Object-relational database management system (ORDBMS) with an emphasis on extensibility and standards compliance
Queries in PostgreSQL. Sequential scan
In previous articles we discussed how the system plans a query execution and how it collects statistics to select the best plan. The following articles, starting with this one, will focus on what a plan actually is, what it consists of, and how it is executed.
In this article, I will demonstrate how the planner calculates execution costs. I will also discuss access methods and how they affect these costs, and use the sequential scan method as an illustration. Lastly, I will talk about parallel execution in PostgreSQL, how it works, and when to use it.
I will use several seemingly complicated math formulas later in the article. You don't have to memorize any of them to get to the bottom of how the planner works; they are merely there to show where I get my numbers from.
In the last article we reviewed the stages of query execution. Before we move on to plan node operations (data access and join methods), let's discuss the bread and butter of the cost optimizer: statistics.
Dive in to learn what types of statistics PostgreSQL collects when planning queries, and how they improve query cost assessment and execution times.
Hello! I'm kicking off another article series about the internals of PostgreSQL. This one will focus on query planning and execution mechanics.
In the first article we will split the query execution process into stages and discuss what exactly happens at each stage.
Static code analysis is a crucial component of all modern projects. Its proper application is even more important. We decided to set up a regular check of some open source projects to see the effect of the analyzer's frequent running. We use the PVS-Studio analyzer to check projects. As for viewing the outcome, the choice fell on SonarQube. As a result, our subscribers will learn about new interesting bugs in the newly written code. We hope you'll have fun.
Development of “YaRyadom” (“I’mNear”) application under the control of Vk Mini Apps. Part 1 .Net Core
There probably is no way one who stores some crucial data (and well, in particular, using SQL databases) can possibly dodge from thoughts of building some kind of safe cluster, distant guardian to protect consistency and availability at all times. Even if the main server with your precious database gets knocked out deadly - the show must go on, right? This basically means the database must still be available and data be up-to-date with the one on the failed server.
As you might have noticed, there are dozens of ways to go and Patroni is just one of them. There is plenty of articles providing a more or less detailed comparison of the options available, so I assume I'm free to skip the part of luring you into Patroni's side. Let's start off from the point where among others you are already leaning towards Patroni and are willing to try that out in a more or less real-case setup.
I am not a DevOps engineer originally so when the need for the high-availability cluster arose and I went on I would catch every single bump on the road. Hope this tutorial will help you out to get the job done with ease! If you don't want any more explanations, jump right in. Otherwise, you might want to read some more notes on the setup I went on with.
The following discussion of locks in RAM finishes this series of articles. We will consider spinlocks, lightweight locks and buffer pins, as well as events monitoring tools and sampling.
We have a hodgepodge this time. We'll start with deadlocks (actually, I planned to discuss them last time, but that article was excessively long in itself), then briefly review object-level locks left and finally discuss predicate locks.
When using locks, we can confront a deadlock. It occurs when one transaction tries to acquire a resource that is already in use by another transaction, while the second transaction tries to acquire a resource that is in use by the first. The figure on the left below illustrates this: solid-line arrows indicate acquired resources, while dashed-line arrows show attempts to acquire a resource that is already in use.
To visualize a deadlock, it is convenient to build the wait-for graph. To do this, we remove specific resources, leave only transactions and indicate which transaction waits for which other. If a graph contains a cycle (from a vertex, we can get to itself in a walk along arrows), this is a deadlock.
Let's recall a few weighty conclusions of the previous article.
- A lock must be available somewhere in the shared memory of the server.
- The higher granularity of locks, the lower the contention among concurrent processes.
- On the other hand, the higher the granularity, the more of the memory is occupied by locks.
There is no doubt that we want a change of one row not block other rows of the same table. But we cannot afford to have its own lock for each row either.
There are different approaches to solving this problem. Some database management systems apply escalation of locks: if the number of row-level locks gets too high, they are replaced with one, more general lock (for example: a page-level or an entire table-level).
As we will see later, PostgreSQL also applies this technique, but only for predicate locks. The situation with row-level locks is different.
In this series, we will discuss locks.
This series will consist of four articles:
- Relation-level locks (this article).
- Row-level locks.
- Locks on other objects and predicate locks.
- Locks in RAM.
The material of all the articles is based on training courses on administration that Pavel pluzanov and I are creating (mostly in Russian, although one course is available in English), but does not repeat them verbatim and is intended for careful reading and self-experimenting.
Many thanks to Elena Indrupskaya for the translation of these articles into English.
General information on locks
PostgreSQL has a wide variety of techniques that serve to lock something (or are at least called so). Therefore, I will first explain in the most general terms why locks are needed at all, what kinds of them are available and how they differ from one another. Then we will figure out what of this variety is used in PostgreSQL and only after that we will start discussing different kinds of locks in detail.
Database scaling is a continually coming future. DBMS get improved and better scaled on hardware platforms, while the hardware platforms themselves increase the performance, number of cores, and memory — Achilles is trying to catch up with the turtle, but has not caught up yet. The database scaling challenge manifests itself in all its magnitude.
Postgres Professional had to face the scaling problem not only theoretically, but also in practice: through their customers. Even more than once. It's one of these real-life cases that this article
Many thanks to Elena Indrupskaya for the translation. Russian version is here.
This article was written in Russian in 2019 after the PostgreSQL 12 feature freeze, and it is still up-to-date. Unfortunately other patches of the SQL/JSON will not get even into version 13.
Many thanks to Elena Indrupskaya for the translation.
All that relates to JSON(B) is relevant and of high demand in the world and in Russia, and it is one of the key development areas in Postgres Professional. The jsonb type, as well as functions and operators to manipulate JSON/JSONB, appeared as early as in PostgreSQL 9.4. They were developed by the team lead by Oleg Bartunov.
The SQL/2016 standard provides for JSON usage: the standard mentions JSONPath — a set of functionalities to address data inside JSON; JSONTABLE — capabilities for conversion of JSON to usual database tables; a large family of functions and operators. Although JSON has long been supported in Postgres, in 2017 Oleg Bartunov with his colleagues started their work to support the standard. Of all described in the standard, only one patch, but a critical one, got into version 12; it is JSONPath, which we will, therefore, describe here.
In the previous articles we already reviewed quite a few important settings that anyway relate to WAL. In this article (being the last in this series) we will discuss problems of WAL setup that are unaddressed yet: WAL levels and their purpose, as well as the reliability and performance of write-ahead logging.
The main WAL task is to ensure recovery after a failure. But once we have to maintain the log anyway, we can also adapt it to other tasks by adding some more information to it. There are several logging levels. The wal_level parameter specifies the level, and each next level includes everything that gets into WAL of the preceding level plus something new.
The problem yet unaddressed, where we left off last time, is that we are unaware of where to start playing back WAL records during the recovery. To begin from the beginning, as the King from Lewis Caroll's Alice advised, is not an option: it is impossible to keep all the WAL records from the server start — this is potentially both a huge memory size and equally huge duration of the recovery. We need such a point that is gradually moving forward and that we can start the recovery at (and safely remove all the previous WAL records, accordingly). And this is the checkpoint, to be discussed below.
What features must the checkpoint have? We must be sure that all the WAL records starting with the checkpoint will be applied to the pages flushed to disk. If it were not the case, during recovery, we could read from disk a version of the page that is too old, apply the WAL record to it and by doing so, irreversibly hurt the data.
Sadly, there's no such thing as miracles: to survive the loss of information in RAM, everything needed must be duly saved to disk (or other nonvolatile media).
Therefore, the following was done. Along with changing data, the log of these changes is maintained. When we change something on a page in the buffer cache, we create a record of this change in the log. The record contains the minimum information sufficient to redo the change if the need arises.
For this to work, the log record must obligatory get to disk before the changed page gets there. And this explains the name: write-ahead log (WAL).
In case of failure, the data on disk appear to be inconsistent: some pages were written earlier, and others later. But WAL remains, which we can read and redo the operations that were performed before the failure but their result was late to reach the disk.
This series will consist of four parts:
- Buffer cache (this article).
- Write-ahead log — how it is structured and used to recover the data.
- Checkpoint and background writer — why we need them and how we set them up.
- WAL setup and tuning — levels and problems solved, reliability, and performance.
Many thanks to Elena Indrupskaya for the translation of these articles into English.
Why do we need write-ahead logging?
Part of the data that a DBMS works with is stored in RAM and gets written to disk (or other nonvolatile storage) asynchronously, i. e., writes are postponed for some time. The more infrequently this happens the less is the input/output and the faster the system operates.
But what will happen in case of failure, for example, power outage or an error in the code of the DBMS or operating system? All the contents of RAM will be lost, and only data written to disk will survive (disks are not immune to certain failures either, and only a backup copy can help if data on disk are affected). In general, it is possible to organize input/output in such a way that data on disk are always consistent, but this is complicated and not that much efficient (to my knowledge, only Firebird chose this option).
Usually, and specifically in PostgreSQL, data written to disk appear to be inconsistent, and when recovering after failure, special actions are required to restore data consistency. Write-ahead logging (WAL) is just a feature that makes it possible.
Let's start with recalling the theory (very briefly since all of it is trivial), and then we will discuss what to do if it is unclear how to approach a real-life problem or if it seems to be clear, but the query persistently fails to work fine.
For an exercise, we will use the airlines demo database and try to write a query to find the shortest route from one airport to another.
Then we covered different vacuuming techniques: in-page vacuum (along with HOT updates), vacuum and autovacuum.
Now we've reached the last topic of this series. We will talk on the transaction id wraparound and freezing.