Product Documentation

FairCom ISAM for C

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Delayed Durability Behavior

When the configuration option DELAYED_DURABILITY is specified in ctsrvr.cfg with a value greater than 0, FairCom Server does not sync its log buffer simply because a transaction commits. Instead, it syncs the log buffer if it becomes full, or if a write to the data cache requires the log buffer to be flushed to disk, or if the maximum defer time in seconds specified by the keyword is exhausted.

Deferred Durability (Deferred Logging)

When this feature is in effect, a transaction commit writes to the in-memory transaction log buffer and data files in the following order:

  1. Write transaction log entries to the in-memory transaction log buffer. The log entries are copied to the in-memory transaction log buffer and remain in the buffer until the log buffer becomes full or until a write to a transaction-controlled data or index file requires the log buffer to be written to disk. When the transaction commit call returns to the caller, there is no guarantee that the transaction log entries are on disk, and so the transaction is not guaranteed to be recoverable.
  2. Write data file updates to c‑tree’s data cache and/or to disk. Depending on the options that are in effect for the file or for the database engine, this step will either write the data file updates to c‑tree’s data cache or write the changes to file system cache or to disk. It is not required that the changes to the data files are on disk when the transaction commits, because the transaction log entries can be used to redo the transaction if c‑tree terminates abnormally before the updates to the data files are known to be on disk (which can be sometime after the transaction commits).
  3. Mark the transaction as completed. This step causes other connections to view the key level locks as committed rather than pending commit.
  4. Unlock records. This step allows other connections to lock and update the records that the transaction touched, if desired.

FairCom DB tracks the highest log position assigned to the contents of a data cache page for those items in preimage space that correspond to a data record. When a data-cache page is about to be written to the file system, c‑tree checks if the last log byte synced to disk includes the highest required log position for the data cache page. If not, c‑tree flushes the log buffer to the file system cache and syncs the file system cache to the transaction log file on disk.

Configuration Entries for Delayed Durability

DELAYED_DURABILITY <N> (default 0) controls whether or not to use the modified log syncing strategy:

  • When DELAYED_DURABILITY is set to 0 the new strategy is not in use.
  • When DELAYED_DURABILITY is set to a positive value, <N>, the new strategy is in use and the log sync is guaranteed to occur within <N> seconds. A setting of 1 second is recommended because it results in a good performance gain (higher values offer very little additional benefit). The following configuration options are set as shown below:



    (no idle flush of transaction files)









    (no commit delay)



    (all transaction indices use ctLOGIDX)




Note: If the configuration file has one or more of these configuration entries set inconsistently after the DELAYED_DURABILITY entry, the server logs a message to CTSTATUS.FCS and continues to start, disabling any incompatible options after processing the configuration file.


When DELAYED_DURABILITY is enabled, recently committed transactions could be lost if FairCom Server terminates abnormally. For automatic recovery to succeed after FairCom Server terminates abnormally, either of the following must be done

  1. The application must write a restore point to the log (using the ctflush utility or calling ctQUIET() with mode of ctQTlog_restorepoint) so that a restore point exists prior to the time the server terminated abnormally. In this case, automatic recovery recovers to that restore point.


  2. ctsrvr.cfg must contain the option RECOVER_TO_RESTORE_POINT NO, indicating that no restore point is needed. In this case, automatic recovery recovers to the last data that was written to the log on disk.

See Also