PostgreSQL Looks To The Future


PostgreSQL Looks To The Future

When it comes to databases administrators are usually divided in their opinions. The difficulty stems from the sheer number of options available to administrators and their companies. There are many open-source options as well as pricey commercial flavours to choose from.

PostgreSQL is another option available to users, but those users may have been put off it in the past by its maximum table size. According to the PostgreSQL documentation it is set to 32TB. Back in the 1980s 32TB was considered more than enough for any size of organisation.

How things have changed. Most of us carry over a terabyte of data with us when we travel to the office with our laptops. What was once considered more than ample is now nowhere near acceptable for some organisation.

It is no surprise that we are using more and more digital space. Storage is becoming a serious issue and companies are falling over themselves to find the solution to meet our needs. This is where PostgreSQL has fallen foul of organisations that demand more.

Table Inheritance was a feature introduced by PostgreSQL in version 8.1 of 2005. This was PostgreSQL’s attempt to bring in Table Partitioning which allows users to split database files into several parts. This can have a significant effect on performance and security. Additionally it helps by increasing the sizes of overall datasets. PostgreSQL 10 took Table Inheritance a little further and transforming it into Declarative Partitioning.

The discovery of a long-hidden bug meant the PostgreSQL team had to find a solution. The bug meant that the number of subtables had been limited to a 16-bit value, although the store is a 32-bit field. After resolving the issue the maximum table size is now 2 exabytes. Also known as 2048 petabytes. (Also known as: a hell of a lot of storage.)

PostgreSQL 11 is scheduled to go further and bring users the ability to use a total table size of 131 yottabytes made up of 2^32 subtables.

PostgreSQL brings users and organisations the kind of gargantuan storage that they may not all need right now but may do in the near future. Together with the solid structure and reliability this makes PostgreSQL a serious competitor when it comes to relational database management systems.

If your organisation is looking for a course that will take your administrators from architectural fundamentals through to hands-on implementation you should take a look at our 5-day PostgreSQL course. Remember that we can tailor your course to your needs - you just need to get in touch and let us know what those needs are.

This article does not necessarily reflect the technical opinion of EDC4IT, but purely of the writer. If you want to discuss about this content, please send us an email at