On 24-8-2005 16:43, Alexandre Barros wrote:
i have a pg-8.0.3 running on Linux kernel 2.6.8, CPU Sempron 2600+, 1Gb RAM on IDE HD ( which could be called a "heavy desktop" ), measuring this performance with pgbench ( found on /contrib ) it gave me an average ( after several runs ) of 170 transactions per second;

Nowadays you can call that a "light desktop", although the amount of RAM is a bit more than normal. ;)

for the sake of experimentation ( actually, i'm scared this IDE drive could fail at any time, hence i'm looking for an alternative, more "robust", machine ), i've installed on an aging Compaq Proliant server ( freshly compiled SMP kernel with preemption ), dual Pentium

Preemption is afaik counter-productive for a server.

III Xeon 500Mhz, 512Mb RAM, (older) SCSI-2 80pin drives, and re-tested, when the database was on a single SCSI drive, pgbench gave me an average of 90 transactions per second, but, and that scared me most, when the database was on a RAID-5 array ( four 9Gb disks, using linux software RAID mdadm and LVM2, with the default filesystem cluster size of 32Kb ), the performance dropped to about 55 transactions per second.

The default disk io scheduler of the 2.6-series is designed for disks or controllers that have no command queueing (like most standaard IDE-disks). Try changing your default "anticipatory" scheduler on the test-device to "deadline" or "cfq" (see the two *-iosched.txt files in /usr/src/linux/Documentation/block/ for more information). Changing is simple with a 2.6.11+ kernel, just do "echo 'deadline' > /sys/block/*devicename*/queue/scheduler" at runtime.

Despite the amount of RAM difference, none machine seems to be swapping.

But there is a 512MB extra amount of file-cache. Which can make a significant difference.

All filesystems ( on both machines ) are Reiserfs.
Both pg-8.0.3 were compiled with CFLAGS -O3 and -mtune for their respective architectures... and "gmake -j2" on the server. Both machines have an original ( except by the pg and the kernel ) Mandrake 10.1 install.

I've googled a little, and maybe the cluster size might be one problem, but despite that, the performance dropping when running on "server-class" hardware with RAID-5 SCSI-2 drives was way above my most delirious expectations... i need some help to figure out what is **so** wrong...

Did you consider you're overestimating the raid's performance and usage? If the benchmark was mostly run from the memory, you're not going to see much gain in performance from a faster disk. But even worse is that for sequential reads and writes, the performance of current (large) IDE drives is very good. It may actually outperform your RAID on that one. Random access will probably still be slower, but may not be that much slower. And if the database resides in memory, that doesn't matter much anyway.

i wouldn't be so stunned if the newer machine was ( say ) twice faster than the older server, but over three times faster is disturbing.

I'm actually not surprised. Old scsi disks are not faster than new ones anymore, although they still may be a bit faster on random access issues or under (very) high load.

Especially if:
- you only ran it with 1 client
- the database mostly or entirely fits in the desktop's memory
- the database did not fit entirely in the server's memory.

Even worse would be if the database does fit entirely in the desktop's memory, but not in the server's!

Please don't forget your server probably has much slower memory-access, it will likely have 133Mhz SDR Ram instead of your current DDR2700 orso. The latter is much faster (in theory more than twice). Your desktop cpu will very likely, even when multiple processes exist, be faster especially with the faster memory accesses. The Xeon's probably only beat it on the amount of cache.

So please check if pgbench actually makes much use of the disk, if it does check how large the test databases will be, etc, etc.

Btw, if you'd prefer to use your desktop, but are afraid of the IDE-drive dying on you, buy a "server class" SATA disk. Most manufacturers have those, Western Digital even has "scsi like" sata disks (the Raptor drives), they generally have 3 to 5 years warranty and higher class components.

Best regards,


---------------------------(end of broadcast)---------------------------
TIP 4: Have you searched our list archives?


Reply via email to