The first thing you'll find about PostgreSQL is that every scrap of information about the performance of the database is inside the system tables of PostgreSQL. It's packed full of stats, but they are not easy to interpret. That's where utilities such as the web application pgHero come in.
What pgHero gives you
pgHero gives you a browsable dashboard to read current performance statistics. There's an easy to interpret overview - green in good, not green, you should pay attention - which gives the state of connections, long-running queries, vacuuming health, invalid, duplicate or suggested indexes and slow queries. There's also views to dig down on various aspects of performances:
- Queries gives a log of execution times for commands.
- Space shows what data sets and indexes are taking how much memory.
- Connections shows where connections are coming from.
- Live Queries show which queries are running and gives a chance to kill all connections.
- Maintenance reports on the last vacuum and analyze times.
- Explain and analyze queries for you.
- Begin to Tune your database with essential settings.
Getting pgHero running quickly
Now, you can install pgHero in various ways but for that quick drop in to do some diagnostics, I recommend using the Docker route. There's already a Docker image ready to roll out there, so, assuming you have Docker installed (if not, look at the Docker site for instructions) then let's get going...
What you'll need is your connection string for your PostgreSQL deployment. Find that in the Overview on the Compose Console and don't forget to reveal your credentials so you can copy and paste the whole credential string. For example, it could look like this:
Once you have that, you can assemble your Docker run command. The pgHero Docker page shows the command to run as:
docker run -ti -e DATABASE_URL=postgres://user:password@hostname:5432/dbname -p 8080:8080 ankane/pghero
So just switch out the DATABASE_URL value for your own to give (in our example's case):
docker run -ti -e DATABASE_URL=postgres://admin:SECRETPASSWORD@sl-eu-lon-2-portal.4.dblayer.com:17980/compose -p 8080:8080 ankane/pghero
The parameters, after
run, in this command are:
-tito keep the docker session attached so it can be halted easily with Ctrl-C.
-eto set an environment variable (
DATABASE_URL) inside the container.
-p 8080:8080to map the containers port 8080 to the hosts port 8080
ankane/pgherothe name of the image we want to use to populate this Docker container.
Hit return and, if it's your first time running the command, the various parts of the Docker image for pghero will download. Once done, you'll see something like this...
 Puma starting in cluster mode...  * Version 3.11.0 (ruby 2.4.2-p198), codename: Love Song  * Min threads: 1, max threads: 16  * Environment: development  * Process workers: 3  * Preloading application  * Listening on tcp://0.0.0.0:8080  Use Ctrl-C to stop  - Worker 0 (pid: 9) booted, phase: 0  - Worker 1 (pid: 14) booted, phase: 0  - Worker 2 (pid: 23) booted, phase: 0
Indicating the app is up and running. Bring up your browser and navigate to
http://localhost:8080/ to see pgHero's overview.
All's well and from here we can begin exploring pgHero's reports. Take note of that warning at the top of the page; don't use pgHero in a development environment and extrapolate from that to your production environment. If anything, consider running pgHero against your production environment to gather statistics if you can.
A side note: If pgHero fails to connect, you'll likely only see a lot of traceback from the Ruby stack in the terminal. It is, unfortunately, not good at reporting failed connections beyond that.
You can configure historical query and space stats too, allowing you to browse through collected history. The collection is handled by running tasks every 5 minutes and day. Details of those tasks and the tables needed to support them are in the pgHero Docker page.
In this form, pgHero makes a great quick-check tool for PostgreSQL, offering results in easily consumable form. Try it today.
Read more articles about Compose databases - use our Curated Collections Guide for articles on each database type. If you have any feedback about this or any other Compose article, drop the Compose Articles team a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. We're happy to hear from you.
attribution Eric Masur