Monitoring capacity on PostgreSQL | SelectStar

Database Bracketology: Cloud vs. On-Premises

This blog post is the second in our Database Bracketology series. Check out our first, featuring an overview of the series, here.


The Issue

In today’s complex business environment, predictability can be difficult, if not impossible. I was talking to a customer who has a business that ebbs and flows, similar to what tax software companies experience. For a few months out of the year, there’s a huge load on their databases and infrastructure as they deal with a substantial increase in the amount of requests against the system.

Throughout the rest of the year, the system requires a smaller capacity to operate, but still has a high focus on the overall end-user experience. Because of the variance in demand, the team struggles with monitoring and ensuring they have enough capacity to meet demand even during the busiest times of the year.


The Requirements

In this use case, the team sought a comprehensive database solution that would enable them to:

Scale. Because of the fluctuation in their business, the organization doesn’t need to have a large number of databases operating throughout the entire year. Having the ability to scale up and down quickly became one of the top requirements for the team in their search for a database solution.

Deploy quickly. With business needs changing frequently, the ability to spin up a new database quickly became a requirement for the organization. In addition to having the ability to deploy a new database quickly, taking it offline should be just as easy of a process.

Access new functionality. Because the organization’s business changes at such a rapid rate, they need a database solution that can keep up with their dynamic needs — one that has cutting-edge technology to meet the demands of its end users.


The Solution

In this case, the organization found that a cloud database — specifically, PostgreSQL on Amazon RDS was the solution that provided the best fit for their needs. AWS allowed the organization the scalability and flexibility that it needed with a click of a button. This allowed them to quickly adapt to the fluctuating demands of the business during peak times during the year.

To further maximize the benefits of its cloud-based database solution, I also recommend that they use a cloud database and infrastructure monitoring solution to garner insight into how they are using their databases.

Monitoring capacity on PostgreSQL | SelectStar
Figure 1: 
Example of key capacity metrics to monitor with your PostgreSQL database on Amazon RDS


With a solution like SelectStar, the organization can garner both metric-based and deep-dive monitoring to dig deeper into performance data for their cloud database solution. As a result, the organization can base their scaling decisions on the data that matters.



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