I run a Perl/CGI driven website that makes extensive use of PostgreSQL (7.4.3) for everything from user information to formatting and display of specific sections of the site. The server itself, is a dual processor AMD Opteron 1.4Ghz w/ 2GB Ram and 2 x 120GB hard drives mirrored for redundancy running under FreeBSD 5.2.1 (AMD64).

Recently loads on the site have increased during peak hours to the point of showing considerable loss in performance. This can be observed when connections move from the 120 concurrent connections to PostgreSQL to roughly 175 or more. Essentially, the machine seems to struggle to keep up with continual requests and slows down respectively as resources are tied down.

Code changes have been made to the scripts to essentially back off in high load working environments which have worked to an extent. However, as loads continue to increase the database itself is not taking well to the increased traffic taking place.

Having taken a look at 'Tuning PostgreSQL for Performance' (http://www.varlena.com/GeneralBits/Tidbits/perf.html) using it as best I could in order to set my settings. However, even with statistics disabled and ever setting tweaked things still consider to deteriorate.

Is there anything anyone can recommend in order to give the system a necessary speed boost? It would seem to me that a modest dataset of roughly a Gig combined with that type of hardware should be able to handle substantially more load then what it is. Can anyone provide me with clues as where to pursue? Would disabling 'fsync' provide more performance if I choose that information may be lost in case of a crash?

If anyone needs access to logs, settings et cetera. Please ask, I simply wish to test the waters first on what is needed. Thanks!

        Martin Foster

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