One of the advantages of being a major contributor to an Open Source project is the ability to release simultaneously with the community version. This is what has happened with PostgreSQL 9.5. Developers in particular like this approach as it means they can build and test their solutions on the free community version and then develop on the EnterpriseDB commercial version without having to worry about differences in the code.
Performance and scalability key to PostgreSQL 9.5
Marc Linster, Ph.D., Senior Vice President of Products and Services at EnterpriseDB said: “EDB’s contributions to the Postgres Community during this development cycle have focused heavily on performance and scalability. PostgreSQL 9.5 provides significant scalability enhancements that benefit our large enterprise and government customers, since they run on high core count servers that support large numbers of concurrent users and mission-critical applications.”
The press release provides a first look at the improvements in performance claimed by Linster saying: “EDB’s benchmark tests show that PostgreSQL 9.5 exhibits significant performance improvements for high concurrency workloads. For example, 64 concurrent connections on a 24 core / 496 GB RAM system showed a 96% improvement over PostgreSQL 9.4.”
This level of improvement between releases will surprise and please many customers. PostgreSQL has never been seen as a slow product so extracting an almost doubling of performance is impressive. What remains to be seen is exactly what customers will now look to do use PostgreSQL 9.5 for.
It is important to stress that the headline performance improvement is claimed against EDB’s own benchmark tests not any of the wider industry benchmarks that are often used. This is nothing different to the approach used by other vendors but at some point customers will want a more balanced view of performance using a more widely recognised set of tests.
One customer Infor recently announced that they were migrating from Oracle to the open source EnterpriseDB solution. They will no doubt be eager to take advantage of the new release for its multi tenant cloud solutions, especially when they release their “born in the cloud” financial solution to compete with the likes of Workday and Netsuite.
The ability to support more users in high-transactional systems is specifically called out by the press release. This means that for customers looking for a database capable of absorbing very large amounts of data from an Internet of Things (IoT) deployment, PostgreSQL 9.5 will be worth looking at.
EDB has also been doing a lot of development work with large users such as NTT. That work has been put back into the core PostgreSQL product to make it easy to address data inside other databases as if they were PostgreSQL tables.
Productivity and security also get major updates
There are a range of new features aimed at improving analytics, data management and security in PostgreSQL 9.5. Among them are features such as Block Range Index (BRIN) which is designed to speed up data queries on sequentially stored data.
The addition of new analytic features to speed up the summarising of data across multiple dimensions will also appeal to analytics users and developers. EnterpriseDB has brought across features traditionally seen on large data warehousing solutions that are used for querying against demographic and geographic data.
Alongside this there is better support for queries that have to span both structured and unstructured data. Most companies are still a long way from working with the vast quantities of unstructured data they own mainly because of issues with the tools that they own. EnterpriseDB believes that the addition of new operators and functions will make it easier to do this type of analysis and enable companies to begin to query a vast untapped source of information they own.
The interesting update on security is that Row Level Security has now been added to PostgreSQL for the community release. This is a good example of how the commercial features of EnterpriseDB’s version are fed back into the Open Source community code.
While many vendors are rushing to speed up the frequency of updates to their software, EnterpriseDB is showing that a slow but steady update cycle is still effective. By ensuring that they continue to push features back from the commercial version of the software to the community they are also able to maintain support from the Open Source community.
What many people will want to know is while EnterpriseDB claim a 96% improvement in their benchmark, how does that really stack up in other industry tests.