On 10/9/2004 7:20 AM, Kevin Brown wrote:
Christopher Browne wrote:Increasing the number of cache buffers _is_ likely to lead to some slowdowns:
- Data that passes through the cache also passes through kernel cache, so it's recorded twice, and read twice...
Even worse, memory that's used for the PG cache is memory that's not available to the kernel's page cache. Even if the overall memory
Which underlines my previous statement, that a PG shared cache much larger than the high-frequently accessed data portion of the DB is counterproductive. Double buffering (kernel-disk-buffer plus shared buffer) only makes sense for data that would otherwise cause excessive memory copies in and out of the shared buffer. After that, in only lowers the memory available for disk buffers.
usage in the system isn't enough to cause some paging to disk, most modern kernels will adjust the page/disk cache size dynamically to fit the memory demands of the system, which in this case means it'll be smaller if running programs need more memory for their own use.
This is why I sometimes wonder whether or not it would be a win to use mmap() to access the data and index files -- doing so under a truly modern OS would surely at the very least save a buffer copy (from the page/disk cache to program memory) because the OS could instead direcly map the buffer cache pages directly to the program's memory space.
Since PG often has to have multiple files open at the same time, and in a production database many of those files will be rather large, PG would have to limit the size of the mmap()ed region on 32-bit platforms, which means that things like the order of mmap() operations to access various parts of the file can become just as important in the mmap()ed case as it is in the read()/write() case (if not more so!). I would imagine that the use of mmap() on a 64-bit platform would be a much, much larger win because PG would most likely be able to mmap() entire files and let the OS work out how to order disk reads and writes.
The biggest problem as I see it is that (I think) mmap() would have to be made to cooperate with malloc() for virtual address space. I suspect issues like this have already been worked out by others, however...
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