This article continues the series that began with How To Use PgLoader then detailed How to Setup pgloader. We have some more fine points to talk about here, today’s article is about loading your data in parallel with pgloader.
This article is about version series 2.x of pgloader, which are not supported anymore. Consider using pgloader version 3.x instead. Is is much better including at parallelism!
several files at a time
Parallelism is implemented in 3 different ways in pgloader. First, you can
load more than one file at a time thanks to the
parameter, that has to be setup in the
global section of the file.
This setting is quite simple and already allows the most common use case.
several workers per file
The other use case is when you have huge files to load into the database. Then you want to be able to have more than one process reading the file at the same time. Using pgloader, you already did the compromise to load the whole content in more than one transaction, so there’s no further drawback here about having those multiple transactions per file spread to more than one load worker.
There are basically two ways to split the work between several workers here, and both are implemented in pgloader.
N workers, N splits of the file
section_threads = 4 split_file_reading = True
Setup this way,
pgloader will launch 4 different
threads (see the
section of this article). Each thread is then given a part of the input
data file and will run the whole usual pgloader processing on its own. For
this to work you need to be able to
seek in the input stream, which might
not always be convenient.
one reader, N workers
section_threads = 4 split_file_reading = False rrqueue_size = 5000
With such a setup, pgloader will start 4 different worker threads that will receive the data input in an internal python queue. Another active thread will be responsible of reading the input file and filling the queues in a round robin fashion, but will hand all the processing of the data to each worker, of course.
how many threads?
If you’re using a mix and match of
split_file_reading set to
False, it’s uneasy to know exactly
threads will run at any time in the loading. How to ascertain
which section will run in parallel when it depends on the timing of the
The advice here is the usual one, don’t overestimate the capabilities of your system unless you are in a position to check before by doing trial runs.
Current implementation of all the parallelism in pgloader has been done with the python threading API. While this is easy enough to use when you want to exchange data between threads, it’s suffering from the Global Interpreter Lock issue. This means that while the code is doing its processing in parallel, the runtime not so much. You might still benefit from the current implementation if you have hard to parse files, or custom reformat modules that are part of the loading bottleneck.
The solution would be to switch to using the newer python multiprocessing API, and some preliminary work has been done in pgloader to allow for that. If you’re interested in real parallel bulk loading, contact-me!