Joshua D. Drake Blog Posts


How do you use Postgres?

I work Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and within Fred Hutch, I work for the largest group called SCHARP, Statistical Center for HIV/AIDS Research and Prevention. We use Postgres to monitor the AIDS drug trials real time to see if the trials are working or not. This means we collect the data from doctors and labs around the world, and analyzing the data. We also have servers where we receive data from other research institutes and share our randomized data, de-personalized, with other research institutes.


What community contributions have you provided?

In 2010 I started SeaPUG, Seattle Postgres Users Group, at the request of Josh Drake. I have at least have the presentations there every year. I have also discovered several PostgreSQL: bugs which have been fixed. Some of them affected every version of PostgreSQL. Bug numbers: 7553, 8173, 8257, 8291. I also found 8545, which has not been fixed but Core has acknowledge needs to be fixed but they are not sure where it should be fixed, pg_dump or pg_dumpall. I started the PostgreSQL track at LinuxFest Northwest in 2014 after my GIS presentation in 2013 was standing room only. This year I got a booth at the SeaGL, Seattle GNU Linux, conference with the idea of having a booth there next year along with also doing a PostgreSQL presentation next year at the conference.


You recently took a renewed interest in speaking at Postgres Conferences, why?

I have been giving presentations locally now for the last 7 years and so I am now ready to move on to the next step, doing presentations at the Local and National conferences around the United States.


What is the #1 barrier you see to Postgres adoption?

People not knowing about PostgreSQL, most people know about MYSQL, MSSQL and Oracle, but do not know about PostgreSQL. This is changing, some, with the Cloud providers now offering PostgreSQL, but I go to these conferences, LinuxFest Northwest and SeaGL, and people all the time are asking me, "What is Postgres and why should I use it over MYSQL, MSSQL or Oracle", because they have never heard of PostgreSQL.


What is something you feel the wider Postgres community could be better at?

We need to promote PostgreSQL so that new people starting personal projects and starting at companies, will think about PostgreSQL before other databases. This starts with getting the younger generation interested in PostgreSQL and that also means that we need to get the college professors willing to talk about PostgreSQL in their curriculums instead of ignoring PostgreSQL for all the other competing databases. Some of this means that at all the other conferences, we need to have a PostgreSQL presence, aka booth and presentations. We should also come up with a certification method for PostgreSQL DBA's, User's, Engineer's, etc so that prospective employers will have an idea of the prospective employees skill set.

Joshua D. Drake     December 12, 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

2ndQuadrant Sponsor Highlight Blog for PostgresConf 2019

 As part of the countdown to PostgresConf US 2019, learn more about about featured Platinum Sponsor 2ndQuadrant, including their commitment to partnering with and contributing to the Postgres community.

 

Tell us about the recent uptick in Oracle to Postgres migrations.

Licensing costs of Oracle is a significant factor for businesses looking to migrate towards PostgreSQL. Not only is PostgreSQL a more cost effective solution, but it provides enterprise-level capabilities and customization options. The increasing demand for migration services from Oracle to PostgreSQL can also be attributed to the availability of PostgreSQL in the cloud.

 

Where do you see the Postgres market going?

PostgreSQL has been gaining traction with every release; interest and usage by large enterprises worldwide is growing exponentially due to the robust capabilities it provides. 2ndQuadrant intends to continue their active contributions in development and supports the overall growth of PostgreSQL.

 

 Do you have any big wins this year?

2Q PGConf 2018 had a successful second year bringing together PostgreSQL developers and users. Both speakers and attendees enjoyed the combination of technical and use case topics as well as the diverse range of networking opportunities. 

Sri Rangarajan, Lead Software Engineer at Enova International, commented saying he appreciates 2ndQuadrant’s hard work in “promoting and fostering a savvy, healthy and helpful community to welcome newcomers just like [it] did for [him] 5 years ago!”

For the second year in a row, PostgreSQL has been named DBMS of the Year by DB-Engines. This shows that developers and users alike are acknowledging the robust and versatile capabilities that it has to offer.

 

What is the number one benefit you see within Postgres that everyone should be aware of?

PostgreSQL's advanced features cater to a broad range of use cases all within the same DBMS. Rather than going for edge case solutions, developers are relying on the absolute reliability of the hyperconverged database to simplify their production deployments.

 

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

The Postgres community is one of the easiest global communities to work with. There is an open mindset all around and a common goal of growing the Postgres ecosystem as a whole. 

 

Tell us why you believe people should attend PostgresConf 2019 in March.

Conferences are a great way for people in the PostgreSQL community to come together and share knowledge and ideas, which is the true spirit of open source. It is very exciting to see into the future developments of the project from the people who contribute so much to its growth.

It is a great way for members of the community to come together in person to share knowledge in different areas of the technology, describe practical use cases, and give sneak previews into cutting edge technologies for future versions of PostgreSQL.

 

About 2ndQuadrant:

2ndQuadrant provides PostgreSQL Solutions for the Enterprise - reliably deploying them on the platform of your choice and providing 24/7 Production Support. Our solutions address all aspects of your database ecosystem, ensuring high availability, disaster recovery, backup & failover management, and much more. 

Moreover, we provide tools to make your deployment process simple and reliable. With over 100 years of combined code contributions to the PostgreSQL project, our engineers ensure that your PostgreSQL solutions are fully supported in your production environment.

Visit the 2ndQuadrant team in the Exhibit Hall in the Metropolitan Ballroom on Wednesday, March 20, and Thursday, March 21.  

Check out the full schedule for PostgresConf US 2019, and buy your tickets soon!

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

Tuesday, May 16, 2017 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM @ fibercove
1700 S Lamar Blvd, Suite 338, Austin, TX

Join us for a special presentation with PostgreSQL experts who will be in town for DataLayer 2017.

Food and refreshments will be provided, so please be sure to RSVP.

Thank you to OpenSCG for sponsoring our food and soft drinks, and fibercove for hosting us! Beer sponsor TBA.
  • The event starts at: 6 pm 
  • Networking and food/drink : 6:15 pm 
  • Announcements and updates: 6:30 pm   
Presentations:
• "Softlayer vs RDS/AWS: A price to performance perspective" - Joshua D. Drake, Command Prompt, Inc.

• "PostgreSQL on Debian and apt.postgresql.org" - Dr. Michael Meskes, CEO of credativ (http://www.credativ.com/)

• "Top 10 Mistakes When Migrating From Oracle to PostgreSQL" -- Jim Mlodgenski, CTO of OpenSCG
 
About our Speakers: 

Joshua D. Drake of Command Prompt, Inc. (https://www.commandprompt.com/), is a PostgreSQL Consultant who has consulted on PostgreSQL since Postgres95. Throughout his PostgreSQL career he has performed a variety of functions within the community including releasing an O'Reilly book on PostgreSQL, as well as being part of the sysadmins and advocacy teams He ran a biannual conference series dedicated to PostgreSQL from 2007 - 2011. He is a former Director for SPI (the non-profit for PostgreSQL.org). Drake is also a Founder of United States PostgreSQL, as well as a co-organizer and Chair of PGConf US.

Dr. Michael Meskes is President and CEO of the credativ Group, an industry leader in free software services with offices in five countries. Its Open Source Support Centers employ leading members of a number of Open-Source projects. He has been Open-Source developer for twenty years working on different Open-Source projects among which Debian and PostgreSQL are most widely known. He also has done a lot of Open-Source related presentations on all sorts of events doing a lot of Open-Source evangelism.

Jim Mlodgenski is CTO of OpenSCG, a leading enterprise open source services company, with a central focus on PostgreSQL. He has been part of the PostgreSQL community for over a decade, as an architect and sales engineer. He is a Director for the U.S. PostgreSQL Association, as well as an organizer of the Philly PostgreSQL User Group and a Co-organizer of the NYC PostgreSQL User Group. He Is also a co-organizer of PGConf US, the largest PostgreSQL conference in the U.S.
Joshua D. Drake     May 11, 2017