At 03:10 AM 8/25/2005, Ulrich Wisser wrote:

I realize I need to be much more specific. Here is a more detailed
description of my hardware and system design.

Pentium 4 2.4GHz
Memory 4x DIMM DDR 1GB PC3200 400MHZ CAS3, KVR
Motherboard chipset 'I865G', two IDE channels on board

First suggestion: Get better server HW. AMD Opteron based dual processor board is the current best in terms of price/performance ratio, _particularly_ for DB applications like the one you have described. Such mainboards cost ~$400-$500. RAM will cost about $75-$150/GB. Opteron 2xx are ~$200-$700 apiece. So a 2P AMD system can be had for as little as ~$850 + the cost of the RAM you need. In the worst case where you need 24GB of RAM (~$3600), the total comes in at ~$4450. As you can see from the numbers, buying only what RAM you actually need can save you a great deal on money.

Given what little you said about how much of your DB is frequently accessed, I'd suggest buying a server based around the 2P 16 DIMM slot IWill DK88 mainboard (Tyan has announced a 16 DIMM slot mainboard, but I do not think it is actually being sold yet.). Then fill it with the minimum amount of RAM that will allow the "working set" of the DB to be cached in RAM. In the worst case where DB access is essentially uniform and essentially random, you will need 24GB of RAM to hold the 22GB DB + OS + etc. That worst case is _rare_. Usually DB's have a working set that is smaller than the entire DB. You want to keep that working set in RAM. If you can't identify the working set, buy enough RAM to hold the entire DB.

In particular, you want to make sure that any frequently accessed read only tables or indexes are kept in RAM. The "read only" part is very important. Tables (and their indexes) that are frequently written to _have_ to access HD. Therefore you get much less out of having them in RAM. Read only tables and their indexes can be loaded into tmpfs at boot time thereby keeping out of the way of the file system buffer cache. tmpfs does not save data if the host goes down so it is very important that you ONLY use this trick with read only tables. The other half of the trick is to make sure that the file system buffer cache does _not_ cache whatever you have loaded into tmpfs.

2x SEAGATE BARRACUDA 7200.7 80GB 7200RPM ATA/100
(software raid 1, system, swap, pg_xlog)
(raid 1, /var/lib/pgsql)

Second suggestion: you need a MUCH better IO subsystem. In fact, given that you have described this system as being primarily OLTP like, this is more important that the above server HW. Best would be to upgrade everything, but if you are strapped for cash, upgrade the IO subsystem first.

You need many more spindles and a decent RAID card or cards. You want 15Krpm (best) or 10Krpm HDs. As long as all of the HD's are at least 10Krpm, more spindles is more important than faster spindles. If it's a choice between more 10Krpm discs or fewer 15Krpm discs, buy the 10Krpm discs. Get the spindle count as high as you RAID cards can handle.

Whatever RAID cards you get should have as much battery backed write buffer as possible. In the commodity market, presently the highest performance RAID cards I know of, and the ones that support the largest battery backed write buffer, are made by Areca.

Database size on disc is 22GB. (without pg_xlog)

Find out what the working set, ie the most frequently accessed portion, of this 22GB is and you will know how much RAM is worth having. 4GB is definitely too little!

Please find my postgresql.conf below.

Third suggestion: make sure you are running a 2.6 based kernel and at least PG 8.0.3. Helping beta test PG 8.1 might be an option for you as well.

Putting pg_xlog on the IDE drives gave about 10% performance improvement. Would faster disks give more performance?

What my application does:

Every five minutes a new logfile will be imported. Depending on the source of the request it will be imported in one of three "raw click" tables. (data from two months back, to be able to verify customer complains) For reporting I have a set of tables. These contain data from the last two years. My app deletes all entries from today and reinserts updated data calculated from the raw data tables.

The raw data tables seem to be read only? If so, you should buy enough RAM to load them into tmpfs at boot time and have them be completely RAM resident in addition to having enough RAM for the OS to cache an appropriate amount of the rest of the DB.

The queries contain no joins only aggregates. I have several indexes to speed different kinds of queries.

My problems occur when one users does a report that contains too much old data. In that case all cache mechanisms will fail and disc io is the limiting factor.

If one query contains so much data, that a full table scan is needed, I do not care if it takes two minutes to answer. But all other queries with less data (at the same time) still have to be fast.

HDs can only do one thing at once. If they are in the middle of a full table scan, everything else that requires HD access is going to wait until it is done.

At some point, looking at your DB schema and queries will be worth it for optimization purposes. Right now, you HW is so underpowered compared to the demands you are placing on it that there's little point to SW tuning.

I can not stop users doing that kind of reporting. :(

I need more speed in orders of magnitude. Will more disks / more memory do that trick?

If you do the right things with them ;)

Money is of course a limiting factor but it doesn't have to be real cheap.


# -----------------------------
# PostgreSQL configuration file
# -----------------------------

# - Connection Settings -

tcpip_socket = true
max_connections = 100
        # note: increasing max_connections costs about 500 bytes of shared
# memory per connection slot, in addition to costs from shared_buffers
        # and max_locks_per_transaction.
#superuser_reserved_connections = 2
#port = 5432
#unix_socket_directory = ''
#unix_socket_group = ''
#unix_socket_permissions = 0777 # octal
#virtual_host = ''              # what interface to listen on; defaults to any
#rendezvous_name = ''           # defaults to the computer name

# - Security & Authentication -

#authentication_timeout = 60    # 1-600, in seconds
#ssl = false
#password_encryption = true
#krb_server_keyfile = ''
#db_user_namespace = false


# - Memory -

shared_buffers = 20000          # min 16, at least max_connections*2, 8KB each
sort_mem = 4096         # min 64, size in KB

4MB seems small. Find out how much memory you usually need for a sort, and how many sorts you are usually doing at once to set this to a sane size.

vacuum_mem = 8192               # min 1024, size in KB

# - Free Space Map -

max_fsm_pages = 200000          # min max_fsm_relations*16, 6 bytes each
max_fsm_relations = 10000       # min 100, ~50 bytes each

# - Kernel Resource Usage -

#max_files_per_process = 1000   # min 25
#preload_libraries = ''


# - Settings -

fsync = false                   # turns forced synchronization on or off
#wal_sync_method = fsync        # the default varies across platforms:
                                # fsync, fdatasync, open_sync, or

I hope you have a battery backed write buffer!

wal_buffers = 128               # min 4, 8KB each

There might be a better value for you to use.

I'll hold off on looking at the rest of this...

# - Checkpoints -

checkpoint_segments = 16        # in logfile segments, min 1, 16MB each
#checkpoint_timeout = 300       # range 30-3600, in seconds
#checkpoint_warning = 30        # 0 is off, in seconds
#commit_delay = 0               # range 0-100000, in microseconds
#commit_siblings = 5            # range 1-1000


# - Planner Method Enabling -

#enable_hashagg = true
#enable_hashjoin = true
#enable_indexscan = true
#enable_mergejoin = true
#enable_nestloop = true
#enable_seqscan = true
#enable_sort = true
#enable_tidscan = true

# - Planner Cost Constants -

#effective_cache_size = 1000    # typically 8KB each
#random_page_cost = 4           # units are one sequential page fetch cost
#cpu_tuple_cost = 0.01          # (same)
#cpu_index_tuple_cost = 0.001   # (same)
#cpu_operator_cost = 0.0025     # (same)

# - Genetic Query Optimizer -

#geqo = true
#geqo_threshold = 11
#geqo_effort = 1
#geqo_generations = 0
#geqo_pool_size = 0             # default based on tables in statement,
                                # range 128-1024
#geqo_selection_bias = 2.0      # range 1.5-2.0

# - Other Planner Options -

#default_statistics_target = 10 # range 1-1000
#from_collapse_limit = 8
#join_collapse_limit = 8        # 1 disables collapsing of explicit JOINs


# - Syslog -

syslog = 2                      # range 0-2; 0=stdout; 1=both; 2=syslog
syslog_facility = 'LOCAL0'
syslog_ident = 'postgres'

# - When to Log -

client_min_messages = info      # Values, in order of decreasing detail:
                                #   debug5, debug4, debug3, debug2, debug1,
                                #   log, info, notice, warning, error

log_min_messages = info # Values, in order of decreasing detail:
                                #   debug5, debug4, debug3, debug2, debug1,
                                #   info, notice, warning, error, log,
                                #   panic

log_error_verbosity = verbose   # terse, default, or verbose messages

log_min_error_statement = info # Values in order of increasing severity:
                                 #   debug5, debug4, debug3, debug2,
                                 #   info, notice, warning, error,

log_min_duration_statement = 1000 # Log all statements whose
                                 # execution time exceeds the value, in
                                 # milliseconds.  Zero prints all queries.
                                 # Minus-one disables.

silent_mode = false              # DO NOT USE without Syslog!

# - What to Log -

#debug_print_parse = false
#debug_print_rewritten = false
#debug_print_plan = false
#debug_pretty_print = false
log_connections = true
#log_duration = false
#log_pid = false
#log_statement = false
#log_timestamp = false
#log_hostname = false
#log_source_port = false


# - Statistics Monitoring -

#log_parser_stats = false
#log_planner_stats = false
#log_executor_stats = false
#log_statement_stats = false

# - Query/Index Statistics Collector -

#stats_start_collector = true
#stats_command_string = false
#stats_block_level = false
#stats_row_level = false
#stats_reset_on_server_start = true


# - Statement Behavior -

#search_path = '$user,public'   # schema names
#check_function_bodies = true
#default_transaction_isolation = 'read committed'
#default_transaction_read_only = false
#statement_timeout = 0          # 0 is disabled, in milliseconds

# - Locale and Formatting -

#datestyle = 'iso, mdy'
#timezone = unknown             # actually, defaults to TZ environment
#australian_timezones = false
#extra_float_digits = 0         # min -15, max 2
#client_encoding = sql_ascii    # actually, defaults to database encoding

# These settings are initialized by initdb -- they may be changed
lc_messages = 'en_US'           # locale for system error message strings
lc_monetary = 'en_US'           # locale for monetary formatting
lc_numeric = 'en_US'            # locale for number formatting
lc_time = 'en_US'                       # locale for time formatting

# - Other Defaults -

#explain_pretty_print = true
#dynamic_library_path = '$libdir'
#max_expr_depth = 10000         # min 10


#deadlock_timeout = 1000        # in milliseconds
#max_locks_per_transaction = 64 # min 10, ~260*max_connections bytes each


# - Previous Postgres Versions -

#add_missing_from = true
#regex_flavor = advanced        # advanced, extended, or basic
#sql_inheritance = true

# - Other Platforms & Clients -

#transform_null_equals = false

---------------------------(end of broadcast)---------------------------
TIP 2: Don't 'kill -9' the postmaster

---------------------------(end of broadcast)---------------------------
TIP 5: don't forget to increase your free space map settings

Reply via email to