Bootstrap

This section describes the options you have to create a new PostgreSQL cluster and the design rationale behind them. There are primarily two ways to bootstrap a new cluster:

  • from scratch (initdb)
  • from an existing PostgreSQL cluster, either directly (pg_basebackup) or indirectly (recovery)

The initdb bootstrap also offers the possibility to import one or more databases from an existing Postgres cluster, even outside Kubernetes, and having a different major version of Postgres. For more detailed information about this feature, please refer to the "Importing Postgres databases" section.

Important

Bootstrapping from an existing cluster opens up the possibility to create a replica cluster, that is an independent PostgreSQL cluster which is in continuous recovery, synchronized with the source and that accepts read-only connections.

Warning

CloudNativePG requires both the postgres user and database to always exists. Using the local Unix Domain Socket, it needs to connect as postgres user to the postgres database via peer authentication in order to perform administrative tasks on the cluster.
DO NOT DELETE the postgres user or the postgres database!!!

The bootstrap section

The bootstrap method can be defined in the bootstrap section of the cluster specification. CloudNativePG currently supports the following bootstrap methods:

  • initdb: initialize a new PostgreSQL cluster (default)
  • recovery: create a PostgreSQL cluster by restoring from an existing cluster via a backup object store, and replaying all the available WAL files or up to a given point in time
  • pg_basebackup: create a PostgreSQL cluster by cloning an existing one of the same major version using pg_basebackup via streaming replication protocol - useful if you want to migrate databases to CloudNativePG, even from outside Kubernetes.

Differently from the initdb method, both recovery and pg_basebackup create a new cluster based on another one (either offline or online) and can be used to spin up replica clusters. They both rely on the definition of external clusters.

API reference

Please refer to the "API reference for the bootstrap section for more information.

The externalClusters section

The externalClusters section allows you to define one or more PostgreSQL clusters that are somehow related to the current one. While in the future this section will enable more complex scenarios, it is currently intended to define a cross-region PostgreSQL cluster based on physical replication, and spanning over different Kubernetes clusters or even traditional VM/bare-metal environments.

As far as bootstrapping is concerned, externalClusters can be used to define the source PostgreSQL cluster for either the pg_basebackup method or the recovery one. An external cluster needs to have:

  • a name that identifies the origin cluster, to be used as a reference via the source option
  • at least one of the following:

    • information about streaming connection
    • information about the recovery object store, which is a Barman Cloud compatible object store that contains the backup files of the source cluster - that is, base backups and WAL archives.

Note

A recovery object store is normally an AWS S3, or an Azure Blob Storage, or a Google Cloud Storage source that is managed by Barman Cloud.

When only the streaming connection is defined, the source can be used for the pg_basebackup method. When only the recovery object store is defined, the source can be used for the recovery method. When both are defined, any of the two bootstrap methods can be chosen.

Furthermore, in case of pg_basebackup or full recoverypoint in time), the cluster is eligible for replica cluster mode. This means that the cluster is continuously fed from the source, either via streaming, via WAL shipping through the PostgreSQL's restore_command, or any of the two.

API reference

Please refer to the "API reference for the externalClusters section for more information.

Bootstrap an empty cluster (initdb)

The initdb bootstrap method is used to create a new PostgreSQL cluster from scratch. It is the default one unless specified differently.

The following example contains the full structure of the initdb configuration:

apiVersion: postgresql.cnpg.io/v1
kind: Cluster
metadata:
  name: cluster-example-initdb
spec:
  instances: 3

  superuserSecret:
    name: superuser-secret

  bootstrap:
    initdb:
      database: app
      owner: app
      secret:
        name: app-secret

  storage:
    size: 1Gi

The above example of bootstrap will:

  1. create a new PGDATA folder using PostgreSQL's native initdb command
  2. set a password for the postgres superuser from the secret named superuser-secret
  3. create an unprivileged user named app
  4. set the password of the latter (app) using the one in the app-secret secret (make sure that username matches the same name of the owner)
  5. create a database called app owned by the app user.

Thanks to the convention over configuration paradigm, you can let the operator choose a default database name (app) and a default application user name (same as the database name), as well as randomly generate a secure password for both the superuser and the application user in PostgreSQL.

Alternatively, you can generate your passwords, store them as secrets, and use them in the PostgreSQL cluster - as described in the above example.

The supplied secrets must comply with the specifications of the kubernetes.io/basic-auth type. As a result, the username in the secret must match the one of the owner (for the application secret) and postgres for the superuser one.

The following is an example of a basic-auth secret:

apiVersion: v1
data:
  username: YXBw
  password: cGFzc3dvcmQ=
kind: Secret
metadata:
  name: app-secret
type: kubernetes.io/basic-auth

The application database is the one that should be used to store application data. Applications should connect to the cluster with the user that owns the application database.

Important

Future implementations of the operator might allow you to create additional users in a declarative configuration fashion.

The postgres superuser and the postgres database are supposed to be used only by the operator to configure the cluster.

In case you don't supply any database name, the operator will proceed by convention and create the app database, and adds it to the cluster definition using a defaulting webhook. The user that owns the database defaults to the database name instead.

The application user is not used internally by the operator, which instead relies on the superuser to reconcile the cluster with the desired status.

Important

For now, changes to the name of the superuser secret are not applied to the cluster.

The actual PostgreSQL data directory is created via an invocation of the initdb PostgreSQL command. If you need to add custom options to that command (i.e., to change the locale used for the template databases or to add data checksums), you can use the following parameters:

dataChecksums
When dataChecksums is set to true, CNPG invokes the -k option in initdb to enable checksums on data pages and help detect corruption by the I/O system - that would otherwise be silent (default: false).
encoding
When encoding set to a value, CNPG passes it to the --encoding option in initdb, which selects the encoding of the template database (default: UTF8).
localeCollate
When localeCollate is set to a value, CNPG passes it to the --lc-collate option in initdb. This option controls the collation order (LC_COLLATE subcategory), as defined in "Locale Support" from the PostgreSQL documentation (default: C).
localeCType
When localeCType is set to a value, CNPG passes it to the --lc-ctype option in initdb. This option controls the collation order (LC_CTYPE subcategory), as defined in "Locale Support" from the PostgreSQL documentation (default: C).
walSegmentSize
When walSegmentSize is set to a value, CNPG passes it to the --wal-segsize option in initdb (default: not set - defined by PostgreSQL as 16 megabytes).

Note

The only two locale options that CloudNativePG implements during the initdb bootstrap refer to the LC_COLLATE and LC_TYPE subcategories. The remaining locale subcategories can be configured directly in the PostgreSQL configuration, using the lc_messages, lc_monetary, lc_numeric, and lc_time parameters.

The following example enables data checksums and sets the default encoding to LATIN1:

apiVersion: postgresql.cnpg.io/v1
kind: Cluster
metadata:
  name: cluster-example-initdb
spec:
  instances: 3

  bootstrap:
    initdb:
      database: app
      owner: app
      dataChecksums: true
      encoding: 'LATIN1'
  storage:
    size: 1Gi

CloudNativePG supports another way to customize the behavior of the initdb invocation, using the options subsection. However, given that there are options that can break the behavior of the operator (such as --auth or -d), this technique is deprecated and will be removed from future versions of the API.

You can also specify a custom list of queries that will be executed once, just after the database is created and configured. These queries will be executed as the superuser (postgres), connected to the postgres database:

apiVersion: postgresql.cnpg.io/v1
kind: Cluster
metadata:
  name: cluster-example-initdb
spec:
  instances: 3

  bootstrap:
    initdb:
      database: app
      owner: app
      dataChecksums: true
      localeCollate: 'en_US'
      localeCType: 'en_US'
      postInitSQL:
        - CREATE ROLE angus
        - CREATE ROLE malcolm
  storage:
    size: 1Gi

Warning

Please use the postInitSQL, postInitApplicationSQL and postInitTemplateSQL options with extreme care, as queries are run as a superuser and can disrupt the entire cluster. An error in any of those queries interrupts the bootstrap phase, leaving the cluster incomplete.

Moreover, you can specify a list of Secrets and/or ConfigMaps which contains SQL script that will be executed after the database is created and configured. These SQL script will be executed using the superuser role (postgres), connected to the database specified in the initdb section:

apiVersion: postgresql.cnpg.io/v1
kind: Cluster
metadata:
  name: cluster-example-initdb
spec:
  instances: 3

  bootstrap:
    initdb:
      database: app
      owner: app
      postInitApplicationSQLRefs:
        secretRefs:
        - name: my-secret
          key: secret.sql
        configMapRefs:
        - name: my-configmap
          key: configmap.sql
  storage:
    size: 1Gi

Note

The SQL scripts referenced in secretRefs will be executed before the ones referenced in configMapRefs. For both sections the SQL scripts will be executed respecting the order in the list. Inside SQL scripts, each SQL statement is executed in a single exec on the server according to the PostgreSQL semantics, comments can be included, but internal command like psql cannot.

Warning

Please make sure the existence of the entries inside the ConfigMaps or Secrets specified in postInitApplicationSQLRefs, otherwise the bootstrap will fail. Errors in any of those SQL files will prevent the bootstrap phase to complete successfully.

Bootstrap from another cluster

CloudNativePG enables the bootstrap of a cluster starting from another one of the same major version. This operation can happen by connecting directly to the source cluster via streaming replication (pg_basebackup), or indirectly via a recovery object store (recovery).

The source cluster must be defined in the externalClusters section, identified by name (our recommendation is to use the same name of the origin cluster).

Important

By default the recovery method strictly uses the name of the cluster in the externalClusters section to locate the main folder of the backup data within the object store, which is normally reserved for the name of the server. You can specify a different one with the barmanObjectStore.serverName property (by default assigned to the value of name in the external cluster definition).

Bootstrap from a backup (recovery)

The recovery bootstrap mode lets you create a new cluster from an existing backup, namely a recovery object store.

There are two ways to achieve this result in CloudNativePG:

  • using a recovery object store, that is a backup of another cluster created by Barman Cloud and defined via the barmanObjectStore option in the externalClusters section (recommended)
  • using an existing Backup object in the same namespace (this was the only option available before version 1.8.0).

Both recovery methods enable either full recovery (up to the last available WAL) or up to a point in time. When performing a full recovery, the cluster can also be started in replica mode.

Note

You can find more information about backup and recovery of a running cluster in the "Backup and recovery" page.

Recovery from an object store

You can recover from a backup created by Barman Cloud and stored on a supported object storage. Once you have defined the external cluster, including all the required configuration in the barmanObjectStore section, you need to reference it in the .spec.recovery.source option. The following example defines a recovery object store in a blob container in Azure:

apiVersion: postgresql.cnpg.io/v1
kind: Cluster
metadata:
  name: cluster-restore
spec:
  [...]

  superuserSecret:
    name: superuser-secret

  bootstrap:
    recovery:
      source: clusterBackup

  externalClusters:
    - name: clusterBackup
      barmanObjectStore:
        destinationPath: https://STORAGEACCOUNTNAME.blob.core.windows.net/CONTAINERNAME/
        azureCredentials:
          storageAccount:
            name: recovery-object-store-secret
            key: storage_account_name
          storageKey:
            name: recovery-object-store-secret
            key: storage_account_key
        wal:
          maxParallel: 8

Important

By default the recovery method strictly uses the name of the cluster in the externalClusters section to locate the main folder of the backup data within the object store, which is normally reserved for the name of the server. You can specify a different one with the barmanObjectStore.serverName property (by default assigned to the value of name in the external clusters definition).

Note

In the above example we are taking advantage of the parallel WAL restore feature, dedicating up to 8 jobs to concurrently fetch the required WAL files from the archive. This feature can appreciably reduce the recovery time. Make sure that you plan ahead for this scenario and correctly tune the value of this parameter for your environment. It will certainly make a difference when (not if) you'll need it.

Recovery from a Backup object

In case a Backup resource is already available in the namespace in which the cluster should be created, you can specify its name through .spec.bootstrap.recovery.backup.name, as in the following example:

apiVersion: postgresql.cnpg.io/v1
kind: Cluster
metadata:
  name: cluster-example-initdb
spec:
  instances: 3

  superuserSecret:
    name: superuser-secret

  bootstrap:
    recovery:
      backup:
        name: backup-example

  storage:
    size: 1Gi

This bootstrap method allows you to specify just a reference to the backup that needs to be restored.

Additional considerations

Whether you recover from a recovery object store or an existing Backup resource, the following considerations apply:

  • The application database name and the application database user are preserved from the backup that is being restored. The operator does not currently attempt to back up the underlying secrets, as this is part of the usual maintenance activity of the Kubernetes cluster itself.
  • In case you don't supply any superuserSecret, a new one is automatically generated with a secure and random password. The secret is then used to reset the password for the postgres user of the cluster.
  • By default, the recovery will continue up to the latest available WAL on the default target timeline (current for PostgreSQL up to 11, latest for version 12 and above). You can optionally specify a recoveryTarget to perform a point in time recovery (see the "Point in time recovery" section).

Important

Consider using the barmanObjectStore.wal.maxParallel option to speed up WAL fetching from the archive by concurrently downloading the transaction logs from the recovery object store.

Point in time recovery (PITR)

Instead of replaying all the WALs up to the latest one, we can ask PostgreSQL to stop replaying WALs at any given point in time, after having extracted a base backup. PostgreSQL uses this technique to achieve point-in-time recovery (PITR).

Note

PITR is available from recovery object stores as well as Backup objects.

The operator will generate the configuration parameters required for this feature to work in case a recovery target is specified, like in the following example that uses a recovery object stored in Azure and a timestamp based goal:

apiVersion: postgresql.cnpg.io/v1
kind: Cluster
metadata:
  name: cluster-restore-pitr
spec:
  instances: 3

  storage:
    size: 5Gi

  bootstrap:
    recovery:
      source: clusterBackup
      recoveryTarget:
        targetTime: "2020-11-26 15:22:00.00000+00"

  externalClusters:
    - name: clusterBackup
      barmanObjectStore:
        destinationPath: https://STORAGEACCOUNTNAME.blob.core.windows.net/CONTAINERNAME/
        azureCredentials:
          storageAccount:
            name: recovery-object-store-secret
            key: storage_account_name
          storageKey:
            name: recovery-object-store-secret
            key: storage_account_key
        wal:
          maxParallel: 8

You might have noticed that in the above example you only had to specify the targetTime in the form of a timestamp, without having to worry about specifying the base backup from which to start the recovery.

The backupID option is the one that allows you to specify the base backup from which to initiate the recovery process. By default, this value is empty.

If you assign a value to it (in the form of a Barman backup ID), the operator will use that backup as base for the recovery.

Important

You need to make sure that such a backup exists and is accessible.

If the backup ID is not specified, the operator will automatically detect the base backup for the recovery as follows:

  • when you use targetTime or targetLSN, the operator selects the closest backup that was completed before that target
  • otherwise the operator selects the last available backup in chronological order.

Here are the recovery target criteria you can use:

targetTime
time stamp up to which recovery will proceed, expressed in RFC 3339 format (the precise stopping point is also influenced by the exclusive option)
targetXID
transaction ID up to which recovery will proceed (the precise stopping point is also influenced by the exclusive option); keep in mind that while transaction IDs are assigned sequentially at transaction start, transactions can complete in a different numeric order. The transactions that will be recovered are those that committed before (and optionally including) the specified one
targetName
named restore point (created with pg_create_restore_point()) to which recovery will proceed
targetLSN
LSN of the write-ahead log location up to which recovery will proceed (the precise stopping point is also influenced by the exclusive option)
targetImmediate
recovery should end as soon as a consistent state is reached - i.e. as early as possible. When restoring from an online backup, this means the point where taking the backup ended

Important

While the operator is able to automatically retrieve the closest backup when either targetTime or targetLSN is specified, this is not possible for the remaining targets: targetName, targetXID, and targetImmediate. In such cases, it is important to specify backupID, unless you are OK with the last available backup in the catalog.

The example below uses a targetName based recovery target:

apiVersion: postgresql.cnpg.io/v1
kind: Cluster
[...]
  bootstrap:
    recovery:
      source: clusterBackup
      recoveryTarget:
        backupID: 20220616T142236
        targetName: 'restore_point_1'
[...]

You can choose only a single one among the targets above in each recoveryTarget configuration.

Additionally, you can specify targetTLI force recovery to a specific timeline.

By default, the previous parameters are considered to be exclusive, stopping just before the recovery target. You can request inclusive behavior, stopping right after the recovery target, setting the exclusive parameter to false like in the following example relying on a blob container in Azure:

apiVersion: postgresql.cnpg.io/v1
kind: Cluster
metadata:
  name: cluster-restore-pitr
spec:
  instances: 3

  storage:
    size: 5Gi

  bootstrap:
    recovery:
      source: clusterBackup
      recoveryTarget:
        backupID: 20220616T142236
        targetName: "maintenance-activity"
        exclusive: false

  externalClusters:
    - name: clusterBackup
      barmanObjectStore:
        destinationPath: https://STORAGEACCOUNTNAME.blob.core.windows.net/CONTAINERNAME/
        azureCredentials:
          storageAccount:
            name: recovery-object-store-secret
            key: storage_account_name
          storageKey:
            name: recovery-object-store-secret
            key: storage_account_key
        wal:
          maxParallel: 8

Configure the application database

For the recovered cluster, we can configure the application database name and credentials with additional configuration. To update application database credentials, we can generate our own passwords, store them as secrets, and update the database use the secrets. Or we can also let the operator generate a secret with randomly secure password for use. Please reference the "Bootstrap an empty cluster" section for more information about secrets.

The following example configure the application database app with owner app, and supplied secret app-secret.

apiVersion: postgresql.cnpg.io/v1
kind: Cluster
[...]
spec:
  bootstrap:
    recovery:
      database: app
      owner: app
      secret:
        name: app-secret
      [...]

With the above configuration, the following will happen after recovery is completed:

  1. if database app does not exist, a new database app will be created.
  2. if user app does not exist, a new user app will be created.
  3. if user app is not the owner of database, user app will be granted as owner of database app.
  4. If value of username match value of owner in secret, the password of application database will be changed to the value of password in secret.

Important

For a replica cluster with replica mode enabled, the operator will not create any database or user in the PostgreSQL instance, as these will be recovered from the original cluster.

Bootstrap from a live cluster (pg_basebackup)

The pg_basebackup bootstrap mode lets you create a new cluster (target) as an exact physical copy of an existing and binary compatible PostgreSQL instance (source), through a valid streaming replication connection. The source instance can be either a primary or a standby PostgreSQL server.

The primary use case for this method is represented by migrations to CloudNativePG, either from outside Kubernetes or within Kubernetes (e.g., from another operator).

Warning

The current implementation creates a snapshot of the origin PostgreSQL instance when the cloning process terminates and immediately starts the created cluster. See "Current limitations" below for details.

Similar to the case of the recovery bootstrap method, once the clone operation completes, the operator will take ownership of the target cluster, starting from the first instance. This includes overriding some configuration parameters, as required by CloudNativePG, resetting the superuser password, creating the streaming_replica user, managing the replicas, and so on. The resulting cluster will be completely independent of the source instance.

Important

Configuring the network between the target instance and the source instance goes beyond the scope of CloudNativePG documentation, as it depends on the actual context and environment.

The streaming replication client on the target instance, which will be transparently managed by pg_basebackup, can authenticate itself on the source instance in any of the following ways:

  1. via username/password
  2. via TLS client certificate

The latter is the recommended one if you connect to a source managed by CloudNativePG or configured for TLS authentication. The first option is, however, the most common form of authentication to a PostgreSQL server in general, and might be the easiest way if the source instance is on a traditional environment outside Kubernetes. Both cases are explained below.

Requirements

The following requirements apply to the pg_basebackup bootstrap method:

  • target and source must have the same hardware architecture
  • target and source must have the same major PostgreSQL version
  • source must not have any tablespace defined (see "Current limitations" below)
  • source must be configured with enough max_wal_senders to grant access from the target for this one-off operation by providing at least one walsender for the backup plus one for WAL streaming
  • the network between source and target must be configured to enable the target instance to connect to the PostgreSQL port on the source instance
  • source must have a role with REPLICATION LOGIN privileges and must accept connections from the target instance for this role in pg_hba.conf, preferably via TLS (see "About the replication user" below)
  • target must be able to successfully connect to the source PostgreSQL instance using a role with REPLICATION LOGIN privileges

Seealso

For further information, please refer to the "Planning" section for Warm Standby, the pg_basebackup page and the "High Availability, Load Balancing, and Replication" chapter in the PostgreSQL documentation.

About the replication user

As explained in the requirements section, you need to have a user with either the SUPERUSER or, preferably, just the REPLICATION privilege in the source instance.

If the source database is created with CloudNativePG, you can reuse the streaming_replica user and take advantage of client TLS certificates authentication (which, by default, is the only allowed connection method for streaming_replica).

For all other cases, including outside Kubernetes, please verify that you already have a user with the REPLICATION privilege, or create a new one by following the instructions below.

As postgres user on the source system, please run:

createuser -P --replication streaming_replica

Enter the password at the prompt and save it for later, as you will need to add it to a secret in the target instance.

Note

Although the name is not important, we will use streaming_replica for the sake of simplicity. Feel free to change it as you like, provided you adapt the instructions in the following sections.

Username/Password authentication

The first authentication method supported by CloudNativePG with the pg_basebackup bootstrap is based on username and password matching.

Make sure you have the following information before you start the procedure:

  • location of the source instance, identified by a hostname or an IP address and a TCP port
  • replication username (streaming_replica for simplicity)
  • password

You might need to add a line similar to the following to the pg_hba.conf file on the source PostgreSQL instance:

# A more restrictive rule for TLS and IP of origin is recommended
host replication streaming_replica all md5

The following manifest creates a new PostgreSQL 15.0 cluster, called target-db, using the pg_basebackup bootstrap method to clone an external PostgreSQL cluster defined as source-db (in the externalClusters array). As you can see, the source-db definition points to the source-db.foo.com host and connects as the streaming_replica user, whose password is stored in the password key of the source-db-replica-user secret.

apiVersion: postgresql.cnpg.io/v1
kind: Cluster
metadata:
  name: target-db
spec:
  instances: 3
  imageName: ghcr.io/cloudnative-pg/postgresql:15.0

  bootstrap:
    pg_basebackup:
      source: source-db

  storage:
    size: 1Gi

  externalClusters:
  - name: source-db
    connectionParameters:
      host: source-db.foo.com
      user: streaming_replica
    password:
      name: source-db-replica-user
      key: password

All the requirements must be met for the clone operation to work, including the same PostgreSQL version (in our case 15.0).

TLS certificate authentication

The second authentication method supported by CloudNativePG with the pg_basebackup bootstrap is based on TLS client certificates. This is the recommended approach from a security standpoint.

The following example clones an existing PostgreSQL cluster (cluster-example) in the same Kubernetes cluster.

Note

This example can be easily adapted to cover an instance that resides outside the Kubernetes cluster.

The manifest defines a new PostgreSQL 15.0 cluster called cluster-clone-tls, which is bootstrapped using the pg_basebackup method from the cluster-example external cluster. The host is identified by the read/write service in the same cluster, while the streaming_replica user is authenticated thanks to the provided keys, certificate, and certification authority information (respectively in the cluster-example-replication and cluster-example-ca secrets).

apiVersion: postgresql.cnpg.io/v1
kind: Cluster
metadata:
  name: cluster-clone-tls
spec:
  instances: 3
  imageName: ghcr.io/cloudnative-pg/postgresql:15.0

  bootstrap:
    pg_basebackup:
      source: cluster-example

  storage:
    size: 1Gi

  externalClusters:
  - name: cluster-example
    connectionParameters:
      host: cluster-example-rw.default.svc
      user: streaming_replica
      sslmode: verify-full
    sslKey:
      name: cluster-example-replication
      key: tls.key
    sslCert:
      name: cluster-example-replication
      key: tls.crt
    sslRootCert:
      name: cluster-example-ca
      key: ca.crt

Configure the application database

We also support to configure the application database for cluster which bootstrap from a live cluster, just like the case of initdb and recovery bootstrap method. If the new cluster is created as a replica cluster (with replica mode enabled), application database configuration will be skipped.

The following example configure the application database app with password in supplied secret app-secret after bootstrap from a live cluster.

apiVersion: postgresql.cnpg.io/v1
kind: Cluster
[...]
spec:
  bootstrap:
    pg_basebackup:
      database: app
      owner: app
      secret:
        name: app-secret
      source: cluster-example

With the above configuration, the following will happen after recovery is completed:

  1. if database app does not exist, a new database app will be created.
  2. if user app does not exist, a new user app will be created.
  3. if user app is not the owner of database, user app will be granted as owner of database app.
  4. If value of username match value of owner in secret, the password of application database will be changed to the value of password in secret.

Important

For a replica cluster with replica mode enabled, the operator will not create any database or user in the PostgreSQL instance, as these will be recovered from the original cluster.

Current limitations

Missing tablespace support

CloudNativePG does not currently include full declarative management of PostgreSQL global objects, namely roles, databases, and tablespaces. While roles and databases are copied from the source instance to the target cluster, tablespaces require a capability that this version of CloudNativePG is missing: definition and management of additional persistent volumes. When dealing with base backup and tablespaces, PostgreSQL itself requires that the exact mount points in the source instance must also exist in the target instance, in our case, the pods in Kubernetes that CloudNativePG manages. For this reason, you cannot directly migrate in CloudNativePG a PostgreSQL instance that takes advantage of tablespaces (you first need to remove them from the source or, if your organization requires this feature, contact EDB to prioritize it).

Snapshot copy

The pg_basebackup method takes a snapshot of the source instance in the form of a PostgreSQL base backup. All transactions written from the start of the backup to the correct termination of the backup will be streamed to the target instance using a second connection (see the --wal-method=stream option for pg_basebackup).

Once the backup is completed, the new instance will be started on a new timeline and diverge from the source. For this reason, it is advised to stop all write operations to the source database before migrating to the target database in Kubernetes.

Important

Before you attempt a migration, you must test both the procedure and the applications. In particular, it is fundamental that you run the migration procedure as many times as needed to systematically measure the downtime of your applications in production. Feel free to contact EDB for assistance.

Future versions of CloudNativePG will enable users to control PostgreSQL's continuous recovery mechanism via Write-Ahead Log (WAL) shipping by creating a new cluster that is a replica of another PostgreSQL instance. This will open up two main use cases:

  • replication over different Kubernetes clusters in CloudNativePG
  • 0 cutover time migrations to CloudNativePG with the pg_basebackup bootstrap method