351: Moving to PostgreSQL from MySQL

As you read this, CodePen is 100% on PostgreSQL for our main relational database. It was a transition that took a couple weeks of pretty intense effort, and lots of planning and prep before that. I’ve got Alex on the show to talk about it, as he was the main instigator and led the effort, but everyone contributed in some way.

Wondering why? Well…

We were on a pretty old version of MySQL (5.6), and upgrading to something more modern (like 8) would have required just as much effort, so we thought we’d move on to something we saw more value in.
We’re undertaking big new efforts that require a bunch of data specific work. It’ll be more work to change after that, so it felt like a now or never situation.
PostgreSQL means consolidating of technology, which is big for our small team. We’ve done some of this, and it opens the door for more. For example, we can stop using Elasticsearch as a totally separate database for search and lean on PostgreSQL. The same goes for an analytics-focused database, job queuing, and even potentially static asset hosting.

There is a lot to talk about here, so we get into all the nitty-gritty detail, including how we pulled it off with near-zero downtime and the tools involved.

Time Jumps

00:16 CodePen switched databases

01:08 Team effort

03:16 Is it a big paradigm shift?

06:53 Using ElasticSearch

13:34 Recapping the why

16:14 We have some in house experience with PostGres

17:17 Sponsor: WooCommerce

18:50 How did we do the transition?

27:23 How long did it take to move the data?

31:14 How the migration went

36:53 What enabled this to be possible

41:06 Any negatives or issues?

Sponsor: WooCommerce

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