Joshua D. Drake Blog Posts

Announcing PostgresConf Silicon Valley 2019, September 18th - 20th at the Hilton San Jose! An absolute perfect pairing of training, breakout sessions, and a fantastic weekend break to enjoy the valley for every speaker, attendee, volunteer, and organizer. 

Didn't you just host the community at PostgresConf Silicon Valley, you ask? Why yes we did! That event was October 15th and 16th of 2018. The event was such an unexpected success that we immediately started working with the hotel to lock in our dates for 2019. We requested mid-October to early November. Unfortunately, the only week they had available was the week of September 15th, 2019. We are again working with the Silicon Valley Postgres Meetup; the fastest growing Postgres meetup in the United States. 

As we continue to be the fastest growing, non-profit, inclusive, and volunteer organized event we are providing you the breakdown of the Silicon Valley 2018 financials:


PostgresConf Silicon Valley is much more cost effective than the "big" conference in Manhattan and that is exactly what we want as a development or "local" conference. We are targeting 50% growth for 2019 and we want do so in a way that is inviting to new community members that won't overwhelm them. We succeeded with that in 2018 and we are going to continue the mission of People, Postgres, Data!

The global non-profit Postgres Conference Series


Joshua D. Drake     November 14, 2018

The PostgresConf team wanted to provide some information on the performance of PostgresConf US 2018 and events over the past year, as well as potentially answer some pending questions. Ultimately our goals are about people, which is why our motto is, "People, Postgres, Data." With each event we hold, each talk we accept, and how we train our volunteers, we make sure people (the benefit for and to), postgres, and data are considered and included. If there is no benefit or consideration to the growth of people, it is not an option.


With that in mind, please read on to see how our focus on people, Postgres, and data had an impact on the community over the last year.

Since PostgresConf US 2017 we have had events in:
  • Philadelphia 
  • Ohio (in combination with Ohio Linux Fest) 
  • South Africa 
  • Seattle 
  • Austin 
  • Jersey City (PostgresConf US 2018) 
  • Nepal 
All of these events are non-profit and volunteer organized.





PostgresConf US 2018


Logistics


  • Days: 5, 2 for training, 3 for Breakout sessions and summits
  • Official Attendance #: 601
  • Content: Over 207 sessions submitted
  • Sessions: Over 108 sessions provided 


Partner Support (Sponsors): 28


We had a record level of support from partners this year and due to this support we are going to be forced to find a new venue for next year. Our Jersey city location no longer has the capacity to hold us. This will increase costs but initial indications are that our partners understand this and are willing to support us financially to help continue the success of our efforts and keep costs reasonable for attendees.


Diversity


This year we were able to work with Women Who Code NYC. They provided many volunteers and we provided them with the ability to experience some of the best Postgres based content available, at no charge. We expect great things from this budding relationship in the future.


Professional Growth


We held a Career and Talent Fair. A dozen companies were present to connect with potential employees.

We also held a surprisingly well attended speed mentoring session for potential employees (Especially helpful for many of the WWC) on resumes and interview practices.

Leadership


This year saw the continued elevation of our primary leadership: Viral Shah, Lloyd Albin, Amanda Nystrom, and Debra Cerda. They continued to increase their presence and responsibility within the conference and dedicated hundreds of hours voluntarily to the growth of people. Our international members have also increased their leadership roles with our on-the-ground teams in South Africa and China.


Summits



We had our standard Regulated Industry Summit but also a Greenplum Summit. As I am sure you are aware Greenplum is an Open Source, Postgres based MPP database. They were by far the most popular booth in the entire conference and their summit was very well attended. The relationship with Pivotal and the success of the Greenplum Summit allowed us to learn new ways to bring together the entire Postgres Ecosystem. We expect to run a minimum of 3 more summits at PostgresConf US 2019.



Contribution


We were able to have several excellent (and long) meetings with leaders of Pivotal, Microsoft, Google, and Amazon on how they can begin contributing more back to Postgresql.org. All of them expressed a deep drive to contribute and a desire to learn more about the core community. Of particular note is Google, who would like to contribute the following back to the community:

https://github.com/google/pg_page_verification

We discussed with them the process and various changes they would need to make (license and code style, etc.). We also educated them on the PostgreSQL.Org rigorous review process.

Microsoft is reviewing how they can contribute but they showed an interest in build farm nodes, professional technical writers to help with docs, and potentially code contribution to our Windows port.

International Collaboration

The Chinese Open Source Promotion Union launched the Chinese Postgres Association. We invited them to PostgresConf US and introduced them to the United States Community. We expect great things from the Chinese community in the future.

Future


As we continue to build up our on-the-ground teams, we will likely hold less events in the U.S. this year. We will instead be focused on a smaller number of events in the U.S. and adding events in China and Europe. We have had an amazing amount of support from the Chinese community and the current goal is 1000 attendees for that conference.

Our current plan of events for the U.S. are


  • San Jose (October 2018) 
  • Philadelphia 
  • PostgresConf US (Manhattan) 

Future International Events


  • October 2018. 
  • Spring of 2019. 
  • Spring of 2019. 

This may change as we are actively recruiting on-the-ground teams to help us grow the community.

Collaboration


Our goal is collaboration and growth with other PostgreSQL community and Ecosystem efforts. We want to allow each potential community member to find a home. A place that they feel positive about contributing to the community as a whole. As we continue to grow as a community, it is vital to recognize that each member has their own needs, desires, and return on investment requirement (professional or personal) that they are seeking.

Tidbits of note



On DBEngines PostgreSQL is the 4th most popular database but the significance is that of the other 3, we are the only ones that are growing in popularity. 
Joshua D. Drake     May 07, 2018

 
Image result for postgresql
No year has been better for PostgreSQL or the Postgres Ecosystem than 2017. The continued adoption and growth of open source communities over the last 40 years shows a mature and strong ecosystem. It is true what they say, "Middle age is the best time of your life." Here are just a few of the great results of 2017:
  • Amazing work from PostgreSQL.Org with the release of v10 which brought much sought after technologies such as native table partitioning, integrated logical replication, and mature support for federated tables.
  • Pivotal announced multi-cloud support for their Open Source, BigData, MPP Postgres variant Greenplum.
  • Increased support and features from Cloud Industry heavy weights AWSCompose.IO, and Microsoft. Microsoft released Azure Database for PostgreSQL, Compose increased their high availability options, and AWS announced the availability of Amazon Aurora with PostgreSQL compatibility.
  • Enterprise Consulting and Support continued to grow with support from PostgreSQL.Org Major Sponsors 2ndQuadrant and OpenSCG.
2017 was also the year we saw the launch of the International Postgres Conference, PostgresConf. The PostgresConf project is a globally aware, ecosystem centric conference focused on People, Postgres, Data. The project organized more events this year than any other Postgres Advocacy and Education project. In the United States there was PGConf US (now PostgresConf US), Austin Mini, Philadelphia, (2) NYC Minis, Seattle, and finally a full Austin event. The project also hosted PostgresConf South Africa and has several International events planned in 2018.
 
The PostgresConf International efforts wouldn't be possible without the fundamental support of the community and our ecosystem partners:
 
 
 

We have nothing but confidence in the continued growth of PostgreSQL and the Postgres related ecosystem through 2018. Thank you to the PostgreSQL.Org community, our ecosystem partners, and the global Postgres Ecosystem community; without you our efforts would not continue to succeed as a volunteer organized, non-profit Postgres conference. We are looking forward to a fantastic 2018, centered on People, Postgres, Data.


 
 
Joshua D. Drake     January 08, 2018

Join the fantastic and growing Postgres community in Cape Town, South Africa for a single day event on October 3rd, 2017! The event is being hosted by fellow Postgres advocates who travel from South Africa each year to attend our National Event in order to increase their knowledge of Postgres and be a part of the community. This year they are joining us and making a commitment to build out our International community and conferences!

This single day event takes place at the same venue as PyCon South Africa and is scheduled the day before PyCon to ensure the greatest possible value in attending.

Image result for PGConf US

Local events are designed to bring comprehensive educational content and networking opportunities to the "local" Postgres community where the event is being held. They are perfect opportunities to show support for Postgres, find leads, and build relationships with other professionals and companies using and supporting Postgres.

Joshua D. Drake     August 15, 2017

Why did you attend PgConf US?

We have been looking for high quality, experienced, professional support for our application’s database for some time. We have found it difficult to find help online… seemingly every phone number we called was just an answering service. When we heard that the companies offering the level of service we were looking for were all available in the same place, we couldn’t resist.

Tell us a little bit (one or two paragraphs) about your project:

Our project (VX and VO collectively named Victor) is a SaaS solution for 911 emergency response systems. Victor provides analytics and quality assurance tools and services, enabling agencies to assess performance, measure resource & deployment activity, model demand, optimize workload, and even generate financial estimates. For more information see our website.

Why did you chose PostgreSQL for your project?

Victor requires both time and spacial awareness, along with all the other things that are expected from an RDBMS. PostgreSQL is stable, secure, mature, well documented, open source, actively developed, community supported, and generally bad ass. The choice was easy.

As I understand it, attending PgConf US was a last minute decision. Do you think it was worth it? If so, why?

Absolutely! Our objective was to meet with vendors who were able to provide high quality support and we were successful. Additionally, we met a ton of super geniuses (Paragon, TimescaleDB, I’m talking about you) and learned more then expected. For example, we had no idea we could put raster images in PostgreSQL and process them with PostGIS… amazing!

Would you attend PgConf US again?

Yes… see above. Unrelated, but unbelievably cool, we met a guy named Solar… a PhD (from MIT!) passionate about carbon nanotubes.

Are you interested in contributing to the community and if so, in what fashion?

Yes! …and here is our biggest piece of feedback.

It would be great if there was a clear point of entry for people like us… we have been using PostgreSQL for several years, have been through several upgrade cycles (we started on 9.0) and have no idea how our skills could be of use. We make SaaS applications, but make nothing in C. What else does the community need? How can we help?
Joshua D. Drake     April 19, 2017

 
 

As part of the countdown to PostgresConf US 2018, learn more about the engaging content and our Diamond and Platinum sponsors for this year in our Sponsor Spotlight Series.

Jacque Istok, is the Head of Data for Pivotal, one of our Diamond Sponsors for PostgresConf US 2018. Pivotal is hosting the first annual Greenplum Summit at PostgresConf US 2018, with lots of great Greenplum and Postgres-related content. Read what Jacque has to say bout Greenplum and Postgres, as well as why to attend the Greenplum Summit: 

Greenplum is an Open Source variant of Postgres; what benefits do you bring to the table over vanilla Postgres?

Postgres is a powerful ORDBMS, but as your data scales, the only way to keep up is to buy bigger and bigger machines to run on. It suffers from the same problems that all SMP databases do: you can only get as big as the machine you’re running on.

With Greenplum you can put a subset of your data on a Postgres database on one reasonably-sized machine, and another subset on a second machine, and so on. All of your users and applications can then query one of these Postgres databases as if all the data was in a single location - making your data scale limitless. Greenplum manages the distribution, data shuffling, and querying of all of your data across a magically sharded implementation of Postgres databases.

Greenplum has its own community; what do you hope to achieve by joining the Postgres community and PostgresConf?

The Postgres community represents some of the most passionate and knowledgeable creators, developers, and users of database technology of our time. We believe that the combination of Postgres and Greenplum becomes the software equivalent of what Oracle Exadata purported to be: an all-purpose database that can do both transactional and analytical workloads across multi-structured data. Simply put, the Greenplum community is looking to join with the Postgres community to further the understanding and adoption of these technologies.

Do you have plans for cross pollination of technologies with the two open source projects?

Greenplum forked from Postgres over 10 years, circa Postgres 8.2. Greenplum 5.0 is based off of Postgres 8.3, with our next major release slated for Postgres 9.4 (current open source Greenplum is compatible with 9.0 as of this writing).

Likewise, we have Postgres committers working at Pivotal looking for opportunities to improve the Postgres code specifically for analytics. We are also ensuring that other projects related to Greenplum, like Apache MADLib, continue to be compatible with Postgres.

What challenges do you see working with the Postgres community as an open source fork?

The Postgres community is a long-running and very passionate group, and we want to be both collaborative and respectful in how we continue to grow our participation. We see the products as having synergies which complement each other very well, with some use cases that best fit Postgres, and others that best fit Greenplum. The use of either benefits the other as they both further adoption.

What would you tell a user who has a choice between Postgres and Greenplum about when they should use which system?

Postgres is a great ORDBMS that will scale to the performance of a single server. For analytical needs, being restricted to a small number of terabytes does not allow for the type of exploration that most organizations need. Because Greenplum is a Postgres compatible database, you can start out using Postgres and either convert to Greenplum underneath or leverage Greenplum alongside your Postgres systems (making data ETL a ton easier). This then makes the choice of which product to use for your particular use case clearer and clearer.

What is the number one barrier you see to contributing to the Postgres community?

The number one barrier we will have to contributing is not seeing the corresponding adoption of our technologies. We feel very strongly that both the transparency and removal of vendor lock-in make our open source commitment the only choice for users. I’m here to implore the community to embrace our technology with zeal and help us continue to drive more and more Postgres adoption in the world.

What is the best thing about working with the Postgres community?

Because Greenplum is based on Postgres, we get to interact with this vast community of talent. We are also able to more seamlessly interact with ecosystem products that already work with Postgres, making the adoption of Greenplum that much easier.

Tell us why you believe people should attend PostgresConf 2018 in April.

PostgresConf is going to be awesome - with both Pivotal and Amazon headlining as Diamond sponsors - as well as the quality of speakers and their content. I wouldn’t miss it for anything.

We’re thrilled to organize the first annual Greenplum Summit at PostgresConf. Greenplum co-founder, Scott Yara, will give a keynote on April 18th relating to how data tells the story at the organizations that we help enable (#DataTellsTheStory), and his journey from SMP to MPP. Greenplum Summit on April 19th will be a full day packed with with great use case sessions and tech talks for novices and experts alike.

Check out the full schedule for PostgresConf US 2018, and buy your tickets soon!



Joshua D. Drake     March 26, 2018     pivotal Greenplum postgresql postgres

People and Postgres: April 17th, 2019

Welcome to the first of what we hope will be a thriving and productive way to interact with the People, Postgres, Data community!

The goal of this newsletter is to let our community know the ins-and-outs of what is happening in the world of Postgres and the Postgres ecosystem. Let's start from the top: 

  • Ecosystem news

    • JD, Co-Chair of PostgresConf, was recently part of the Inside Analysis podcast: The Evolving Enterprise. This podcast is not only available on the Internet but was live on 20 radio markets. 
    • Crunchy Data Collaborates With Center for Internet Security® To Continue Advancing PostgreSQL Security For Enterprise
    • The Distributed SQL Summit is being held at PostgresConf Silicon Valley on September 20th, 2019.
      • This unique "event within an event" strategy was spearheaded by PostgresConf with the Regulated Industry summit years ago and it continues to grow with events such as the AWS Migration Day and the Pivotal Greenplum Summit. The Distributed SQL Summit is a vendor neutral single day event specializing in providing high quality Developer, Architect and other Practitioner content on deploying and developing production quality products and services over Distributed SQL. It is sponsored by:
Joshua D. Drake     April 17, 2019



Why did you attend PgConf US?


Our company is exploring the use of PostgreSQL as an additional DBMS choice to support Vertex Enterprise, our tax technology platform. Attending the conference offered me an opportunity to immerse myself into a variety of topics around PostgreSQL, as well as the chance to interact with other users to tap into their experiences.


Tell us a little bit about your project or how you use PostgreSQL:


Vertex Enterprise is a global tax management end-to-end solution that integrates all tax processes with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and business intelligence (BI) systems on a single platform using a tax performance engine. The solution is a blend of technologies that surround a Java based processing and calculation engine. This includes rich UI's, import, export, business intelligence / reporting, and big data integration. The foundation of our database leverages a multi-dimensional database structure, as well as other structures whose design varies based upon the needs of a particular function so that we can optimize performance. (ie. import/export/reporting).

The official brochure provides a high level overview of the capabilities and interfaces that our DBMS must support.


Why did you chose PostgreSQL for your project?


PostgreSQL checks many of the boxes that we are looking for in our consideration of an additional DBMS option.


Some of these include:


* Performance
* Lower cost
* Multi-tenancy support
* Suitable for deployment on premise, in a hosted environment, and in the cloud
* Industry acceptance
* Ease of administration on locally administered instances
* Features characteristic of an enterprise strength database (auditing, partitioning, replication, procedural language support)


This was your first PGConf US, was it a last minute decision? Do you think it was worth it? If so, why?


The conference was on our radar since the beginning of the year, and it exceeded expectations. Listening to and interacting with actual contributors to the product is not something you have the opportunity to do at many conferences. The sessions covered a variety of topics around PostgreSQL that were of interest (performance, tuning, feature discussion, lessons learned, cloud deployment options, optimization, etc).


Would you attend PgConf US again?


Yes, definitely.


Are you interested in contributing to the community and if so, in what fashion?


My "day job" keeps me pretty busy, but as far as sharing our experience with PostgreSQL, I am willing to contribute in that way :) .
Joshua D. Drake     April 10, 2017

It is with great pleasure that we announce the preliminary program for PGConf Local: Austin!


We have received a plethora of positive feedback from the local Postgres and Data communities and we are proud to host a second PGConf event held in Austin in 2017.

Training Opportunity:
Breakout Sessions:
  • Event Sourcing with a Postgres Event Store by Scott Bellware
  • Using GIS in PostgreSQL by Lloyd Albin
  • Trees/Hierarchical Data in the SQL Database by Ryan Murphy
  • Amazon Aurora with PostgreSQL compatibility by James Finnerty
  • Deep Dive into the RDS PostgreSQL Universe by Grant McAlister
  • Open Source Communities as Biological Ecosystems by Debra Cerda
  • The Power of Postgres Replication by Joshua D. Drake
  • Multi-cloud deployment of PostgreSQL in minutes. by Stephen Holt

PGConf Local: Austin is made possible by the wonderful team of volunteers including the Austin PostgreSQL User Group and our sponsors:



Diamond2

Platinum: Compose.IO, OpenSCG, 2ndQuadrant, and Microsoft
Joshua D. Drake     November 09, 2017