couchdb-dev mailing list archives

Site index · List index
Message view « Date » · « Thread »
Top « Date » · « Thread »
From Paul Davis <>
Subject Re: About possibly reverting COUCHDB-767
Date Mon, 08 Nov 2010 20:22:38 GMT
On Mon, Nov 8, 2010 at 3:04 PM, Randall Leeds <> wrote:
> Whoops. Hit send too early, but I think I got everything in there that
> I wanted to say.
> As for the ref counter bottleneck, I just pushed to
> This branch uses a public ets for the ref_counter. I think I managed
> to linear the updates over the {total, RefCtr} keys in the ets table
> such that there should be no race conditions but please, please take a
> look at this if you have time.
> It seems to pass the ref_counter tests, but I still need to handle
> giving away ownership of the ets table. Right now I use couch_server
> as the heir so I can use only one ETS table for all couch_ref_counter
> processes, but the couch_server just crashes if it actually receives
> the 'ETS-TRANSFER' message. If I can't find an easy way to hand the
> table to another couch_ref_counter whenever the owner exits I may just
> break the encapsulation of the module a bit by leaving couch_server as
> the owner and ignoring that message.
> Thanks, guys. My gut says we're going to get some nice numbers when
> all this is done.
> -Randall
> On Mon, Nov 8, 2010 at 11:56, Randall Leeds <> wrote:
>> Thanks to both of you for getting this conversation going again and
>> for the work on the patch and testing, Filipe.
>> On Sun, Nov 7, 2010 at 12:49, Adam Kocoloski <> wrote:
>>> On Nov 7, 2010, at 3:29 PM, Filipe David Manana wrote:
>>>> On Sun, Nov 7, 2010 at 8:09 PM, Adam Kocoloski <>
>>>>> On Nov 7, 2010, at 2:52 PM, Filipe David Manana wrote:
>>>>>> On Sun, Nov 7, 2010 at 7:20 PM, Adam Kocoloski <>
>>>>>>> On Nov 7, 2010, at 11:35 AM, Filipe David Manana wrote:
>>>>>>>> Also, with this patch I verified (on Solaris, with the 'zpool
>>>>>>>> 1' command) that when running a writes only test with relaximation
>>>>>>>> (200 write processes), disk write activity is not continuous.
>>>>>>>> this patch, there's continuous (every 1 second) write activity.
>>>>>>> I'm confused by this statement. You must be talking about relaximation
runs with delayed_commits = true, right?  Why do you think you see larger intervals between
write activity with the optimization from COUCHDB-767?  Have you measured the time it takes
to open the extra FD?  In my tests that was a sub-millisecond operation, but maybe you've
uncovered something else.
>>>>>> No, it happens for tests with delayed_commits = false. The only
>>>>>> possible explanation I see for the variance might be related to the
>>>>>> Erlang VM scheduler decisions about when to start/run that process.
>>>>>> Nevertheless, I dont know the exact cause, but the fsync run frequency
>>>>>> varies a lot.
>>>>> I think it's worth investigating.  I couldn't reproduce it on my plain-old
spinning disk MacBook with 200 writers in relaximation; the IOPS reported by iostat stayed
very uniform.
>>>>>>>> For the goal of not having readers getting blocked by fsync
calls (and
>>>>>>>> write calls), I would propose using a separate couch_file
process just
>>>>>>>> for read operations. I have a branch in my github for this
>>>>>>>> COUCHDB-767 reverted). It needs to be polished, but the relaximation
>>>>>>>> tests are very positive, both reads and writes get better
>>>>>>>> times and throughput:
>>>>>>> I'd like to propose an alternative optimization, which is to
keep a dedicated file descriptor open in the couch_db_updater process and use that file descriptor
for _all_ IO initiated by the db_updater.  The advantage is that the db_updater does not
need to do any message passing for disk IO, and thus does not slow down when the incoming
message queue is large.  A message queue much much larger than the number of concurrent writers
can occur if a user writes with batch=ok, and it can also happen rather easily in a BigCouch
>>>>>> I don't see how that will improve things, since all write operations
>>>>>> will still be done in a serialized manner. Since only couch_db_updater
>>>>>> writes to the DB file, and since access to the couch_db_updater is
>>>>>> serialized, to me it only seems that you're solution avoids one level
>>>>>> of indirection (the couch_file process). I don't see how, when using
>>>>>> couch_file only for writes, you get the message queue for that
>>>>>> couc_file process full of write messages.
>>>>> It's the db_updater which gets a large message queue, not the couch_file.
 The db_updater ends up with a big backlog of update_docs messages that get in the way when
it needs to make gen_server calls to the couch_file process for IO.  It's a significant problem
in R13B, probably less so in R14B because of some cool optimizations by the OTP team.
>>>> So, let me see if I get it. The couch_db_updater process is slow
>>>> picking the results of the calls to the couch_file process because its
>>>> mailbox is full of update_docs messages?
>>> Correct.  Each call to the couch_file requires a selective receive on the part
of the db_updater in order to get the response, and prior to R14 that selective receive needed
to match against every message in the mailbox.  It's really a bigger problem in couch_server,
which uses a gen_server call to increment a reference counter before handing the #db{} to
the client, since every request to any DB has to talk to couch_server first.  Best,
>>> Adam
>> Adam,
>> I think the problem is made worse by a backed up db_updater, but the
>> db_updater becomes backed up because it makes more synchronous calls
>> to the couch_file than a reader does, handling only one update
>> operation at a time while readers queue up on the couch_file in
>> parallel.
>> Filipe,
>> Using a separate fd for writes at the couch_file level is not the
>> answer. The db_updater has to read the btree before it can write,
>> incurring multiple trips through the couch_file message queue between
>> queuing append_term requests and processing its message queue for new
>> updates. Using two file descriptors keeps the readers out of the way
>> of the writers only if you select which fd to use at the db-operation
>> level and not the file-operation level. Perhaps two couch_file
>> processes is better. Fairness should be left to the operating system
>> I/O scheduler once reads don'. This seems seems like the best way
>> forward to me right now. Let's try to crunch some numbers on it soon.
>> I couldn't find a solution I liked that was fair to readers and
>> writers at any workload with only one file descriptor. The btree cache
>> alleviates this problem a bit because the read path becomes much
>> faster and therefore improves database reads and writes.
>> As to the patch, I'd think we need the readers and writers separated
>> into two separate couch_files. That way the updater can perform its
>> reads on the "writer" fd, otherwise writers suffer starvation because
>> readers go directly into the couch_file queue in parallel instead of
>> serializing through something like db_updater.

Wasn't there a branch or patch somehwere that just removed the
ref_counter code entirely and used monitors/links to make sure
everything behaved correctly? I'm not sure I ever saw it to see how
dramatic and/or scary it was, but it might be another approach to

View raw message