PostgreSQL Performance Tuning and Optimization General Guide

We are, however, making big strides towards creating a data proxy that is the sole application aware of the partition and shard topology. There are times when you need to promote a replica, possibly emergent. Perhaps you are performing a planned major upgrade, or perhaps you’ve just had a hardware failure on your write node. Set up logical replication, effectively creating a hot standby on the new version. Major upgrades of PostgreSQL are used as opportunities to change the on-disk format of data. In other words, it’s not possible to simply turn off version 12 and turn on version 13.

Sometimes partitioning can be used to eliminate the need to vacuum at all. If your table holds something like time series data where you basically “Insert and Forget”, the above is much less of a problem. Once the old rows have been frozen, autovacuum will never look at them again (since 9.6, as mentioned).

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To achieve a graceful switch, the pglogical extension offers more knobs to tweak how replication stream is applied and how conflicts are handled than the built-in logical replication functionality. Thankfully, there is a wide array of tools both first and third party for dealing with it. In this article, I’ll explain some of the challenges we’ve dealt with while scaling on PostgreSQL and the solutions we’ve put in place. Open PostgreSQL Monitoring is a free software suite designed to help you manage your PostgreSQL servers.

Cost efficiency

The Operating System needs to work in concert with the CPU to manage this mapping. BigAnimal lets you run Oracle SQL queries in the cloud via EDB Postgres Advanced Server. This is the hardest problem to detect and only comes with experience. We saw earlier that insufficient work_mem can make a hash use multiple batches.

This daemon adapts the operating system to perform better for the workload. Get easy access to historic data, and zoom into specific moments of your database server performance. Automatically combine information about vacuum logs with statistics data, and see it in one unified interface. Collect detailed insights and receive tuning recommendations for your per-table autovacuum configuration. Deliver consistent database performance and availability through intelligent tuning advisors and continuous database profiling.

postgresql performance solutions

Of course, if you were running something like EDB’s BDR this all becomes a moot point, as the upgrades and maintenance work can be done with zero downtime. Memory ballooning can cause memory fragmentation which can make Huge Pages unavailable as the Xen memory ballooning driver does not support Huge Pages. Most recent versions of the Xen hypervisor support Huge Pages by default.

Reporting and Logging

Users say PostgreSQL is a technical database management platform that’s effective in querying datasets below 1TB. Its ability to support an extended subset of the SQL standard like transactions, foreign keys, subqueries, triggers, user-defined types and functions makes it a long-standing favourite among data specialists. Keep reading to learn the main reasons why choosing BigQuery over PostgreSQL as the main data warehouse for your business is the best option. We dive into performance, ease of use, scalability, cost efficiency, and some real-world examples. What if you could proactively manage the health of your PostgreSQL infrastructure while helping your organization realize the cost efficiency of leveraging open source databases? What if you could do this without sacrificing your ability to monitor and diagnose problems?

Allows you to view the generated explain execution plan for each SQL query without running it. In the plan, you can view estimated startup cost, the total cost required to process the execution, the number of table rows and their average width returned in the result. In addition, the plan calculates the average time required to execute the query. DBAs can execute either VACUUM that can be run in parallel with other database operations or VACUUM FULL that requires an exclusive lock on the table to be vacuumed and cannot be done with other operations.

The value forshared_buffersshould never be set to reserve all of the system RAM for PostgreSQL. This module uses query identifier calculations to track the planning and execution statistics of all SQL statements the database server has executed. The module records the queries run against the database, extracts variables from the queries and saves the query’s performance and execution data. Instead of storing individual query data, the pg_stat_statements module parametrizes all queries run against the server and stores the aggregated result for future analysis. Query performance – It is important to understand query activity as using appropriate query patterns enables rapid and accurate data retrieval.

Checkpoint_completion_target tells how the checkpoint writes need to be completed within the checkout_timeout interval. The default value is 0.9, which means that the writes to disk will be distributed across 90% of the time between two checkpoints. This way, the I/O operations are not overloading the CPU and causing issues.

  • Checkpoints in PostgreSQL are periodic activities that store data about your system, as we described in the configuration settings.
  • These metrics help identify and eliminate performance bottlenecks within your system.
  • You can get that visibility set up in minutes by signing up for a free Datadog account if you’re looking to try out this change to your Postgres queries.
  • The priority is to watch the CPU, but you could also pay attention to the number of connections, or to the free disk space.

The latter overwrites the table in a new disk file leaving available disk space for the operating system. In a fast-paced digital industry where time-to-market is crucial for enterprises, Software-as-a-Service , Platform-as-a-Service , and Infrastructure-as-a-Service provide cost-effective and efficient solutions. Instead of creating an on premise setup, enterprises prefer cloud solutions that provide services and APIs to develop and deploy enterprise applications within budget and time. However, enterprises must first determine which cloud provider and services will best suit their business needs.

PostgreSQL Tuning Starting Points

The workload dependent aspect of tuning tends to get higher as we move up the stack, so we begin with the most general aspects and move on to the most workload-specific aspects. Give product and infrastructure postgresql performance solutions engineers the right tool to understand and solve query performance issues. Automatically collect your EXPLAIN plans with auto_explain, and get detailed insights based on query plans gathered from your database.

These metrics help identify and eliminate performance bottlenecks within your system. Needless to say, you need to log more to resolve PostgreSQL issues and optimize its performance. When the number of keys to check stays small, it can efficiently use the index to build the bitmap in memory.

As a result, continuous monitoring of logs provides an early indication of anomalies that help mitigate similar issues proactively. Action — Tune GUC parameters shared_buffers, work_mem and maintenance_work_mem. Tune the checkpointer and make sure autovacuum is tuned correctly.

In addition, cost and performance are crucial in driving the decision further. While cost is a major differentiator, cloud performance benchmarks provide vital insights for enterprises planning to move their infrastructure and applications onto the cloud. The importance of databases in modern application delivery is second to none. As a database sits at the core of an application stack, it is critical to capture the right metrics while adopting the best practices and tools. Although efficient monitoring is often the first step in ensuring optimum performance of a PostgreSQL database, there are several other factors that ensure the continuous availability of a PostgreSQL database.

These aggregate metrics might help you figure out where you might have performance bottlenecks in your system. There may be a difference between the database plan PostgreSQL wants to use and the method it pulls your data. This is because PostgreSQL’s strategy is based on metrics and statistics that are rarely updated.

However, you should be careful with indexes, because their excessive usage may decrease performance. Allows the PostgreSQL optimizer to estimate the cost of reading a random page from disk and decide on the usage of index or sequential scans. The higher the value is, the more likely sequential scans will be used. However, it’s important to ensure that the work_mem value is not set too high, as it can ‘bottleneck’ the available memory on the system as the application performs sort operations. In this case, for example, the system will try to allocate.work_mem several times over for each concurrent sort operation.


Every operating system provides many configuration parameters to tune performance to better suit our use case. With a customized configuration, we can significantly improve the read and write performance of our PostgreSQL databases. Operating systems also provide capabilities that database software don’t usually ship with, and yet, they rely on such features for proper functioning. Sometimes database design may lead to slow performance, especially when dealing with large tables.

postgresql performance solutions

The module collects statistics from all queries to the server, regardless of which combination of user/database they were run against. The extension can be installed in any database, even multiple databases if desired. By default, any user can select from the view, but they are limited to only their queries . Superusers and users granted to the pg_read_all_stats or pg_monitor roles can see all of the contents. Checkpoints should always be triggered by a timeout for better performance and predictability. The max_wal_size parameter should be used to protect against running out of disk space by ensuring a checkpoint occurs when we reach this value to enable WAL to be recycled.

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This way, more than one transaction can be flushed to the disk at once, improving the overall performance. But make sure it’s not too long, or else a significant number of transactions could be missed in case of a crash. Fsync makes sure all updates to the data are first written to disk. This is a measure to recover data after either a software or hardware crash. As you can imagine, these disk write operations are expensive, and could negatively affect performance. But this also makes sure data integrity is maintained, a tradeoff depending on the use case.

Key PostgreSQL Metrics to Watch

You can see that the number of page faults has increased with a small test load, but once you get used to looking at these numbers, you’ll see that this is still a lightly loaded system. The way to reduce the O/S overhead for page walks is to reduce the size of the page tables. This is one of the key things we are doing when we use Huge Pages. If the O/S can do this mapping in 2MB chunks or 1GB chunks at a time, instead of 4KB at a time, then as you have probably already guessed, the CPU and O/S need to do less work. This means more CPU time (and potentially storage I/O time) is available for your application. Other than that, it should be noted that physical memory is mapped into a virtual address space for use by a running application.

Reacting to system performance alerts

If not found, a new entry is added to the page table, and this mapping is then set in the TLB. If you haven’t—or can’t—allow for 1.2GB of autovacuum_work_mem then this whole process is repeated in batches. If at any point during that operation, a query requires a lock that conflicts with autovacuum, the latter will politely bow out and start again from the beginning.

Intro to Columnstore Indexing in PostgreSQL

It offers Advanced Performance Monitoring – ClusterControl monitors queries and detects anomalies with built-in alerts. Deployment and monitoring are free, with management features as part of a paid version. Pg_view is a Python-based tool to quickly get information about running databases and resources used by them as well as correlate running queries and why they might be slow.

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