It’s Not Your Database Causing Hair Loss

Marc Linster April 30, 2014

This may come as surprise to users new to Postgres but your biggest challenge in deploying Postgres for the first time may be your operating system, not learning the ins and outs of your new database. Those of you who still have hair may end up snatching yourselves baldheaded trying to maneuver the quirks and kinks of your OS even before turning your attention to your new Postgres database.

This second in our series of blog posts spotlighting the changes in what end users need over time, and how our Postgres Deployment Services help, explores the issues new users or potential new users encounter. OS configurations, for example, top the list of things to maneuver when deploying Postgres, but they aren’t the only issue database administrators need to consider when getting started. These issues are not complex, and the trick sometimes is just to know they exist.

(You can find an overview of the blog series in the first installment here: 

Our Postgres Evaluation Support Kit is designed for organizations new to Postgres or just beginning their deployments (pre-production). The package features on-demand training and some remote consulting that newbies can use for how-to questions, architecture advice and follow up to training topics.

Startup Challenges Wrestling with access configurations, for example, with CentOS can be a major challenge for new users. For example, out of the box, the CentOS install is very secure and doesn’t allow all the access that is required for a successful Postgres installation. This is easily overcome by adjusting some configuration profiles and getting outside coaching can help. Other OS related challenges that we see often relate to code set quirks on Windows. Each operating system has its own way of defining character sets and knowing whether the default is standard to American English, United Kingdom English, Farsi or what have you is critical to avoiding some serious moments of hair pulling. It’s important to note that Linux branded OSes default to a reasonable code set while Windows operating systems can be somewhat obscure.

DBAs setting up LDAP or Active Directory configurations, particularly at medium and large enterprises, often light up our support lines as well. DBAs often need some help with accessibility issues unique to their platform and infrastructure architectures.

Help with Getting Help

With so much information available online, many DBAs also turn to the Internet to tap online forums for advice and support. This is great, but frankly, the simple wealth of information can become a curse of riches. It can take a long time to wind your their way through the strings of questions and answers to get what you need.

If I were writing a new user welcome letter, I’d say, “Congratulations on choosing Postgres! But before you “open the box,” let’s talk about how you’re going to install it.” Such a conversation can spare a lot of hair pulling and our Postgres Evaluation Support Kit is a terrific way to have one.

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Marc Linster is Senior Vice President, Products and Services.

Marc Linster

Before joining EnterpriseDB, Marc spent almost 4 years at Polycom, the leading maker of video communications equipment, focusing on the Services Supply Chain, Business Intelligence, Customer Data Management and Cloud Solutions. Prior to Polycom, Marc led a supply chain consulting and systems integration company working with customers in the US, Canada, France, Germany and Switzerland. This tapped the expertise he developed at Avicon Group, where he spent six years, first as chief technology officer then as vice president of operations, developing an extensive background in management, business consulting, systems integration, data management and business intelligence. Marc holds a Ph.D. (Dr. rer. nat) in Computer Sciences from the University of Kaiserslautern in Germany.