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PolarDB for PostgreSQL:Resource manager

Last Updated:Mar 15, 2023

This topic describes the resource manager feature in PolarDB for PostgreSQL.

Background information

The memory of a PolarDB for PostgreSQL cluster contains the following parts:

  • Shared memory

  • Dynamic shared memory areas

  • Process global areas

The dynamic shared memory areas and process global areas are dynamically allocated. Their usage depends on the workloads of the cluster. Excessive usage of dynamic shared memory areas may cause that the operating system limit is reached. This triggers the kernel memory limit mechanism, crash of cluster processes, cluster restarts, and event cluster unavailability.

The memory context in a process global area can be further divided into the following parts:

  • Work-area memory: the memory required for business operation. This part of memory affects the normal operation of the business.

  • Cache memory: The database stores part of the internal metadata in the process. This part of memory only affects the database performance.

PolarDB for PostgreSQL provides the resource manager feature to periodically check resource usage when the cluster is running. If a process exceeds the resource threshold, a resource limit is enforced to reduce the risks of cluster unavailability.

The resource manager feature can limit the following resources: memory, CPU, and I/O. Currently, only memory resources can be limited.

How it works

Memory limits depend on cgroups. Lack of cgroups blocks memory limits. The resource manager feature is a background process of PolarDB for PostgreSQL. It periodically reads memory usage data from cgroups as criteria for memory limits. When a process uses memory exceeding the specified threshold, the resource manager feature reads the memory usage records by processes, sorts the memory sizes, and sends the interrupt process signal (SIGTERM) or cancel operation signal (SIGINT) to the processes exceeding the specified threshold in turn.

Memory limit method

The resource manager daemon is created when the cluster is started and works on the primary, read-only, and secondary nodes. You can change the resource manager behaviors by modifying the following parameters.

The resource manager feature sends SIGTERM signals to processes that use memory exceeding the threshold specified by using the resource manager parameter to terminate the processes and release memory. The following table describes the parameters.




Specifies whether to enable the resource manager feature. Default value: on. Valid values:

  • on

  • off


The interval to check memory usage. Unit: milliseconds. Valid values: 10 to 10000. Default value: 500.


The memory usage percentage for the cluster. When this memory usage percentage is reached, a memory limit is enforced. Default value: 95.


The reserved memory size for the cluster. When the reserved memory size for the cluster is reached, a memory limit is enforced. Unit: KB. Valid values: 131072 to MAX_KILOBYTES (the maximum integer value). Default value: 524288.


The policy for limiting memory resources. Default values: default. Valid values:

  • none: no action.

  • default: The default policy, which interrupts idle processes first and then active processes.

  • cancel_query: interrupts active processes.

  • terminate_idle_backend: interrupts idle processes.

  • terminate_any_backend: interrupts all processes.

  • terminate_random_backend: interrupts random processes.


When the process receives the SIGTERM signal, the current process is terminated and the termination information is written to logs. Sample logs:

2022-11-28 14:07:56.929 UTC [18179] LOG:  [polar_resource_manager] terminate process 13461 release memory 65434123 bytes
2022-11-28 14:08:17.143 UTC [35472] FATAL:  terminating connection due to out of memory
2022-11-28 14:08:17.143 UTC [35472] BACKTRACE:
        postgres: primary: postgres postgres [local] idle(ProcessInterrupts+0x34c) [0xae5fda]
        postgres: primary: postgres postgres [local] idle(ProcessClientReadInterrupt+0x3a) [0xae1ad6]
        postgres: primary: postgres postgres [local] idle(secure_read+0x209) [0x8c9070]
        postgres: primary: postgres postgres [local] idle() [0x8d4565]
        postgres: primary: postgres postgres [local] idle(pq_getbyte+0x30) [0x8d4613]
        postgres: primary: postgres postgres [local] idle() [0xae1861]
        postgres: primary: postgres postgres [local] idle() [0xae1a83]
        postgres: primary: postgres postgres [local] idle(PostgresMain+0x8df) [0xae7949]
        postgres: primary: postgres postgres [local] idle() [0x9f4c4c]
        postgres: primary: postgres postgres [local] idle() [0x9f440c]
        postgres: primary: postgres postgres [local] idle() [0x9ef963]
        postgres: primary: postgres postgres [local] idle(PostmasterMain+0x1321) [0x9ef18a]
        postgres: primary: postgres postgres [local] idle() [0x8dc1f6]
        /lib64/ [0x7f888afff445]
        postgres: primary: postgres postgres [local] idle() [0x49d209]