How to implement Concurrent Statistics Gathering in PostgreSQL?

Concurrent statistics gathering in PostgreSQL allows for collecting table and column statistics without blocking concurrent read and write operations. This feature helps ensure accurate and up-to-date statistics while minimizing the impact on database performance. Here’s how you can implement concurrent statistics gathering in PostgreSQL:

  • Enable Autovacuum:

Concurrent statistics gathering relies on the autovacuum process to collect statistics automatically. Make sure autovacuum is enabled in your PostgreSQL configuration file (postgresql.conf). Set the autovacuum parameter to on to enable the autovacuum process.

  • Configure Statistics Target:

Determine the desired level of detail for statistics by setting the default_statistics_target parameter in the PostgreSQL configuration file. This parameter controls the number of sampled rows used to estimate statistics. Higher values provide more accurate statistics but require more processing time.

  • Enable Autoanalyze:

Autoanalyze is a sub-process of the autovacuum process responsible for collecting statistics. By default, autoanalyze is enabled, but it’s essential to confirm its status in the postgresql.conf file. Set the autoanalyze parameter to on to ensure autoanalyze is active.

  • Tune Autovacuum Settings:

Adjust the autovacuum-related parameters to suit your specific workload and performance requirements. Key parameters include autovacuum_vacuum_scale_factor, autovacuum_analyze_scale_factor, and autovacuum_vacuum_threshold. These settings control when autovacuum processes are triggered based on database activity and table size.

  • Monitor and Adjust:

Monitor the autovacuum and autoanalyze processes using system catalogs such as pg_stat_all_tables and pg_stat_progress_vacuum. Observe their behavior, including the frequency of statistics collection and the impact on system resources. If necessary, adjust the autovacuum-related parameters to fine-tune the process for your workload.

By implementing concurrent statistics gathering in PostgreSQL, you can ensure that statistics remain up-to-date without interfering with concurrent read and write operations. This helps the query optimizer make informed decisions and improves overall query performance. Regularly monitoring and adjusting autovacuum settings can further optimize the statistics collection process based on the specific needs of your database.

About Shiv Iyer 455 Articles
Open Source Database Systems Engineer with a deep understanding of Optimizer Internals, Performance Engineering, Scalability and Data SRE. Shiv currently is the Founder, Investor, Board Member and CEO of multiple Database Systems Infrastructure Operations companies in the Transaction Processing Computing and ColumnStores ecosystem. He is also a frequent speaker in open source software conferences globally.