Wednesday, August 16

Telling Your Users to Go Fork Themselves

Greg's PlanetPostgreSQL, PostgreSQL
As the PostgreSQL Elephant continues its march toward yet another release, I've been thinking quite a bit about the role users of software should have in its user interface design. Today I proposed something that makes a database parameter people used to have to worry about, and that wasn't obvious at all how to set, and makes its value largely automatic. That's a pretty unambiguous forward change; users were annoyed, good default behavior established, and that default behavior suggested as a patch. If it's applied I'd be shocked to find anyone who considers that a bad decision. There's been a similar discussion of how to rework the user interface around database checkpoints. Right now, the speed at which data is written to disk by a checkpoint is impacted by three values the (more…)

Easier PostgreSQL 9.0 clusters with repmgr

Greg's PlanetPostgreSQL, International News, United Kingdom News, United States News
When PostgreSQL 9.0 shipped a few months ago, it included several new replication features. It's obvious that you can use these features to build clusters of servers for both high availability and read query scaling purposes. What hasn't been so obvious is how to manage that cluster easily. Getting a number of nodes installed and synchronized with their master isn't that difficult. But while the basic functions necessary to monitor multiple nodes and help make decisions like "which node do I promote if the master fails?" were included in 9.0, the way they expose this information is based on internal server units. There are a few common complaints that always seem to show up once you actually consider putting one of these clusters into a production environment: How do I handle (more…)

PostgreSQL CommitFest #3 for 9.1 needs you!

Greg's PlanetPostgreSQL, United States News
PostgreSQL development is now done with periodic pauses to review and commit patches that have been submitted, called Commit Fests.  The patches themselves are stored on a custom web app, and documentation about the process is on the PostgreSQL wiki.  I'm returning to the role of CommitFest manager for this one, which means I get to harass people all month trying to get patch review finished.  There are currently 26 patches that have no reviewer assigned to them.  If you were ever interested in making a contribution to the PostgreSQL code base, getting involved in the review process is a great way to learn the attributes of patches that are committed, and to see how others fail to gain traction.I submitted three patches myself this time, and one of them got comitted in (more…)

PG West talks

Greg's PlanetPostgreSQL, United States News
My tour this week of the PostgreSQL West conference has taught me that you can deliver three talks in two days, or you can have fun seeing other people's talks, but it's rather difficult to do both.  My own talks are now uploaded to our talks page.  You can also find the slides from Hannu's talk on Django/Python database calls, which unfortunately he was too ill to deliver in person.Out of the limited number of other presentations I did see, the standout for me was Nathan Boley's look at "Improving Planner Prediction Accuracy with Custom Selectivity Function".  I'm hoping to take Nathan's new ideas for judging how close the PostgreSQL statistics match the underlying data and apply them to some difficult tables on a few client production systems.I'd also highly recommend (more…)

“PostgreSQL 9.0 High Performance” book is out

Greg's PlanetPostgreSQL, International News, PostgreSQL, United States News
Since I've already pushed my book here once on my blog this week, this version will be short and include two chunks of free (as in beer) content for you.  My book covering PostgreSQL performance, from versions 8.1 to 9.0, is now available.Downloads of the 468 page e-book text are available immediately from Packt Publishing.  Publication of the associated code samples and shipping of printed copies will follow soon.  There's even a free sample chapter covering Database Hardware, including critical information about how to keep your database writes safe with various types of disks and controllers.  Secret for blog readers only:  there's also an article about Server Configuration Tuning snipped from that chapter of the book you can read too."PostgreSQL 9 (more…)

PostgreSQL Performance and PGWest

Greg's PlanetPostgreSQL, United States News
If you're looking for a heavy dose of information about PostgreSQL performance tuning, you're going to find the next month very interesting.  We at 2ndQuadrant have been working on two books about PostgreSQL 9.0 this year.  You can pre-order those right now, and as I'm staring at a home printed copy of my PostgreSQL 9.0 High Performance book right next to me at the moment, I can assure you that one is quite finished and soon to be released.  Weighing in at a final count of 442 pages, I hope there's a few things there for just about everyone.  I just read Simon and Hannu's PostgreSQL 9 Administration Cookbook over the weekend too, also due to be published soon, and it has a complementary set of information and a more task-driven focus.Since my head is just overflowing (more…)

Heads in the cloud at CHAR(10)

Greg's PlanetPostgreSQL, International News, PostgreSQL
Whether or not you made it our CHAR(10) conference last month, you can now relive part of the experience by downloading the conference slides. Some of those were posted live during the conference, some showed up later, but almost everything is there now. Sadly, Nic Ferrier's entertaining presentation about how WooMe was scaled up using Londiste and Django wasn't available in a form we could easily replay. For that one, you certainly did have to be there, in more ways than one. The two talks I found the most informative were the updates on the states of pgpool-II and pgmemcache. Both those tools have that slightly frustrating combination of being really useful and a bit underdocumented relative to how complicated they are (in English at least!), so getting additional insight into them (more…)