SQLite or PostgreSQL? It's complicated!  ↦

Miguel Grinberg built a SQLite-backed web app for the blogging team at Twilio to track their effectiveness that started to respond slugishly when it grew much bigger than he expected (6.5 million individual daily traffic records, and with a user base that grew to over 200 employees).

He thought this might be a good time to switch to Postgres, but he wasn’t sure if the wins he expected would be realized:

Having publicly professed my dislike of performance benchmarks, I resisted the urge to look up any comparisons online, and instead embarked on a series of experiments to accurately measure the performance of these two databases for the specific use cases of this application.

In this in-depth article on Twilio’s blog (no doubt being tracked by Miguel’s web app as we speak) he goes into the details of his efforts with lots of interesting findings along the way (even a plot twist!). I’ll leave you with this statement from the end:

If you are going to take one thing away from this article, I hope it is that the only benchmarks that are valuable are those that run on your own platform, with your own stack, with your own data, and with your own software. And even then, you may need to add custom optimizations to get the best performance.


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