EDB Postgres Distributed Proxy v5

EDB Postgres Distributed Proxy is a daemon that acts as an abstraction layer between the client application and Postgres. It interfaces with the PGD consensus mechanism to get the identity of the current write leader node and redirects traffic to that node.

The PGD cluster always has at least one global group and one data group. PGD elects the write leader for each data group that has the enable_proxy_routing and enable_raft options set to true. You can attach Proxy to a global group or data group. You can attach multiple proxies to each group.

PGD Proxy is a TCP layer 4 proxy.

How it works

Upon starting, PGD Proxy connects to one of the endpoints given in the local config file. It fetches:

  • DB connection information for all nodes
  • Proxy options like listen address, listen port
  • Routing details like current write leader

Endpoints given in the config file are used only at startup. After that, actual endpoints are taken from the PGD catalog's route_dsn field in bdr.node_routing_config_summary.

PGD manages write leader election. PGD Proxy interacts with PGD to get write leader change events notifications on Postgres notify/listen channels and routes client traffic to the current write leader. PGD Proxy disconnects all existing client connections on write leader change or when write leader is unavailable. Write leader election is a Raft-backed activity and is subject to Raft leader availability. PGD Proxy closes the new client connections if write leader is unavailable.

PGD Proxy responds to write leader change events that can be categorized into two modes of operation: failover and switchover.

Automatic transfer of write leadership from the current write leader node to a new node in the event of Postgres or operating system crash is called failover. PGD elects a new write leader when the current write leader goes down or becomes unresponsive. Once the new write leader is elected by PGD, PGD Proxy closes existing client connections to the old write leader and redirects new client connections to the newly elected write leader.

User-controlled, manual transfer of write leadership from the current write leader to a new target leader is called switchover. Switchover is triggered through the PGD CLI switchover command. The command is submitted to PGD, which attempts to elect the given target node as the new write leader. Similar to failover, PGD Proxy closes existing client connections and redirects new client connections to the newly elected write leader. This is useful during server maintenance, for example, if the current write leader node needs to be stopped for maintenance like a server update or OS patch update.

Consensus grace period

PGD Proxy provides the consensus_grace_period proxy option that can be used to configure the routing behavior upon loss of a Raft leader. PGD Proxy continues to route to the current write leader (if it's available) for this duration. If the new Raft leader isn't elected during this period, the proxy stops routing. If set to 0s, PGD Proxy stops routing immediately.

The main purpose of this option is to allow users to configure the write behavior when the Raft leader is lost. When the Raft leader isn't present in the cluster, it's not always guaranteed that the current write leader seen by the proxy is the correct one. In some cases, like network partition in the following example, it is possible that the two write leaders may be seen by two different proxies attached to the same group increasing the chances of write conflicts. If this isn't the desired behavior, then the previously mentioned consensus_grace_period can be set to 0s. This setting configures the proxy to stop routing and closes existing open connections immediately when it detects the Raft leader is lost.

Network partition example

Consider a 3-data node group with a proxy on each data node. In this case, if the current write leader gets network partitioned or isolated, then the data nodes present in the majority partition elects a new write leader. If consensus_grace_period is set to a non-zero value, say 10s, then the proxy present on the previous write leader continues to route writes for this duration.

In this case, if the grace period is kept too high, then writes continue to happen on the two write leaders. This condition increases the chances of write conflicts.

Having said that, most of the time, upon loss of the current Raft leader, the new Raft leader gets elected by BDR within a few seconds if more than half of the nodes (quorum) are still up. Hence, if the Raft leader is down but the write leader is still up, then proxy can be configured to allow routing by keeping consensus_grace_period to a non-zero, positive value. The proxy waits for the Raft leader to get elected during this period before stopping routing. This might be helpful in some cases where availability is more important.

Multi-host connection strings

The PostgreSQL C client library (libpq) allows you to specify multiple host names in a single connection string for simple failover. This is also supported by client libraries (drivers) in some other programming languages. It works well for failing over across PGD Proxy instances that are down or inaccessible.

However, if the PGD Proxy instance is accessible but doesn't have access to the write leader, or the write leader for a given instance doesn't exist (that is, because there's no write leader for the given PGD group), the connection simply fails. No other hosts in the multi-host connection string is tried. This behavior is consistent with the behavior of PostgreSQL client libraries with other proxies like HAProxy or pgbouncer.

Managing PGD Proxy

PGD CLI provides a few commands to manage proxies in a PGD cluster, such as create-proxy, delete-proxy, set-proxy-options, and show-proxies. See PGD CLI for more information.

See Connection management for more information on the PGD side of configuration and management of PGD Proxy.

Proxy health check

PGD Proxy provides the following HTTP(s) health check API endpoints. The API endpoints respond to GET requests. You need to enable and configure them before using them. See Configurations.

GET /health/is-ready
GET /health/is-live


On receiving a valid GET request, the proxy checks if it can successfully route connections to the current write leader. If the check returns successfully, the API responds with a body containing true and an HTTP status code 200 (OK). Otherwise, it returns a body containing false with the HTTP status code 500 (Internal Server Error).


Liveness checks return either true with HTTP status code 200 (OK) or an error. They never return false because the HTTP server listening for the request is stopped if the PGD Proxy service fails to start or exits.

Proxy log location


  • Debian based - /var/log/syslog
  • Red Hat based - /var/log/messages

Use the journalctl command to filter and view logs for troubleshooting Proxy. The following are few sample commands for quick reference:

journalctl -u pgd-proxy -n100 -f
journalctl -u pgd-proxy --since today
journalctl -u pgd-proxy --since "10 min ago"
journalctl -u pgd-proxy --since "2022-10-20 16:21:50" --until "2022-10-20 16:21:55"