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4 Ways VMware transforms Postgres for the Cloud

In a nutshell, relational databases weren’t built for the cloud. With vFabric Postgres, VMware customers can get a proven, enterprise database integrated with VMware virtualization and ready for cloud computing.

As announced earlier this week, vFabric Postgres (vPostgres) is now available within vFabric Suite 5.1 Advanced. With vPostgres, the well-respected, open-source database gains built in best practices, optimized configuration, and cloud-ready features.  While vFabric Postgres is synced up to PostgreSQL 9.1.3 minor release and includes all the new features of this version of the database (see PostgreSQL wiki for more), vFabric adds many features and considerable improvements in three categories:

1. Development and deployment become simpler, smarter, and cloud ready
2. Performance improvements with elastic memory and more
3. Monitoring and administration get an upgrade
4. Lower TCO and increased staff efficiency


Development and Deployment with vFabric Postgres

First, vPostgres is available in two form factors:

  • vPostgres Virtual Appliance
  • vPostgres RPMs for 64-bit Linux Servers (RHEL 6, Suse 11 sp1+)

DeployedModelsSized

The virtual appliance is easy to deploy because it is designed for the vSphere 5.0 platform.  vPostgres RPMs are also available for custom installations requiring co-locations with other applications in a VM or having special deployment needs (including hot-standby setup). The RPMs can be accessed from repo.vmware.com and also from the VMware download website. The vPostgres virtual appliance can be used for development and test on VMware PlayerWorkstation, and Fusion products.  Since vPostgres is free for developers and works on various platforms (including mobile development), developers will have a less cumbersome time moving their work to a cloud platform or virtualized environment.

In addition, the virtual appliance is ready to handle changing resource needs by adapting CPU, memory, disk size, and more without needing any other changes inside the appliance. The vPostgres smart tuning and management capabilities require less in-depth knowledge about the inner workings of the database. With these features, developers, architects, and administrators can 1) spend less time on manual resets of configuration parameters for the core engine and 2) gain cloud scale.

vFabric Postgres Performance Improvements

There are several elements that bring cloud scale to vPostgres:

  • vPostgres can be highly available. Using vSphere HA and vMotion technologies, “database aware high availability” and automatic failover are available with simple point and click setup using the vSphere client.
  • Many companies face scenarios where databases requests spike – where memory consumption is tight and lowering.  With Elastic Database Memory working directly within the vSphere hypervisor, The Kernal Balloon driver, vPostgres Database Balloon driver, and buffer pool dynamically allocate memory to and from the hypervisor during times of need to help avoid inconsistent performance. This reduces performance variances drastically when facing changing memory pressures seen in server consolidation scenarios.   

VFabric-Postres-Arch

  • Many critical settings have higher default values than standard PostgreSQL. This improves out-of-the-box performance with a slight trade-off in disk space and memory usage.
  • Checksums are performed on each write to tables and indexes to help ensure data is clean. For example, in scenarios where SANs fail, the checksums help prevent silent bit corruption.
  • Lastly, checkpoint trade-offs between recovery time and performance are more complicated in the virtual world.  vPostgres allows for SLA configuration. With this capability, checkpoint parameters are tuned dynamically for recovery time and performance as the system monitors itself.

Monitoring and Administration with vFabric Postgres

 vPostgres supports core admin tools and adds enhancements.

  • vPostgres native clients are available for Linux, Windows and Mac. JDBC and ODBC clients are also available. Community PostgreSQL 9.1 clients and management tools work with vPostgres including pgadmin.

ClientsDrivers

  • vPostgres includes an enhanced version of pg_top which gives database transactions per second, bufferpool hits, cpu, memory, disk ios and top database connections in a single dashboard view for easier understanding of the state of the database. 

Blackbox

  • vPostgres is integrated with VMware vFabric License server for license management. The license keys can be used locally or using VMware vFabric License server. (There is a default 60-day trial license also available.)

 

Lower TCO and increase staff efficiency

  • Financially, license costs are more attractive compared to other “commercial” databases. 
  • The database is packaged to work with vSphere infrastructure where virtualizing supports considerable cost-savings.
  • The virtual appliance saves a significant amount of installation time – no need to size hardware, install the OS, install the RDBMS, set-up the database server, and tune, With VMware vSphere 5.0+, the appliance can be set up in 15 minutes and supports real-world workload.
  • A built-in watchdog process enables quick HA configuration, and vSphere-based High Availability can be set-up in one click.
  • Smart tuning, configuration, and management reduce overall management time.
  • The advanced version of pg_top helps to quickly narrow the focus on problematic areas saving DBAs time who do not have indepth Postgres knowledge.

 

Learning More

To try out vFabric Postgres, you can download a 60 day free trial, as part of vFabric Suite Advanced, at www.vfabric.co/try.

Jigneshshah

About the Author: Jignesh Shah is the Product Manager for vFabric Postgres. He also has interests in database performance  and have been working with Postgres Community for many years. He was also a key member to deliver the first published benchmark with Postgres.

This entry was posted in Postgres and tagged , , , , , , , , , , on by .
Stacey Schneider

About Stacey Schneider

Stacey Schneider has over 15 years of working with technology, with a focus on working with sales and marketing automation as well as internationalization. Schneider has held roles in services, engineering, products and was the former head of marketing and community for Hyperic before it was acquired by SpringSource and VMware. She is now working as a product marketing manager across the vFabric products at VMware, including supporting Hyperic. Prior to Hyperic, Schneider held various positions at CRM software pioneer Siebel Systems, including Group Director of Technology Product Marketing, a role for which her contributions awarded her a patent. Schneider received her BS in Economics with a focus in International Business from the Pennsylvania State University.

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