PostgreSQL Partition Management Tool
partmanteau is a set of tables and functions to simplify creation and deletion of partitions in PostgreSQL databases. It is most definitely not a complete solution, nor is it intended to be.
There are many different ways to partition a table: range, list, and hash are three common ones. Each of these ways in turn has different tactics:
- What is the type of the column in the range partition? Is it a timestamp, an integer, or some other type?
- What hashing function is used to partition values? Which columns are arguments to the hashing function?
- What columns contribute to the list items? How do the partitions correspond to the list items? Is it one-to-one or are some list items included in the same partition?
- How often are partitions added? Timestamp-ranged partitions often add new partitions on a regular schedule. List partitions often have a fixed number of partitions corresponding to the list items and rarely changes.
More complex partitioning strategies can be implemented by combining different tactics: partition the table by list and then partition each of list item partitions by range.
Rather than try to solve the general problem of accomodating the large number of partitioning tactics, partmanteau leaves the partitioning function up to the developer.
So, what does partmanteau do?
partmanteau provides two functions and a (mental) framework for developing a partitioning strategy. The framework consists of clear steps which make partitioning formulaic rather than a process reinvented each time it's needed.
The two functions provided by the partmanteau API are
partmanteau.create_table_partition function creates a new table,
including appropriate indexes (including key constraints), check constraints,
permissions and ownership, and table attributes such as
FILLFACTOR. It does
not include foreign keys as these may (or may not) reference tables which are
themselves partitioned: determining the appropriate referenced partition
is left to the developer. It also does not include comments as the easiest
solution (copying the comment from the parent table) does not seem to add
anything to the database schema.
CREATE FUNCTION partmanteau.create_table_partition(in_schema_name text, in_table_name text, in_partition_name text, in_constraints text, in_additional_commands text, in_effective_at timestamp with time zone, OUT command TEXT) RETURNS SETOF text AS $BODY$ /** * * This function provides a wrapper for common partition creation use cases. * It executes the partition definition returned from * partmanteau.table_partition_definition and performs the requisite * bookkeeping on the partition metadata tables. * * @author Michael Glaesemann <firstname.lastname@example.org> * * @param[IN] in_schema_name schema of the partitioned (parent) table * @param[IN] in_table_name name of the partitioned (parent) table * @param[IN] in_partition_name name for the table partition to be created * @param[IN] in_constraints Additional constraints (including the * partitioning constraint) to be added to the * table partition * @param[IN] in_additional_commands Additional commands to be run (such as * trigger creation statements) * @param[IN] in_effective_at Timestamp for * @param[OUT] command * @return * */ CREATE FUNCTION partmanteau.drop_table_partition_older_than(in_schema_name text, in_table_name text, in_age interval) RETURNS boolean AS $BODY$ /** * * This function drops the oldest partition for the given partitioned table that * has an effective_at age equal to or older than the given age. This is * primarily useful for timestamp-based range partitioned tables. It takes into * account effectve_at rather than the sort_key as the sort_key currently tracks * the order in which the partitions were created. The create_table_partition * code should probably be changed to update the sort_key to take into account * a set effective_at timestamp, but it does not currently do so. * * @author Michael Glaesemann <email@example.com> * * @param[IN] in_schema_name the schema of the partitioned table * @param[IN] in_table_name the name of the partitioned table * @param[IN] in_age the minimum age of the partition to drop * @param[OUT] * @return TRUE upon successful delete from the partmanteau * partition metadata tables * */
As of now, here's no general
partmanteau.create_table_partition. I haven't needed to use
such a function yet as I rarely drop partitions unless they're ranged by a
timestamp column and we're aging out old partitions.
List all table constraints as separate commands rather than as part of the
CREATE TABLEstatement. This makes it easier to determine which statements need to be included in the create_partition function.
Name your indexes prefixed with the table name. partmanteau munges the index names when creating the indexes for the partitions and relies on the table name to be included in the index name.
Decide on a naming strategy for partition tables. Ecapsulate this strategy in a function so you can easily derive a particular partition's name by the partitioning criteria. For example, if you're partitioning by a timestamp range, create a
partition_name(timestamp)function returns the appropriate partition name for a value given timestamp. The partition name is needed in at least two places (the create_partition function and the partition function, so keeping this logic in one place (the partition_name function) is good practice.
Define a create_partition function for the partitioned table that takes into account the partitioning strategy. This function should include:
- the partitioning constraint (used in constraint exclusion) and any other table constraints.
- foreign key constraints and any additional commands necessary to support the database schema.
Define a partition function that is used to insert data into the appropriate table. Depending on the implementation, this function can be used as a trigger or as part of an insert function. If the database schema involves moving data between partitions, update operations may also need to take into account the partition function.
Under the covers
While the partmaneau API consists of just a handful of functions, there are
a number of other support functions and a couple of tables used to store
partitioned table metadata. These private (i.e., shouldn't be called by
user-developed functions) encapsulate the creation of statements used to
create and drop partitions as well as update the
which hold the partition metadata.
We have a set of monitors that each track a number of sensors which provide temperature readings over time. This example is pulled from a hobby project of mine to track home electricity usage using a Current Cost Envi unit.
CREATE SCHEMA current_cost; CREATE TABLE current_cost.monitors ( monitor_id UUID PRIMARY KEY, monitor_label TEXT NOT NULL ); CREATE TABLE current_cost.readings ( monitor_id UUID NOT NULL, sensor_radio_id INT NOT NULL, sensor INT NOT NULL, reading_id UUID NOT NULL, read_at TIMESTAMP WITH TIME ZONE NOT NULL, fahrenheit REAL NOT NULL ); CREATE UNIQUE INDEX readings_key ON current_cost.readings (reading_id); CREATE UNIQUE INDEX readings_reading_id_read_at_key ON current_cost.readings (reading_id, read_at); COMMENT ON INDEX current_cost.readings_reading_id_read_at_key IS 'Over-constrained including read_at to allow foreign key references.'; CREATE INDEX readings_read_at_key ON current_cost.readings (read_at); ALTER TABLE current_cost.readings ADD FOREIGN KEY (monitor_id) REFERENCES current_cost.monitors (monitor_id) ON DELETE CASCADE;
In keeping with the framework, the index and foreign key statements are listed separately, and the index names are prefixed with the table name.
As the table grows, we want to drop off the oldest partitions,
keeping only the most recent data. Therefore, we'll partition the
current_cost.readings table by the
read_at timestamp. We decide
to partition readings by month. We're ready to write our
CREATE FUNCTION current_cost.readings_partition_name(in_timestamp timestamp with time zone) RETURNS text AS $BODY$ /** * * Returns a normalized recent readings partition name for the * given timestamp. Readings are partitioned by week. * * @private * * @param[IN] in_timestamp * @param[OUT] * @return * */ SELECT 'readings_' || to_char(date_trunc('month', $1), 'YYYYMMDD') $BODY$ LANGUAGE sql IMMUTABLE STRICT;
current_cost.readings_partition_name function allows us to
derive the partition name for any given reading value.
Note that this partition name function returns names that are dependent on the time zone of the server. If it's likely that the database will be moved to another server in a different time zone, it would be wise to normalize this further, perhaps determining the name based on the timestamp UTC. Such an implemention is left as an exercise for the reader.
Now we're ready to write the create_partition function. This encapsulates the
logic that's particular to the partitioning strategy, providing the arguments to
CREATE FUNCTION current_cost.create_readings_partition(in_timestamp timestamp with time zone) RETURNS SETOF text AS $BODY$ /** * * Creates a partition for a month's worth of readings for the month * containing the given timestamp. * * @param[IN] in_timestamp * @return * */ DECLARE k_schema_name TEXT := 'current_cost'; k_base_table_name TEXT := 'readings'; k_partition_column TEXT := 'read_at'; v_commands TEXT; v_partition_name TEXT := current_cost.readings_partition_name(in_timestamp); v_qualified_partition_name TEXT := quote_ident(k_schema_name) || '.' || quote_ident(v_partition_name); k_width INTERVAL := '1 month'; v_lower_bound TIMESTAMP WITH TIME ZONE := date_trunc('month', in_timestamp); v_upper_bound TIMESTAMP WITH TIME ZONE := v_lower_bound + k_width; v_partition_constraint TEXT := array_to_string( ARRAY[quote_ident(k_partition_column), '>=', quote_literal(v_lower_bound), 'AND', quote_ident(k_partition_column), '<', quote_literal(v_upper_bound)], ' '); v_additional_commands TEXT; BEGIN v_additional_commands := ARRAY[ array_to_string(ARRAY['ALTER TABLE', v_qualified_partition_name, 'ADD FOREIGN KEY (monitor_id)', 'REFERENCES current_cost.monitors (monitor_id)'], ' ')]; RETURN QUERY SELECT command FROM partmanteau.create_table_partition( k_schema_name, k_base_table_name, v_partition_name, ARRAY[v_partition_constraint], v_additional_commands, v_lower_bound) AS the (command); RETURN; END $BODY$ LANGUAGE plpgsql VOLATILE STRICT;
As we're partitioning by timestamp,
takes a timestamp argument. The partition name is derived using the
current_cost.readings_partition_name function we already defined.
As per the framework, the partition exclusion constraint is explicitly defined
and foreign keys are included in the
We do have a little bit of duplicated logic: when deriving the lower bound we
date_trunc('month', timestamp) just like we do in the partition_name
function. I haven't found a good solution to eliminating this redundancy but as
the perfect is the enemy of the good, I've accepted this. Even better,
partmanteau doesn't preclude such a solution. Some clever soul will figure it out.
I also define a number of constants and variables:
I find that factoring out the literals in this way makes the logic of the function easier to see. Having implemented many partition strategies using this framework also exposes these as the key elements in the partitioning strategy: the logic remains largely the same. A more mature framework could store these elements as configuration parameters in tables, further simplifying the interface.
As an aside, I prefer the
array_to_string(expression_parts, ' ') approach to
creating dynamic SQL statements rather than using string concatenation. It
eliminates the need to make sure I've remembered to include spaces between
elements I find there's less visual noise than having
|| peppered throughout
I like to return the commands used to create the partition (returned by
partmanteau.create_table_partition as another way to see if everything is
working as expected.
We're ready to define the partition function. We're going to create this as a
trigger so we can issue arbitrary
INSERT commands against the
current_cost.readings table. The table is also insert-only, so we don't need
to worry about
CREATE FUNCTION current_cost.partition_readings() RETURNS trigger AS $BODY$ /** * * This trigger function partitions inserts on current_cost.readings into * the appropriate current_cost.readings partition. * */ DECLARE k_schema CONSTANT TEXT := 'current_cost'; k_columns CONSTANT TEXT := ARRAY['monitor_id', 'sensor_radio_id', 'sensor', 'reading_id', 'read_at', 'fahrenheit']; v_values TEXT; v_partition_name TEXT; v_sql TEXT; BEGIN IF TG_OP = 'INSERT' THEN v_partition_name := current_cost.readings_partition_name(NEW.read_at); v_values := ARRAY[quote_literal(NEW.monitor_id), quote_literal(NEW.sensor_radio_id), quote_literal(NEW.sensor), quote_literal(NEW.reading_id), quote_literal(NEW.read_at), quote_literal(NEW.fahrenheit)]; v_sql := partmanteau.insert_statement(k_schema, v_partition_name, k_columns, v_values); EXECUTE v_sql; RETURN NULL; END IF; RETURN NEW; END $BODY$ LANGUAGE plpgsql VOLATILE STRICT; CREATE TRIGGER partition_readings BEFORE INSERT ON current_cost.readings FOR EACH ROW EXECUTE PROCEDURE current_cost.partition_readings();
The partition function is straightforward. After writing dynamic
statements enough times, I factored this out into
Column names are quoted as neccessary the function. To take into account the
varied column types, the values are wrapped in
Now that the partitioning strategy is set up, all that's left is to schedule the
creation and dropping of partitions. This can be as simple as setting a cron to
SELECT * FROM current_cost.create_readings_partition(CURRENT_DATE + 4)
once a month. Note the
CURRENT_DATE + 4: to make sure the necessary partition
is in place before it's needed, we execute the command on the 28th of the month
prior to the month of the partition as
creates a partition based on the provided timestamp rather than on when it's
Michael Glaesemann michael.glaesemann at myyearbook.com
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