High Availability for PostgreSQL with Docker and Replication

Pankaj kushwaha
2 min readMar 22, 2023

Ensuring high availability (HA) for PostgreSQL with Docker and replication involves setting up a primary database server and one or more replica servers. This helps to minimize downtime and data loss in case of a failure, and it also allows for load balancing and improved read performance. The following steps outline how to set up high availability for PostgreSQL using Docker and replication:

  1. Choose a replication method: PostgreSQL offers two main replication methods: a. Physical replication (streaming replication): This method replicates the entire database cluster, including the Write Ahead Log (WAL), at the binary level. b. Logical replication: This method allows you to replicate specific tables, and it also supports cross-version and cross-platform replication.
  2. Set up the primary PostgreSQL server: a. Pull the official PostgreSQL Docker image: docker pull postgres. b. Create a Docker container for the primary PostgreSQL server, and map the PostgreSQL data directory from the container to a local directory on the host. c. Configure the primary PostgreSQL server for replication by modifying the postgresql.conf and pg_hba.conf files.
  3. Set up one or more replica PostgreSQL servers: a. Create Docker containers for the replica PostgreSQL servers, and map their PostgreSQL data directories to local directories on the host. b. Configure each replica server for replication by modifying the postgresql.conf and recovery.conf files, and set up the connection to the primary server.
  4. Implement a load balancer or connection pooler: a. Use a tool like PgBouncer or HAProxy to distribute read queries across the replica servers. b. Configure the load balancer to monitor the health of the PostgreSQL servers and redirect queries accordingly.
  5. Set up a failover mechanism: a. Implement an automatic failover mechanism using tools like Patroni, Repmgr, or Stolon. These tools help manage the failover process, monitor the health of the PostgreSQL servers, and promote a replica server to become the new primary in case of failure. b. Test the failover process to ensure that it works as expected and that the system can recover from failure without significant downtime or data loss.
  6. Monitor the PostgreSQL cluster: a. Set up monitoring and alerting tools like Prometheus, Grafana, and Alertmanager to track the performance and health of your PostgreSQL servers. b. Regularly review the performance metrics, logs, and alerts to identify and address any issues that may impact the availability or performance of your PostgreSQL cluster.

By following these steps, you can create a highly available PostgreSQL environment using Docker and replication. This setup helps ensure that your database remains available and performant even in the event of failures, and it allows for improved read performance and load balancing.

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Pankaj kushwaha

Database/System Administrator | DevOPS | Cloud Specialist | DevOPS