Using SolarWinds Database Tools to Optimize PostgreSQL Tables

In my first blog on THWACK, I wanted to write a little about PostgreSQL instance optimization and how a monitoring solution (like the products that SolarWinds produces Blush) can make the process of table tuning and optimizing your PostgreSQL operations quite a bit easier. I have over 25 years of experience in tech IT as an administrator and trainer which has led to many experiences. We will take a quick look at how SolarWinds Database tools can accomplish optimizing a PostgreSQL instance.


First, let’s look at which SolarWinds products can help investigate and optimize your PostgreSQL solutions.


  1. Database Performance Analyzer (DPA) – DPA is a multi-platform database monitoring solution. With DPA, you have access to integrated machine-learning features and Anomaly Detection to continuously test the captured metrics and data from a monitored PostgreSQL target. By leveraging DPA’s Advisor Services like Table Tuning, you can take advantage of the provided suggestions, as well as take a deeper dive into the captured metrics for remediation and optimization.
  2. Using the SolarWinds Hybrid-Cloud Observability platform with an integrated DPA solution – Your hybrid-cloud platform and DPA monitoring infrastructure can be integrated together through the DPA integration module or DPAIM The data collected by the DPA server can be accessed and cross-referenced with other features in the console itself. You can now take advantage of other feature’s functionality and include the DPA data. Get more expansive reports and alerts, create more complex custom dashboards to fit the delegated responsibilities in your environment, and provide a powerful and easy to use product to maximize efficiency of the monitored PostgreSQL targets.
  3. SolarWinds Observability platform with Database Observability – Our software as a service (SaaS) product provides you comprehensive visibility and insights into both your self-hosted networks and the entire span of connections across public cloud networks from a central cloud-hosted solution. Enabling the database feature (DBO) in the Observability platform provides insights and AI-ops enabled features designed to be applied to your monitored PostgreSQL entities. Use tools like the Queries Explorer



and Samples tabs to identify and remediate problematic queries.




Use the Advisors tab to view optimization suggestions that that can tune and remedy problematic tables and queries on your monitored targets.   

Second, let’s look at some of the other benefits that can be had when using DPA or a SolarWinds Observability solution.


  1. Significantly reduce risk - Realize a 28% reduction in mean time to detection (MTTD) and a 22% reduction in mean time to resolution (MTTR). Quicker detection means quicker resolution means less stress!
  2. Significantly reduce downtime – Take advantages of orchestration and automation to be more proactive instead of relying on reactive monitoring solutions.
  3. Gain performance Insights to improve your PostgreSQL operations, optimize the solution and improve business outcomes.
  4. Save on operational costs and capacity planning.
  5. Improve the customer’s experience and satisfaction. Most users will look elsewhere if a solution is slow or glitchy.


To wrap up, I wanted to close out with quick look at what is different between observability solutions in comparison with traditional monitoring offerings.


  1. The 3 Pillars of Observability
    1. Performance Metrics – Measuring precise system performance values in real time
    2. Log Analysis – Centralize log collection and apply Insight analysis to events and operations
    3. Distributed Tracing – Get detailed data about each touchpoint or interaction at each step of a transaction’s journey to completion.
  2. What is the difference between the two?
    1. Monitoring is the process of data collection and analyzation of that captured data. A monitoring solution can help track errors, identify problems, and send alerts or notifications. Monitoring solutions help the administration team understand the current status or state of the infrastructure or application.
    2. Observability (or full observability) goes beyond monitoring by adding actionable insights to help remediation and problem resolution. Observability is more into the why (Root Cause Analysis) and not the what of a monitored issue or event.
    3. Why is observability important? In a diverse ecosystem that includes on premises infrastructure, hybrid applications and database deployment scenarios as well as cloud resident solutions, it is essential to have deep visibility for the full IT stack, irrespective of where the nodes and data reside. Taking advantage of the insights and advisory services can ease the burden of remediation and optimization.
  3. Monitoring solutions do provide a limited version of observability, but for the most part do not provide the advanced Insights and Advisory capability of a more developed solution like the observability platforms in the SolarWinds suite.


So, if you want to improve the performance and reliability of your PostgreSQL databases, it is important to understand the tools and products that can make the job easier and less time consuming. Take a good look at what SolarWinds has to offer in the Database Performance Analyzer and observability tools to tune your tables and queries for a more productive and reliable database and application infrastructure.


If you want or need more information, you can get a hold of our Academy team in the Thwack forums here.

  • You've provided an insightful exploration of how SolarWinds products facilitate PostgreSQL optimization, drawing on your extensive IT experience. To enrich your article further, consider including specific case studies or user testimonials to demonstrate real-world benefits. Additionally, breaking down complex concepts into more digestible chunks could enhance readability for readers less familiar with database optimization. Keep up the great work!