Shining Some Light In The Black Box Of PostgreSQL Performance


November 5th, 2023

54 mins 51 secs

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About this Episode


Databases are the core of most applications, but they are often treated as inscrutable black boxes. When an application is slow, there is a good probability that the database needs some attention. In this episode Lukas Fittl shares some hard-won wisdom about the causes and solution of many performance bottlenecks and the work that he is doing to shine some light on PostgreSQL to make it easier to understand how to keep it running smoothly.


  • Hello and welcome to the Data Engineering Podcast, the show about modern data management
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  • Your host is Tobias Macey and today I'm interviewing Lukas Fittl about optimizing your database performance and tips for tuning Postgres


  • Introduction
  • How did you get involved in the area of data management?
  • What are the different ways that database performance problems impact the business?
  • What are the most common contributors to performance issues?
  • What are the useful signals that indicate performance challenges in the database?
    • For a given symptom, what are the steps that you recommend for determining the proximate cause?
  • What are the potential negative impacts to be aware of when tuning the configuration of your database?
  • How does the database engine influence the methods used to identify and resolve performance challenges?
  • Most of the database engines that are in common use today have been around for decades. How have the lessons learned from running these systems over the years influenced the ways to think about designing new engines or evolving the ones we have today?
  • What are the most interesting, innovative, or unexpected ways that you have seen to address database performance?
  • What are the most interesting, unexpected, or challenging lessons that you have learned while working on databases?
  • What are your goals for the future of database engines?

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Parting Question

  • From your perspective, what is the biggest gap in the tooling or technology for data management today?

Closing Announcements

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The intro and outro music is from The Hug by The Freak Fandango Orchestra / CC BY-SA

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