerably.  In
> fact, you may find that some tables should have a vac threshold much
> larger than the analyze thresold, while other tables might want the
> opposite.

Sure.  Though I think we can make the present configuration work with a little 
adjustment of the numbers.   I'll have a chance to test on production 
databases soon.

> I would be surprized if you can notice the difference between a vacuum
> analyze and a vacuum, especially on large tables.

It's substantial for tables with high statistics settings.   A 1,000,000 row 
table with 5 columns set to statistics=250 can take 3 minutes to analyze on a 
medium-grade server.

> I think you need two separate schedules.  There are lots of times where
> a vacuum doesn't help, and an analyze is all that is needed

Agreed.  And I've just talked to a client who may want to use pg_avd's ANALYZE 
scheduling but not use vacuum at all.   BTW, I think we should have a setting 
for this; for example, if -V is -1, don't vacuum.

> I'm open to discussion on changing the defaults.  Perhaps what it would
> be better to use some non-linear (perhaps logorithmic) scaling factor.
> So that you wound up with something roughly like this:
> #tuples   activity% for vacuum
> 1k           100%
> 10k           70%
> 100k         45%
> 1M            20%
> 10M          10%
> 100M          8%

That would be cool, too.    Though a count of data pages would be a better 
scale than a count of rows, and equally obtainable from pg_class.

> Thanks for the lucid feedback / discussion.  autovacuum is a feature
> that, despite it's simple implementation, has generated a lot of
> feedback from users, and I would really like to see it become something
> closer to what it should be.

Well, I hope to help now.  Until very recently, I've not had a chance to 
seriously look at pg_avd and test it in production.   Now that I do, I'm 
interested in improving it.

Josh Berkus
Aglio Database Solutions
San Francisco

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