VMware

VMware vFabric Postgres Database 9.1 Release Notes

This document contains the following information:

About the vFabric Postgres Databases

VMware vFabric Postgres (also known as vPostgres) databases are ACID-compliant, ANSI-SQL-compliant transactional, relational databases designed for the virtual environment and optimized for vSphere 5.x. They are based on the Postgres open-source relational database and are compatible with Postgres SQL (psql) and the PostgreSQL tools and client drivers.

Licenses for the VMware vFabric Postgres (vPostgres) databases are available as stand-alone (also referred to as Standard Edition) or as part of the vFabric Data Director Suite. Note that the Standard Edition can not be managed by the vFabric Data Director User Interface.

Requirements

These release notes apply to the 9.1 Release of vFabric Postgres Standard Edition 9.1 Database. If you are interested in using the vFabric Postgres database that is included with the vFabric Data Director Suite, please refer to the vFabric Data Director Suite release notes and related documentation.

To use the vFabric Postgres Standard Edition Database, install:

  • VMware vFabric Postgres Standard Edition 9.1 | 22 May 2012 | Build 683886

The vFabric Postgres Standard Edition Database is available in two different form factors - as a VMware appliance (.ova archive), or as a series of .rpm files.

What’s New in This Release?

For both of the VMware vFabric Postgres databases (stand-alone or bundled with vFabric Suite), we have added the following features that the Postgres open-source relational database does not support:

  • Elastic Database Memory - Elastic database memory enables vPostgres to run with graceful performance degradation under heavy over-commitment of memory. vPostgres participates in memory resource management with the vSphere guest operating system and vSphere Hypervisor to achieve elastic database memory. vPostgres monitors requests for memory from vSphere Hypervisor as well as swap activity within the vSphere guest operating system. When the hypervisor or the guest operating system need more memory, the vPostgres buffer manager shrinks the database buffer pool to make memory available. When more memory becomes available, the buffer manager increases the amount of memory dedicated to the buffer pool.
    Elastic database memory is enabled by default.
  • Automatic Checksums - vPostgres performs checksums on each write operation to tables or indexes. Performing checksums on each write ensures that when vPostgres retrieves data, that data is clean. Checksums are enabled by default.
  • Inline psql Editing - The vPostgres 9.1 database supports inline psql editing in both the stand-alone and vFabric Data Director Suite versions.
  • Checkpoint Tuning - vPostgres allows you to configure the required crash-recovery Service Level Agreement (SLA), and tunes the checkpoint parameters dynamically as it monitors performance. When you configure checkpoint intervals, you can choose between lower crash recovery time (by using frequent checkpoints) and higher performance (by using less frequent checkpoints). Solving the trade-off problem in the virtualized world is complex because resources allocated to the database virtual machine vary dynamically. Checkpoint tuning is enabled by default.
  • Easier Tuning When Deployed As Appliance - vPostgres databases that are deployed as an applicance have higher default values than standard Postgres databases for many critical settings, including shared_buffers, checkpoint_segments, and wal_buffers. The higher default values improve out-of-the-box vPostgres performance with a slight increase in disk space and memory requirements. The result is that users of embedded vPostgres databases can more easily tune the database for their workload.

Differences Between vPostgres Standard Edition and vPostgres in the vFabric Suite

vFabric Postgres databases that are part of the vFabric Data Director Suite and are deployed using the vFabric Data Director interface, include the following additional features and restrictions. (Note that you cannot deploy a vFabric Postgres Standard Edition (stand-alone) database using the vFabric Data Director interface.)

Features

  • Simplified Configuration - To configure Data Director deployed vPostgres databases, users select a database configuration template, and then customize settings such as name, storage allocation, database owner account, and backup template. Data Director updates the postgresql.conf file's tunable parameters.

Restrictions

  • No Superuser Admin Privileges - Each Data Director database user has only database administrator rights. This means tools that require superuser privileges, such as COPY FROM, COPY TO, and tools that operate on the system catalog, do not work.
  • No pg_dumpall - The pg_dumpall tool requires superuser privileges, and does not work with Data Director deployed vPostgres databases.
  • No CREATE or DROP Database Privileges - Data Director users have privileges only within the database. You cannot use database client tools to create or drop databases. Use the Data Director UI to create and drop databases.
  • Object Naming - Database names must use alphanumeric characters, underline ('_') or hyphen ('-'). For object names, only the standard Postgres requirements apply.

Installation Overview

The installation process for the vFabric Postgres Standard Edition database includes the following steps.

  1. Install one of the VMware Virtualization Platforms such as vSphere 5.x, Workstation 8.x, Fusion 4.x, or Player 4.x.
  2. Open the VMware application and choose the aurora_dbvm-9.1.3.0-683886.ovf file when asked by the 'File ->Open' or 'File-Deploy OVF' command (depending on your virtualization platform).
  3. If you want to build the vPostgres database on an existing virtual machine, make sure the virtual machine is running one of the supported operating systems and then download and install the client, server, and init .rpm files that are included in this release (client package first, then server package, init, and EULA), instead of using the appliance file.
  4. Install the software for one of the supported clients.
  5. Install the Client Tools.
  6. Log into the new database using your new database client.

See the VMware vFabric Postgres Standard Edition User's Guide for more detailed installation instructions.

Resolved Issues

This release of the vFabric Data Director API resolves the following issues:

  • No new issues were resolved in release 9.1.

Known Issues and Workarounds

The following issues or inconsistencies were found during the testing of this release.

  • Need Additional Files When Installing 32-bit Client with 64-bit RHEL Server

    If you are get an error message while installing the 'VMware-vPostgres-32bit-client-9.1.3.0-663670.i686.rpm', you may need to install the following Red Hat packages.

    • glibc-*.i686.rpm
    • glibc-common-*.x86_64.rpm
    • nss-softokn-freebl-*.i686.rpm

    To install the packages, run the command listed below from an RHEL prompt.

    rpm -Uvh glibc-*.i686.rpm glibc-common-*.x86_64.rpm  nss-softokn-freebl-*.i686.rpm
    

    Adding these packages will install two new files in your glibc directory and two new files in your nss-softokn-freebl directory.

  • ODBC File DSN Information Not Saved

    If you are creating a vFabric Postgres database using the vFabric Data Director interface, you may get an error when trying to save the ODBC connection information. This is because the 'File DSN' window cannot read braces in the server name, so you need to escape the braces with backslashes or put the server name in single quotes, as shown below.

    Incorrect - {eb8d27f3-23db-4a42-bbe3-853e2b13a95b}.ldap-db-beta-0330.fvtaurora.com

    Correct - \{eb8d27f3-23db-4a42-bbe3-853e2b13a95b\}.ldap-db-beta-0330.fvtaurora.com

    Correct - '{eb8d27f3-23db-4a42-bbe3-853e2b13a95b}.ldap-db-beta-0330.fvtaurora.com '

  • Must Use OVF Tool If Window Resolution is Less Than 1280 x 1024

    When you are installing the vPostgres appliance on a platform other than vSphere, and your monitor resolution is 1280 by 1024 or lower, such as 1440 x 900, or 800 x 480, your screen may become full-sized during the EULA deployment, and you may not be able to re-size it.

    In order to prevent this, install the aurora_dbvm-9.1.3.0-683886.ovf file using the VMware OVF Tool as follows:

    1. Download the OVF tool from http://communities.vmware.com/community/vmtn/server/vsphere/automationtools/ovf and install it on your computer or virtual machine.
    2. Use the OVF Tool to convert the aurora_dbvm-9.1.3.0-683886.ovf package to aurora.vmx:
      C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware OVF Tool>ovftool  \
      "C:\Users\your_username\Downloads\aurora_dbvm-9.1.3.0-655043_OVF10.ova" \
      "C:\Users\your_username\Desktop\vmx\aurora.vmx"
      
    3. Use one of the VMware products (like Workstation) to deploy the aurora.vmx file. Accept the EULA as part of the deployment process.