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Postgres vs. Oracle access paths – intro

This is the start of a series on PostgreSQL execution plans, access path, join methods, hints and execution statistics. The approach will compare Postgres and Oracle. It is not a comparison to see which one is better, but rather to see what is similar and where the approaches diverge. I have a long experience of reading Oracle execution plans and no experience at all on Postgres. This is my way to learn and share what I learn. You will probably be interested if you are in the same situation: an Oracle DBA wanting to learn about Postgres. But you may also be an experienced Postgres DBA who wants to see a different point of view from a different ‘culture’.

I’ll probably use the Oracle terms more often as I’m more familiar with them: blocks for pages, optimizer for query planner, rows for tuples, tables for relations…

PostgreSQL on Cygwin

I run my laptop with Windows 10 for office programs, and VirtualBox machines with Linux for the big stuff (Oracle databases). I have also Cygwin installed on Windows for GNU programs. I wanted to quickly install PosgreSQL and rather than installing it in a Linux VM, or as a Windows program, I installed the Cygwin version of it. Here is how.

Cygwin

Cygwin is easy to install: just run the setup-x86_64.exe from https://www.cygwin.com/ and choose the packages you want to install. Here is what is related to PostgreSQL:
CapturePGCY0001

Postgresql block internals, part 3

This is the third part in a series of blogposts about how postgresql manages data in its blocks (called ‘pages’ in postgres speak). If you found this post and did not read the previous ones, it might be beneficial to read block internals (part 1) and block internals, part 2 first. In these blogposts I’ve shown how heap and index pages look like, and how these can be investigated, including looking at the raw block information.

This blogpost is intended to show the effects on pages when DML happens. This is inherently different from my personal reference of database implementation, which is the oracle database.

Postgresql block internals, part 2

This is the second part of a blogpost about Postgresql database block internals. If you found this blogpost, and are interested in getting started with it, please read the first part, and then continue with this post.
I am doing the investigations on Oracle Linux 7u3 with postgres 9.6 (both the latest versions when this blogpost was written).

In the first part I talked about the pageinspect extension, and investigated the page header and line pointer array. This blogpost looks at the actual tuples, including the index, and how these are stored in the pages.

Postgresql block internals

This blogpost is the result of me looking into how postgres works, and specifically the database blocks. The inspiration and essence of this blogpost comes from two blogs from Jeremiah Peschka: https://facility9.com/2011/03/postgresql-row-storage-fundamentals/ and https://facility9.com/2011/04/postgresql-update-internals/
I am using Oracle Linux 7u3 and postgres 9.6 (current versions when this blogpost was written).

Postgres is already installed, and a database cluster is already running. Let’s create a database ‘test’ for the sake of our tests:

$ createdb test

Once the database is created, logging on is done with ‘psql’:

Will the real data virtualization please stand up?

There is a post from a good friend at Oracle entitled “Will the REAL SnapClone functionality please stand up?” and, as well-written and technically rich as the post is, I am particularly moved to comment on the very last and conclusive sentence in the post…

So with all of that, why would you look at a point solution that only covers one part of managing your Oracle infrastructure?