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Do you know what you are measuring with pgbench?

pgbench flamegraph

pgbench is a benchmark application for PostgreSQL. You define some parameters for the workload (read-only, volume of data, number of threads, cursor sharing, …) and measure the number of transactions per second. Pgbench is used a lot when one wants to compare two alternative environments, like different postgres version, different platform, different table design,…

However, a scientific approach should go beyond the simple correlation between the observed performance (transactions per seconds) and the configuration. Without a clear analysis and explanation on the cause-consequence, we cannot extrapolate from a single set of observations to a general recommendation. The goal of this post is to show what is behind this ‘transaction per second’ measure.