Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Database Systems

pp 282-285

Buffer Manager

  • Goetz GraefeAffiliated withHewlett-Packard Laboratories


Cache manager


If a buffer pool is employed in a database management system, the associated software must provide appropriate services for efficient query processing, correct transaction execution, and effective sharing and reuse of database pages. It must provide interfaces for page access including pinning and latching pages, and it must invoke primitives for disk I/O and synchronization.

Historical Background

Database buffer pool management was studied heavily in the 1970s and 1980s as the new relational database management system posed new challenges, in particular non-procedural queries with range scans. Reliance of virtual memory and file system buffer pool was investigated but rejected due to performance issues (read-ahead, prefetch) and correctness issues (transaction management, write-behind, write-through).

Buffer pool management is currently not a very active research area. It may be revived in order to serve deep storage h ...

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