Tracking PostgreSQL Execution Statistics on Amazon RDSJuly 21, 2017
I’ve recently been working with PostgreSQL on Amazon RDS
and found out about the
pg_stat_statements module, which
allows tracking execution statistics of all SQL statements executed by the
server. It can be very helpful when monitoring your application and discovering
about slow running queries. It is also very easy to set up.
Enabling it on Amazon RDS
Setting it up on Amazon RDS is easy, but does require rebooting your
database. First, go to your AWS Console and create a new parameter
group or modify one of the existing ones. You should find the Parameter Groups
option on the sidebar to your left (at least in the current version of the
interface). First, you should include
pg_stat_statements as a shared library
to preload into the server. In order to do so, include the
string in the
shared_preload_libraries parameter. The value of the parameter
should be a comma-separated list of libraries to preload. Chances are that the
value is currently empty, so you’d only need to set it to
Afterwards, you should set the
pg_stat_statements.track parameter to
enabling tracking of all queries, even those inside stored procedures. If you
use and want to keep track of large-sized queries, you should also increase the
track_activity_query_size parameter value. Its value specifies the number of
bytes reserved to track the currently executing command for each active session.
The default value is
1024 but you might want to increase it.
Once you have a parameter group with the relevant parameters defined, you must
modify your database to use the new parameter group (if you edited one the
database was already using then that’s not necessary) and reboot your database.
Rebooting is necessary because libraries set in the
parameter will only be loaded at server start. Once rebooted, connect to your
database as an RDS superuser and run the following commands to enable the
extension and make sure it was set up properly:
If it returns one row of query statistics information then it’s set up properly. If not, you might not have restarted your database or have a misconfigured instance.
The main thing the module provides is the
pg_stat_statements view. The view
allows you to query statistics about the execution of SQL statements in the
server. The official documentation provides a complete
description of all columns the view provides, but the ones I find most useful are:
||Text of a representative statement.|
||Number of times executed.|
||Total time spent in the statement, in milliseconds.|
||Minimum time spent in the statement, in milliseconds.|
||Maximum time spent in the statement, in milliseconds.|
||Mean time spent in the statement, in milliseconds.|
||Total number of rows retrieved or affected by the statement.|
According to the documentation, two plannable queries (
DELETE) will be considered the same if they are semantically
equivalent except for the values of literal constants appearing in the query.
This means that identical queries will be combined into a single entry in the
I like to keep track of queries in which the server is spending most of the time, so I usually run:
Ocasionally, it might be necessary to reset the view. I tend to reset it before
running a stress test or otherwise to clean old data. In order to do so, the
module provides the
pg_stat_statements_reset() function. To discard all
statistics gathered so far, simply run:
If you want to know more about the module, the official documentation is a good place to start. You should also find instructions there on how to set it up in your own managed instance.