PostgreSQL Observability

PostgreSQL is a highly customizable object-relational database system used in many high volume environments. With a very small amount of instrumentation, we can reliably track down the source(s) of any slowness or odd behavior in just a few clicks. For example: figuring out what the overall distribution of query latency is.

By consuming Postgres logs and parsing them into structured data, Honeycomb makes it possible to answer deep questions about database operation instantly.

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PostgresQL logs turned into structured events in Honeycomb for deep observability

Example configuration of PostgreSQL logging for Honeycomb

Data Collection

The honeytail agent captures logs, structures to JSON, and streams the data into Honeycomb as it’s written. Or if you’re on RDS, the RDS connector.

You can also backfill old logs into Honeycomb to look at past data.

Getting Answers

With Postgres events in Honeycomb, you can ask questions like:

  • What does the overall distribution of query latency look like?
  • Which queries are responsible for the spikes in query volume that we’re seeing?
  • How did our query workload change after the latest deploy?
  • Which query families are most common?
  • Are queries uniformly slow, or are there latency outliers?
  • Is one client sending too much traffic?
  • How is our workload changing over time?
An example of the kinds of PostgreSQL data you can query in Honeycomb

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