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A major goal of the database system is to minimize the number of block transfers between the disk and memory. One way to reduce the number of disk accesses is to keep as many blocks as possible in main memory. The goal is to maximize the chance that, when a block is accessed, it is already in main memory, and, thus, no disk access is required. Since it is not possible to keep all blocks in main memory, we need to manage the allocation of the space available in main memory for the storage of blocks. The buffer is that part of main memory available for storage of copies of disk blocks. There is always a copy kept on disk of every block, but the copy on disk may be a version of the block older than the version in the buffer. The subsystem responsible for the allocation of buffer space is called the buffer manager.
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