VMware

vFabric Postgres 9.3 Release Notes

vFabric Postgres 9.3.2 | 23 January 2014

Last Document Update: 23 January 2014

What's in the Release Notes

These release notes cover the following topics:

About VMware vFabric Postgres

VMware® vFabric™ Postgres is based on the open source PostgreSQL database system and is optimized for virtual environments. In addition to all standard PostgreSQL features, vFabric Postgres provides a virtual appliance with auto-tuning, easy-to-use replication scripts and a GUI administration tool.

vFabric Postgres is available as an RPM installation or as an OVA (virtual appliance). The virtual appliance provides the functionality available in the vFabric Postgres RPM installation, plus the following features:

  • 64 bit SLES 11 SP2 operating system

  • Watchdog process to enable vSphere HA. On ESXi, the watchdog reboots on the same physical host. The watchdog must be enabled from ESXi.

  • Automated RAM, CPU, and disk size configuration based on virtual machine configuration and automated postgresql.conf tuning.

  • Quick-start configuration wizard suitable for most environments.

  • Web-based GUI administration tool.

What’s New in vFabric Postgres 9.3.2

vFabric Postgres 9.3.2 is based on the PostgreSQL 9.3.2 core engine.

Note: The vFabric Postgres 9.3.2 database format is not compatible with vFabric Postgres 9.2. You can dump a vFabric Postgres 9.2 database and restore it from vFabric Postgres 9.3.2. See Using VMware vFabric Postgres. vFabric Postgres 9.2.4 remains available as a separate download.

All updates to the PostgreSQL 9.3.2 release are included in vFabric Postgres 9.3.2. See What's New In PostgreSQL_9.3 for a complete list.

In addition to the new PostgreSQL 9.3.2 features, vFabric Postgres 9.3.2 provides these enhancements.

  • Uses the unmodified PostgreSQL 9.3.2 core engine, which is standard to PostgreSQL.

  • New Open Source PostgreSQL JDBC Driver 9.3-1100.

  • The $PATH environment variable in the virtual appliance has been updated to include binaries as well as scripts. Additionally, the $MANPATH environment variable now includes the Postgres man pages for quick reference.

  • Scripts supplied with the virtual appliance have been moved from $PGINSTALL/share to $PGINSTALL/scripts. Among the scripts moved to this directory are those which integrate the replication features of the community version of PostgreSQL with vFabric Postgres.

  • The RPM package files are relocatable, meaning they can be installed into a different directory. The directory paths that you can relocate are /opt/vmware/vpostgres and /var/vmware/vpostgres. By default, RPM installs packages in these directories. You can override this during the RPM installation using the command rpm --prefix directory_name. For example, you can install the packages in rpm --prefix /usr/opt.

  • You can manage backups and recover databases using pg_rman. Back up your database to capture changes, preserve the database, and enable recovery, restoring data after a failure. You can also restore the database to its state at a particular point in time and replay changes to troubleshoot a problem.

    Pg_rman requires that archiving be enabled. When using the virtual appliance archiving is enabled by default. Additionally, the partition dedicated to archives has been extended for backups, and its storage size has been increased from 2GB to 10GB.

  • When using the virtual appliance, filesystem performance is improved using noatime. Filesystems store at least three type of date for each file. These date types include file creation, last modified, and last accessed. A file's last accessed time changes frequently, introducing filesystem overhead. Using noatime disables the exact last accessed time of files under a specific mount point, improving performance.

  • Memory hot add is enabled by default, letting you add memory to a running virtual machine with zero downtime.

  • The vFabric Postgres Microsoft Windows Installer (MSI) now lets you specify a value for PG_PORT during installation. PG_PORT specifies the TCP/IP port on which vFabric Postgres listens for connections from client applications. The installation defaults to the value of the PG_PORT environment variable, or, if PG_PORT is not set, it uses the value defined during compilation (normally port 5432). If you specify a port other than the default port, all client applications must specify the same port using either command-line options or PG_PORT.

What’s New in vFabric Postgres 9.3.1

vFabric Postgres 9.3.1 is the first release of vFabric Postgres based on the PostgreSQL 9.3.1 core engine.

Note: The vFabric Postgres 9.3.1 database format is not compatible with vFabric Postgres 9.2. You can dump a vFabric Postgres 9.2 database and restore it from vFabric Postgres 9.3.1. See Using VMware vFabric Postgres. vFabric Postgres 9.2.4 remains available as a separate download.

All updates to the PostgreSQL 9.3.1 release are included in vFabric Postgres 9.3.1. See What's New In PostgreSQL_9.3 for a complete list.

In addition to the new PostgreSQL 9.3.1 features, vFabric Postgres 9.3.1 provides these enhancements.

  • Uses the unmodified PostgreSQL 9.3.1 core engine, which is standard to PostgreSQL.

  • Supports PLV8 stored procedures.

  • Provides new and updated client drivers.
    • JDBC Drivers (Updated)
    • ODBC Drivers (Updated)
    • .NET driver (Npgsql)for Windows (New)

  • Provides new and updated tools.
    • Pgbouncer (New)
    • Pgpool II (New)
    • Pgtop (Updated)

    vFabric Postgres and PostgreSQL Documentation Resources

    Known Issues and Workarounds in vFabric Postgres

    Known Issues and Workarounds in vFabric Postgres 9.3.1 and 9.3.2

    The following issues were found during the testing of the vFabric Postgres 9.3.1 and 9.3.2 releases.

    • Enabling Secure Sockets Layer may lessen benchmark performance.
      If you enable Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) between the the vFabric Postgres server and and its clients, you may see performance degradation under certain conditions. When using the vFabric Postgres virtual appliance, SSL is enabled by default.

      Workaround: You can improve benchmark performance by disabling SSL between the server and its clients. To do this, set the PGSSLMODE=disable as environment variable and export it before using psql or libpq client, which will force a non-SSL connection between that client and the server.

    • Non-configurable session and connection timeouts fail to prevent Denial of Service attacks
      vFabric Postgres does not provide support for idle-session and connection timeouts. These timeouts can help prevent Denial of Service (DoS) attacks.

      Workaround: Use PgBouncer, a lightweight connection pooler, to disconnect client connections, queries, and transactions that have been in an idle state for a period of time that you define. See the PgBouncer documentation for more information.

    • Non-ASCII characters are not recognized when using Linux operating systems.

      Workaround: Install Readline-5.2-13 on Redhat 6 and SUSE 11 Linux.

      • To install Readline on Redhat 6, run the following command:

      • LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib64/libreadline.so ./psql -h 172.16.25.17 -d postgres -U postgres

      • To install Readline on SUSE 11, run the following command:

      • LD_PRELOAD=/lib64/libreadline.so.5 ./psql -h 172.16.25.17 -d postgres -U postgres

    • vFabric Postgres requires Virtual Hardware version 9.
      vFabric Postgres 9.3.1 requires the use of vSphere 5.1 in conjunction with Virtual Hardware version 9 (vmx-09). With the latest hardware version, virtual machines can have up to 64 vCPU and 1TB of RAM.

    • vCloud Hybrid Services Customer portal fails to create working virtual machine templates.
      You cannot use vCloud Hybrid Services Customer portal to create new virtual machine templates based on vFabric Postgres.

      Workaround: Use vCloud Director instead of the vCloud Hybrid Services Customer portal user interface to create new virtual machine templates based on vFabric Postgres.

    Known Issues and Workarounds in vFabric Postgres 9.3.1

    The following issues were found during the testing of vFabric Postgres 9.3.1.

    • Microsoft Windows Installer reports an installation error.
      When customizing a vFabric Postgres installation on Windows using the MSI command line properties, passing DB_OWNER=postgres results in a generic error stating that there is a problem with the installation, instead of either accepting the DB_OWNER argument, or ignoring the postgres user creation (the postgres user already exists by default).

      Workaround: Specify a database owner name other than postgres.

    • Microsoft Windows Installer works only with English-language operating systems.
      The Microsoft Windows Installer (MSI) works only with English-language operating system environments. Installing in environments whose languages use non-ASCII characters is not supported.