How to Optimize PostgreSQL Performance with VACUUM, ANALYZE, and REINDEX
January 2, 2019
If you have your application running on a PostgreSQL database, there are some commands that can be run to PostgreSQL database performance optimization. Three of these will be introduced in this article: VACUUM, ANALYZE, and REINDEX.
In the default PostgreSQL configuration, the AUTOVACUUM daemon is enabled and all required configuration parameters are set as needed. The daemon will run VACUUM and ANALYZE at regular intervals. If you have the damon enabled, these commands can be run to supplement the daemon's work. To confirm whether the autovacuum daemon is running on UNIX, you can check the processlist
On UNIX or Windows, you can find the status of autovacuum in the pg_settings database with the query below:
The VACUUM command will reclaim space still used by data that had been updated. In PostgreSQL, updated key-value tuples are not removed from the tables when rows are changed, so the VACUUM command should be run occasionally to do this.
VACUUM can be run on its own, or with ANALYZE.
In the examples below, [tablename] is optional. Without a table specified, VACUUM will be run on available tables in the current schema that the user has access to.
Plain VACUUM: Frees up space for re-use
Full VACUUM: Locks the database table, and reclaims more space than a plain VACUUM
Full VACUUM and ANALYZE: Performs a Full VACUUM and gathers new statistics on query executions paths using ANALYZE
Verbose Full VACUUM and ANALYZE: Same as #3, but with verbose progress output
ANALYZE gathers statistics for the query planner to create the most efficient query execution paths. Per PostgreSQL documentation, accurate statistics will help the planner to choose the most appropriate query plan, and thereby improve the speed of query processing.
In the example below, [tablename] is optional. Without a table specified, ANALYZE will be run on available tables in the current schema that the user has access to.
The REINDEX command rebuilds one or more indices, replacing the previous version of the index. REINDEX can be used in many scenarios, including the following (from Postgres documentation):
An index has become corrupted, and no longer contains valid data. Although in theory this should never happen, in practice indexes can become corrupted due to software bugs or hardware failures. REINDEX provides a recovery method.
An index has become "bloated", that is it contains many empty or nearly-empty pages. This can occur with B-tree indexes in PostgreSQL under certain uncommon access patterns. REINDEX provides a way to reduce the space consumption of the index by writing a new version of the index without the dead pages.
You have altered a storage parameter (such as fillfactor) for an index, and wish to ensure that the change has taken full effect.
An index build with the CONCURRENTLY option failed, leaving an "invalid" index. Such indexes are useless but it can be convenient to use REINDEX to rebuild them. Note that REINDEX will not perform a concurrent build. To build the index without interfering with production you should drop the index and reissue the CREATE INDEX CONCURRENTLY command.
Any of these can be forced by adding the keyword FORCE after the command
Recreate a single index, myindex:
Recreate all indices in a table, mytable:
Recreate all indices in schema public:
Recreate all indices in database postgres:
Recreate all indices on system catalogs in database postgres: