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Chapter 28. Monitoring Database Activity

Table of Contents

28.1. Standard Unix Tools
28.2. The Statistics Collector
28.2.1. Statistics Collection Configuration
28.2.2. Viewing Statistics
28.2.3. Statistics Functions
28.3. Viewing Locks
28.4. Progress Reporting
28.4.1. VACUUM Progress Reporting
28.5. Dynamic Tracing
28.5.1. Compiling for Dynamic Tracing
28.5.2. Built-in Probes
28.5.3. Using Probes
28.5.4. Defining New Probes

A database administrator frequently wonders, What is the system doing right now? This chapter discusses how to find that out.

Several tools are available for monitoring database activity and analyzing performance. Most of this chapter is devoted to describing PostgreSQL's statistics collector, but one should not neglect regular Unix monitoring programs such as ps, top, iostat, and vmstat. Also, once one has identified a poorly-performing query, further investigation might be needed using PostgreSQL's EXPLAIN command. Section 14.1 discusses EXPLAIN and other methods for understanding the behavior of an individual query.