Harmful advice on autovacuum you shouldn't ever follow

Vadim Yatsenko

Odin Ingram Micro

VLDB Architect


PostgreSQL has a number of peculiarities that you need to take into account not only while maintaining your database but also when designing your database schema. Experienced PostgreSQL are well aware of vacuuming process. On the web one can find tons of materials covering its internals, configurations and monitoring. Many valuable talks about vacuum were given at numerous conferences. However, we still face the common wraparound problem when the maximum possible number of transactions (xid) is reached. It happens even on databases that are relatively small in size. In my presentation, I will share a customer case that looks interesting to me. A chain of mistakes made at different stages of the database's life cycle once caused a disaster. The database fully stopped for one week, we detected a wraparound and spotted corrupted blocks. Maintenance was problematical, and we spent sleepless nights in search of a solution. We managed to achieve a local win as we finally restored the database, but it's not the end of this story, which makes it even more interesting.

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