PostgreSQL Database Monitoring

PostgreSQL Database Monitoring

Table of Contents


PostgreSQL is one of the most popular relational databases on the market today with more than 1.5 billion users. This article will discuss everything you need to know about monitoring PostgreSQL, and how you can use it to optimize your site's data monitoring.


If you want to get started right away on PostgreSQL database monitoring with MetricFire, you can book a demo or sign up for the free trial today.



Key Takeaways

  1. PostgreSQL is a popular and versatile relational database with support for NoSQL features, making it a strong choice for database management systems.

  2. Monitoring PostgreSQL is essential to maintain performance, prevent issues, and optimize user experience by identifying slow queries.

  3. Monitoring a database ensures high performance, availability, and functional application infrastructure.

  4. Key metrics for PostgreSQL monitoring include query throughput, replication and reliability, resource utilization, and utilizing PostgreSQL's statistics collector.


What is PostgreSQL?

PostgreSQL, also known as Postgres, is a free and Open Source Relational Database (RDBMS) which can interact and be manipulated using SQL (Structured Query Language). But ever since the release of PostgreSQL 9.3 back in 2013, storing JSON data became possible. Thus, making Postgres an SQL database that supports certain features commonly found in NoSQL databases.


PostgreSQL can be a great choice for NoSQL functions and these functions make postgreSQL very extensible. Many functions such as indexes are defined in the API, so you can build on them to solve your certain development challenges. Since PostgreSQL is equipped with a whole range of complex data types, we can define new ones and get extensions for them to extend them.


You will also note that PostgreSQL comes with a wide range of tools that help you deal with difficult database crashes, database failures, and other problems.


To complete the tasks that a PostgreSQL server needs to do to manage your data, you should become familiar with the SQL programming language. For even better results, it is recommended to be able to write strong SQL and understand how the server interprets it. Postgres has a wide range of functionality for data types, columns, tables, arrays, lists and more.


If your application has many users writing data to it at once, then RDBMS and PostgreSQL may be the better choice for your database management system. However, if your project requires the fastest possible read operations, you may have to look elsewhere.

Monitoring PostgreSQL has never been this easy, so go ahead and avail your 14 day free trial or book a demo with us!



What is meant by database monitoring?

Database monitoring means tracking a database's operational status in order to maintain high performance and prevent outages or slowdowns. It is very important for maintaining the performance of your database management system.


Database monitoring can also tell application developers whether a query resolves in seconds or milliseconds, rather than over a longer period of time. Database monitoring tools can support this process by identifying slow-running queries that negatively affect the user experience.


For example, if the CPU load is higher than normal, you can send a warning message via a tail, which will inform you about applicable information. You can also use tail mail to monitor your PostgreSQL server logs and files in real-time with a single click on the tail mail icon in the upper left corner of the screen. 


Keep reading to learn more about the best tools for monitoring PostgreSQL performance metrics to keep your database up to date.



Why is it important to monitor a database?

The aim of database monitoring is to keep the database and associated resources at the highest possible level, by ensuring that the application infrastructure is always available and functional. 


In short, MySQL Monitoring Software and tools allow for monitoring various indicators of MySQL databases to ensure that they are always in a healthy state. In addition to monitoring key metrics, most database monitoring programs continuously provide a warning system that notifies administrators of problems and needs that require a review.


To stay up to date, you need to check the state of your server at least once a day, sometimes more than once. Monitoring the availability and consumption of resources is one of the most important tasks you need to do to keep your server software running smoothly and efficiently. 


Ensuring that the database is running at peak performance and high availability is not something to skimp on when looking for a monitoring solution. This includes measuring and comparing throughput, monitoring expensive queries, tracking database changes, and including historical data.

Work efficiently and effectively by allowing MetricFire to monitor your PostgreSQL needs. Book a demo with us or sign up for a free trial and speak with one of our seasoned MetricFire engineers!



Key metrics for PostgreSQL monitoring

To keep your application accessible and functional, you need to understand what goes into monitoring database performance, including how to approach monitoring with key metrics and best practices.


Tracking metrics is an important part of monitoring PostgreSQL to ensure that your database can be scaled to meet high-end queries.


We’ll mention some of the important metrics that you can monitor in your PostgreSQL environment which can be accessed through PostgreSQL’s statistics collector.


Read query throughput & Write query throughput

Read query throughput and Write query throughput are used to monitor the database performance. 


Read query throughput is a monitoring metric that ensures your application can access data from your database. 


Write query throughput is a monitoring metric to show how effectively you can write and update data to your Postgres database.


To ensure that your application can read data from your database, you have to monitor how effectively the data can be written and updated in PostgreSQL, as well as its read and update performance.


You can monitor the database throughput based on the number of queries executed per second and monitor the query throughput for the most commonly used queries. You can see the average microseconds that each event in the database takes, and you can also monitor the total database throughput for each query executed in a second.


Replication and reliability

If your database is constantly updated, you can monitor the replication delay of your reader application instances to ensure they do not provide outdated data. If you host a database with a large number of replications, such as a multi-line database or a table-to-table database, you can monitor the replication delay in your replication interface.


Other options are on standby or replication servers that serve read queries.


You can monitor replication delays even in reader application cases, as your data is constantly updated. You may need to update constantly to ensure that the replication server that serves your query does not receive stale data.


To maintain data integrity, without sacrificing too much performance, PostgreSQL must record updates and transfer them to the hard disk. This ensures data security if the primary source instance fails, and data reliability in cases where primary or master errors occur.


Resource utilization

This is very useful if you want to continuously monitor the utilization of CPU and resource usage such as connections, shared buffer usage, and disk utilization


This performance monitor metric features a variety of database performance visualizations. It can be used in combination with the infrastructure monitoring modules to display real-time performance metrics across your database and the availability of resources in the database.


Statistics collector 

You can use the CREATE-STATISTICS command in PostgreSQL to create an advanced statistics object that tells the server to collect additional statistics for related columns. 


Once you have configured PostgreSQL Statistics collector to collect the data you need, you can query activity statistics as you would for any other activity.


PostgreSQL’s built-in statistics collector aggregates most metrics, so you need to query a predefined statistics view to get more visibility into your database. You should see an overview dashboard for your PostgreSQL database, including long-term queries.



Monitoring PostgreSQL in context

Database monitors enable efficient code management and can monitor PostgreSQL like no other.


They help to verify the reliability and availability of your PostgreSQL servers by monitoring the performance of the database and its data in the context of other systems in your system.



Open source PostgreSQL monitoring tool

This guide will consider tools that serve a general-purpose for monitoring PostgreSQL database, and not just for database management. The PostgreSQL monitoring tool is used for reporting SQL queries and reporting them in real-time in the form of SQL query log.  


Some of the tools in this category include EDB PostgreSQL Enterprise Manager, Datadog and Zabbix. Zabbix combines general purpose monitoring with charts, while Datadog starts with the main infrastructure monitoring tools and expands to general purpose tools.


If you use PostgreSQL in production, you can use a more robust monitoring platform to automatically collect metrics on your behalf, visualize them in real-time, and warn you of potential problems. 


A monitoring tool should be able to manage backups, tables, and objects and help optimize the database to optimize performance. One of the best ways to do full database monitoring is to use PostgreSQL - SolarWinds.


The SolarWinds Database Performance analyzer works with most major databases, including MySQL, PostgreSQL, and other SQL servers. Besides PostgreSQL, it supports many other widely used database management tools such as Oracle.


If you are interested in learning more about SolarWinds, here’s the link. You can also catch up on some light reading about SolarWinds alternatives in this article.



Next steps In PostgreSQL monitoring

Finding a tool to monitor the metrics required for PostgreSQL is really difficult and often involves a scripting process. Generally, these metrics can either be a leading indicator of something going wrong on your Postgres server, or an indicator of inefficient queries that consume resources.


The best way to collect the required metrics is to use a script that is wrapped in a standard PostgreSQL tool and passes the result for monitoring.



In conclusion, monitoring PostgreSQL is vital for maintaining high-performance and reliable database systems. With versatile functionality and support for NoSQL features, PostgreSQL offers effective solutions for various development challenges. Monitoring key metrics and utilizing tools like the statistics collector ensures optimal performance and a seamless user experience. Tools such as EDB PostgreSQL Enterprise Manager, Datadog, Zabbix, and SolarWinds Database Performance Analyzer enhance monitoring capabilities and optimize PostgreSQL databases. Effective monitoring leads to improved performance, reliability, and overall efficiency of applications relying on PostgreSQL.


If you would like to speak with one of our experts about monitoring PostgreSQL database, book a demo with us. Or if you’d like to get some hands-on experience of your own with MetricFire, you can sign up for the free trial today.

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