While Timescale generally offers capabilities that go beyond what PostgreSQL offers, there are some limitations to using hypertables, and, in particular, distributed hypertables. This section documents the common limitations when using both regular and distributed hypertables.

  • Foreign key constraints referencing a hypertable are not supported.
  • Time dimensions (columns) used for partitioning cannot have NULL values.
  • Unique indexes must include all columns that are partitioning dimensions.
  • UPDATE statements that move values between partitions (chunks) are not supported. This includes upserts (INSERT ... ON CONFLICT UPDATE).

All the limitations of regular hypertables also apply to distributed hypertables. In addition, the following limitations apply specifically to distributed hypertables:

  • Distributed scheduling of background jobs is not supported. Background jobs created on an access node are scheduled and executed on this access node without distributing the jobs to data nodes.
  • Continuous aggregates can aggregate data distributed across data nodes, but the continuous aggregate itself must live on the access node. This could create a limitation on how far you can scale your installation, but because continuous aggregates are downsamples of the data, this does not usually create a problem.
  • Reordering chunks is not supported.
  • Tablespaces cannot be attached to a distributed hypertable on the access node. It is still possible to attach tablespaces on data nodes.
  • Roles and permissions are assumed to be consistent across the nodes of a distributed database, but consistency is not enforced.
  • Joins on data nodes are not supported. Joining a distributed hypertable with another table requires the other table to reside on the access node. This also limits the performance of joins on distributed hypertables.
  • Tables referenced by foreign key constraints in a distributed hypertable must be present on the access node and all data nodes. This applies also to referenced values.
  • Parallel-aware scans and appends are not supported.
  • Distributed hypertables do not natively provide a consistent restore point for backup and restore across nodes. Use the create_distributed_restore_point command, and make sure you take care when you restore individual backups to access and data nodes.
  • For native replication limitations, see the native replication section.
  • User defined functions have to be manually installed on the data nodes so that the function definition is available on both access and data nodes. This is particularly relevant for functions that are registered with set_integer_now_func.

Note that these limitations concern usage from the access node. Some currently unsupported features might still work on individual data nodes, but such usage is neither tested nor officially supported. Future versions of Timescale might remove some of these limitations.


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