High Availability, Disaster Recovery & Fault Tolerance with PostgreSQL

April 05, 2024

EDB is proud to be part of a vibrant open-source community, and our experts have been busy this year attending Postgres conferences and community meetups around the world. 

This month, EDB Field CTO- APJ Ajit Gadge will be giving a talk at FOSS ASIA Summit 2024 about high availability, disaster recovery and fault tolerance with PostgreSQL. Ensuring business continuity with high availability database systems has always been an important and interesting topic for companies embracing Postgres and digital transformation. If you’re in Hanoi and planning to attend the FOSS ASIA Summit we hope you’ll have a chance to catch Ajit’s talk and ask some questions. If not, here’s a preview of what he’ll be presenting: 

For modern enterprises, downtime is unacceptable, especially for businesses that rely heavily on digital infrastructure. Imagine relying on a single database server for all your operations. Initially, it seems efficient and convenient – queries go in, results come out. The real challenge arises when that solitary server encounters a problem. Suddenly, everything grinds to a halt. No emails, no website, no transactions, no productivity. 

That’s why organizations need high availability, disaster recovery processes, and fault tolerant design to protect their data. 

  • High Availability - High availability (HA) is a characteristic of a system that establishes an agreed level of operational performance, usually uptime, for a higher-than-normal period.

  • Disaster Recovery - Disaster recovery (DR) is the process of maintaining or reestablishing vital infrastructure and systems following a natural or human-induced disaster.

  • Fault tolerance - A fault-tolerant design enables a system to continue its intended operation, possibly at a reduced level, rather than failing completely, when some part of the system fails.

High availability relies on redundancy – having a backup server ready to seamlessly take over in case of failure. Downtime becomes a fleeting inconvenience rather than a crippling blow to productivity.

But redundancy alone isn't sufficient. To achieve true high availability and fast disaster recovery, all servers have to be synchronized with the latest data. This is where replication comes into play. Whether through physical or logical means, maintaining data consistency across multiple servers is essential for a smooth transition in the event of a failure.

The final piece of the puzzle is automated failover mechanisms. Technologies like EFM, repmgr, and Patroni step in to seamlessly redirect operations to the backup server without human intervention. This automated switchover ensures minimal disruption, keeping downtime to an absolute minimum.

There are a lot of details that go into maintaining high uptime levels. Factors like hardware failure, natural disasters, or power outages are all accounted for in the design of these systems. From uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) to distributed server setups across different data centers, every contingency is considered to uphold operational continuity.

The stakes are high for businesses operating in today's digital landscape. Every minute of downtime equates to potential revenue loss, not to mention reputation damage. By implementing robust high availability database systems, organizations safeguard themselves against such risks. Whether it's a small enterprise or a multinational corporation, the principles remain the same – prioritize uptime, mitigate risks, and ensure seamless operations.

It's not just about data storage and analytics; it's about safeguarding businesses in an increasingly interconnected world. As technology continues to evolve, so too must our strategies for maintaining uninterrupted operations. With robust high availability systems in place, businesses can weather any storm, secure in the knowledge that their data – and their operations – remain resilient in the face of adversity.

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