Day 3 at PgConf.EU: the future, replication, performance and the closing keynote

I was room host for Simon Riggs, Magnus Hagander and Greg Smith today before giving my final talk this afternoon.

The morning started with Simon Riggs talking about his wishlist for the future of Postgres – including some boundary-stretching ideas for bi-directional replication (a way to possibly support multi-master architecture for Postgres). Simon named his talk “Postgres Futures”, but also called it his personal “shopping list” of features he’d like to see implemented, or implement himself. Magnus deep-dove into the replication protocol and how to use pg_basebackup with 9.1. Greg’s talk on benchmarking is always fantastic, and I learn something new every time. He included some graphs for FusionIO testing he’d done in the last couple weeks.

I also gave my last talk of the conference, “Managing Terabytes” about my experiences managing 8.x version clusters of a terabyte or larger in size for several companies. I reorganized this talk from the last time I’d given it, and I think it came across quite a bit more clearly to the audience. One developer gave me the suggestion that I should have tried to do a series of updates to a catalog tables to try to recover page space. I’m designing a little test case to help someone do this in the future if they run into this problem with older versions of Postgres. HOT (8.4 and later) essentially fixes this issue, by the way.

The keynote was shared by Ed Boyajian and Bruce Momjian. Ed mentioned that Oracle had the best earnings statement ever in the most recent shareholders call. In spite of that, there’s a rising tide of Oracle users who are looking for alternatives, given how strongly they’re locked into their technology. He said that he was recommending companies use Postgres is a strategic lever to negotiate with Oracle. And as IT departments strapped for cash are trying to figure out how to fund new data initiatives – they’re turning to products that are free.

Bruce then quoted the opening keynote by Ram Mohan – “With open source, support is a whole new level.” And Bruce’s comment was that what Ram did when he started 10 years ago with Afilias was heretical for conventional IT wisdom at the time.

Bruce also said that he’d always thought Postgres would ultimately only ever be a niche player among databases. But with all the progress we’ve made as a project, and the new markets being explored, he sees much greater possibilities for the project.

He asked the audience about the speed at which bugs had been fixed – within 24 hours, a few days or a single week. Only one hand was raised for a bug requiring more than 1 week to be fixed, among probably 40-50 hands raised for much faster fixes.

Bruce also noted that developers are often moved to work and stay with Postgres as a project, because they have decided that “this is an important thing for me to do in my life.”

PgConf EU was a great conference, and I’d be happy to be invited back, wherever they decide to hold it in 2012.

Two talks at MySQL Conf done! Slides…

Just finished my last talk. Slides are downloadable here, and also embedded after the break.

MySQL Conf – Managing Terabytes

Own it: Working with a changing open source community

The floor show is closed, so no more booth work tomorrow. I’ve had a great time here talking with people and seeing my colleagues in the PostgreSQL and MySQL community.

Looking forward to getting some hacking time in tomorrow and enjoying an evening connecting with people instead of working on slides. :)

Continue reading

Perl Mongers, Open SQL Camp and JPUG 10th anniversary coming up

Just asking.

I’ve got a busy couple of weeks in November:

  • November 11, 2009 – I’m presenting Bucardo (a sweet replication system for Postgres) at the Portland Perl Mongers group, 7pm at Free Geek.
  • November 13-14, 2009 – I’ll be helping run OpenSQL Camp with Eric Day here in Portland, OR. We’re having it at Souk, and kicking things off on Friday night at Old Town Pizza, starting around 6pm. Eric asked about having an n-master (multi-multi-multi…etc master) replication session, so I might talk with him about that there.
  • November 19, 2009 – PostgreSQL Clustering Summit in Tokyo. I’ll be giving a 5-minute presentation on the state of Bucardo development, and meeting (or seeing again!) the major contributors to replication and clustering technology for Postgres.
  • November 20-21, 2009 – Japanese PostgreSQL User Group 10th Anniversary Summit. I’ll be presenting a talk on User Groups with Magnus Hagander, President of PostgreSQL Europe.

I’m happy to say that I’ve got my slide decks done well in advance this time, and am mostly working on example configurations. I started a repo on github to hold my bucardo examples. Enjoy!

Off to MySQL Con

I’m presenting a 25-minute talk on “Thinking about Performance” on Wednesday, around 5:25p at the Percona Performance Conference. My plan is to talk about performance testing and how to go about useful optimizations. This will be in the context of the PostgreSQL Performance Pad testing, and the performance-focused talks Mark Wong has been giving at Portland State University. Stop by if you get the chance – and you’re in San Jose! It’s free.

Robert Treat will be giving a talk on PostgreSQL at 11:15am that should be good, and we’re having a BoF during MySQL Con at 7:30pm. Quite a bit of Postgres-focused content at MySQL Con on Wednesday :)

I’m sad that I’ll be missing the Open Source Bridge Town Hall tomorrow night, but you should go! :)

Greg’s THREE talks at PostgreSQL Conference East

Greg Sabino Mullane will be presenting three talks at PostgreSQL Conference East this weekend in Philadelphia, at Drexel University. The talks are listed on the site, and here’s what he’ll be speaking about:

Bucardo
April 5, Sunday, 10am
Bucardo is a replication system for Postgres that uses triggers to asynchronously copy data from one server to many others (master-slave) or to exchange data between two servers (master-master). We’ll look at replication in general and where Bucardo fits in among other solutions, we’ll take a look at some of its features and use-cases, and discuss where it is going next. We’ll setup a running system along the way to demonstrate how it all works.

Monitoring Postgres with check_postgres.pl
April 4, Saturday, 2:30pm
What should you monitor? And how? We’ll look at the sort of things you should care about when watching over your Postgres databases, as well as ways to graph and analyze metadata about about your database, with a focus on the check_postgres.pl script.

The Power of psql
April 4, Saturday 10:30am
All about everyone’s favorite Postgres utility, psql, the best command-line database interface, period. We’ll cover basic and advanced usage.

I’ve seen a few of Greg’s talks — The Magic of MVCC, Cloning an elephant and a few others. He’s a great speaker and cool guy. And he’s my boss. But I’m not just saying that because he’s my boss! Really!

He doesn’t like to brag about himself, so I’m gonna help him out. He maintains DBD::Pg, check_postgres.pl, Bucardo and has had MANY patches committed to PostgreSQL. He’s also a volunteer for the PostgreSQL sysadmins team, and specifically helps maintain the git repo box. He’s a contributor to the MediaWiki project. He’s on the board of the United States PostgreSQL Association. He’s basically awesome.

If you’re gonna be there, you should check out his talks. And if you can’t make it, here’s hoping Josh Drake records the talks and shares them with us all! :)