Best PostgreSQL Tools for Query Monitoring

By on October 4, 2021

PostgreSQL is a widely used, highly advanced relational database system that serves as a query planner and optimizer. Postgres, as it’s often shortened to, uses an object-oriented approach, meaning the database information is represented as objects of classes. As an open-source tool, it’s built for compatibility and scalability alongside stability and security.

Like all other Structured Query Language (SQL) systems, PostgreSQL relies on queries to function. A query is one of the most common ways to retrieve information from a database. Using proper queries promotes fast, accurate data retrieval of relevant information when you need it. Along with giving you the right data at the right moments, monitoring your queries means you gain actionable insights to improve your database performance.

To improve your queries and your overall performance, you should enact query monitoring. However, monitoring each query can be time-consuming, resource-draining, and prone to human errors. To properly monitor your queries, turn to a PostgreSQL monitoring tool.

In my experience, using tools designed to help with monitoring and database optimization tasks, the organization you work for can improve database performance in the areas of:

  • PostgreSQL database planning and development
  • Detecting actual problems with slow queries, as well as monitoring and analyzing bottlenecks in the entire database environment.
  • Controlling the use of available infrastructure and analyzing the possibilities of optimizing and better utilizing existing hardware resources.

I’ll share my top five Postgres admin tools in this article, with SolarWinds® Database Performance Monitor (DPM) coming out on top. SolarWinds DPM is a PostgreSQL query tool designed to efficiently and accurately gather, analyze, and organize important queries. There’s a 14-day free trial of DPM available for download.

  • What Is PostgreSQL Query Monitoring?
  • Why Is It Important to Use a PostgreSQL Query Tool?
  • Recommended Postgres Tool for Query Monitoring
  • Final Thoughts on PostgreSQL Admin Tools for Query Monitoring
  • What Is PostgreSQL Query Monitoring?

    Before we dive into our recommended Postgres admin tools, it’s important to understand what PostgreSQL query monitoring is and how PostgreSQL works. This database system uses clusters to organize relevant information—a database cluster is a collection of databases managed by a single server. Postgres manages queries in database clusters through four different methods:

    • Planning and optimizing queries: Through this, Postgres enables you to determine the most efficient manner of executing each query.
    • Using MVCC: Multi-version concurrency control (MVCC) is a way Postgres helps ensure data remains accessible and consistent throughout database clusters.
    • Querying data from storage: PostgreSQL uses a portion of server memory to store recently accessed data. These pages are flushed periodically to make space for new, updated information.
    • Data replication: By continuously replicating data to one or more standbys, Postgres is designed to ensure availability and promote fast information retrieval through queries.

    Along with these four core techniques, PostgreSQL collects metrics on overall internal activity. This enables you to gain a sense of how effectively your database is performing. To accurately gather, understand, and analyze these critical metrics—and to distinguish the necessary data from the unnecessary data—you’ll need to perform PostgreSQL query monitoring.

    Why Is It Important to Use a PostgreSQL Query Tool?

    Using a Postgres tool is important to fully understand queries activity, what it means, and how it all makes sense in the context of your network. A PostgreSQL monitoring tool also enables you to turn this data into actionable insights, so you can improve your database operations and boost performance. To accurately decipher all the data collected through query activity, you’ll need a PostgreSQL query tool.

    PostgreSQL monitoring tools are designed to help you organize your query data according to various subjects and requirements, whether through out-of-the-box templates or customizable systems. These database structures enable you to quickly get the information you need when you need it. Postgres GUI tools also provide you with visualization features, such as charts, graphs, or lists, so you can clearly see and comprehend critical query data on intuitive interfaces. A PostgreSQL query tool can support alerts and reports, which notify you of unexplained anomalous behavior to help you detect problems before they become catastrophes.

    Your query tool should monitor these metrics:

    Query performance: Monitor query read and write volume, speed, and other throughput metrics to make sure your applications can access critical data from the database. Quick retrieval rates infer optimal health and availability.

    Buffer cache metrics: As Postgres grows in size, queries take longer to complete, and you’ll need more disk space to hold all the information. Monitoring these metrics can help you organize your present and future query indexing methods.

    Infrastructure usage: By monitoring system resources, including network bandwidth and server load, you can improve PostgreSQL’s ability to respond to queries and update data.

    Transaction statistics: Keeping track of commits, locks, and live sessions enables you to discover long-running queries and pinpoint the root sources of throughput issues.

    Replication: Check the speed and success of Postgres replication and checkpoint statistics to ensure high availability. It’s best to schedule replication checks to be performed often.

    The more critical metrics your Postgres tool is designed to collect, organize, and analyze, the more Postgres query monitoring you’ll be able to accomplish.

    When choosing a tool to work with PostgreSQL databases, it’s worth paying attention to the available licenses or subscriptions of the tool. Flexibility of the PostgreSQL database monitoring software in the area of available features, customizable dashboard views, and the possibility of teamwork are as important as the technical support of the software vendor and the license or subscription offer.

    Best PostgreSQL Tools

    1. SolarWinds Database Performance Monitor

    Database Performance Monitor
    © 2021 SolarWinds Worldwide, LLC. All rights reserved.

    SolarWinds Database Performance Monitor (DPM) is designed to automatically capture PostgreSQL queries, organize them, and determine if they have failed or succeeded. DPM is built to use rules that ensure adherence to query-writing best practices, so you can better improve your query performance—if a query fails a certain amount of rules, DPM will prompt you to detect the query for possible problems. Personally, I think using such features is a great ease for the database optimization team. It allows us to detect and correct basic errors in DB performance fast and move on to a deeper analysis and search for bottlenecks in the performance of PostgreSQL databases. I highly recommend software with these features.

    DPM is designed to send proactive alerts through the Best Practices page, which enables you to quickly identify areas for query optimization. You could also determine which queries are currently failing or succeeding on the DPM Best Practices page and check the status of past query checks. DPM is designed to capture all data in real time, and you can create in-depth, intuitive visualizations that leverage real-time visibility. Monitoring PostgreSQL is easier and faster if you can see graphs with the changing performance of the database. DPM’s capabilities help you measure performance changes over time.

    The DPM dashboard displays these real-time visualizations, which you can create out-of-the-box or customize to fit your enterprise needs. Another DPM page is the Metrics page, which is built to display and compare individual query metrics. Here, you could filter queries by name and host to better organize historical and current queries.

    DPM supports many other database monitoring tasks, including customizable reports and dashboards to help you visualize, understand, and share query performance. DPM is also designed to support 24/7 query monitoring locally, on-premises, or in a hybrid environment—this enables you to enact remote monitoring and get the information you need quickly, efficiently, and accurately. Download a 14-day free trial of DPM today and check all the features this tool offers and the license or subscription fees (you choose). I recommend it for small, medium, and large organizations working with PostgreSQL databases.

    2. ClusterControl

    ClusterControl
    © Copyright 2014-2021 Severalnines AB. All rights reserved.

    This query monitoring tool automates many database management tasks, including query monitoring. ClusterControl is designed to use statistical outlier analysis methods to identify expected query behavior, then compare current query performance to the historical data. This enables you to collect key metrics and gain in-depth visibility into your queries.

    ClusterControl is built with a topology viewer, which is designed to display database operations on a single pane. You could add and scale new nodes on these visualizations to stay up-to-date with your latest PostSQL operations. ClusterControl is also designed to run performance reports and set off alerts whenever anomalous behavior is detected—you can also automate actions triggered by specific alarms.

    ClusterControl features failover abilities, which are designed to automatically promote a new master node in the case of a failure. This enables PostgreSQL to continue running after detrimental issues. By doing so, ClusterControl could help you increase availability throughout your PostgreSQL database.

    Alongside failover capabilities, ClusterControl offers automatic recovery, scalability, backup management, and quick deployment. There’s a 30-day free trial of ClusterControl available for download and a limited ClusterControl Community Edition.

    3. Datadog

    © Datadog 2021 All rights reserved.

    Datadog is a PostgreSQL monitoring tool that enables you to track key query metrics, troubleshoot query issues, and improve reliability. Datadog is designed to collect query throughput, execution, connections, and buffer pool usage metrics, so you can gain critical visibility into database performance. Auto-pattern recognitions are built to quickly analyze slow query logs, enabling you to identify and solve these issues faster.

    Visualize critical real-time query data on Datadog dashboards via service maps. These visualizations enable you to clearly understand performance and spot anomalous behavior. Datadog is built to let you customize dashboards using drag and drop, which can help you navigate between various query monitoring metrics. However, it’s easy for these dashboards to get overcrowded if you’re not careful.

    Along with real-time service maps, Datadog is designed to leverage real-time alerts accounting for daily, weekly, and seasonal fluctuations. These alerts enable you to prevent failures, outages, and other errors—Watchdog, the Datadog artificial intelligence system, is designed to spot these unanticipated issues more efficiently.

    Datadog is a useful Postgres GUI tool with an intuitive and customizable interface. With its easy and fast deployment, you can get started right away. There’s a 14-day free trial available for download.

    4. ManageEngine Applications Manager

    ManageEngine Applications Manager
    © 2021 Zoho Corp. All rights reserved.

    ManageEngine Applications Manager is built to automatically discover, categorize, and consistently monitor query performance. By enabling users to analyze error traces, ManageEngine can help you pinpoint slow SQL statements and resolve performance issues before your database is greatly impacted. Gain real-time visibility into your queries to easily spot unexpected behavior, transaction bottlenecks, and other Postgres problems.

    ManageEngine is also built to track performance trends using machine learning capabilities. These enable you to predict utilization trends and prepare for the future. Using these trends as a reference, ManageEngine could alert you of potential query faults by using anomaly detection. ManageEngine alerts enable you to gain insights into root causes and troubleshoot issues without interrupting your daily operations. This also helps support remote monitoring.

    Alongside alerts, ManageEngine Applications Manager also supports customizable reports. ManageEngine reports are designed to help you further understand current query performance to predict future patterns—schedule these reports, then export them or publish them to external dashboards.

    By drilling down into your queries, statements, and other metrics, ManageEngine Applications Manager enables you to determine your database’s efficiency. You can download a 30-day free trial of ManageEngine Applications Manager today.

    5. PRTG Network Monitor

    PRTG Network Monitor
    ©2021 Paessler AG All rights reserved.

    With PRTG Network Monitor, you can discover critical monitoring metrics about your Postgres query performance. This includes the execution time of a query request, the number of rows addressed by the query, and any accessed data table information. Through collecting these important statistics, PRTG Network Monitor enables you to gain a full, vibrant view of your queries and their overall health.

    PRTG Network Monitor supports remote monitoring through alerts and notifications, which keep you up-to-date on performance. This enables you to focus on what’s important in the moment, and always address critical query issues as soon as they arise. PRTG notifications are built to arrive via email, SMS, or push notifications if you’re using Android or IOS devices.

    The alerts PRTG Network Monitor sends to you are determined by thresholds, which PRTG is designed to create by referencing historical data. You could view real-time, live data on PRTG Network Monitor and historical data over the past two, 30, or 365 days. Along with generating thresholds, viewing historical query data enables you to enact pattern detection over time and prepare for the future.

    PRTG Network Monitor is designed to monitor PostgreSQL using sensors. A single sensor usually monitors one measured value in your network, such as server load or free disk space. PRTG is a free tool for up to 100 sensors, but a full enterprise network will require far more than that. Download a 30-day free trial of their complete software.

    Final Thoughts on PostgreSQL Admin Tools for Query Monitoring

    PostgreSQL is a relational database system designed to plan, store, and organize queries. Well-made queries enable you to fetch data easily, accurately, and at a moment’s notice. To ensure your queries are up to par, monitor them with a PostgreSQL monitoring tool. A query tool could help you collect and analyze critical query data, which enables you to understand current PostgreSQL performance and improve queries for better data retrieval in the future.

    The best Postgres admin tools are built to collect query metrics in real-time, giving you the most updated views of your PostgreSQL database. Query tools should also support features such as alerts, reports, and intuitive visualizations on organized dashboards. SolarWinds DPM is designed to enact real-time remote query monitoring through automatic query capture, organization, and analysis. Download a 14-day free trial.

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