We have been trying to pinpoint what originally seem to be a I/O bottleneck but which now seems to be an issue with either Postgresql or RHES 3.

We have the following test environment on which we can reproduce the problem:

1) Test System A
Dell 6650 Quad Xeon Pentium 4
8 Gig of RAM
OS: RHES 3 update 2
Storage: NetApp FAS270 connected using an FC card using 10 disks

2) Test System B
Dell Dual Xeon Pentium III
2 Gig o RAM
OS: RHES 3 update 2
Storage: NetApp FAS920 connected using an FC card using 28 disks

Our Database size is around 30G.

The behavior we see is that when running queries that do random reads on disk, IOWAIT goes over 80% and actual disk IO falls to a crawl at a throughput bellow 3000kB/s (We usually average 40000 kB/s to 80000 kB/s on sequential read operations on the netapps)

The stats of the NetApp do confirm that it is sitting idle. Doing an strace on the Postgresql process shows that is it doing seeks and reads.

So my question is where is this iowait time spent ?
Is there a way to pinpoint the problem in more details ?
We are able to reproduce this behavior with Postgresql 7.4.8 and 8.0.3

I have included the output of top,vmstat,strace and systat from the Netapp from System B while running a single query that generates this behavior.

Rémy

top output:
06:27:28 up 5 days, 16:59, 6 users, load average: 1.04, 1.30, 1.01
72 processes: 71 sleeping, 1 running, 0 zombie, 0 stopped
CPU states: cpu user nice system irq softirq iowait idle
total 2.7% 0.0% 1.0% 0.1% 0.2% 46.0% 49.5%
cpu00 0.2% 0.0% 0.2% 0.0% 0.2% 2.2% 97.2%
cpu01 5.3% 0.0% 1.9% 0.3% 0.3% 89.8% 1.9%
Mem: 2061696k av, 2043936k used, 17760k free, 0k shrd, 3916k buff
1566332k actv, 296648k in_d, 30504k in_c
Swap: 16771584k av, 21552k used, 16750032k free 1933772k cached

PID USER PRI NI SIZE RSS SHARE STAT %CPU %MEM TIME CPU COMMAND
30960 postgres 15 0 13424 10M 9908 D 2.7 0.5 2:00 1 postmaster
30538 root 15 0 1080 764 524 S 0.7 0.0 0:43 0 sshd
1 root 15 0 496 456 436 S 0.0 0.0 0:08 0 init
2 root RT 0 0 0 0 SW 0.0 0.0 0:00 0 migration/0
3 root RT 0 0 0 0 SW 0.0 0.0 0:00 1 migration/1
4 root 15 0 0 0 0 SW 0.0 0.0 0:01 0 keventd
5 root 34 19 0 0 0 SWN 0.0 0.0 0:00 0 ksoftirqd/0
6 root 34 19 0 0 0 SWN 0.0 0.0 0:00 1 ksoftirqd/1
9 root 15 0 0 0 0 SW 0.0 0.0 0:24 1 bdflush
7 root 15 0 0 0 0 SW 0.0 0.0 6:53 1 kswapd
8 root 15 0 0 0 0 SW 0.0 0.0 8:44 1 kscand
10 root 15 0 0 0 0 SW 0.0 0.0 0:13 0 kupdated
11 root 25 0 0 0 0 SW 0.0 0.0 0:00 0 mdrecoveryd
17 root 15 0 0 0 0 SW 0.0 0.0 0:00 0 ahc_dv_0


vmstat output
procs memory swap io system cpu
r b swpd free buff cache si so bi bo in cs us sy id wa
0 1 21552 17796 4872 1931928 2 3 3 1 27 6 2 1 7 3
0 1 21552 18044 4880 1931652 0 0 1652 0 397 512 1 2 50 47
0 1 21552 17976 4896 1931664 0 0 2468 0 407 552 2 2 50 47
1 0 21552 17984 4896 1931608 0 0 2124 0 418 538 3 3 48 46
0 1 21552 18028 4900 1931536 0 0 1592 0 385 509 1 3 50 46
0 1 21552 18040 4916 1931488 0 0 1620 820 419 581 2 2 50 46
0 1 21552 17968 4916 1931536 0 4 1708 4 402 554 3 1 50 46
1 1 21552 18052 4916 1931388 0 0 1772 0 409 531 3 1 49 47
0 1 21552 17912 4924 1931492 0 0 1772 0 408 565 3 1 48 48
0 1 21552 17932 4932 1931440 0 4 1356 4 391 545 5 0 49 46
0 1 21552 18320 4944 1931016 0 4 1500 840 414 571 1 1 48 50
0 1 21552 17872 4944 1931440 0 0 2116 0 392 496 1 5 46 48
0 1 21552 18060 4944 1931232 0 0 2232 0 423 597 1 2 48 49
1 1 21552 17684 4944 1931584 0 0 1752 0 395 537 1 1 50 48
0 1 21552 18000 4944 1931240 0 0 1576 0 401 549 0 1 50 49


NetApp stats:
CPU NFS CIFS HTTP Total Net kB/s Disk kB/s Tape kB/s Cache Cache CP CP Disk DAFS FCP iSCSI FCP kB/s
in out read write read write age hit time ty util in out
2% 0 0 0 139 0 0 2788 0 0 0 3 96% 0% - 15% 0 139 0 3 2277
2% 0 0 0 144 0 0 2504 0 0 0 3 96% 0% - 18% 0 144 0 3 2150
2% 0 0 0 130 0 0 2212 0 0 0 3 96% 0% - 13% 0 130 0 3 1879
3% 0 0 0 169 0 0 2937 80 0 0 3 96% 0% - 13% 0 169 0 4 2718
2% 0 0 0 139 0 0 2448 0 0 0 3 96% 0% - 12% 0 139 0 3 2096
2% 0 0 0 137 0 0 2116 0 0 0 3 96% 0% - 10% 0 137 0 3 1892
3% 0 0 0 107 0 0 2660 812 0 0 3 96% 24% T 20% 0 107 0 3 1739
2% 0 0 0 118 0 0 1788 0 0 0 3 96% 0% - 13% 0 118 0 3 1608
2% 0 0 0 136 0 0 2228 0 0 0 3 96% 0% - 11% 0 136 0 3 2018
2% 0 0 0 119 0 0 1940 0 0 0 3 96% 0% - 13% 0 119 0 3 1998
2% 0 0 0 136 0 0 2175 0 0 0 3 96% 0% - 14% 0 136 0 3 1929
2% 0 0 0 133 0 0 1924 0 0 0 3 96% 0% - 19% 0 133 0 3 2292
2% 0 0 0 115 0 0 2044 0 0 0 3 96% 0% - 11% 0 115 0 3 1682
2% 0 0 0 134 0 0 2256 0 0 0 3 96% 0% - 12% 0 134 0 3 2096
2% 0 0 0 112 0 0 2184 0 0 0 3 96% 0% - 12% 0 112 0 3 1633
2% 0 0 0 163 0 0 2348 0 0 0 3 96% 0% - 13% 0 163 0 4 2421
2% 0 0 0 120 0 0 2056 184 0 0 3 96% 8% T 14% 0 120 0 3 1703

strace output:
read(55, "\4\0\0\0\10fm}\1\0\0\0p\0\264\0\0 \2 \230\236\320\0020"..., 8192) = 8192
_llseek(55, 857997312, [857997312], SEEK_SET) = 0
read(55, "\4\0\0\0\\\315\321|\1\0\0\0p\0\354\0\0 \2 \250\236\260"..., 8192) = 8192
_llseek(55, 883220480, [883220480], SEEK_SET) = 0
read(55, "\4\0\0\0T\17a~\1\0\0\0p\0\20\1\0 \2 \270\236\220\2D\235"..., 8192) = 8192
_llseek(55, 858005504, [858005504], SEEK_SET) = 0
read(55, "\4\0\0\0\300\356\321|\1\0\0\0p\0\330\0\0 \2 \260\236\240"..., 8192) = 8192
_llseek(55, 857964544, [857964544], SEEK_SET) = 0
read(55, "\4\0\0\0lH\321|\1\0\0\0p\0<\1\0 \2 \300\236\200\2p\235"..., 8192) = 8192
_llseek(55, 857956352, [857956352], SEEK_SET) = 0
read(55, "\4\0\0\0l\'\321|\1\0\0\0p\0\320\0\0 \2 \260\236\240\2\\"..., 8192) = 8192
_llseek(55, 910802944, [910802944], SEEK_SET) = 0
read(55, "\4\0\0\0\10}\25\200\1\0\0\0l\0\274\1\0 \2 \250\236\260"..., 8192) = 8192
_llseek(55, 857948160, [857948160], SEEK_SET) = 0
read(55, "\4\0\0\0\370\5\321|\1\0\0\0p\0\350\0\0 \2 \230\236\320"..., 8192) = 8192
_llseek(56, 80371712, [80371712], SEEK_SET) = 0
read(56, "\4\0\0\0Lf \217\1\0\0\0p\0\f\1\0 \2 \250\236\260\2T\235"..., 8192) = 8192
read(102, "\2\0\34\0001\236\0\0\1\0\0\0\t\0\0\00020670\0\0\0B\6\0"..., 8192) = 8192
_llseek(55, 857939968, [857939968], SEEK_SET) = 0
read(55, "\4\0\0\0\244\344\320|\1\0\0\0l\0\230\1\0 \2 \244\236\270"..., 8192) = 8192
_llseek(55, 857923584, [857923584], SEEK_SET) = 0
read(55, "\4\0\0\0\224\242\320|\1\0\0\0p\0|\0\0 \2 \234\236\310\002"..., 8192) = 8192
_llseek(55, 57270272, [57270272], SEEK_SET) = 0
read(55, "\4\0\0\0\3204FK\1\0\0\0t\0\340\0\0 \2 \310\236j\2\214\235"..., 8192) = 8192
_llseek(55, 870727680, [870727680], SEEK_SET) = 0
read(55, "\4\0\0\0x>[EMAIL PROTECTED] \2 \250\236\260\2X\235"..., 8192) = 8192
_llseek(55, 1014734848, [1014734848], SEEK_SET) = 0
read(55, "\4\0\0\0\34\354\201\206\1\0\0\0p\0p\0\0 \2 \264\236\230"..., 8192) = 8192
_llseek(55, 857874432, [857874432], SEEK_SET) = 0
read(55, "\4\0\0\0\214\331\317|\1\0\0\0l\0\324\1\0 \2 \224\236\330"..., 8192) = 8192
_llseek(55, 760872960, [760872960], SEEK_SET) = 0
read(55, "\4\0\0\0\30\257\321v\1\0\0\0p\0\230\0\0 \2 \234\236\310"..., 8192) = 8192
_llseek(55, 891715584, [891715584], SEEK_SET) = 0
read(55, "\4\0\0\0\370\220\347~\1\0\0\0p\0P\1\0 \2 \230\236\320\2"..., 8192) = 8192
_llseek(55, 857858048, [857858048], SEEK_SET) = 0
read(55, "\4\0\0\0\250\227\317|\1\0\0\0p\0\264\0\0 \2 \254\236\250"..., 8192) = 8192
_llseek(55, 666910720, [666910720], SEEK_SET) = 0
read(55, "\4\0\0\0x\206\3q\1\0\0\0p\0004\1\0 \2 \254\236\242\2P\235"..., 8192) = 8192
_llseek(55, 857841664, [857841664], SEEK_SET) = 0
read(55, "\4\0\0\0dT\317|\1\0\0\0p\0\224\0\0 \2 \214\236\350\2\30"..., 8192) = 8192



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