> The emp table has 60 columns, all indexed, about two-thirds are numeric, 
> but they are not affected by this update. The other 50+ columns are 
> updated in the middle of the night and the amount of time that update 
> takes isn't a concern.

Well, I'd say that you have an application design problem, but that's not what 
you asked for help with ;-)

> Late last night I dumped the table, dropped it and re-created it from 
> the dump (on the production server - when no one was looking). When I 
> re-ran the function it took almost 11 minutes, which was pretty much in 
> line with my results from the dev server.

Sounds like you need to run a REINDEX on the table -- and after that, 
dramatically increase your max_fsm_pages, and run lazy VACUUM immediately 
after the batch update to clean up.

-Josh Berkus
 Aglio Database Solutions
 San Francisco

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