Citus Blog

Articles tagged: Microsoft

Claire Giordano

Say hello to the Talking Postgres podcast

Written byBy Claire Giordano | July 9, 2024Jul 9, 2024

The TL;DR of this blog post is simple: the “Path To Citus Con” podcast for developers who love Postgres has been renamed—and the new name is Talking Postgres.

And if you’re just hearing about the Talking Postgres podcast for the first time, it is a monthly podcast for developers who love Postgres, with amazing guests from the Postgres world who talk about the human side of Postgres, databases, and open source.

Listening to the Talking Postgres podcast is the next best thing to being in the hallway at a Postgres conference, eavesdropping on other people’s conversations and learning from the experiences of experts. As Floor Drees says, it’s as if you’re sharing a coffee with them.

Past podcast guests include (in order of appearance) some amazing Postgres, database, and open source people such as:

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Marco Slot

Making PostgreSQL tick: New features in pg_cron

Written byBy Marco Slot | October 26, 2023Oct 26, 2023

pg_cron is an open source PostgreSQL extension that provides a cron-based scheduler to periodically run SQL commands. Almost every managed PostgreSQL service supports pg_cron and it has become a standard tool for many PostgreSQL users. Since Citus has been my full-time job, pg_cron has always been a side project for me, and so I tried to architect it for simplicity, reliability, and low maintenance. Of course, with many users there is a long list of feature requests, and with the help of the Postgres community pg_cron keeps becoming more and more capable over time.

We recently added PostgreSQL 16 support (in version 1.6), but perhaps the most exciting feature added to pg_cron in the past year (in version 1.5) is the ability to schedule a job every few seconds. I shunned this feature idea for a while, because (a) it is not something regular cron can do; and (b) any issue in pg_cron would get much more severe if it were to happen every few seconds. However, by now pg_cron is reasonably battle-tested and second-granularity jobs had become the most popular pg_cron feature request by far.

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Big news in the Postgres world: PostgreSQL 16 was released just over 2 weeks ago. And today we're announcing that Postgres 16 is generally available for production workloads on Azure Cosmos DB for PostgreSQL. That's right, in production: this announcement is not just a preview of Postgres 16 support.

Whether you need to provision a new distributed Postgres cluster in Azure Cosmos DB for PostgreSQL—or upgrade your existing database clusters—Postgres 16 is now an option for you.

And you can use Azure Portal, Bicep or ARM templates, REST APIs, Azure SDKs, or Azure CLI to spin up a new Postgres 16 cluster in Azure Cosmos DB for PostgreSQL, or to upgrade an existing cluster to Postgres 16.

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Claire Giordano

What’s new with Postgres at Microsoft (August 2023)

Written byBy Claire Giordano | August 31, 2023Aug 31, 2023

On one of the Postgres community chat forums, a friend asked me: "Is there a blog post that outlines all the work that is being done on Postgres at Microsoft? It's hard to keep track these days."

And my friend is right: it is hard to keep track. Probably because there are multiple Postgres workstreams at Microsoft, spread across a few different teams.

In this post, you'll get a bird's eye view of all the Postgres work the Microsoft team has done over the last year. Our work includes some pretty significant improvements to the Postgres managed services on Azure, as well as contributions across the entire open source ecosystem—including commits to the Postgres core; new releases to Postgres open source extensions like Citus and pg_cron; plus ecosystem work on Patroni, PgBouncer, pgcopydb. And more.

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As you may have heard, we recently made PostgreSQL 15 generally available in Azure Cosmos DB for PostgreSQL within just 1 week of the PostgreSQL 15 release. The Postgres 15 version is available for you whether you need to create a new cluster in Azure Cosmos DB for PostgreSQL, or upgrade your existing cluster. (Note: you can do in-place major version upgrades in Azure Cosmos DB for PostgreSQL.) And the PostgreSQL 15 support is available in all Azure regions that support Azure Cosmos DB for PostgreSQL.

You may be surprised since it's usually not the norm for a managed database service to start supporting the new major PostgreSQL version that early... This post will walk you through what's going on behind the scenes that enables us to do such a feat. Some background before diving in:

Azure Cosmos DB for PostgreSQL is powered by native Postgres and Citus open source—and enables you to run PostgreSQL at any scale, from a single node to a large, distributed cluster. Customers can also scale out as much as they want depending on their needs with many additional features. The Hyperscale (Citus) managed service recently moved into Azure Cosmos DB family (more info on the launch of Azure Cosmos DB for PostgreSQL in this blog post) and with that introduced try Azure Cosmos DB for PostgreSQL for free where you can try out PostgreSQL 15 with Citus 11.1.

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Nik Larin

News: Postgres 15 available in Azure Cosmos DB for PostgreSQL

Written byBy Nik Larin | October 21, 2022Oct 21, 2022

Big news from the Postgres and Citus team here at Microsoft! Just 1 week after PostgreSQL 15 was released, PostgreSQL 15 GA is generally available in the portal for the Azure Cosmos DB for PostgreSQL managed service—in all Azure regions. Whether you need to provision new clusters in Azure Cosmos DB for Postgres—or upgrade your existing database clusters—Postgres 15 is now a choice for you. Oh, and you can upgrade your existing cluster to Postgres 15 from any of the other supported major Postgres versions, using the in-place major version upgrade feature.

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Today, we are excited to announce PostgreSQL 14's General Availability (GA) on Azure's Hyperscale (Citus) option. To our knowledge, this is the first time a major cloud provider has announced GA for a new Postgres major version on their platform one day after the official release.

Starting today, you can deploy Postgres 14 in many Hyperscale (Citus) regions. In upcoming months, we will roll out Postgres 14 across more Azure regions and also release it with our new Flexible Server option in Azure Database for PostgreSQL.

This announcement helps us bring the latest in Postgres to Azure customers as new features become available. Further, it shows our commitment to open source PostgreSQL and its ecosystem. We choose to extend Postgres and share our contributions, instead of creating and managing a proprietary fork on the cloud.

In this blog post, you'll first get a glimpse into some of our favorite features in Postgres 14. These include connection scaling, faster VACUUM, and improvements to crash recovery times.

We'll then describe the work involved in making Postgres extensions compatible with new major Postgres versions, including our distributed database Citus as well as other extensions such as HyperLogLog (HLL), pg_cron, and TopN. Finally, you'll learn how packaging, testing, and deployments work on Hyperscale (Citus). This last part ties everything together and enables us to release new versions on Azure, with speed.

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There is some good news for those of you wanting to shard your Postgres database in the cloud, so that as your data grows you have an easy way to scale out your Postgres database. I’m delighted to announce that Citus 10—the latest open source release of the Citus extension to Postgres—is now generally available in Hyperscale (Citus).

Hyperscale (Citus) is a built-in option in the Azure Database for PostgreSQL managed service, which has been around for a couple of years to help those of you who would rather focus on your application—and not on spending cycles managing your database.

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It’s been an eventful time for Hyperscale (Citus) lately. If you’re interested in Postgres, distributed databases, and how to handle ever growing needs for your Postgres application or simply use Hyperscale (Citus), keep reading.

Citus is an open source extension to Postgres that enables horizontal scaling of your Postgres database. Citus distributes your Postgres tables, writes, and SQL queries across multiple nodes—parallelizing your workload and enabling you to use the memory, compute, and disk of a multi-node cluster. And Citus is available on Azure: Hyperscale (Citus) is a deployment option in Azure Database for PostgreSQL.

What’s really exciting to me is that we’ve made it easier and cheaper than ever to try and use Hyperscale (Citus). With Basic tier, you can now use Hyperscale (Citus) on a single node, parallelizing your operations and adopting a distributed database model from the very beginning. And you can now try Citus open source with a single docker run command—boom!

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Claire Giordano

When to use Hyperscale (Citus) to scale out Postgres

Written byBy Claire Giordano | December 5, 2020Dec 5, 2020

If you've built your application on Postgres, you already know why so many people love Postgres.

And if you're new to Postgres, the list of reasons people love Postgres is loooong—and includes things like: 3 decades of database reliability baked in; rich datatypes; support for custom types; myriad index types from B-tree to GIN to BRIN to GiST; support for JSON and JSONB from early days; constraints; foreign data wrappers; rollups; the geospatial capabilities of the PostGIS extension, and all the innovations that come from the many Postgres extensions.

But what to do if your Postgres database gets very large?

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