Add another parameter to the list of things that do not improve the benchmark TPM.
MAX_FILL_DATA_PAGES is a newer ONCONFIG parameter that when set to 1 will try to cram more rows with variable length data into a data page than it normally would. I thought this would be a good way to decrease I/O by reducing the number of data pages but I was wrong.
With MAX_FILL_DATA_PAGES set to 0 the engine will only store a row with variable length data on a page if the page has enough free space to allow the new row to grow to the maximum size. When MAX_FILL_DATA_PAGES is set to 1 the engine will store the row on a page if there is at least 10% of the page still free after inserting the new row.
One disadvantage to using this parameter is that a row with variable length data could need to grow in size and that growth could cause the row to be split across multiple pages if there is not enough free room and as we all learned in elementary school, this is a very bad thing.
With MAX_FILL_DATA_PAGES set to 1 and a drop/recreate/reload of the ptpcc database (something I do before each benchmark, BTW) the TPM dropped to 6095.
Well, I'm not making much progress. I'm wondering if I can get over 7000 TPM at this point. I'm not too concerned yet. I've only done some easy ONCONFIG changes and some spreading of I/O over my extra disks. There are still a lot of things to try.