10 PostgreSQL VMware Best Practices

If you're running PostgreSQL on VMware, there are a few best practices you should follow to ensure optimal performance. Here are 10 of them.

PostgreSQL is a powerful open-source relational database system that is used by many organizations to store and manage their data. It is a popular choice for many applications due to its scalability, reliability, and performance.

When deploying PostgreSQL on VMware, there are certain best practices that should be followed to ensure optimal performance and reliability. In this article, we will discuss 10 PostgreSQL VMware best practices that should be followed when deploying PostgreSQL on VMware. These best practices will help you ensure that your PostgreSQL deployment is secure, reliable, and performs optimally.

1. Use the latest version of VMware

The latest version of VMware provides the most up-to-date security patches and bug fixes, which can help protect your PostgreSQL database from potential vulnerabilities. Additionally, newer versions of VMware often include performance enhancements that can improve the speed and reliability of your PostgreSQL server. Finally, using the latest version of VMware ensures you have access to the newest features and capabilities available for PostgreSQL on VMware.

2. Enable Jumbo Frames for VMkernel Network Adapters

Jumbo Frames are larger than the standard Ethernet frame size of 1,500 bytes. By increasing the frame size to 9,000 bytes, you can reduce the number of frames that need to be sent and received over the network, resulting in improved performance for PostgreSQL workloads.

To enable Jumbo Frames on a VMkernel Network Adapter, open the vSphere Client, select the ESXi host, navigate to the Configuration tab, click Networking, select the VMkernel adapter, and then click Properties. From there, check the box next to “Enable Jumbo Frames” and enter the desired MTU value (9,000 is recommended).

3. Disable TCP Segmentation Offload (TSO) and Large Receive Offset (LSO)

TSO and LSO are features of the network interface card (NIC) that allow for larger packets to be sent over the network. While this can improve performance, it can also cause problems with PostgreSQL because it can lead to packet fragmentation which can result in data corruption or lost connections.

By disabling TSO and LSO on your VMware server, you can ensure that all packets sent from PostgreSQL will remain intact and arrive at their destination without any issues. This is especially important if you’re running a mission-critical database application.

4. Configure Storage I/O Control to Guarantee Bandwidth

Storage I/O Control (SIOC) is a feature of VMware vSphere that allows you to guarantee bandwidth for virtual machines. This ensures that your PostgreSQL database will always have the resources it needs, even when other VMs are competing for storage resources. Without SIOC enabled, your PostgreSQL performance could suffer due to contention from other VMs.

To configure Storage I/O Control, simply go into the settings of your VM and enable the feature. You can then set the minimum and maximum IOPS values for your VM, ensuring that your PostgreSQL instance has the resources it needs to perform optimally.

5. Set Up a Separate Datastore for PostgreSQL Data Files

Having a separate datastore for PostgreSQL data files ensures that the database is not competing with other applications and services running on the same virtual machine. This helps to ensure optimal performance of the database, as well as improved reliability and scalability. Additionally, having a dedicated datastore makes it easier to manage backups and restores, since all of the necessary files are in one place.

6. Create a Virtual Machine with Multiple vCPUs

PostgreSQL is a multi-threaded database, meaning it can take advantage of multiple cores to process queries faster. By creating a virtual machine with multiple vCPUs, you are giving PostgreSQL the ability to use more resources and thus increase its performance.

Additionally, having multiple vCPUs allows for better resource utilization. This means that if one core is busy processing a query, another core can be used to process other tasks. This helps ensure that your system remains responsive even when under heavy load.

Finally, having multiple vCPUs also makes it easier to scale up or down as needed. If you need more power, simply add more vCPUs; if you don’t need them, just remove them. This flexibility makes it easy to adjust your system’s resources on demand.

7. Allocate Enough Memory to the Guest Operating System

PostgreSQL is a memory-intensive database, and it needs enough RAM to run efficiently. If the guest operating system doesn’t have enough memory allocated to it, PostgreSQL will suffer from poor performance.

To ensure that your PostgreSQL VMware environment has enough memory, you should allocate at least 4GB of RAM for the guest operating system. This should be more than enough for most applications. However, if you’re running an especially large or complex application, you may need to increase this amount. Additionally, make sure that the host machine has enough physical memory available to accommodate the guest operating system’s requirements.

8. Use Hardware-Assisted CPU Virtualization

Hardware-assisted CPU virtualization allows the PostgreSQL server to run in a more efficient manner, as it can take advantage of the underlying hardware’s capabilities. This means that the server will be able to process queries faster and with less overhead than if it were running on software-only virtualization. Additionally, hardware-assisted CPU virtualization also helps reduce the amount of memory needed for the server, which can help improve overall performance.

9. Do Not Overcommit Host Resources

When you overcommit host resources, it means that the virtual machines running on the host are using more resources than what is available. This can lead to performance issues and even data corruption if PostgreSQL does not have enough resources to run properly.

To avoid this issue, make sure that your VMware environment has enough physical resources allocated for each of the virtual machines running PostgreSQL. Additionally, monitor resource usage closely and adjust as needed to ensure that PostgreSQL always has access to the resources it needs.

10. Monitor Your Environment

Monitoring your environment allows you to identify potential issues before they become major problems. It also helps you understand how your system is performing and where it can be improved.

You should monitor the performance of your PostgreSQL database, as well as the underlying VMware infrastructure. This includes monitoring CPU utilization, memory usage, disk I/O, network traffic, and other metrics. You should also keep an eye on the health of your virtual machines, including their uptime and availability.

Finally, make sure that you have a backup plan in place for your PostgreSQL databases. Regular backups are essential for any production system, and this is especially true when running PostgreSQL on VMware.


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