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Volkan Alkılıç
Volkan Alkılıç

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Maximizing PostgreSQL Performance: Advanced Features and Techniques

PostgreSQL is a powerful open-source relational database management system that is widely used for a variety of applications. It is known for its stability, performance, and scalability. However, many users may not be aware of the full range of performance-related features that PostgreSQL has to offer. In this article, we will explore some of the advanced features and techniques that can help you unlock the hidden performance potential of your PostgreSQL database.


PostgreSQL can divide a query into multiple parallel tasks, which allows it to use multiple CPU cores to process the query. This can greatly speed up the execution of complex queries.

SET max_parallel_workers_per_gather = 4;


PostgreSQL allows you to divide a table into smaller, more manageable chunks called partitions. This can greatly improve query performance by reducing the amount of data that needs to be scanned.

sale_date DATE NOT NULL,
customer_id INTEGER NOT NULL,
amount NUMERIC(10,2) NOT NULL
) PARTITION BY RANGE (sale_date);

Index-Only Scans:

PostgreSQL can use a technique called an index-only scan to retrieve data from an index without ever having to access the table itself. This can greatly improve query performance, especially for large tables.

CREATE INDEX sales_amount_idx ON sales (amount);

Materialized Views:

PostgreSQL allows you to create a materialized view, which is a pre-computed table based on the result of a SELECT statement. This can greatly improve query performance for frequently-run queries.

SELECT customer_id, SUM(amount) AS total_sales
FROM sales
GROUP BY customer_id;


PostgreSQL can cache frequently-used data in memory, which can greatly improve query performance for frequently-run queries.

SHOW shared_buffers;

Explain Analyze:

PostgreSQL provides a way to analyze the execution plan of a query, which can be used to identify performance bottlenecks and optimize the query.

Multi-Version Concurrency Control (MVCC):

PostgreSQL uses MVCC to provide concurrent access to the data without the need for locks. This can greatly improve the scalability of the system.

Hot Standby:

PostgreSQL allows you to create a hot standby replica of a primary server, which can be used for high availability and disaster recovery.

Statistics and VACUUM:

PostgreSQL keeps track of statistics about the distribution of data in tables and indexes, which the query planner uses to create efficient execution plans. It also provides the VACUUM command which can reclaim space and improve performance by removing dead rows.

TimescaleDB Extension:

One feature that can greatly improve the performance of time-series data in PostgreSQL is the use of TimescaleDB. TimescaleDB is an open-source time-series database that is built on top of PostgreSQL. It provides a number of performance-related features specifically designed for handling time-series data, such as automatic partitioning and indexing, which can greatly improve query performance.

All these performance optimization techniques can be combined to achieve the best performance for your specific use case. It is important to monitor the performance and fine-tune the settings as needed. Additionally, it is always a good practice to test your performance optimization before deploying them to production.

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