PDXPUG April Meeting recap

What a great meeting last night! Made me feel a bit better about missing PgConf.US:)

We had a good turnout, too; several first-timers showed up, some hauling themselves all the way in from Nike & Intel.

Thanks to Eric Ferreira, AWS Database Engineer, and Tony Gibbs, AWS Solutions Architect, for coming all the way down from Seattle to give this excellent talk. Eric is the originator of Redshift (it’s based on Pg 8.0.4), and he shared with us some of the features & why he made some of the decision he did.

Special thanks goes to Veronika Megler, RDS Professional Services team, for proposing the topic and arranging for Eric & Tony to come on down to PDX.

We’re already working on a return visit for late summer, so if you missed this meeting, you will get another chance.

PDXPUG: April meeting in two weeks

When: 6-8pm Thursday April 21, 2016
Where: Iovation
Who: Eric Ferreira, Database Engineer, Amazon Web Services
What: How to hide a petabyte-scale Data warehouse inside a small OLTP database

You may have heard that Amazon Redshift is a fast, fully managed, petabyte-scale data warehouse. You’ve heard that it’s a shared-nothing cluster architecture, that it scales to hundreds of nodes and terabytes, and that it’s “based on Postgres”. How is that combination possible, and how much of Postgres survived that transformation? Eric Ferreira, who was the first engineer to work on Redshift, will discuss the design, tradeoffs and modifications made to make Redshift the scalable system it is today. Bring your questions!

We will also talk about ways to mix and match Postgres (OLTP) tables and Redshift (DW) tables on a single connection using pgboucer-rr and Postgres external data sources.

Eric started in the database world 26 years ago in Brazil and has implemented most flavors of RDBMS thought his career. He joined Amazon on 2003 and while on AWS/RDS worked on bringing various databases engines into the service. 5 years ago he ventured to start the project that would become Redshift.


If you have a job posting or event you would like me to announce at the meeting, please send it along. The deadline for inclusion is 5pm the day before the meeting.

Our meeting will be held at Iovation, on the 32nd floor of the US Bancorp Tower at 111 SW 5th (5th & Oak). It’s right on the Green & Yellow Max lines. Underground bike parking is available in the parking garage; outdoors all around the block in the usual spots. No bikes in the office, sorry!

Elevators open at 5:45 and building security closes access to the floor at 6:30.

When you arrive at the Iovation office, please sign in on the iPad at the reception desk.

See you there!

(You can RSVP on our meetup group, if you like.)

PDXPUG: March meeting in two weeks

When: 6-8pm Thursday Mar 17, 2016
Where: Iovation
Who: Josh Berkus
What: Big Data on Pg 9.5

PostgreSQL 9.5, released in January, is full of tasty goodness for big data folks: UPSERT, new aggregation types, OLAP support, new Foreign Data Wrapper functionality, BRIN indexes, and more. Josh Berkus will give us a rundown of these features, with multiple demos.

Josh Berkus is a member of the PostgreSQL Core Team, and works at Red Hat where he manages the Project Atomic community. Containers, containers, containers! Which is appropriate, since he’s also a potter.


If you have a job posting or event you would like me to announce at the meeting, please send it along. The deadline for inclusion is 5pm the day before the meeting.

Our meeting will be held at Iovation, on the 32nd floor of the US Bancorp Tower at 111 SW 5th (5th & Oak). It’s right on the Green & Yellow Max lines. Underground bike parking is available in the parking garage; outdoors all around the block in the usual spots. No bikes in the office, sorry!

Elevators open at 5:45 and building security closes access to the floor at 6:30.

When you arrive at the Iovation office, please sign in on the iPad at the reception desk.

See you there!

PDXPUG: February meeting in two weeks

When: 6-8pm Thursday Feb 18, 2016
Where: Iovation
Who: Jason Owen
What: Incremental Schema Discovery via JSON Wrangling

Over the last few releases, Postgres has added and expanded support for storing and querying JSON documents. While the simplicity and flexibility of storing free-form data can be appealing, frequently what’s stored is actually fairly structured. Using data from the GitHub Archive, Jason will show how easy it is to load JSON into Postgres, demonstrate some fairly mechanical schema refactorings to extract structure from JSON data, and then compare the resulting normalized tables with the original, with the documentation, and with the data set loaded into Google BigQuery.

Jason has been using Postgres in earnest for two years now. While he’s worn the DBA hat as a full stack engineer from time to time, he is primarily a developer. He works at Tripwire and is an alumnus of Portland State University. Sometimes he says things online as @jasonaowen.


If you have a job posting or event you would like me to announce at the meeting, please send it along. The deadline for inclusion is 5pm the day before the meeting.

Our meeting will be held at Iovation, on the 32nd floor of the US Bancorp Tower at 111 SW 5th (5th & Oak). It’s right on the Green & Yellow Max lines. Underground bike parking is available in the parking garage; outdoors all around the block in the usual spots. No bikes in the office, sorry!

Elevators open at 5:45 and building security closes access to the floor at 6:30.

When you arrive at the Iovation office, please sign in on the iPad at the reception desk.

See you there!

PDXPUG: January meeting

NOTE: This month’s meeting is one week earlier than our usual schedule, so we don’t conflict with SCALE.

When: 6-8pm Thursday January 14, 2016
Where: Iovation
Who: Gabrielle Roth
What: RDS Postgres

Amazon integrated Postgres into their general Relational Database Services (RDS) offerings July 1, 2014. RDS offers automatic failover, scalability, and easy configuration, plus Amazon handles all the patching and most of the upgrades for you! Their SDK supports many languages and includes a robust CLI, if you want to automate management of your deployments. They also support several popular Postgres extensions.

Of course, since it’s a managed service, you can’t do everything you might expect or want to. We’ll discuss the fun and quirky features I’ve discovered in a year and a half of working with production RDS deployments. Come find out what it’s like to use RDS Postgres day-to-day.

(This is an updated version of my talk from last year. )

Gabrielle has been using Postgres since sometime in the version 7s and thinks that the best part of using Open Source software is the culture of sharing knowledge. She co-leads PDXPUG, the Portland PostgreSQL Users’ Group. Gabrielle’s current areas of interest are monitoring, benchmarking, and writing freaky SQL.


If you have a job posting or event you would like me to announce at the meeting, please send it along. The deadline for inclusion is 5pm the day before the meeting.

Our meeting will be held at Iovation, on the 32nd floor of the US Bancorp Tower at 111 SW 5th (5th & Oak). It’s right on the Green & Yellow Max lines. Underground bike parking is available in the parking garage; outdoors all around the block in the usual spots. No bikes in the office, sorry!

Elevators open at 5:45 and building security closes access to the floor at 6:30.

When you arrive at the Iovation office, please sign in on the iPad at the reception desk.

See you there!

PDXPUG: November meeting in two weeks

PDXPUG:  November meeting

When: 6-8pm Thursday Nov 19, 2015
Where: Iovation
Who: Andrew Kreps
What: Postgres, JSON, ChatOps, oh my!

Andrew will show us real-world example of how to use JSON fields in Postgres to create chat-room based bots.  (I expect this will be just as entertaining as his last presentation.)

Andrew’s a Portland-based software engineer who digests APIs for breakfast. After stumbling through the worlds of Oracle and Mysql for many years, he’s found PostgreSQL to do things they way they should have always been done.

If you have a job posting or event you would like me to announce at the meeting, please send it along.  The deadline for inclusion is 5pm the day before the meeting.

Our meeting will be held at Iovation, on the 32nd floor of the US Bancorp Tower at 111 SW 5th (5th & Oak).  It’s right on the Green & Yellow Max lines.  Underground bike parking is available in the parking garage;  outdoors all around the block in the usual spots.  No bikes in the office, sorry!

Elevators open at 5:45 and building security closes access to the floor at 6:30.

Iovation has a new policy for visitor sign-in. Please do so on the iPad at the reception desk when you arrive.

See you there!

PDXPUG October meeting in two weeks

When: 6-8pm Thursday October 15, 2015
Where: Iovation
Who: Gavin McQuillan
What: Sharded Postgres with PLProxy

Data of Future Past: Postgres as Distributed Online Processing Analytics Engine

Postgres has long been a great analysis tool, but as organizations seek to decentralize their data, it’s overlooked for other solutions. Maybe this doesn’t need to be the case. Using a novel combination of tools, old and new, Postgres can also decentralize its data. We can maintain the immensely powerful interface that we love, while meeting (or exceeding) throughput decentralized datastores provide. In this talk we see how this is possible using Foreign Data Wrappers (PLProxy) and HyperLogLog (Postgres-HLL) extensions, detailing benefits and constraints to this method. We explore a reimplementation of a complex Online Processing Analytics hypercube in Hbase with Postgres and measure its effectiveness, throughput, latency, and cost savings.

Gavin is a longtime PostgreSQL enthusiast, specializing in building automation and analytics solutions, distributed systems, scaling and securing web applications. His experience includes Google SRE, software development and leading teams in young technology startups. He lives in Portland with his family, bicycles, and hand planes.


If you have a job posting or event you would like me to announce at the meeting, please send it along. The deadline for inclusion is 5pm the day before the meeting.

Our meeting will be held at Iovation, on the 32nd floor of the US Bancorp Tower at 111 SW 5th (5th & Oak). It’s right on the Green & Yellow Max lines. Underground bike parking is available in the parking garage; outdoors all around the block in the usual spots. No bikes in the office, sorry!

Elevators open at 5:45 and building security closes access to the floor at 6:30.

See you there!