Performance module

The Performance Module is responsible for performing I/O operations in support of query and write processing. It receives its instructions from a User Module with respect to the work that it does. A Performance Module doesn’t see the query itself, but only the set of instructions given it by a User Module. The Performance Module delivers three critical behaviors key to scaling out database behavior: distributed scans, distributed hash joins, and distributed aggregation. The combination of these three behaviors enables true massive parallel processing (MPP) behavior for query-intensive environments.

Query processing

  • The PrimProc handles query execution. The instructions sent by the User module are received and executed by PrimProc as block oriented I/O operations to perform predicate filtering, join processing, initial aggregation of data, after which PrimProc sends data back to the User Module.

Shared nothing data cache

All Performance Modules utilize a shared nothing data cache. When data is first accessed, a Performance Module acts upon the amount of data that it has been instructed to by a User Module and caches them in an LRU-based cache for subsequent access. On dedicated servers running Performance Module, the majority of the box’s RAM can be dedicated to a Performance Module’s data cache. As the Performance Module cache is a shared nothing design:

  • There is no data block pinging between participating Performance Module nodes as sometimes occurs in other multi-instance/shared disk database systems.
  • As more Performance Module nodes are added to a system, the overall cache size for the database is greatly increased.

Load and write processing

A Performance Module node is given the task of performing loads and writes to the underlying persistent storage. There are two processes for handling write operations on Performance Module.

  • WriteEngineServer: WriteEngineServer is responsible for coordinating DML, DDL and imports on each Performance Module. DDL changes are persisted within the MariaDB ColumnStore System Catalog which keeps track of all ColumnStore metadata.
  • cpimport: This performs the database file updates, when bulk data is loaded. cpimport is aware of which module It is running on and, when running on the Performance Module, handles the actual updates of the database disk files. In this manner, MariaDB ColumnStore supports fully parallel load capabilities.

MariaDB ColumnStore process management

The Process Manager: ProcMgr

  • The ProcMgr is responsible for starting, monitoring and re-starting all MariaDB ColumnStore processes. It utilizes another process, called Process Monitor (ProcMon) on each machine to keep track of MariaDB ColumnStore processes.

MariaDB ColumnStore Performance Module Failover

In a multi-node Performance Module configuration, a heartbeat mechanism ensures all nodes are all online and there is transparent failover if a particular Performance Module fails. If a Performance Module abnormally terminates, any in-process queries will error. Any users receiving an error due to a Performance Module failure can simply resubmit their query and have the work performed by the remaining Performance Modules.

In the event of a failover, when the underlying storage data is externally mounted (e.g. EC2 EBS or SAN), the mapping of data blocks to the Performance Modules is re-organized across the working Performance Modules, and the Extent Maps on the User Modules are re-evaluated so that queries are sent to the appropriate remaining Performance Modules. That is the DbRoots attached to the failed Performance Module are attached to working Performance module. This process is transparent to the user and no manual intervention is required.

When the failed Performance Module is brought back online, MariaDB ColumnStore will auto-adopt it back into the configuration and begin using it for work.


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