The memory

The PostgreSQL memory at first sight looks simple. If compared with the complex structures implemented in the other DBMS to a careless reader could seem rudimentary. However, the memory and in particular the shared buffers implementation is complex and sophisticated. This chapter will dig down deep into the PostgreSQL’s memory. 3.1 The shared buffer The shared buffer is a segment allocated at cluster’s startup. Its size is determined by the GUC parameter shared_buffers and the size can be changed only restarting the cluster.

The cluster in action - part 2

2.4 The background writer Before the spread checkpoints the only solution to ease down the IO spike caused by the checkpoint was to tweak the background writer. This process were introduced with the revolutionary PostgreSQL 8.0. The writer, as the name suggests, works in the background searching for dirty buffers to write on the data files. The writer works in rounds. When the process awakes scans the shared buffer for dirty buffers.

The cluster in action - part 1

The cluster in action PostgreSQL delivers his services ensuring the ACID rules are enforced at any time. This chapter will give an outlook of a ``day in the life” of a PostgreSQL’s cluster. The chapter approach is purposely generic. At this stage is very important to understand the global picture rather the technical details. After the startup When the cluster completes the startup procedure it starts accepting the connections. When a connection is successful then the postgres main process forks into a new backend process which is assigned to the connection for the connection’s lifetime.

RTFM

The acronym RTFM stands for Read The Fucking Manual. It’s quite obvious that reading the manual is the perfect approach for finding the correct information or at least a hint for finding the solution. The false confidence or a lack of humbleness make people to forget how important is to read the documents. Understanding the documents is the next step, and is not simple indeed. In particular if the background is poor or the reader have preconceptions which alter the word meanings.

Failure is not an option

The failure is not an option. Despite this statement is quite pretentious is also the rule number zero of any decent DBA. The task failure, should this be a simple alter table or an emergency restore, is not acceptable. The database is the core of any application and therefore is the most important element of the infrastructure. In order to achieve this impossible level, any task should be considered single shot.