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Update Cumulus_id Type and Indexes


As part of the work for CUMULUS-3449, LP DAAC (Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center) have identified some Cumulus Core changes in regards to the database in order to improve query performance. For other recommendations and considerations, see LP DAAC wiki Cumulus RDS Index testing.

The following updates are included:

  • Update some cumulus_id columns to BIGINT to allow future data grows and fix data type mismatch between primary key and foreign key. The columns are:

    • executions.cumulus_id
    • executions.parent_cumulus_id
    • files.granule_cumulus_id
    • granules_executions.granule_cumulus_id
    • granules_executions.execution_cumulus_id
    • pdrs.execution_cumulus_id
  • Update indexes to provide the best chances of joins between tables

    • Change granules table unique constraint from granules_granule_id_collection_cumulus_id_unique UNIQUE (granule_id, collection_cumulus_id) to granules_collection_cumulus_id_granule_id_unique UNIQUE (collection_cumulus_id, granule_id)
    • Add indexes granules_granule_id_index and granules_provider_collection_cumulus_id_granule_id_index to granules table

The updates will be automatically created as part of the bootstrap lambda function on deployment of the data-persistence module.

In cases where the type update and indexes are already applied, the updates will have no effect.

Apply the Changes in Production Environment

With large database (e.g. number of rows in executions table is greater than 100,000), the type updates and indexes must be applied manually since the commands can take significant amount of time. Since these particular ALTER TABLE commands require an EXCLUSIVE LOCK on the table, it is recommended that all database activity be quiesced. This means that Ingest and Archive and other Cumulus functions must be shutdown before and during these commands.

The table below from LP DAAC provides the table sizes before and after alter table commands, and timings. LP DAAC has Aurora PostgreSQL 13.10.

Table NameOriginal Table SizeALTER Run Time (clock)New Table SizeNumber of Rows
executions1.8 TB41 hours1.4 TB374,170,855
files1.2 TB7.5 hours850 GB1,129,847,659
granule_executions20 GB1 hours13 GB182,566,709

Tools Used

Since the update commands can take several hours to run based on table size and IO throughput, it is recommended that the commands are run in an EC2 instance in the AWS environment in a tmux or screen session. This will minimize the number of network hops and potential disconnects between the database client and the database. In addition, this will allow operators applying the patch to check on progress periodically and not worry about credential expiration or other issues that would result in the client being killed.

There are many available resources for tmux and the psql client. The following is for your referrence.


The version 9.x psql will be installed. This will work for all our standard SQL but some meta-commands like \d may not work.

Basic commands for running SQL commands

# Start a tmux session called CumulusUpgrade with a new window named Fix-DataTypes
tmux new -s CumulusUpgrade -n Fix-DataTypes

# Start a PosgreSQL client section on the writer instance of the database cluster and prompt for password
psql -h <Endpoint for writer instance> -p <Port for database or 5432> -d <cumulus database name or postgres> -U <database admin user or postgres> -W

# Open a new window to use for monitoring
<Ctrl>-b c

# Switch between windows
# Last window
<Ctrl>-b l

# Next Window
<Ctrl>-b n

# Detach from tmux session
<Ctrl>-b d

# List tmux sessions
tmux ls

# Reattach to the session, you will see the windows again
tmux attach -t CumulusUpgrade

# Exit the window and/or close/kill the session
# Warning: Don't close/kill the session until the task is complete
# or
<Ctrl>-b x


  • Backup database before applying the updates, see the Backup and Restore document.

  • To get a more accurate downtime estimate, you can take a snapshot of your database, and run the migration on it.

  • This upgrade should work on prior Cumulus releases, so the upgrade can be performed when maintenance windown allows without having to upgrade Cumulus.

Upgrade Steps

  1. Quiesce ingest

    Stop all ingest operations in Cumulus Core according to your operational procedures. You should validate that it appears there are no active queries that appear to be inserting granules/files into the database as a secondary method of evaluating the database system state:

    select pid, query, state, wait_event_type, wait_event from pg_stat_activity where state = 'active';

    If query rows are returned with a query value that involves the tables, make sure ingest is halted and no other granule-update activity is running on the system.

    Note: In rare instances if there are hung queries that are unable to resolve, it may be necessary to manually use psql Server Signaling Functions pg_cancel_backend and/or pg_terminate_backend to end the queries.

  2. Login into EC2 instance with database access.

    From AWS console: Go to EC2, pick a <prefix>-CumulusECSCluster instance, click Connect, click Session Manager and click the Connect button.

    From AWS CLI: aws ssm start-session --target EC2 Instance ID.

    Remember to take a note on which instance you run the commands.
  3. Install tmux and postgres client

    sudo yum install -y tmux postgresql.x86_64

    Once installed, a tmux session is started with two windows. The Cumulus database is connected to in each window using the PostgreSQL client. The primary window is used for running the ALTER commands, while the secondary window is used to monitor the database and alter statement. When the operator hits end of shift or is done monitoring for the day, the tmux session can be detached from and reattached to at a later time.

  4. Run SQL Commands The database login credentials can be retrieved from the prefix_db_login secret. When the SQL commands are running, perform step 5 to monitor the commands.

    tmux new-session -s CumulusUpgrade -n Fix-DataTypes

    psql -h <Endpoint for writer instance> -p <Port for database or 5432> -d <cumulus database name> -U <database admin user> -W
    #e.g. psql -h -p 5432 -d cumulus_test_db -U cumulus_test -W

    # Use -f option to run the SQL commands from a file
    psql -h <Endpoint for writer instance> -p <Port for database or 5432> -d <cumulus database name> -U <database admin user> -f 20240124101001_update_cumulus_id_add_indexes.sql -W

    The following are SQL commands, and 20240124101001_update_cumulus_id_add_indexes.sql is available here:

    -- Update column types
    ALTER TABLE executions ALTER COLUMN cumulus_id TYPE BIGINT, ALTER COLUMN parent_cumulus_id TYPE BIGINT;
    ALTER TABLE files ALTER COLUMN granule_cumulus_id TYPE BIGINT;
    ALTER TABLE granules_executions ALTER COLUMN granule_cumulus_id TYPE BIGINT, ALTER COLUMN execution_cumulus_id TYPE BIGINT;
    ALTER TABLE pdrs ALTER COLUMN execution_cumulus_id TYPE BIGINT;

    VACUUM (ANALYZE, VERBOSE) executions;
    VACUUM (ANALYZE, VERBOSE) granules_executions;

    -- Update and Add indexes
    CREATE UNIQUE INDEX CONCURRENTLY IF NOT EXISTS granules_collection_cumulus_id_granule_id_unique ON granules(collection_cumulus_id, granule_id);
    CREATE INDEX CONCURRENTLY IF NOT EXISTS granules_granule_id_index ON granules(granule_id);
    CREATE INDEX CONCURRENTLY IF NOT EXISTS granules_provider_collection_cumulus_id_granule_id_index ON granules(provider_cumulus_id, collection_cumulus_id, granule_id);
  5. Monitor the Running Command

    # From tmux CumulusUpgrade session, open another window
    <Ctrl>-b c

    psql -h <Endpoint for writer instance> -p <Port for database or 5432> -d <cumulus database name> -U <database admin user> -W

    select pid, query, state, wait_event_type, wait_event from pg_stat_activity where state = 'active';
  6. Verify the Updates

    We can verify that the tables are updated successfully by checking the \d table results from psql. We can run the commands outside of EC2 from pgAdmin or a psql client which supports \d command. The following are expected results.

    => \d executions;

    Column | Type | Collation | Nullable | Default
    cumulus_id | bigint | | not null | nextval('executions_cumulus_id_seq'::regclass)
    parent_cumulus_id | bigint | | |

    => \d granules_executions;

    Column | Type | Collation | Nullable | Default
    granule_cumulus_id | bigint | | not null |
    execution_cumulus_id | bigint | | not null |

    => \d files;

    Column | Type | Collation | Nullable | Default
    granule_cumulus_id | bigint | | not null |

    => \d granules;

    "granules_collection_cumulus_id_granule_id_unique" UNIQUE, btree (collection_cumulus_id, granule_id)
    "granules_granule_id_index" btree (granule_id)
    "granules_provider_collection_cumulus_id_granule_id_index" btree (provider_cumulus_id, collection_cumulus_id, granule_id)

    => \d pdrs

    Column | Type | Collation | Nullable | Default
    execution_cumulus_id | bigint | | |
  7. Close the Session

    Close the tmux session after the task is complete by exit or <Ctrl>-b x.