Written by Bruno Mirchevski, Posted on June, Updated on .
Is PostgreSQL Hosting the Future of Management?
PostgreSQL is an open-source technology, a database system with over 20 years of active development.
PostgreSQL has been proven to be highly scalable both in the sheer quantity of data it can manage and in the number of concurrent users it can accommodate.
Many web hosting providers include PostgreSQL in their offers as a primary data storage solution because it’s free. So, what makes one web hosting provider offering PostgreSQL better than another? In other words, which factors should you use to compare web hosts regarding the PostgreSQL database?
First, you should consider whether it’s easy to set up, operate, and scale PostgreSQL deployments in the cloud. Other related issues include the number of clouds and their allocation in regions, along with the downtime migrations between different cloud providers.
Another difference lies in how the web hosting provider manages complex and time-consuming administrative tasks. Several examples include the installation or upgrades of PostgreSQL, storage management, replication for high availability and read throughput, or backups for disaster recovery. The level of automation also plays a crucial role in the mix.
Let’s See What Are Your Choices At This Point
In general, we can classify PostgreSQL Servers in two broad categories.
|Self-Managed PostgreSQL Server||Fully Managed PostgreSQL Server|
|Many choices when it comes to installing and running your databases||Everything is pre-installed and pre-configured for you, so all you have to do is use the server|
|Full control over your management that no one else has access to||If you ever run into issues, you will have a capable support staff there to assist you|
|You are only paying for the server itself, not any associated software||Someone else can resolve your issue if you do not manage to fix it yourself|
|PostgreSQL is free, so you don’t have to spend any additional funds||You have constant monitoring over your server so that it never experiences any downtime|
Essentially, your choice depends on your needs and preferences. It all comes down to the apps or sites you are developing, the amount of time and skills you have to dedicate. Make no mistake; you will always have to make a trade-off.
If you want complete control over your server, chances are, you will go with the self-managed PostgreSQL free hosting. However, if costs aren’t your primary concern, you can go for a managed PostgreSQL web hosting.
If you are willing to put your resources into use, you might as well find the best provider for the cause. So, let’s see what qualities you need to be looking for.
Which Features Are A Must-Have In A Quality Hosting Provider?
Each hosting provider has a different set of features regarding PostgreSQL. We’ve classified these qualities into six categories you need to analyze before purchase.
- Setup And Maintenance
Quality web hosting PostgreSQL providers allow for preformatted PostgreSQL clusters, being especially useful for beginners. To explain, you can first launch this template, then modify it. It also helps when the UI or the API is simple and user-friendly. This way, one can maneuver the tool and adjust it to the team’s needs. Another great indicator is when a hosting provider takes on maintenance regarding both day-to-day operation and periodic updates. To keep the service stable and secure, certain providers also allow scheduling the date and time of the update. For instance, you can set it up at the end of the week or on a non-working day.
A critical component regarding databases is scalability. In this regard, you should be looking for a hosting provider that allows you to start small and upgrade the tool in the future. As your business grows, so will your needs for data storage.
Hosting providers might perform day-to-day backups and maintain them for future use. Say you want to restore data from several days back. A quality provider should ensure you have this option.Note: Backups are essential in the hosting business. Without frequent backups, you will be at risk of losing all your data, and that can prove to be disastrous for your business.
When we speak about automation in hosting providers regarding PostgreSQL, we refer to backups and failovers. We already explained the first one, but what about the second? A hosting company with an automated failover has managed databases with a standby node. It automatically switches data handling to the standby node to prevent unplanned downtime in case of a failure.
- Speed and Performance
Fast connections and non-interrupted performance are essential for both hosting companies and PostgreSQL. As mentioned, managed databases run on enterprise-class hardware. You can choose between cloud VMs with shared vCPUs or choose Droplets with 100% dedicated vCPUs. The latter is more appropriate for critical workloads.
Finally, you will want to protect your data at the individual, team, or company level. At this point, you need to be looking for hosting companies with end-to-end encryption for data in transit or at rest.
Using Insights For Improved PostgreSQL Cluster Efficiency
It’s never just about getting your PostgreSQL Cluster live. By paying attention to detail, continually analyzing, and working toward improvement, you can better use your company resources.
Hosting companies may or may not provide these insights. So, it’s essential to assess this ability before purchase. A quality provider will provide feedback on your resource usage and errors to understand how the database performs both in the short and long term.
The critical database-level metrics include:
- Cache Hit Ratio
- Sequential Scans
- Indexed Scans
Connections show the relation between your active links and the limit. This way, you can track how close you are to reaching the maximum so that you can expand your plan.
The cache hit ratio represents the relation between reads from the database in-memory cache and disk. The number is expressed in percentage, and the ideal proportion is 99%.
You can also find cluster resource utilization metrics in managed databases, such as CPU, load average, memory usage, and disk usage.
CPU usage can be a great indicator as to whether your PostgreSQL Cluster is performing well. It plots the minimum, maximum, and average percentage of processing power for all nodes in the cluster. In general, high CPU usage is directly proportional to disk I/O. It’s a red flag, so you will need to detect what’s causing the issue if you encounter such high numbers.
The load average shows the processor activity. More precisely, it displays which processes are in waiting time and which ones are being handled. It’s best when a hosting company provides this information based on several different measurement times.
Memory usage shows the minimum, maximum, and average memory consumption for all nodes in the PostgreSQL Cluster.
The disk usage, in turn, presents the disk percentage used by the cluster’s nodes. In general, this ratio fluctuates daily. Still, it would be best if you aimed to maintain a long-term average of below 90%.
Web Hosting With PostgreSQL In A Nutshell
No doubt, PostgreSQL has proven as a valuable tool for companies across different industries. Almost all hosting providers include this open-source technology in their offer. Still, there are significant differences in terms of quality and features.
In general, if you have the skills and expertise for managing PostgreSQL, you can set things up manually. So, you can go for free PostgreSQL hosting or self-managed servers.
In turn, if you are a beginner, you’ll need a hosting company to assist you in the process. You will be paying for the plan, whereas the OSI-approved PostgreSQL License comes at no extra fee. Still, it would be best to analyze and compare different hosting providers.
Essentially, it would be best to look out for the setup and maintenance processes, automation, backups, scalability, speed, performance, security, insights, and general customer support.