Deploying Scalable PostgreSQL Clusters with Docker Swarm and Kubernetes

Pankaj kushwaha
2 min readMar 22, 2023

Deploying scalable PostgreSQL clusters with Docker Swarm and Kubernetes enables you to manage, scale, and maintain your PostgreSQL databases efficiently. Both Docker Swarm and Kubernetes are orchestration platforms that automate the deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. Here’s how to deploy scalable PostgreSQL clusters using these platforms:

  1. Docker Swarm:
  2. a. Install Docker Engine on all nodes that will be part of the swarm. b. Initialize the swarm by running docker swarm init on the manager node. c. Add worker nodes to the swarm using the join command provided by the manager node. d. Create a Docker Compose file (docker-compose.yml) that defines the PostgreSQL service, including the official PostgreSQL Docker image, environment variables, and volume mounts for data persistence. e. Define a replicated service for high availability and scalability. Set the mode to replicated and specify the number of replicas you want to deploy. f. Deploy the PostgreSQL stack using the command: docker stack deploy -c docker-compose.yml postgres. g. Use Docker Swarm's built-in load balancing, or deploy a separate service for load balancing (e.g., HAProxy). h. To scale the PostgreSQL service, update the number of replicas in the Docker Compose file and redeploy the stack.
  3. Kubernetes:

a. Set up a Kubernetes cluster or use a managed Kubernetes service like Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE), Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS), or Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS).

b. Create a ConfigMap or Secret to store PostgreSQL configuration and credentials.

c. Define a StatefulSet or Deployment for the PostgreSQL service, specifying the official PostgreSQL Docker image, environment variables, and volume mounts for data persistence.

d. Create a Service to expose the PostgreSQL service within the cluster or externally.

e. Deploy a separate service for load balancing and connection pooling (e.g., PgBouncer or HAProxy). f. Apply the Kubernetes manifests using kubectl apply -f <manifest_file.yaml>.

g. To scale the PostgreSQL service, update the replicas field in the StatefulSet or Deployment manifest and apply the changes.

Keep in mind that both Docker Swarm and Kubernetes provide native features for scaling, rolling updates, and self-healing. However, PostgreSQL itself is not natively horizontally scalable for write operations. For read operations, you can deploy read replicas as separate services and use a load balancer to distribute read queries.

Additionally, consider using PostgreSQL cluster management solutions like Patroni, Stolon, or Crunchy Data to automate failover, backup, and recovery in a Kubernetes or Docker Swarm environment. These tools can help you achieve high availability and better manage your PostgreSQL clusters.

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Pankaj kushwaha

Database/System Administrator | DevOPS | Cloud Specialist | DevOPS