Vertica Analytics Platform Version 10.0.x Documentation

Handling Session Socket Blocking

A session socket can be blocked while awaiting client input or output for a given query. Session sockets are typically blocked for numerous reasons—for example, when the Vertica execution engine transmits data to the client, or a COPY LOCAL operation awaits load data from the client.

In rare cases, a session socket can remain indefinitely blocked. For example, a query times out on the client, which tries to forcibly cancel the query, or relies on the session RUNTIMECAP setting to terminate it. In either case, if the query ends while awaiting messages or data, the socket can remain blocked and the session hang until it is forcibly closed.

Configuring a Grace Period

You can configure the system with a grace period, during which a lagging client or server can catch up and deliver a pending response. If the socket is blocked for a continuous period that exceeds the grace period setting, the server shuts down the socket and throws a fatal error. The session is then terminated. If no grace period is set, the query can maintain its block on the socket indefinitely.

You should set the session grace period high enough to cover an acceptable range of latency and avoid closing sessions prematurely—for example, normal client-side delays in responding to the server. Very large load operations might require you to adjust the session grace period as needed.

You can set the grace period at four levels, listed in descending order of precedence:

  1. Session (highest)
  2. User
  3. Node
  4. Database

Setting Grace Periods for the Database and Nodes

At the database and node levels, you set the grace period to any interval up to 20 days, through configuration parameter BlockedSocketGracePeriod:

  • ALTER DATABASE db-name SET BlockedSocketGracePeriod = 'interval';
  • ALTER NODE node-name SET BlockedSocketGracePeriod = 'interval';

By default, the grace period for both levels is set to an empty string, which allows unlimited blocking.

Setting Grace Periods for Users and Sessions

You can set the grace period for individual users and for a given session, as follows:

A user can set a session to any interval equal to or less than the grace period set for that user. Superusers can set the grace period for other users, and for their own sessions, to any value up to 20 days, inclusive.

Examples

Superuser dbadmin sets the database grace period to 6 hours. This limit only applies to non-superusers. dbadmin can sets the session grace period for herself to any value up to 20 days—in this case, 10 hours:

=> ALTER DATABASE VMart SET BlockedSocketGracePeriod = '6 hours';
ALTER DATABASE
=> SHOW CURRENT BlockedSocketGracePeriod;
  level   |           name           | setting
----------+--------------------------+---------
 DATABASE | BlockedSocketGracePeriod | 6 hours
(1 row)

=> SET SESSION GRACEPERIOD '10 hours';
SET
=> SHOW GRACEPERIOD;
    name     | setting
-------------+---------
 graceperiod | 10:00
(1 row)

dbadmin creates user user777 created with no grace period setting. Thus, the effective grace period for user777 is derived from the database setting of BlockedSocketGracePeriod, which is 6 hours. Any attempt by user777 to set the session grace period to a value greater than 6 hours returns with an error:

=> CREATE USER user777;
=> \c - user777
You are now connected as user "user777".
=> SHOW GRACEPERIOD;
    name     | setting
-------------+---------
 graceperiod | 06:00
(1 row)

=> SET SESSION GRACEPERIOD '7 hours';
ERROR 8175:  The new period 07:00 would exceed the database limit of 06:00

dbadmin sets a grace period of 5 minutes for user777. Now, user777 can set the session grace period to any value equal to or less than the user-level setting:

=> \c
You are now connected as user "dbadmin".
=> ALTER USER user777 GRACEPERIOD '5 minutes';
ALTER USER
=> \c - user777
You are now connected as user "user777".
=> SET SESSION GRACEPERIOD '6 minutes';
ERROR 8175:  The new period 00:06 would exceed the user limit of 00:05
=> SET SESSION GRACEPERIOD '4 minutes';
SET