More load balancing fine control

Pgpool-II is known as it provides load balancing across multiple PostgreSQL servers for read queries.

Consider a cluster consisting of Pgpool-II and two PostgreSQL servers configured with streaming replication. One is a primary server, the other is a standby server. Also the load balancing weight is 0:1, which means read queries will be basically sent to the standby server.

In an explicit transaction if a read query is sent from a client, Pgpool-II sends it to the standby server (as long as replication delay is not too much). Next a write query is coming. Of course it is sent to the primary server. Interesting thing happens if a read query is sent. Unlike previous read query, it is sent to the primary to avoid the replication delay.

Pgpool-II 4.0 will have a new configuration parameter called "disable_load_balance_on_write" to give more fine control of the behavior above.

If disable_load_balance_on_write = 'transaction', the behavior is exactly same as above. This is the default.

If disable_load_balance_on_write = 'off', Pgpool-II no longer takes account of the write query and feels free to load balance read queries as much as possible.

 This choice is good if you want to take maximum benefit of load balancing.

The variant of 'tranacton' is, 'trans_transaction'. Unlike 'transaction', the effect of disable load balancing after a write query continues even if the transaction closes and a next transaction begins.

So 'trans_transaction' is good for those who want data consistency than load balancing. Please note that a ready query issued between explicit transactions are not affected by the parameter.

Finally there's 'always'. If the mode is specified and once write query is sent, any read query regardless it's in an explicit transaction or not, will not be load balanced and sent to the primary server until the session ends.

In summary, the degree of protecting data consistency is in the order of always, trans_transaction, transaction and off. In contrast, the degree of performance is in the order of off, transaction, trans_transaction and always. If you are not sure which one is the best choice for you, I recommend you to start with 'transaction' because this is on a good balance between data consistency and performance.


  1. Hi,
    I could test this feature ?

  2. Hi,

    Can pgpool support the function in other schema not in the public?

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  4. It seems that when failover is triggered and follow_master_command restarts slave after repointing to new master then there's potential that health check for slave being restarted can fail and result in failover being triggered again for the slave so (1) it is important to do checks before any promotion and (2) it makes sense to increase health_check_retry_delay to duration greater than it takes to restart slave when health_check_max_retries > 0

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