Faraway replicas

Faraway replicas are read-only replicas of BigAnimal clusters that you can provision in most supported regions. You can create faraway replicas of your single-node and high-availability clusters in different regions of your cloud. Database users and applications can read from a nearby faraway replica instead of the source cluster. This ability relieves some of the workload on the source cluster and frees it up to handle write traffic.

In case of a failure, you can manually promote the faraway replica to a full-fledged BigAnimal cluster, making it capable of accepting writes. See Managing replicas.

In BigAnimal, faraway replicas use log shipping to replicate from their source clusters. This means that a replica cluster accesses the write-ahead log (WAL) of its source cluster and “replays” the changes described in it.

A WAL is a file that logs any changes made to a database. Databases write the change to the WAL before actually making the change. This way, if the database goes down before the change can be applied, the WAL has a record of the intended changes. The replica pulls in the changes from the WAL every time a new WAL file is closed, so replication is asynchronous.

Faraway replicas are priced the same as single-node clusters.


  • Disaster recovery You can create faraway replicas in different regions in your cloud. Deploying faraway replicas across regions can help you build a more solid disaster recovery (DR) plan.

  • Improved read-query performance For an improved read-query performance, set up the faraway replica in the same region as your application. For example, applications can read the writes made to a cluster in the us-east region from a us-west replica.

  • Flexibility Options you might not find anywhere else:

    • Your choice of instance type and size
    • Your choice of storage volume and properties
    • No limit to the number of replicas you can create


  • Manual intervention Unlike standby replicas, BigAnimal doesn't automatically promote faraway replicas to the source cluster in case of a failure.

  • Replication lag Promoting a faraway replica to a BigAnimal cluster can result in loss of data. See Replication lag with faraway replicas.


The diagram shows a three-node, high-availability cluster with two faraway replicas.

Generic faraway cluster

The diagram shows a faraway replica in Region B that's promoted to a new cluster.

Faraway cluster after promotion