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PostgreSQL 9.2 Brings New Speed and Scalability

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The open source PostgreSQL could already behave like its NoSQL peers, making it the database of choice for organizations ranging from NASA to Instagram. Now, with its version 9.2 release, PostgreSQL is gaining long-awaited features like native JSON support, as well as increases to speed and scalability.

JSON Goes Native

The ability to store JSON objects is a feature that NoSQL databases have lorded over many relational databases for years. The addition of this feature to PostgreSQL brings it up to speed with its NoSQL counterparts. Release 9.2 uses custom JSON formatting in order to remain lightweight and unencumbered by external dependencies. took a look at the 9.2 beta release in May, and reported:

... applications can now send queries to PostgreSQL, get back results in JSON format, and immediately act on those results without further conversion. Unfortunately, it is not yet possible to send your query as a JSON object or JavaScript code, but that's likely to come in some future version of PostgreSQL.

To make the JSON support really useful, though, you need two optional components, or "extensions" to PostgreSQL: hstore and PL/v8.

So there's a lot of room to improve this feature, but currently it's a huge step for PostgreSQL and probably the premier feature of this release.

Range Types

The addition of "Range Type" support makes it easy to represent linear ranges in a sophisticated way, opening a range (pun intended) of options for applications in the scientific and financial realms. This allows you to simply prevent conflicts or find overlaps, among other possibilities. PostgreSQL is currently the only major relational database with this functionality.

Now Scaling to 64 Cores

With scalability up to 64 cores, the PostgreSQL Global Development Group claims its new release can make up to 350,000 queries per second -- quadruple the numbers of past versions. Even with fewer cores, LWN found improved throughput in May's beta release of 9.2.

Further tune-ups include reduced CPU power consumption, cascading replication, and up to 14,000 data writes per second. Furthermore, PostgreSQL is now capable of index-only access, an optimization allowing the database to return indexed queries by searching only indexed data.

Full Features and Download

For a full list of updates and features, check out the PostgreSQL Wiki. You can download the new release here - and if you're already using it, let us know what you think

Published at DZone with permission of its author, Eric Gregory.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)


Chris Travers replied on Sun, 2012/09/23 - 6:12am

Just as a note, 14000 writes per second sustained is approx 1.2 billion per day.

350k reads per second sustained for a full day is approx 30 billion per day.

 This is worth thinking about when debating relative scalability of various solutions.... 

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