Sequential UUID Generators on SSD

After I shared the sequential UUID benchmarks a couple of weeks ago, one of the points raised in feedback was the choice of the storage space. I’ve intentionally used a fairly weak storage system (RAID10 on three 7.2k SATA drives) because I wanted to demonstrate the benefits. But a couple of readers suggested using SSDs might significantly reduce […]

Databases vs. encryption

Let’s assume you have some sensitive data, that you need to protect by encryption. It might be credit card numbers (the usual example), social security numbers, or pretty much anything you consider sensitive. It does not matter if the encryption is mandated by a standard like PCI DSS or if you just decided to encrypt […]

Sequential UUID Generators

UUIDs are a popular identifier data type – they are unpredictable, and/or globally unique (or at least very unlikely to collide) and quite easy to generate. Traditional primary keys based on sequences won’t give you any of that, which makes them unsuitable for public identifiers, and UUIDs solve that pretty naturally. But there are disadvantages […]

PostgreSQL Meltdown Benchmarks

Two serious security vulnerabilities (code named Meltdown and Spectre) were revealed a couple of weeks ago. Initial tests suggested the performance impact of mitigations (added in the kernel) might be up to ~30% for some workloads, depending on the syscall rate. Those early estimates had to be done quickly, and so were based on limited […]

Future of Postgres-XL

You probably know that Postgres-XL is a distributed database based on PostgreSQL. A few days ago we pushed the XL 9.6 code into the public git repository. Additional details about the new stuff available in Postgres-XL 9.6 are available here. The topic of this blog post is quite different, though. I’d like to discuss some […]

What’s new in Postgres-XL 9.6

For the last few months, we at 2ndQuadrant have been working on merging PostgreSQL 9.6 into Postgres-XL, which turned out to be quite challenging for various reasons, and took more time than initially planned due to several invasive upstream changes. If you’re interested, look at the official repository here (look at the “master” branch for […]

In the defense of sar (and how to configure it)

Let me discuss a topic that is not inherently PostgreSQL specific, but that I regularly run into while investigating issues on customer systems, evaluating “supportability” of those systems, etc. It’s the importance of having a monitoring solution for system metrics, configuring it reasonably, and why sar is still by far my favorite tool (at least […]

When autovacuum does not vacuum

A few weeks ago I explained basics of autovacuum tuning. At the end of that post I promised to look into problems with vacuuming soon. Well, it took a bit longer than I planned, but here we go. To quickly recap, autovacuum is a background process cleaning up dead rows, e.g. old deleted row versions. […]

Autovacuum Tuning Basics

A few weeks ago I covered the basics of tuning checkpoints, and in that post I also mentioned that the second common source of performance issues is autovacuum (based on what we see on the mailing list and at our customers under support). So let me follow-up on that with this post about the basics […]

On the impact of full-page writes

While tweaking postgresql.conf, you might have noticed there’s an option called full_page_writes. The comment next to it says something about partial page writes, and people generally leave it set to on – which is a good thing, as I’ll explain later in this post. It’s however useful to understand what full page writes do, because […]